Joel Matip: At this club expectations are big but we are looking forward to what we can become

Joel Matip: At this club expectations are big but we are looking forward to what we can become

Liverpool defender Joel Matip has come under huge criticism and scrutiny throughout the season but the Cameroon international accepts the responsibility for himself and his Liverpool teammates after a mixed start to the 2017-18 Premier League campaign

Joshua Kerr

Jürgen Klopp's team were left exposed to all kinds of examination in the aftermath of their 4-1 humbling at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur’s at Wembley last Sunday.

However, the Reds bounced back with a much-needed victory against Huddersfield Town which saw them leave Anfield with a 3-0 victory.

Joel Matip understands the importance and expectations that come with wearing the red shirt and he is not one to hide from his critics.

“At this club expectations are big”, he explained.

“Are the criticisms always deserved? I don’t know, maybe. I don’t have to judge the criticism against us, I only do my best and carry on," the Cameroon international added.

He continued, “Against Tottenham, me and the rest of the team made mistakes and we got criticised. This is what it means to belong to a big club, to be a professional footballer.

“A lot of people are looking, they are waiting, and if we don’t perform we expect them to do this. Of course it is tough but it is football.

“We are young, really young, we’re staying together, and we will improve.

“The players in this team, we are looking forward to what we can become, how we can develop, and we enjoy being part of this team.”











Matip confronts individual mistakes to get collective improvement

The former Schalke defender admits his defensive errors have contributed to many of the Reds defensive frailties but insists the team need to collectively improve if they are to get their season back underway.

Going into the game against the Terriers the Reds were without a win in three Premier League games and have conceded 16 goals already this season.

Much of the criticism for Liverpool errors has been directed at Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, who missed Saturday’s game against Huddersfield, despite being named in the starting eleven, due to a thigh injury picked up in the warm-up.

However, the 26-year-old believes that it’s a collective response that was needed to right the wrongs of their 4-1 mauling at Wembley.

“It was tough losing Dejan in the warm-up. Raggy (Ragnar Klavan) did well to come in and be ready, without even a proper warm up,” he said.

“Last week our defence wasn’t good. We know that. We got criticised for this, but you can never take it personally, you never let it too close to you.

“You just have to think about what you did, how to change it and improve it, these are the things you must take on board. 

“We know we had a lot of problems against Tottenham. I made a lot of problems, I was at fault, I made a number of mistakes, and of course I am not happy. We have to work to get better and defend better every single week.”