Loris Karius walks alone.
Hopefully, not for long.
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It is understandable that many Liverpool fans feel anger towards their keeper this morning.
Those who have never been tuned into football’s frequency say ‘It’s only a game’ but such attempts at comfort never succeed.
Everyone knows what a victory in Kiev would have meant to everyone associated with the club; from those in the stadium, Merseyside, and worldwide.
Such losses induce a grief-like state in fans.
It’s then natural to seek out a reason; something or someone to blame.
Gareth Bale’s gravity-defying overhead kick should have been the standout difference between the two sides.
However, it is impossible to ignore Karius’ twin errors.
Not subtle mistakes, the kind revealed in replays.
Glaring hands-on-head howlers, the kind that follow a player forever.
For many, sympathy for Karius was instantaneous.
Such is the scale and magnitude of a Champions League final (against Real Madrid no less), the significance of the mistakes do not need to be spoken aloud.
Karius will forever hold himself accountable for the defeat — there’s little point in anyone ever reminding him.
We can only hope the final’s shockwaves do not totally derail the career of a 24-year-old man who does what he loves for a living.
Judging by his reaction after the final whistle, there will never be a crueller tormentor of Karius than himself.
This is the time or fans to live by the lyrics of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and prove the anthem’s resonance.
The song may be used to inspire the players to victory, but it’s meaning should take precedent in defeat.
It’s possible to hold Karius responsible for the loss while simultaneously trying to ease his suffering.
No meme, joke or viciously-worded tweet will ever make him feel worse than the final whistle in Kiev — so why bother?
It’s common for players to be made scapegoats in the wake of significant defeats.
However, there is no ambiguity as whether or not Karius’ performance affected the outcome.
The errors were so calamitous, they past the point of derision.
Watching a player’s reputation take such a battering is difficult to watch — like how one-sided boxing matches unmask the true savagery of the sport.
Football is incredibly important to millions of people — that’s what makes it great.
But sparing a player excess criticism does not equate to a lack of emotional investment in your club.
Liverpool fans have ever right to believe their club needs a new goalkeeper, but wishing personal turmoil on Karius is futile.
The road to his redemption is a long and arduous journey.
He shouldn’t have to walk it alone.
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From Russia with a whole lot of love.