The Liverpool first-team star with a point to prove…again

Despite the departures of Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling over the summer, Liverpool’s start to the season was looking positive after three games, in which the Anfield outfit collected seven points.

Since then things have gone decidedly sideways for Brendan Rodgers’ men, with poor results and a number of defeats raising questions over the Northern Irishman’s strategy to help the club achieve its objectives.

Ultimately, with lots of new players arriving on Merseyside over the summer and the subsequent bedding-in period still in full swing, it may well be towards the end of the year before Liverpool start living up to their potential.

In the short-term, Rodgers will look to those that have been at the club for some time to stand up and be counted.

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Question marks still remain over an attack that has failed to fire, but the most alarming thing for the Kop will be the side’s defence and the concession of goals due to individual errors and simple mistakes.

One man that is essential to the Reds shoring up their backline is goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who has been at the club for a number of years and has nailed down the number one jersey in recent times.

However, during his time at Anfield the Belgian has shown that he is a real confidence player and capable of being either a match-winner or a liability.

Last season Rodgers dropped the former Sunderland custodian for a period due to a run of games in which he failed to show his best form, with the opposition seeing Mignolet as something of a weakness.

In the second half of last term the Belgium international reclaimed his starting berth and looked much more solid, winning back the trust of those around him and in the stands.

However, at the start of the 2015-16 season, Mignolet’s performances have started to be put under the microscope once more, with a few questionable moments by the stopper in the first six Premier League fixtures of the campaign.

Poor distribution and a lack of command in his penalty box will have Liverpool fans worried that Mignolet is ready to return to the poor form that blighted his season at this time last year.

With Adam Bogdan the hero in the Reds’ underwhelming Capital One Cup triumph over Carlisle in midweek, there may well be a section of the Kop that will be calling for a similar decision to last term and to demote the Belgian to the fringes for a while.

At his best, Mignolet has proven himself as a top-quality goalkeeper, who has pulled off some stunning saves to help Liverpool draw games they should have lost, or win those they could have drawn.

This ability will have been the reason that Rodgers opted not to bring a proven stopper to the club over the off-season – but the former Swansea chief may well be regretting this now.

It appears that Mignolet now needs to prove himself once more, with his inconsistency another headache for a club that is underachieving.