• Hey Guest!
    Enjoy the This Is Anfield Forums but want to remove the adverts? Now you can do so by clicking here.
    Thanks for your support!

John Achterberg - is he responsible for our keepers shortcomings?

Is John Achterberg causing our keepers to decline?


  • Total voters
    70
  • Poll closed .

Joe Ware

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2016
Messages
648
We generally hear a few mutters about Achterburg whenever one of our keepers has a bad game so I thought maybe a dedicated thread might be useful.

I'm really not too sure myself - for me I think it is too early to say if Karius is going downhill or not and I didn't see enough of Mignolet a few years back to say if he has got worse or not.

He doesn't seem to have a great CV but of course that alone doesn't necessarily mean he is no good.
 


Zinedine Biscan

Spreading the word of St Igor
Ad-free Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
23,118
Trying to be unbiased here, but there's literally no way we can know, unless we've watched him in training with them and had the knowledge to identify what he is doing right and wrong. IE unless we're a coach employed by LFC, all we can do here is speculate.

There is a certain amount of 'evidence' here - since he arrived our goalies have tended to decline - Reina, Mignolet, Karius... even Bogdan arrived with a decent reputation. Conversely, none have excelled. Is that bad coaching, or is it the players? In Reina's case, the decline could have been due to age (he hasn't played much since leaving us), in Mignolet and Karius' case both were fairly young when they joined and came from smaller clubs with far lesser expectations on them week on week. It could easily be a mixture of young players being bought for potential in the position, and then failing to live up to it combined with struggling to cope with the greater pressure that comes from playing for a club like Liverpool.

You also have to look at the managers he has worked for - Rafa, Dalglish and Klopp. Hodgson we can ignore, and what you make of Rodgers depends on your own opinion, but the fact is he's been retained by five different managers, three of whom are very good to excellent bosses. If you can't do your job properly, these guys aren't going to keep you around.

This isn't to defend Achterberg as he could easily be the common problem here, but I'm not going to scapegoat him either. I just really don't think there's a way for us to know definitively whether or not he is the issue.
 

FGred

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Messages
3,256
The guy is not Merlin with a magic wand he has to work with the quality of GKs he has and I keep saying this there is only three things required to make a solid Defence is obviously a good GK and secondly a strong and consistent CH pairing and two good and fast FBs. In the 80 and 90s we had legendary CHs who made the GKs look good. Last weekend I knew we would struggle when I heard Matip wasn't playing because he is a very calming influence on Lovren and the whole back line and the midfield does not need to defend as much as he is comfortable on the ball and carries it readily forward, we need to buy a good cover for him in January otherwise these setbacks will be repeated again and again?
 

AussieLad

TIA Regular
Ad-free Member
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
5,025
I remember years ago a similar feeling amongst fans towards the goalkeeping coach under Evans and Houllier - sorry can't remember the guys' name, but the general feeling was that he ruined every goalkeeper we had in the 90's and early 2000 prior to Rafa bringing in the spanish coaches with him
 

Flobs

FADA
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
8,739
2 factors imo the goalkeeper coach and the goalkeepers we buy. On buying goalkeepers one has to ask how the hell did we end up with Bogdan (even if he was a free)?
 



mattyhurst

TIA Regular
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
13,565
I'm going say Yes.

I don't remember Mignolet being this poor at crosses, his distribution was always an issue and Karius was seen as an up and coming talent who just seems to have lost even the basics

I think the drop in Reina's quality seemed to seal it for me, another who seemed to lose all the quality for even the basics. As for Bogdan he was absolutely rubbish that one can't be blamed on the coach, more on the recruitment which I think was simply Rodgers wanting Benteke so he set the spending out on that and had nothing left.
 

rupzzz

TIA Regular
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
6,974
I'm with @Zinedine Biscan - there is no way we can know.

Klopp has indicated in the past, that achterburg is a good coach, and does nothing that is new or different.

Personally, I'm in the camp of our GK's have been poor for a long while, and having a change in GK coach would do zero harm.
 

lfc.eddie

"¿Plata... O Plomo?"
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
53,207
In Reina's case, the decline could have been due to age (he hasn't played much since leaving us),
You might want to double check again that claim. Other than Bayern, which you know he would never going to replace Neuer, he has been playing a lot of games for Napoli. He played some 37 games last season for Napoli and has now done 21 games so far this season for Napoli. The "he's old and in decline" is just something the Rodgers mouthpiece used to keep the fans at bay so that there would be no revolt losing such a cult figure.

I am not going to go to any length anymore with regards to this subject because those who knew me, knows how high (or low) I rate this goalkeeping coach. The evidence is very clear for all to see and if Karius fall into the same level, and if he's still here keeping his position, there must be something he did that the manager is willing to close an eye on this subject.

All I can say is - he is for damn sure no Xavi Valero.
 



Joe Ware

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2016
Messages
648
I know this is being a pain in the ass - but it's Achterberg not Achterburg. A "Berg" is a mountain, a "Burg" is a "castle". Most castles are on a mountain or from a place high up, ironically in this context for "defensive" purposes.Draw your own conclusions...:J

Apologies - perhaps a mod could amend the thread title at some point.
 

Zoran

Fighting like beavers.
Joined
Mar 8, 2007
Messages
18,009
Difficult to judge these things, I mean, we don't know what type of training and work in general he does with our keepers, how do I know? Yes, we can look at the performance of our keepers in last years and knowing that John plays a part in that (and that John works also with the philosophy of the current man in charge), but he's also been here for, what, almost a decade now under different managers? No doubt Klopp will change this if he thinks he's not good enough, so for the moment I'm alright.
 

Kopstar

★★★★★★
Ad-free Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
13,690
I agree that unless we have intimate knowledge of the coaching at the club we can't really know but there are, I feel, a couple of pointers that might help inform us...

1) No goalkeeper has improved in the period he has been a coach, and

2) Whenever you read an interview with any of our goalkeepers over the last 5 or 6 years it's noticeable that he's not mentioned. Mignolet even attributed his turnaround in form during 2014 to his girlfriend telling him not to think too much.

Rather telling, I feel.
 



Dortmund fan

It's fishing time!
Joined
Oct 9, 2015
Messages
6,317
Roman Weidenfeller is going to finish being player soon, I would like him to get a keeper coaching licence and to work for Liverpool (or Dortmund) in future. His ability to calm down (character is similar to Matip) is the main reason why everyone respects and listens to him.

Regarding John Achterberg I think we can't blame him for every goalkeeper mistake, that would be not fair. Yes, there is no clear development to see but he can't do wonders if the managers buy average keepers. You can't develop potatos to cucumbers even if you are a great gardener. It's similar to Klopp couldn't develop Ibe, Benteke, Skrtel, Immobile etc. Not all players are able to develop.
 
Last edited:

Zoran

Fighting like beavers.
Joined
Mar 8, 2007
Messages
18,009
I have more of an issue with people who bought Mignolet in the first place. With Karius we'll see, he's got some talent but he was also a bit cheap in this world of "give me any young German goalkeeper". F*ck it, I only want Matip to forever be fit!
 

lfc.eddie

"¿Plata... O Plomo?"
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
53,207
Regarding John Achterberg I think we can't blame him for every goalkeeper mistake, that would be not fair. Yes, there is no clear development to see but he can't do wonders if the managers buy average keepers. You can't develop potatos to cucumbers even if you are a great gardener. It's similar to Klopp couldn't develop Ibe, Benteke, Skrtel, Immobile etc. Not all players are able to develop.
You haven't been a fan long enough, he had turned one of our best into questionable keeper. His task is to develop a goalkeeper, make them better than what they are when they arrived, not make them worse than what they were in their previous clubs. This is not an isolated case as how you see it. So try not to move it to "what Klopp" says or does.
 

Dortmund fan

It's fishing time!
Joined
Oct 9, 2015
Messages
6,317
But Klopp can choose his favorit players on the transfer market, Achterberg can't. He has to work with the keepers a manager buys. Like we say in Germany "eat or die!", means no choice, no influence.
It was Klopp's and Buvac's connection to Mainz, not Achterberg's. In this case John is not responsible for the transfer, he is only responsible for development.
 

lfc.eddie

"¿Plata... O Plomo?"
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
53,207
But Klopp can choose his favorit players on the transfer market, Achterberg can't. He has to work with the keepers a manager buys. Like we say in Germany "eat or die!", means no choice, no influence.
It was Klopp's and Buvac's connection to Mainz, not Achterberg's. In this case John is not responsible for the transfer, he is only responsible for development.
You mean this is all Klopp's fault then for not able to identify a great keeper? Is that what you're saying? And other goalkeeping coaches had it easy because their managers got them a great keeper from the start? And you are also saying goalkeepers are born with that sort of talent, not trained to be one? You are saying that Achterberg was kept in the dark when they wanted to buy goalkeepers, and not being consulted because that is just the way Klopp operates?

Karius is not the first keeper Achterberg coached. Mignolet is not the first either. Like I said, don't make this an isolated case about the game against Bournemouth and Karius. Just read the post @Kopstar had put up above, it is in point form, it's simple enough for everyone to understand.
 



Retro Helix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
403
I say no, Achterberg is not the problem. The problem lies with recruiting. With regards to Karius, he should only be starting in cup games or even with the academy/u-23's for now. His stats were good in the Bundesliga but he needs to gain further experience before starting EPL games.
 

Iluvatar

Allez (x6)
Ad-free Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Messages
7,478
As Eddie says he''s no Xavi Valero.. The guy is credited with helping making Torres the player he became. He had dossiers on every keeper and went through their weak spots with our strikers so they knew to shoot low and right etc.

I think he is the problem, the only thing anyone ever says positively about him is he is a workaholic.... Maybe we just need one that works.
 

Cologne-Liverpool

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
3,644
I say no, Achterberg is not the problem. The problem lies with recruiting. With regards to Karius, he should only be starting in cup games or even with the academy/u-23's for now. His stats were good in the Bundesliga but he needs to gain further experience before starting EPL games.
Exactly, what is this "Bundesliga" everyone keeps talking about anyway, right?:?::J So he thinks he's the sh*t because he already made it as a first keeper in some exotic league? Time to learn your trade first, pretty boy!:J
 
Last edited:

inaiq

"Some people feel the rain others just get wet"
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
6,282
Exactly, what is this "Bundesliga" everyone keeps talking about anyway, right?:?::J So he thinks he's the sh*t because he already made it as a first keeper in some exotic league? Time to learn your trade first, pretty boy!:J
Do you think Achterburg gives him tips on what hair products to use, he does have nice hair ;-)
 

Cologne-Liverpool

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
3,644
Do you think Achterburg gives him tips on what hair products to use, he does have nice hair ;-)
I think it might be the other way round - although maybe you've found the secret to Achterberg keeping his job under Klopp too - Jürgen is famously pretty concerned about his own hair as well...Anyone know if Achterberg has some kind of hair stylist/barber shop background?
 



NYRhockey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2016
Messages
1,497
I'm not convinced he's the issue. He's had Migs for a long time, yes, and while he has not become a stud keeper it may be a case of limited talent/ceiling. I'm far from a GK expert, but whenever i've seen Migs play i never thought to myself "Man, this guy could be one of the best in the world, i'm surprised he's not there yet".

He now has Karius who is very promising and young and after a bit of a shaky start he had been very solid until the disaster at Bournemouth, where he was 1 of 11 players who collapsed. That is not on the GK coach. If Karius stalls and does not continue his improvement then i think we can start looking at Achterburg with a different light.
 

inaiq

"Some people feel the rain others just get wet"
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
6,282
I think it might be the other way round - although maybe you've found the secret to Achterberg keeping his job under Klopp too - Jürgen is famously pretty concerned about his own hair as well...Anyone know if Achterberg has some kind of hair stylist/barber shop background?
There is also Can, nice head of hair, Frims and the infamy of Moreno's hair... So all in all he may not be considered a great GK coach but he seems to be doing great on his second job. This could become a great "Fake News" story. ;-)
 

Limiescouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
13,554
I think the downturn in form of Pepe after Valero left is interesting, but I think the degree to which this idea that Achterburg is the problem has taken on an absurd level of assurance. Pepe's form went down hill after Valero left, but that was also a time when the club was being eaten from within, and the overall performance of the club suffered. Identifying and isolating a drop in performance of one player among a group who were underperforming and putting it down to the loss/change of one coach just does not pass muster. As a few people have suggested, we are just not privy to the information required to say such a thing, and the form of pepe and the form of various keepers since can be put down to no end of other issues.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it's fairly unique position. If I told you that Cech liked the guy he worked with at Rennes so much that he encouraged Chelsea to hire him as well when he transferred. He is still at the club. Given the success of that relationship, and his long tenure at Chelsea, you would imagine he must be above reproach, right? Yet, it is alleged that one off the reasons for Courtois' poor form last year was that he didnt like said coach. Is this guy great because he "made" Cech into arguably the best in the world, or is he rubbish because he ruined the game of Courtois? Or is it neither?
 

redbj

hurry up, July 1st, let's get the show on the road
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
17,515
Well, it's neither and both, some people just work together better.

Perhaps it's such a unique relationship that the coach should be appointed in respect to what the keeper wants...almost like a caddy.

Dunno, even though it does sound rather harsh, and far from conclusive evidence, the very fact that no keeper has improved under him doesn't look good.

We are at the ruthless pointy end of a ruthless pointy business......

Maybe par is excelling, not just being good. Maybe doing nothing wrong is not good enough at this level. Take Lucas for example .... ( I jest)....

I voted 'don't know' because I don't.