Quantcast
Joel Matip - Page 22 - FF - Football Forum - The Liverpool Way Jump to content
viRdjil

Joel Matip

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, The Woolster said:

 

Agreed, I think its a case of, apart from Big Virj, none of them walk back into the team after being out, whoever has the place holds their place until injury or a bad run of form. I probably prefer the other 2 over Matip, but no way he deserves to be dropped on current form. And it means the 2 who miss out work even harder to try to get their place back.

 

No worries there,  more often than not a few of those are out injured. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Shooter in the Motor said:

For someone with 24,704 posts and counting that's quite impressive lurking.


Haha touche.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, rubble-rouser said:

He’s been superb in every big game. He seems to thrive on the pressure. Rio Ferdinand was fapping over his performance 

Makes a change from fapping over Ashley Cole's naked hoop in the toilets of a London bar.  

 

Anyway, Matip was immense last night.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, stringvest said:

Makes a change from fapping over Ashley Cole's naked hoop in the toilets of a London bar.  

 

Anyway, Matip was immense last night.  

What I get up to in my spare time etc wtx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, VERBAL DIARRHEA said:

Coming good, injuries hampered him. Looks like the player I watched in German football.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Trent arguably the most improved player of the season

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the long passes he pings, Gerrard would have been proud of, the way he strides forward with the ball is reminiscent of Hansen. Where’s this player been for the last 3 years. He’s gone from 3rd choice behind Joe and Lovren to 1st choice. Immense. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like a sound fella Matip. He’s been great the last six months. Give him a new contract.

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/joel-matip-me-a-cult-hero-thats-not-the-worst-thing-ive-ever-heard-8wnbt8s06

 

Joel Matip: ‘Me, a cult hero? That’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard’

 

Joel Matip has forgotten our interview. By the sea near Marbella it’s a cloudless day and he has wandered off for a coffee in town. He is all apologies when he returns and, an hour later, after we’ve talked about being Liverpool’s new cult hero, his sudden Beckenbauer-esque tendencies, about muzzling Lionel Messi, he is still apologetic - as if sorry about the compliments suddenly coming his way.

 

“I’m happy I could show [fans] that I have a lot to show and that I am a, eh, a quite good player,” he ventures and that’s as far as embracing acclaim as he will go.

 

Cult hero means “surprise hero” I explain. “Good,” he almost cringes. “If you’re going to surprise people, better do it in a positive way.” Cult hero? “It is not the worst thing I heard.”

 

At the retreat where Liverpool spent last week preparing for the Champions League final, there are palm trees, white-washed buildings, songbirds, lapping waves. Matip fits the mellow mood.

 

He is one of the best stories of Liverpool’s season, starting it while still easing himself back from a thigh injury that struck last March and required surgery and then, finally re-established in the side, breaking his collarbone in the last seconds of a heroic performance against Napoli. He returned to the starting XI in January amid an injury crisis and supporters were unassuaged.

 

Despite always showing qualities since arriving as Jurgen Klopp’s first signing in 2016, Matip had never quite imposed his name on the team sheet.

 

Four months on, nobody - except maybe Harry Kane - wants Klopp to change the Matip-Virgil Van Dijk axis against Tottenham. “The team has helped me,” says Matip, steering the conversation away from himself, “and it was really easy to fit in.”

 

Let’s go back to 2008 and a minibus taking Schalke Under-19s to a pre-season game. Matip is the quiet, gangly kid sat alone at the front. He only made the step from the uUnder-17s by the skin of his teeth and he hasn’t convinced in training. He knows it. The coach, Norbert Elgert, wants to find out more.

 

Elgert is something of a guru in German youth football, having mentored such as Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer. The person is the key to the player, he believes. He joins this shy, tall boy and asks about his family.

 

Wary at first, but soon beginning to trust, Matip talks about his mother, Eva-Maria, a leader in dementia care with the German Red Cross, and Jean, his father, a Red Cross supervisor who came to Germany from Cameroon with a chemistry degree.

 

They talk about Matip’s education - at the boarding school where Schalke place scholars he is a leading pupil. Yet when Elgert asks about football ambitions Matip clams up. “I hardly dared to set big goals,” Matip wrote when contributing a chapter for Gib alles - nur nie auf! (Give everything - don’t ever stop!), Elgert’s book.

 

Elgert resolved to work not just on the youngster’s game but his reticence. As Matip put it, “he decided to press my self-confidence turbo booster button.” He believes in himself now - but the modesty never went away.

 

One element apparently uncovered in recent months is Matip’s flair for bringing the ball out from the back. Yet it doesn’t surprise those who know his backstory. Elgert encouraged the tendency and even played him for half the season at striker, Matip scoring 10 goals, including a hat-trick, and providing five assists.

 

“I was not a striker only for heading.! I could do something with the ball,” Matip smiles. He is still in touch with Elgert, who texted a good luck message on the morning of his exceptional performance against Messi in Liverpool’s 4-0 defeat of Barcelona: “a great coach.”

 

The ball-playing acumen meant Matip’s Schalke debut, aged 18, at Bayern Munich, was in midfield. He was man-of-the-match and spent the next two seasons at No 6. Why did he wait to show such abilities for Liverpool?

 

Rhythm is one factor: this is his longest run of starts since 2017, and “if you get more time on the field you get more confident on the ball.”

 

Mindset is another. “What was stopping me? I’m not sure to be honest. At my old club I liked doing something with the ball but... sometimes you ‘feel’ it. And the feeling right now is maybe self-confidence is at a good level. I wouldn’t call it doubt [before]. But maybe I thought a different [safer] way of playing was better.”

 

Klopp likes him expressing himself. “He supports his players. He never told me I should start running with the ball but he knew I could do this,” Matip grins.

 

Talking teammates, Matip grows expansive, relieved to be speaking about others. “[Van Dijk] is so self confident. I think he’s a big help to every player, not just me. Fabinho is amazing.

 

Watching him against Barcelona, he was everywhere. I don’t know if there were two, three Fabinhos, more...I thought I might need glasses because there were so many of them.

 

“How many runs Robbo and Trent make I don’t know. It’s a big impact [on our defending] because the wingers of the other team get tired.” Watching from centre back he has a good view of how hard Mo Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino work to press.

 

Liverpool lose possession “and a few seconds later, Bobby [Firmino] is next to me and their striker because he wants the ball. Amazing.”

 

Then there’s James Milner and Jordan Henderson who, Englishmen in the midday sun, are off on this hot afternoon to play golf. “I don’t know how many seasons Millie played and he still wants more and more and more. He is like a prototype for a footballer.

 

“And Hendo [playing on with a knee injury v Barca]... The gaffer made a joke about it. He asked him in the dressing room and Hendo said ‘it’s just pain.’

 

He’s really strong in mind and that says everything about him. Just. Pain.”

 

Matip’s Premier League debut was against Tottenham “and I was wow, this is really intense. The game was a little bit wild - from one box to the other with no break. There was so much power in it. I was.. oh, nice league!

 

“Spurs and Liverpool games [tend to] go from one box to the other and the intensity is always really high, because both teams play with high pressure.

 

“They’re a great team, with great individuals, pace. Nobody thought they could do it [come back] in their semi-final and that shows we are against a team with a great mentality. Even if we score an early or late goal we have to be focused 100% because they also have the fighting mindset and they can strike back in any second of the game.”

 

That thigh problem meant Matip was a spectator in Kiev when Liverpool lost to Real Madrid. His summer involved spending Mondays to Fridays at Melwood doing rehab; no holiday. It was a grind and sometimes he wasn’t the best company. “The hero of last summer was my girlfriend, Larissa,” Matip says. “Good mood, bad mood, she’s always there.”

 

At weekends they took mini-breaks: Paris, Germany, best of all Rome. He loves cities, seeing how other people live, learning about history and architecture. He reads newspapers but not sports sections. More for the politics and economics. “I’ve been playing for 15 years and you get into something like a bubble but you try to look around this bubble. I don’t know if my childhood [among scientists and doctors - his sister is also a medic] made me this way but I try to see more than football.”

 

He and Larissa live in Woolton village, in a charming, un-footballer home with a courtyard. He is the only Liverpool player without either public Twitter or Instagram accounts. Social media, “is one thing I really want to stay away from. I really try to separate my private life with my life as a footballer. Everyone is different but this way works for me.”

 

Elgert had a way of teaching you to be self-confident without losing humility.

 

“He put us in concrete shoes so we keep our grip on the ground - and at the same time advised us to go through life with our arms up, reaching for the sky,” Matip wrote.

 

Which is why, despite recent form, Matip talks about doing better. And is quick to praise Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren, the colleagues he’s keeping out of the team. He is 27 and “improvement is a never-ending story,” he says.

 

What represents success to him? “I want to be the best I can be and what that will mean in the end, I don’t know. It is a success to get better. But I don’t only want to get better. I want to win something.” If he lifts the European Cup next Saturday he won’t apologise for that.

 

67FFDCD7-718A-4240-A782-2224B3DC8959.jpeg

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

His dribbles through midfield still concern me. When you weigh up the risk versus reward he is much more likely to lose the ball and leave us exposed than he is to set up or score a goal. Against lower quality opposition it's a good skill to have but in a European Cup final just concentrate on defending, if Spurs don't score he will have done his job and hopefully (almost certainly) someone else higher up the pitch will have done theirs too and the trophy is ours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Code said:

How many times has he lost it?

Not nearly as often as Reds fans (who have watched too many dodgy defences to be relaxed with the truth that we now have Europe's best) lose it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×