Whilst Liverpool FC icon Luis Suarez has been subject of countless commendations from all and sundry this season for his fantastic goalscoring record, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has stressed that the team’s recent success is thanks to the much improved performance of the man at the other end of the pitch – Spaniard, Pepe Reina.
Reina’s form has been the subject of much criticism for the last 18 months as he has been very inconsistent, but Rodgers stated that Reina is now being rewarded for the effort he has put in to improving his performance.
Reina’s future at Liverpool had been very much in doubt this season, with Arsenal and Barcelona reportedly interested in acquiring the 30 year old’s services, but Rodgers insists that Reina is a key factor to Liverpool’s success.
“Pepe has made comments himself that, at times, he can be better but what I know I get from Pepe is he always gives his best, he’s not immune to mistakes. We’ve seen throughout the season, not just with Pepe, many goalkeepers make a mistake and unfortunately for them it can prove costly.
“In his performance last week [versus Wigan] he made outstanding saves at critical moments of the game. His preparation has been spot-on, he’s training well and working very hard – he’s now starting to get the rewards for that.
“He’s still a young man: at 30 years of age, you can still improve. Look at the likes of Edwin van der Sar, who played until he was 40 at the top level.”
Given Reina’s recent performance against Wigan, Liverpool fans will be hoping that these displays will continue in their remaining league games, along with a return to fitness, to help rack up as many points as possible to reach a top 6 spot, and European football.