THERE was a moment during Saturday’s game at Leicester when Alisson comfortably saved an awkward-looking effort from Demarai Gray that had squirmed through Joe Gomez’s legs.
Gomez, who was excellent throughout and has rightly been showered with praise for his peformance, then cleared up the rebound from the Brazilian’s smart stop.
“Isn’t it great having a ‘keeper you can trust in goal,” I said to a mate.
What we’ve seen from the Liverpool defence, and their comfort in giving and receiving the ball from the ‘keeper across the opening four games, seems to suggest they think similar.
What comes later on in the game at Leicester, the mistake that leads to a goal for Rachid Ghezzal, and has received so much focus since, means to some that statement should get a strikethrough.
But it doesn’t. It’s just one solitary mistake that cost Liverpool a goal in a match they won. The end. The finish. All over.
Alisson remains the ‘keeper who had a save success rate of 80.1 per cent last season, inferior only to Jan Oblak in Europe’s top leagues.
He’s the same shot stopper who Opta calculated should have conceded 36 goals last season on the basis of expected goals but only shipped 28 — the best differential of any ‘keeper in Serie A.
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The Gray save on Saturday was one of four from the ‘keeper across the course of the game, while 21 of his 28 passes out from the box were successful, a hit rate of 75 per cent.
Despite the error that was, and continues to be the focus, for so many, he carried on regardless — focused, not fussed, non plussed, with no obvious signs of a confidence crisis.
The clickbait-loving sections of football media may love some crisis talk, or even better some collection of tweets that “proves” Liverpool fans have turned on the goalkeeper for one moment in one football match, but the evidence from Alisson’s teammates is that all is well at Anfield and heads are remaining on shoulders.
“That is his style of play and I think everyone wants him to continue doing that,” Gomez said. “All the time he gives us that confidence that we can play and it relieves a lot of pressure for us.
“Everyone has their style of play and we don’t want him to change. I think he’s confident and will continue to be so.”
Jürgen Klopp’s emotions clearly betrayed him in the heat of the moment at Leicester, and he was caught on camera motioning for the ‘keeper to clear it in the seconds following the goal.
It’s only what we were all doing, too. But shit happens.
Again though, when the dust had settled, Klopp was able to laugh. And why not after a Liverpool win? A goalkeeping mistake will always be highlighted as it is likely to lead to a goal, as it did in this case. But anyone who can’t see the improvements offered by having Alisson in goal already isn’t really looking to find them.
“It was clear that it would happen one day that we conceded a goal because of that. But we still want to use it,” said Klopp.
“As a team, we are still in the period where we have to adapt to each other and not use him in the wrong moments. He’s not the solution for us, he’s an option.”
And this touches on a key point. For all the shouty shock jock reaction and tabloid tattle following the mistake from the £65million Brazilian, Klopp knew what he was buying, knew what his style was and actively went out and bought him safe in that knowledge.
He’s a ‘keeper that plays a bit.
Wind back six years, and then new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was denied a Premier League win at Anfield against Manchester City when a Martin Skrtel mistake gifted Carlos Tevez an equalising goal 10 minutes from time.
It was one of a number of hairy early moments in his reign as he insisted his side played from the back, much to the shock of those preferring a defender to get rid at every turn.
Defending Skrtel that day, Rodgers said: “He was brave enough to play it and that’s the development of the team. As a group we will only get better.”
And they did.
The same surely applies to Alisson and the defence around him, which has already managed three Premier League clean sheets this season.
More, Liverpool have faced an average of only 7.8 shots per game so far this season, a figure bettered only by Manchester City (seven) in the opening four games of the campaign.
The calmness and confidence continuing to emerge from the Liverpool camp — including from the player at the centre of the finger pointing for a single mistake — is well placed.
And it’s our job as supporters to follow the lead. The crystal ball columnists and doom-mongering panellists will no doubt tell us Liverpool have still failed to solve a “crisis” between the sticks.
But there’s enough evidence already that what we have is greater than what we had. The desperation to build them up then knock them down is all too evident all around without us turning on our own.
The Reds are top of the league. Liverpool have won 12 points out of 12. And Alisson has played his part in that, as evidenced by the reaction from his teammates to his performances so far.
It was once a poster prepared for the Blitz and it’s a now a range of products seemingly on display at every turn. For once though, the message chimes instead of grating.
For Liverpool and Alisson right now the mantra is the right one: keep calm and carry on.
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When the match was on I was complaining bitterly to my son. Not because it was a mistake but I thought (at the time and in the heat of the moment) it was showboating. I’m also not fully over the past yet. I had that feeling it was gonna cost us and I was livid and terrified. But, then we won and it was a laugh. End of story. Yes, I expected the ‘haha, £95m for that’ (sic) but I know they’re gutted because we’re a real threat so that pleases me.
But, I went on social media and there’s debates all over the show. It was van Dijk’s fault. It was Henderson’s fault. Gomez should have got rid. You can’t blame Allison, if you want a sweeper keeper that’s part of it. You can’t have both etc etc. It’s fuckin weird. He made a huge error of judgement. The goal was his fault. Anyone with any sense would say it was a mistake. So what. At least we won. End. These morons who can’t bring themselves to say it was Allison’s fault make it worse for everyone. People challenge their stupidity and it becomes something it needn’t be.
100% agree, which is weird, because the thing I dislike about the latest podcast is that everyone fucking agrees that it was everyone’s fault except the keeper.
Before I ramble on let’s get one thing straight, I’m not suggesting that we throw the keeper under the bus, I’m suggesting that we definitely stop throwing everyone else under the bus in an attempt to justify an individual error.
Why do we have to accept that he has an error in him? Why is it acceptable that it comes in only his 4th game.
It does nothing to help with building confidence with the back four.
It does nothing to build an aura of invicibility like Cech, De Gea, Courtois and Schmeichel the elder enjoyed and used to their advantage.
It does nothing to eradicate the memory of Karius vs Madrid (will anything?)
It brings on pressure from the opposition fans and uncertainty from our own. He knows what happened to the keeper before him, he knows the shit this will bring on.
You can’t convince me that a keeper playing as our no1 cannot anticipate that pass and either put it in row Z or……put it in row Z.
Yep, mistakes happen, honest mistakes, but this guy tried a Traore turn on his goal line. He tried a fucking Traore turn on his goal line at a time when we were under pressure, and we’re supposed to accept it as someone, anyone, else’s mistake. Better still was the claim that it was because the striker was fresh from the bench.
I love the AW, but come on. Do you think you’re taking the piss just a little bit?
It was Alisson’s fault. Van Dijk put him under unnecessary pressure with a sloppy pass though. All in all, it was fully avoidable but it doesn’t actually matter and we move on.
Just fucking clear the ball. Nobody will be at fault then. Common sense when it matters most.
Other than that I don’t mind seeing the £65million keeper outshining Grobelaar’s antics as long as we win the League and Champions League.
There is a lot of sense in this article and I completely agree that Klopp knew what type of keeper he was buying and he will have been fully aware that he is a keeper that takes risks. But whats more, so were we as fans. We all scrambled to watch youtube compilations and I have seen him execute that cruyff turn 3/4 times over the course of a scout nation classic!
I think there are three things to this:
1. He has considerably contributed to improving our problem between the sticks. He seems like he has a level or arrogance and confidence about him that both our previous keepers massively lacked. Non more was this displayed in the aftermath of the mistake. No panic. No capitulation. No self questioning. Just confidence and focus to finish the job. I thought that was really impressive from alisson.
2. We will not be asking him to change (well not completely). And by this I mean he is fantastic in what he does. He allows us to literally suffocate our opponents with possession and accuracy. One game-changer for man city last year was their ability to not give their opponents an absolute sniff and it completely de-moralised the smaller teams trying to gain inches in what is always an uphill battle.They didnt do this by shutting up shop but by becoming a possession powerhouse. They literally recycled possession like a washing machine spinning over and over. It was ederson that took them to this level. And this is without the ability to start quick direct counter attacking moves. I think this takes us up a level. But where he can change is taking a silly risk that doesn’t give much reward. Taking risks with a pass is fine, taking risks by coming off your line is fine too – but cruyff turning back into a congested area of the pitch does not provide enough reward in comparison to the risk. There is not the need to dribble, but to take risks with passing and I think Klopp will address that.
3. Our fan base needs to adapt. Modern day football requires much more from a goalkeeper if you are looking to become a top top team. Ederson, Neuer, De Gea (fantastic distribution). All top keepers who give their team so much more than just shot stopping. It will be a long difficult process and we will probably have those fellas complaining in the main stand when we are treble winners and our keeper is playing out from the back. But in the main we need to understand that this is a seriously talented goalkeeper. will he make mistakes? Of course, there will be more to come. But will he improve this team massively? Most definitely.
Up the reds – Up the mad goalkeeper we have got – and up jurgen laughing about our keeper doing a cruyff turn because we have conceded one goal in 4 and had the best start to a campaign since the early 90s!
I too was a supporter who thought the past had come back to haunt us. How many times last season, or the season before, were we comfortably in the lead only to spurn a 2-goal advantage and not come away with the full 3pts? I guess old habits die hard, and it will take more than 4 games for the supporters to get used to the man between the sticks. Let’s not take VvD contribution away from all this too. He’s been massive, literally and figuratively, in helping Liverpool shore up their defence. Since he’s arrived in pretty sure we’ve had the best defence in the Prem.
It’s keepers. that’s all.Some of the best are mavericks, crazies… you know, keepers. If Bruce’s dancing on the line in Rome would have cost us the cup would we be slagging him off as a crap keeper? no. that charm, that risk-taking wild spirit is what makes them razor sharp in goal. makes them dive and risk their face when others wouldn’t, makes them run to a position that results in an interception when others would stay and wait.
it’s just keepers, some are a bit mad, our is and I love it.
it seems that in all the hysteria involving this incident for some reason it is being ignored that the player who won the ball plainly shoves Allison in the back. watch it again its a cal- lew copy only he actually does push him with some force. any opinions?
I agree, it was actually a foul. the player didn’t play the ball, he actually kicks our keeper’s feet.
Been some funny decisions regarding keepers in game thus far with us. The Palace keeper clatters mane and drops the ball into his own net. Verdict from the Ref. Freekick to the keeper, when the correct decision should have been a goal to us.
Brighton keepers clatters Bobby that hard he knocks him out of his socks. For me this is a shocking foul and warrants a card and a pen. Anywhere else on the pitch and we are probably discussing a red card for this. Verdict awarded by the ref. Freekick for the goalie.
So when viewing this incident, Yep Allisson tried to be clever, but he is actually fouled, yet the 2 previous incidents the keeper does the fouling and get a freekick… In our case we get nothing on all 3 occasions.
Seems crap decisions from officials from 17/18 season are carrying over to 18/19
This is one crazy article. The main premise is somewhat undermined by the fact that Allisson said sorry after the game and that he wouldn’t be doing that again and that he should have hoofed it long.
This is what he said:
“I am angry that I made a mistake that put the team in a difficult situation. When one person makes a mistake, it affects everyone and everyone fought back together.“
“It was bad judgement. I made a mistake reading the play. I didn’t get a very good pass. We talked about that in the dressing room and I spoke to Virgil.”
“It wasn’t a good pass but I could have just kicked it long.”
He definitely doesn’t say that he intends to do the same sh*t if faced with that situation again, and I for one hope he learns from what was an appalling error, one that would see Karius or Mignolet hung from a lamppost by some..
And Klopp did not see the funny side as you suggest, in fact he said:
“To be 100 per cent honest, I’m really happy it happened because we don’t have to wait for it now. After last week everyone was talking about it and saying some day it will be difficult. Today you saw it. Don’t do it that way. Box ticked. Carry on.”
The key words are “don’t do it that way”.
But apart from that, you are spot on.