Liverpool fans were mortified when goalkeeper Alisson Becker limped off the pitch with an injury against Norwich City. Fans thought that his absence from the team would ruin their title chances. It’s game-week one for crying out loud and the pessimists are already out in full force!
Liverpool Shouldn’t Panic over Alisson Becker Injury
The 26-year-old is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. His distribution is better than anyone’s, aside from the goalkeepers at Manchester City, and his shot-stopping capabilities are outstanding. Yet, fans reactions suggest that his short-term replacement, Adrian, is a delinquent!
The Spaniard joined West Ham in 2013 and made 150 appearances for the Hammers. Adrian began his tenure in England as the main man between the posts but later had to fend off competition from Darren Randolph and Joe Hart. He eventually became the outright back-up option when Lukasz Fabianski arrived but Fabianski is a very good goalkeeper so there is no shame in that.
Adrian’s distribution was noteworthy against Norwich. If Alisson is a nine-out-of-ten then Adrian is certainly a seven. He was keen to receive the ball from his defenders and was very comfortable in playing short and mid-range passes. Obviously, he’s not as good with his feet as Alisson but he seems much more assured than Simon Mignolet.
The Belgian recently left Liverpool to join Club Brugge and was widely praised by the club’s supporters for his professionalism as a back-up. However, Mignolet was a burden to the team playing out from the back. He often reminded me of Adam West’s Batman, from the 1960s, when he comically tried to dispose of a bomb. Mignolet never looked like he wanted the ball and his passing wasn’t to the level required. Adrian is far less likely to disrupt the way that Liverpool want to play.
Alisson One of Many
If Liverpool needed their star keeper to save them in the upcoming weeks then they were never really true title contenders. Over a short period, the players may need to show a little more defensive caution. But, realistically, Alisson shouldn’t have to save his team points in the majority of matches. The players in front of him should be winning the majority of games without the need for any serious intervention from their keeper.
Manchester City lost Kevin de Bruyne for the majority of last season. De Bruyne was their best player in the 2017-18 season but Pep Guardiola’s men found a solution to his absence. They amassed 98 points and won the league again! If Liverpool are serious title contenders then they will not press the panic button on a short-term Alisson injury. They must keep calm and carry on!