Alisson's importance to Liverpool symbolised by emotional West Brom winner

17 May 2021 07:00

Alisson Becker, eh?

Does he have his moments of sheer calamity? Absolutely.

Would Liverpool change him for any goalkeeper in the world? Absolutely not.

His headed winner against West Brom was undeniably the best moment of Liverpool's season. Everything about it was magical, from the immaculate technique to the emotional release in the celebrations after.

It brought his name into the headlines, but in reality it was just a symbol of the character that makes him one of the most unique and watchable goalkeepers around.

It's only natural that people latch on to the errors Alisson is prone to making. His howler against Leicester earlier in the season, charging out to clear the ball and missing it completely, might have been the worst of them.

Roughly once a game he will put Liverpool in trouble, either with a stray pass or a moment of overconfident exuberance. He takes risks that other goalkeepers wouldn't dream of, and you can bet that John Achterberg, the Reds' goalkeeping coach, will have tried everything to drill those tendencies out of him.

Yet it says a lot about Alisson that despite his stubborn, undeterred perseverance with that high-risk style of goalkeeping, the club have stuck with him. That's because quality and importance to the team supersedes the mistakes he makes.

You will struggle to find a better goalkeeper in the world at commanding their area. The confidence he instils in those in front of him from crosses and set pieces can't be overstated. When it comes to doing the basics he is one of the very best around.

He also makes an obscene number of seemingly simple saves, which are only made to look simple by how quick and decisive he is to leave his line and close the angle. The save he denied Arkadiusz Milik with in the Champions League two years ago is the most famous example, but he does it week after week to minimal acclaim because of how easy he makes it look.

The good, the bad, and the ugly parts of Alisson's game all stem from the same place; his speed of thought, and inability to doubt himself even despite his occasionally costly errors.

The value he places on showmanship and entertainment value can be a source of frustration, but if we've learned one thing from his three seasons at Anfield, it's that he isn't going to change. And when it's all said and done, Liverpool are better with him than without him.

All there is to do, then, is strap in and enjoy the ride that comes with the most unique goalkeeper on the planet.

The cherry on the cake is the few moments of magic we'll get along the way, like his one-in-a-million winner against West Brom that might have just sent Liverpool back into the Champions League.

Source: 90min