Alisson the latest target on the Liverpool hate train – and why media criticism is ridiculous

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By Matt Ramirez – @Matt_J_Ramirez

“Liverpool Goalkeeper Alisson Boasts A Very Worrying Premier League Statistic In 2019”. That’s the headline of what is quite frankly a ridiculous article, written by a Mr Josh Lawless for Sport Bible.

The article highlights the fact that since the turn of the year, Liverpool’s Brazilian shot-stopper has conceded seven of the 11 shots he’s faced, giving him the lowest save percentage of any Premier League goalkeeper who has made over three appearances in 2019… because if they wouldn’t specify over three appearances then he wouldn’t be at the bottom and then they probably wouldn’t have written this.

The facts are undeniable. Yes, Alisson has conceded these goals, and yes, his save rate in this moment in time isn’t good by any stretch. I’m not debating that.

What is absolutely ridiculous however, is the suggestion that Liverpool fans should be worried by this – the man has 13 Premier League clean sheets so far this season (Chelsea’s Kepa and Manchester City’s Ederson are in second place with 11).

Many have come to Alisson’s defence, stating the fact that when a world class effort on goal is made, regardless of the quality of goalkeeper in between the posts, there is nothing he will be able to do to stop it from hitting the back of the net – this is exactly the case of late with Alisson’s so-called “worrying” statistic.

The goals Alisson has conceded since the turn of the year have come against Manchester City (two), Crystal Palace (three), Leicester (one) and West Ham United (one).

I’d argue that the Brazilian was completely without blame for all the goals he conceded against Manchester City, Leicester and West Ham.

There is only so much a goalkeeper can do when his defence doesn’t do their job properly, like when they allow Sergio Aguero – one of the most lethal finishers in the Premier League – to turn in the six-yard-area, and blast a shot from point blank range into the top corner.

The same can be said for Harry Maguire’s goal, in which the CB was left unmarked yet again on the edges of the six-yard-area. And the same for Michail Antonio’s most recent effort, in which his run wasn’t tracked by a single Liverpool player, and then the striker found the bottom corner expertly.

The only game I believe that the keeper could have done better was against Crystal Palace, and even then, that’s a stretch.

I don’t believe Alisson could have done much more for Andros Townsend’s effort considering how close to goal (six-yard-area again) the player was before he smashed it in, and I don’t think he could have done anything for James Tomkins effort – again the defence was at fault for giving the Crystal Palace CB a free header.

I will admit that I did expect a bit more from our number 13 for Max Meyer’s final goal. He did get a hand on the ball and I thought he should have saved it, given the quality of save that we’ve seen him pull out the bag this season, but nonetheless, he’s human and he’s allowed to make mistakes.

I’m not arguing with the facts, its undeniable that Alisson Becker has conceded these goals. What I don’t agree with, is the manner of which many people report this as if the Brazilian has somehow turned into a flop overnight.

This is the clearest example of stats not showing the full story – the same would happen if you got me in goal and told Steven Gerrard to take 100 shots at me from the opposing penalty area, I’d confidently have a 100% save record and, believe me, I’m thoroughly dreadful between the sticks.

There is context to everything, and the fact these stats are being reported alongside the words “worrying” show that it’s just another attempt for ‘news organisations’ (if you can call them that) to jump on the “Liverpool are bottling it” bandwagon.

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