You may have seen a statistic float about the internet in recent days; Alisson Becker, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper for like a week this summer, has only saved 36.4 percent of the shots he has faced in 2019. 11 shots have made their way to the target since the turn of the year, and the former Roma man has allowed seven of them to get past him.
Shocking. He must be terrible at his job, no doubt about it. The Reds clearly wasted all that money and should put Simon Mignolet back between the sticks. Right?
Well. What that little statistical nugget fails to take into account — beyond the tiny data set it is based on — is the fact that Alisson, up until the 31st of December, had saved 85 percent of the shots he had faced in a Liverpool shirt. While save percentages vary wildly from year to year and are unreliable as a measure of goalkeeping quality at the best of times, that is an obscene number; elite goalkeepers will occasionally reach the high 70s, which, incidentally, is where Alisson’s overall save percentage currently sits.
It is noteworthy, then, that the media chose to put the spotlight on Alisson not when he was posting those elite numbers for five months, but sprang into action as soon as there was a dip, no matter how short-lived, in results. Not surprising, perhaps, but absolutely something fans would do well to take note of as they navigate the constant barrage of sensational headlines that surround the Reds title challenge.
The man himself — in keeping with the current club maxim — is simply focusing all his energy on doing the best he can.
“We believe we can win the league,” the goalkeeper told Sky Sports. “We’ve shown in the past that we’re good enough and we’ll continue to show this in the games we’ve got to come.
”Our pressure is the same. We take things game by game without worrying about what our opponents are doing. Everyone wants to win this league but at Liverpool our concern is winning games and not dropping points.
”We don’t think about Man City,” he continued. “We think about ourselves. We only think about what we can do and how things are moving forward.”
“I really want to win the Premier League with Liverpool. We need to win games and we need to focus on our next opponent. To get back to the top of the league we need to win games that comes from hard work, starting on Saturday.”
Starting on Saturday, indeed, when Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth come to Anfield. Hopefully, the hard work will pay off, and the Reds can climb back to the top of the table.