Bringing steel to the backline

What can we make of Liverpool’s pursuit of Brazilian keeper Alisson? Months after going quiet after their Champions League exit to eventual winners Real Madrid, the Liverpool hierarchy suddenly broke cover after the World Cup, to attempt to sign the keeper that played five games and kept three clean sheets.

It has always been known that Liverpool need to shore up their backline. We know they could score goals in games. Last year they did very well when they had the fearsome foursome of Coutinho, Firminho, Salah and Mane, and possibly too much firepower, for only three of them could play at any one time. It as like having a diamond sit on the bench, and possibly with three of the four being able to play at any one time meant it was a good idea to sell Coutinho for the funds and to give him a chance to play.

But the defence – sigh…

Simon Mignolet as dropped to the second goalkeeper after his fine form while he was at Sunderland, which led to Liverpool poaching him, deserted him as he stood between the Reds sticks. And Lloris Karius, a young goalkeeper who has yet to reach the maturity and confidence, hasn’t quite managed to gain the consistency yet to manage. But you can say the same thing of Manchester United’s David de Gea, who took over from Edwin van der Sar. De Gea did not have an easy start, behind the expectations of managing the goal, but has developed into one of the finest in the world.

Perhaps we can say the same of Karius. He will have time to develop, but unfortunately his Champions League errors came at too early a stage in his career. It was a lot to ask though, a twenty-four year old to take part in the biggest stage of the footballing scene. Perhaps he will have another chance in the future. But Liverpool’s ambition to sign Alisson suggests that they see the next few years as being pivotal, and the future is now.

In the field of classical music, the introduction of tougher metal frames to hold the strings allowed the piano to take more force, and the music written for the piano changed in texture – more notes at the same time. (You can read more about this here in the Piano Teacher Finsbury Park blog. Perhaps Alisson will give the team more toughness, and allow it to take more pounding, while freeing the front line to do what it does creatively.