Michail Antonio says Liverpool player has been given too much praise recently


Michail Antonio says Liverpool player has been given too much praise recently

West Ham United forward Michail Antonio has claimed that praise of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has ‘gone a bit too far.’

Alisson has been Liverpool’s best player this season. The only one to not let his standards slip too far during a horrible campaign. His continued excellence between the sticks has led to some calls that the Brazilian is the Premier League’s greatest ever ‘keeper.

But speaking to The Footballers Football Podcast, Antonio dismissed this claim.

“I think it’s gone a bit too far as in best keeper ever in the Premier League,” said the 32-year-old. “He can do it all, block one on ones, score with his head!” interjected co-host Callum Wilson of Newcastle United.

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“Obviously, yeah, he’s a good playmaking goalkeeper but so is Ederson. To say the best ever in the Premier League, I think it’s a bit of a stretch. Schmeichel, Van Der Sar, Petr Cech. I just don’t feel he has done enough yet,” explained Antonio.

Based on trophies, maybe not. But based on pure goalkeeping ability alone, Alisson certainly has to be in the conversation now.

Alisson comfortably in the conversation

Debate is part of why we love football. Everyone can have an opinion on the game, whether they’ve played at an elite level or have never kicked a ball in their life.

Obviously, Antonio and Wilson edge more towards the former of those categories. Wilson in particular, having now featured at a World Cup for England.

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And yet, it still rankles that Antonio, a player of such relative limitation, feels free to dismiss our brilliant goalie like this. Of course, both he and Wilson have played – and scored – against Alisson, which does add some weight to their arguments.

But do they watch him week-in-week-out? The answer is obviously, no. To win awards and earn praise from your peers in the footballing world is a great honour for any player. But the truth is that it’s impossible for Premier League players to watch all that much of each other. Generally, they’re either playing simultaneously or gearing up for a match.

As a result, we’d take these words with a grain of salt. Anyone who has watched Alisson consistently since his £67m arrival in Liverpool will tell you he’s more than sitting at the table with the names Antonio mentions.

The 30-year-old may not make flashy saves and doesn’t have the flamboyance of a Schmeichel, but he often makes his job look remarkably simple. Clearly, Alisson still makes errors – the one on Tuesday against Real Madrid was appalling and ended up really costing his team. But by and large, the Brazil star is as dependable as they come. Perhaps only once he hangs up his gloves will he get his due.

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