‘Looked a little bit jaded’ – Former Liverpool legend questions player’s fitness levels
Ex-Liverpool player Ray Houghton thinks goalkeeper Alisson might not be fully fit after his showing at Wembley in the Reds’ Community Shield defeat on penalties to Manchester City.
Alisson was arguably to blame for allowing Raheem Sterling’s opener to squirm beneath him as City took an early lead at Wembley – prompting concerns from Houghton over the Brazilian, who spent the summer taking part in Brazil’s victorious Copa America campaign.
After witnessing his latest outing in Liverpool colours just days before the Premier League season gets underway, Houghton felt that the ‘keeper was a little under-par.
He told talkSPORT: “I thought Alisson looked a bit tired. He’s virtually been playing for 12 months and he’s been absolutely brilliant, whether it’s for Liverpool or Brazil, he’s been absolutely phenomenal.
“But he just looked a little bit jaded against City and I just wonder if he needs a little rest. If you looked at him yesterday, even during the penalties he just didn’t look quite right.
“But he was one of Liverpool’s outstanding players last season and was one of the reasons why they finished second in the Premier League and won the Champions League title, so I’m sure once the games come he’ll be ready.”
While Houghton retained the hope that Alisson will be back to his best ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Norwich City later this week, his fears over the shot-stopper’s fitness could be justified, given Alisson’s season did not finish until Brazil overcame Peru in the Copa America final on 7th July.
With less than a month passing between then and their shoot-out defeat to City, there may be previous evidence that Alisson may be in need of a prolonged rest, as he was culpable for giving away a penalty in a warm-up game against Lyon after an earlier howler.
So Houghton’s worries over Alisson’s performances may not have been the first instance that the goalkeeper has been questioned since the end of last season – and he may have to get up to speed soon following the arrival of new backup ‘keeper Adrian and some uncharacteristic errors from last year’s Golden Glove winner.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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