Goalkeeper – the most demanding position

One day you are the hero for your team and being hailed to the skies. Next day you are being criticized and one of the main reasons that the team is not doing well. There is rarely anything in between. The goalkeeper position is the team’s most vulnerable position. In some cases described as voluntary idiocy. 

Liverpool’s keeper Alisson Becker is a good example. One day he is one of the best. The other day he is just not good enough. 

The goalkeeper position is an unique position. It often creates headlines and contributes to many clicks on various websites because of that massive save in the top corner or because of a misstake that goes viral fast. A keeper needs to be technically skilled but I am convinced that you need to master the mental part too. If you manage the latter part, well then half is won. 

An attacker can miss several opportunities during a game and still be named the player of the match after scoring on the seventeenth try. A midfielder and a defender can have a tough day at work, but it is quickly forgotten and overshadowed by other sports news. A goalkeeper on the other hand. A goalkeeper lives on the edge, talk about having excitement in our everyday life. A small misstake can overshadow all of those sixteen saves that was attempted from the attacker above. ”Goalkeepers are often a special sort of people”. Yeah, wonder why…

Lately Liverpool has not been performing at their best. Different injuries has put the team in a tough situation and the results is not going their way. One player that has had a tougher period the last couple of games is their goalkeeper Alisson Becker. I think that Becker is one of the best goalkeepers on the men side, with his positioning and ability to make challenging moments to look really easy. For me he is an all around keeper without any concrete weaknesses, which has rightly been hailed and highlighted as a crucial piece of Liverpool’s success. The last couple of games he has made some easy misstakes, which has led to people questioning him. Suddenly that is what defines him as a keeper. 

For a keeper, everyday life is challenging and the demands are high. There is no room for misstakes. Like we all know, goalkeepers are human too. And yeah, all humans make misstakes sometimes. I often get the question why I choose to be a keeper. A question that I for a long time did not have a good answer to. To throw your body voluntarily, be in the way of people who wants to score and be happy. Almost voluntary idiocy. But the more I reflect on it, the more I realize that I like the responsibility that the position brings. I like that the performances is either black or white, to live on that edge. To strive for perfection, where we try to minimize the mistakes but where we simultaneously accept their existence. That motivates and drives me. 

So no Becker, as a goalie myself I understand you and in which situation you are in. I do not define you as a keeper because of some easy misstakes lately. We all know that you can pass a ball with right technique. We all know that you do not want to make misstakes on purpose, that you do your best. But sometimes, when we throw out descriptions and analyzes, we forget that you are a human too. A speciell one though, who chose voluntary idiocy as your profession 😉

What do you think? Do you agree that a goalkeeper has the most demanding position in a team?

Read the original chronicle in Swedish on Fotbollskanalen/ Läs orginalkrönikan på svenska på Fotbollskanalen.

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