Goalkeepers, much like relief pitchers in baseball or left tackles in American football, toil for the most part in anonymity. While the keeper can make a huge save, the relief pitcher can deliver a critical strikeout and the tackle can flatten a defender, any match/game during which the their name isn’t uttered likely means they did their job with no major issues. However, when they err, the fallout is seldom pretty, with that poor, unfortunate soul shouldering all the blame for the loss.
Fortunately, Roma hasn’t had this problem this season thanks to the stellar play of Alisson, the club’s 25-year-old wünderkeeper, who has pulled the Giallorossi from the brink more times than we can count...or can we?
Follow any number of Roma-related Twitter accounts on match day, and aside from all the cursing and sarcasm, you’ll see effusive praise (in virtually every language) for Alisson, with many claiming Roma would be facing the drop without him.
But just how accurate is that assertion?
Well, the folks at Romanews decided to do a bit of digging to decipher precisely how many points Alisson has saved and/or earned for Roma this season. Their methodology seems pretty simple, they just went ahead and found the dividing line for some of Roma’s closest matches this season, and the results were astounding.
Based on their calculations, Alisson’s heroics were instrumental in seven...let’s call ‘em...swing matches, those in which the outcome swayed on early and/or late saves from Alisson.
- Roma 1, Bologna 0 (Late save on Masina, two points saved)
- Roma 2, Milan 0 (Save on Bonucci two points saved)
- Fiorentina 2, Roma 4 (Two saves on Chiesa and Veretout, three points saved)
- Inter 1, Roma 1 (Save on Icardi, one point saved)
- Sampdoria 1, Roma 1 (Saved Torreira and Caprari attempts, one point saved)
- Udinese 0, Roma 2 (Early save on De Paul, two points saved)
- Cagliari 0, Roma 1 (Saved Bruno Peres near own goal, two points saved)
While we can quibble about “saving” or “earning” points when Roma won by two goals or more, all told Romanews attributes 13 points to Alisson this year, without which Roma would be mired in 6th place, tied with AC Milan on 60 points.
So while Alisson has always passed the eye test, when we stop and smell the roses, his real impact becomes apparent—he is a literal game changer.
All of which should lead to one thing...an extremely agonizing summer as we sweat it out and see if Roma can resist the €60 million offers already being bandied about.