Jurgen Klopp Reveals Unusual Training Methods Used to Prepare Alisson for Premier League Life
Jurgen Klopp has revealed how Liverpool have been testing new goalkeeper Alisson in training to prepare him for the often physical nature of Premier League football.
The Brazilian made his debut for the Reds in last weekend's 4-0 win over West Ham, when he barely had a save to make. He is likely to be busier against Crystal Palace in his first away outing on Monday.
Though he is rated among the best goalkeepers in world football, Alisson's experience in Serie A may not necessarily have prepared him for the more robust approach taken by teams in England.
To prepare him, Liverpool's goalkeeping coach John Achterberg has been challenging Alisson for high balls in training while holding a rugby bag, to simulate the presence of a bulky centre forward going for a cross.
Klopp said that this training method was the norm for new goalkeepers at Anfield.
"It is not really rugby, it is goalkeeper training," Klopp said, quoted by the the Telegraph.
"All the boys did it. When Loris [Karius] came he did it, all the goalkeepers do it, and Alisson is doing it as well, of course.
"It is normal goalkeeper training. It makes sense to do it because the six-yard area is rather a proposal than a safety box for a goalkeeper.
"We have these situations in training constantly. When we do set-pieces the box is full with 22 players. Maybe that is a bit much, but 15 certainly.
"It is busy, we do it often so that the goalkeeper gets used to that. It is all about timing."
Liverpool's goalkeeper coaching methods have been questioned in recent years, with Karius and Simon Mignolet both seeming to regress after joining the club.
With Alisson already so highly-rated upon his arrival, this will be the acid test of Achterberg's teachings.