Although Ederson was partly at fault for Manchester City’s first defeat of the season against Liverpool, the Brazilian goalkeeper was merely following Pep’s way
Ederson received his fair share of criticism after Manchester City’s heavy defeat away to Anfield. But the brilliant season that the goalkeeper is having should not be hindered because of a bad day at the office.
Ederson was arguably guilty for two goals in the match against Liverpool, as his poor positioning let him down for Alex Oxlade Chamberlain’s opener from the outside the box, whereas his poor clearance that gave Mohamed Salah the ball, meant that the Egyptian star would take advantage with a magnificent chip, as the Brazilian had left his net empty.
Pep Guardiola would not want his goalkeeper to be any different than what Ederson currently is. The Spanish tactician is all for taking extra risks, if it means retaining his philosophy and his own way as to how football should be played. The 24-year-old provides just that with his tactical awareness and readiness to leave his box and operate as a libero whenever needed. The Brazil international’s passing is just phenomenal, thanks to his technical quality and his intelligence of reading the game well enough to come up with the right decision and help retain ball-possession.
Obviously, Ederson’s decision-making does not always pay-off, as was the case against Liverpool or even in the return leg against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League for that matter. However, it is important to understand that this is all part of the game. The same could be said about Victor Valdés who committed plenty of blunders during his spell at Barcelona, namely a similar cheap giveaway to Di Maria and Karim Benzema in a Clasico back in 2012, reminiscent of Ederson’s to Mohamed Salah.
But Guardiola never even came close to dropping him, because he acknowledged that Valdés was the perfect system-fit for all what he offers during the build-up phase, and believed in his ability to overcome his errors – and he did, and was arguably regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world for a short period in between 2012 and 2013, before a serious injury ruined his career.
An example of how important Ederson can be is the league fixture against Tottenham a few weeks ago, when his passing was fundamental in breaking down Mauricio Pochettino’s high-pressing. Ederson is arguably the only goalkeeper in the league who could have done it, which consequently gave Manchester City a clear tactical advantage.
In brief, Ederson is a package that comes with all the positives and the slight negatives that he occasionally shows. But Pep Guardiola’s faith in the Brazilian has so far been justified. It is important to remember that this is just the former Benfica-man’s first season at the elite level of European football. He still has a lot of maturity and experience to gain over the next few months, if not years.
The race for Brazil’s starting spot at the World Cup is very strong, but it seems like Alisson has the edge. Ederson certainly cannot be ruled out, and could very well be the best out of the two for Qatar 2022, if not by Copa América 2019 which is set to be held in Brazil.