AT exactly the same time as goalkeeper Shamal George is enjoying the positivity of making his breakthrough at Colchester United, his former Liverpool team-mate Alisson Becker is currently experiencing somewhat different fortunes.

While George has enjoyed an elevation to the U’s starting line-up having started their last two League Two matches, the last couple of weeks or so have been somewhat less enjoyable for the Brazilian keeper.

The Liverpool number one has been a picture of consistency at Anfield since arriving in 2018, helping them to the Premier League title last season.

His performances have come under scrutiny of late, following some uncharacteristic high-profile errors but George still regards him as the best around.

“You’re on your own back there and if you make a mistake, it normally leads to a goal,” said George, who worked alongside Alisson for two years during his time at Liverpool.


“People saying ‘he’s not the best in the world anymore’ or ‘he’s not that good anymore’ after one mistake is silly, I think.

“Goalkeepers take a lot more stick than they should.

“De Gea went through it; he went through it at one point and now Alisson is going through it, for the best team in the world.

“It’s just a patch and every keeper goes through it and it happens.

“In my opinion, he’s the best goalkeeper in the world, having watched him and talked to him every day.

“Having that experience has helped me a lot and given me a real confidence boost – I watched him and learnt and he helped me quite a lot.”

George has had to wait patiently for his breakthrough at Colchester, having joined them from Liverpool on a two-year deal, last summer.

But the 23-year-old has started the U’s last two league games, after Dean Gerken suffered a back injury which forced him off against Scunthorpe United, last month.

With Gerken now fit again, George is hoping to retain his spot for Colchester’s visit to Crawley Town, this weekend.

“I feel like I’ve hopefully impressed the manager and settled into the team well,” said the 6ft 3in keeper, who spent 13 years at Liverpool having joined them as a nine-year-old in 2007.

“Hopefully, I can kick on from here and get a few more games under my belt, this season.

“Gerks is a very good goalkeeper - he’s been here for a long time and he’s very experienced, so I’ve got to respect everything that happens in the team, keep working hard and my time will come.

“I’ve been here for nearly five months now and it’s been good to come into the team.

“Before I came here, I was told I would be the number two so it was already expected.

“I was playing in the cup games but playing in the league was a big part of why I came here.

“It’s good to learn from Dean – I think I’ve picked up quite a lot from him in training and taken it into the games.

“When you’re training with good players every day, it keeps you going and watching games keeps you on your toes.”

George has looked assured in possession for Colchester and says playing with the ball at his feet is something he got very familiar with, during his time at Anfield.

He said: "I was at Liverpool for 13 years and that's their game, playing out from the back.

"It's something I try and do as often as I can but obviously with the pitches now, it's not ideal.

"But I am very comfortable with the ball and that's probably one of my best assets."

Colchester are in the middle of an 11-match winless run but George is confident things will change.

He added: "Since the new signings came in, it's re-energised the group.

"We've got two points from the last two games and before that, I felt we were unfortunate to lose to Scunthorpe.

"But I think it's going to turn around for us - we're not far off the top ten and if we win two games, we're back in it so hopefully the team can pick themselves up and we can get a few more points on the board."