Although Liverpool are struggling to score goals and win league games at the moment, on the face of it things aren’t so bad as at least they are creating plenty of chances. At the time of writing they have set up 136 goal-scoring opportunities in the 2012/13 Premier League, and only Everton (155) and Tottenham Hotspur (143) can currently better that tally.
However, whilst a regular chance is relatively easy to engineer (as for instance a player passing to a player who then hits a no-hope shot from 30 yards is said to have created a chance), for a team to be really successful they need to set up (and then obviously score) plenty of clear-cut chances (CCCs).
This is where the Reds are failing at present.
Their total of twelve CCCs this season is not disastrous, and is currently equal ninth best in the division, but as a percentage of the total chances they muster it is only 8.8%, and only four teams in the Premier League are currently less efficient.
This lack of the best scoring chances is also reflected in Liverpool’s ‘shot zone’ stats on WhoScored: just 3% of the Reds’ shots have been in the six-yard box, which is the joint-lowest in the division. The Red’s lack of patience is stopping them from creating enough high quality opportunities.
To make matters worse for Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool are performing worse at CCC creation now than they were last season, when they were already a low scoring side. Whilst the total of chances has increased at least (from 12.7 per game to 13.6), 1.52 CCCs per game has become 1.2, and a CCC percentage of 12 has dropped to 8.8.
Part of the issue is that Luis Suárez is currently Liverpool’s top creator of clear cut chances with three, yet the team is designed for him to be on the end of them. The Uruguayan has been presented with the most CCCs by his teammates (8) at least, but until the likes of Suso, Sahin and Allen (all of whom are yet to get off the mark for CCCs) weigh in with some, the Reds may struggle to score more.
Of course it’s early days at Anfield for Brendan Rodgers, but he’s obviously no closer to solving Liverpool’s long running goal scoring problem, and to avoid theReds’ lowest finish in fifty years, he needs to remedy the issue as soon as possible.