In March 2012, I wrote this article which looked at Liverpool’s unfortunate knack of frequently hitting the woodwork last season, and indeed by the end of 2011/12 they had set a new Premier League record for hitting the goal frame, after racking up 33 of the very closest of misses.
I hadn’t thought much of that record, until I saw this picture from Optajoe, which illustrated just how costly finding the woodwork had been for Liverpool this season.
Earlier in the season, I wrote an article looking at how unfairly referees had been treating Liverpool. Although the league campaign was only six games old, Brendan Rodgers had already felt compelled to mention in an interview how the Reds were not getting the rub of the green from officials, and that prompted my earlier investigation.
The bad news is, it is still not any better, and at the business end of the season, the cost of the errors by refs is looking increasingly expensive.
After a fairly dour derby stalemate at Anfield, it has proven difficult to find much of interest to write about, and I do like to try to assess as many Liverpool games as I can.
Whilst the Reds now have six clean sheets in their last ten games (tick), their failure to score meant they had their third 0-0 in the last five matches (cross). There was only five shots on target in total, so it isn’t much of a shock that both teams drew a blank.
So I thought I’d look at which team dominated the percentage of shots in the box as the match progressed. Long-term this will require further investigation (perhaps in the quieter summer months!) to see how relevant it is, but when I compiled the figures it appeared to illustrate the flow of the game pretty well.
Back in February, I wrote an article that looked at how Liverpool’s creativity level had increased once Daniel Sturridge had started playing for them (and you can read it here). Now that Philipe Coutinho has his feet firmly under the Anfield table, the figures show that the Reds have kicked on again in creative terms.
Not only that, but the twenty year old Brazilian from Inter Milan is also outperforming the Premier League’s great-and-good with regards to the creation of clear-cut goalscoring opportunities on an individual level.
Whenever the Reds have a big win I like to summarise the key statistics, and their emphatic victory at St James Park is no exception!
As a statto whose tactical knowledge is rather limited, I find the task of trying to assess which manager in a match had the better of the tactical war a fascinating subject.
I will always rely on the key match numbers to try to determine who dominated a game irrespective of the result, but who do you award the tactical match up to, when such things come down to opinion rather than fact?
Now that Luis Suárez’ season is almost certainly over, and the world and his wife are lining up to denounce him from all angles, I thought I’d take a look at how he has improved statistically this season.
The headline statistic is twenty-three league goals scored instead of eleven, and thirty goals in all competitions, to become only the second Liverpool player (after Fernando Torres in his debut season) to reach the mark since Robbie Fowler did so in 1995/96.
But how exactly has Suárez doubled his goalscoring productivity in the league in only a few extra games?
Prior to last weekend’s fixtures, I saw a tweet from WhoScored, which stated:
Liverpool: Have had more shots (611) than any other team in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season, ahead of Real Madrid (582) & Juventus (577)
Sounds impressive, no? Over one hundred retweets at the time of writing certainly suggests so. But as the Reds laboured to a 0-0 draw away at Reading, the Premier League’s current worst club, it became clear that shots alone are not enough.
I’ve taken a look at the stats for the season so far, to see if they can offer any clues as to how the match will pan out. They suggest Liverpool will likely face a challenge they’ve not coped well with so far under Brendan Rodgers.
As Liverpool’s season appears to be petering out, there is lots of talk online that perhaps FSG hired the wrong man last summer, or indeed that they shouldn’t have fired Kenny Dalglish in the first place.
I’m going to look at if Liverpool have improved on last season, and also at the form of the other names that were in the frame to be appointed as manager at Anfield last summer, to try to see if Rodgers really is the right man to lead Liverpool forward.
Posted in Brendan Rodgers, Chance Conversion, Chances Created, Chelsea FC, Comparison, FA Cup, Final Third, Goals, Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool FC, Passing Statistics, Possession, Premier League, Rafa Benitez, Shooting Accuracy, Through Balls, Woodwork
Tagged Brendan Rodgers Liverpool FC, Kenny Dalglish Liverpool Record
Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with West Ham left quite a lot to be desired, and was greeted with the expected disdain online, and no doubt in and around Anfield too.
Whilst it was certainly a disappointing result, I was interested to see on statto.com that the Reds’ form over the last five months has actually been very encouraging indeed.
Whilst listening to this week’s The Anfield Wrap podcast (which I thoroughly recommend, and you can download here), I found myself nodding along with their discussion regarding Liverpool’s continual failure to prevent crosses. Mike Girling, one of the podcast’s regulars, noted:
“It’s an obvious tactic that opposing teams are taking with us (Liverpool) now, is to play the ball out wide early as our full backs don’t press, man to man, against a wide player. I’ve never known a team as easy to cross against as us. We never seem to stop the cross coming in”.
I was in complete agreement with him. Until I looked up the figures, that is; I only realised today that WhoScored have the figures for how many and what kind of pass teams face from their opponents, so I have compiled the figures for every team in the Premier League. Continue reading
During Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Villa Park on Sunday, I was surprised to hear the co-commentator Alan Smith award the man of the match honour to Steven Gerrard.
Sure, the Liverpool captain scored the winner (which was his second in three league games after three-and-a-half years without one) and acrobatically cleared a goal bound shot off the line, but overall I felt he didn’t contribute as much as Jordan Henderson did.
The Tomkins Times run a stats round up after every match (the latest of which you can read here, if you’re a subscriber), where they list the top three Liverpool performers for various stats. Surprisingly, Henderson didn’t feature anywhere, so it seems his performance was based on a solid performance in a variety of areas, rather than shining in one.
This piece first appeared on The Tomkins Times on 13 March 2013. Statistics were sourced from WhoScored and EPLIndex, relate to league games only, and are correct up to 1st March 2013.
It recently occurred to me that Liverpool have dropped a lot of points this season by conceding goals from set pieces, West Brom’s opener in their win at Anfield being the most recent example. It’s also a well established truth that the Reds are poor at attacking set plays too; there was a ‘Pool fanzine in the 1980′s called ‘Another Wasted Corner’, after all.
I therefore thought I’d check how the Reds have fared at both ends of the pitch in comparison to their Premier League rivals this season, to establish if they actually are particularly weak in this area.
Whilst a month is a purely arbitrary timeframe, as I stumbled across Liverpool’s figures (here), I thought it’d be interesting to plot them on a graph to see how the team has progressed. You can’t really draw many firm conclusions from this, but it’s another different way to try to assess the season so far.
Daniel Sturridge has made a flying start to his career at Anfield, and has already bagged five goals and an assist in all competitions from just 507 minutes spent on the pitch. He has scored every 91 minutes in the league, which only Javier Hernandez (with a goal per 78 minutes played) can beat in the top flight this season.
Whilst these numbers make for fantastic headlines, I thought I’d dig a little deeper and see how the acquisition of the England international has affected Liverpool’s ability to create clear-cut chances (CCCs); the golden opportunities that strikers dream of, in other words.
After Liverpool’s last 5-0 win (over Norwich City), I wrote a quick post compiling the best stats from an excellent performance (which you can read here). As they have repeated the trick again today, it’d be rude not to credit them with another round up!
It has recently occurred to me that benchmarks or averages for a few key and/or interesting statistics in football all seem to fall in the range of seventy to eighty percent.
It’s probably just coincidence of course, but I thought I’d take a look to see how the Liverpool class of 2012/13 are faring.
Last April, I wrote an article looking at how ‘shot difference’ (shots for minus shots against) and ‘goal efficiency’ (conversion percentage of goals scored minus conversion percentage of goals conceded) can give a good indication of how well a team is controlling their games (and you can read it here).
I later read this post by James Grayson, which demonstrated what chance a team has of being either in the top four or relegated, based on their ‘total shot ratio’, which I also covered in the above mentioned piece. It’s interesting to note that the figures show that Liverpool have an 80% chance of qualifying for the Champions League this season; unfortunately they are clearly in the other 20%!
Now, thanks to an article on the Sky Sports website, I have the shots on target figures for the Premier League this season, so I can revisit my above article. The conclusions should be more robust, as ‘shots on target’ has a stronger correlation with success than ‘all shots’ does.
Following Pepe Reina’s part in Sergio Aguero’s equaliser for Manchester City in their 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Sunday, this tweet was in heavy circulation:
Reina‘s mistakes cost Liverpool 14 points this season. Without those faults, Liverpool would be in the 3rd place. (via Opta Stats)
Fourteen points sounds like a hell of a lot, so I thought I’d investigate. As with many ‘facts’ floating around on Twitter, it proved to be hugely far from the truth.