Luis Suarez will be questioned by the FA over Evra’s claims more…
(Just dismiss it and hand Evra a lifetime ban for slander)
Jose Enrique has spoken about the Norwich game more…
Glen Johnson talks on how Kenny inspires his best more…
Comolli talks on how he wants the next Asian star more…
And Rupert Murdoch is facing an Al Jazeera challenge for the Sky EPL rights more…
On Twitter @empireofthekop
The lynch mob went into overdrive yesterday following the 1-1 draw with Norwich. The sheer volume of over-the-top reactions to the game was astonishing. Away from all the blood and thunder, a statistical analysis of the draw offers us a calm, rational sense of perspective.
Norwich will not give points away easily in the league this season, as they proved against Manchester United. Their league position of 8th is justified and they gave a good account of themselves again yesterday. They had 8 shots on goal, one less than the total United managed last week and on par with Arsenal’s shots against us at the Emirates. They were, therefore, somewhat of a force to be reckoned with.
Defensively, it was just a normal day at the office. We tend to concede about one goal per game and we are prone to making the occasional defensive mistake. Our league position is where it is because we are better at attacking than we are at defending. Johnson, Carragher, Enrique and Reina can all be pointed at as scapegoats for the goal, but the fact of the matter is that we should have been out of sight long before the incident happened. This is shown clearly by the attacking stats.
From an attacking perspective, Liverpool (and Suarez in particular) were phenomenal. We managed 29 shots on goal against a season average of 17, with 9 on target against a season average of 5. In total, we shot at goal 1.7 times more against Norwich than we do in an average game. We passed more (496 vs 458) and were more accurate in our passing (81% vs 79%) than our season average. We played more forward passes, more final third passes and more crosses and than our season average. It was an attacking performance that was well above par.
The one part of our attacking game where we have let ourselves down all season is chance conversion. On average, we convert 8% of our shots at goal. Manchester United, on the other hand, convert 18%. This is something we have to improve upon.
Yesterday was even worse. We only converted 3% of our shots at goal and this statistic above all others cost us the win. Our shooting accuracy was 31% which is on par with our season average of 32%. We hit the woodwork and had numerous near misses. On an average day, with 29 shots on goal, Liverpool would have comfortably scored 2 or 3. United, by way of comparison, would have scored between 5 and 6.
This offers us two conclusions: Firstly, it was just one of those days. If we approach the next game against West Brom with the same spirit, energy and determination as we showed against Norwich, the law of averages strongly suggests that we will come out on top. Secondly, improving our chance conversion percentage is critically important if we are going to get back into the Champions League next year.
As fans, we need to have patience and faith. It is surely only a matter of time before Suarez starts to convert at least 18% of his shots on goal. Had he managed to yesterday, he would have had a brace. Suarez is the fulcrum of our attack, and once he gets his goal scoring touch back we will regularly be out of sight by half-time in games like the one yesterday.
To put the first 9 games into perspective, this time last year we were second from bottom with 6 points. If we can be more clinical in front of goal and stop making silly mistakes in defence, it will not be long before we are challenging at the top of the table once again.
Follow me: http://twitter.com/joescouse_lfc
Stats from http://www.eplindex.com
We all saw how Man Utd fans unveiled a banner with 19 at Anfield last May.
Today I was able to break the code and reveal what that 19 meant, by zooming on it and turning over the picture I can see 6 1.
Got to give it to the United soothsayers, simply brilliant piece of work. Keep it up lads.
The teams’ performance yesterday was good, but not good enough. We are winning statistics but we are not notching up the points. Here is my overview of yesterday’s performance. The game plan said 4-4-2 but it looked more like a 4-3-3 in practice, with Bellamy, Suarez and Downing across the attacking front.
Lucas Leiva – Not available through suspension and boy did we notice. The little Brazilian has become an invaluable asset. Sorely missed!
Pepe Reina – Got it horribly wrong when they equalized but redeemed himself a few minutes later with a miracle save on a second Holt header. Redeemed!
Glen Johnson – Glad he is back, but I still think Kelly is stronger defensively. He should have replaced Downing when he was taken off with Carra taking his place. Missed resource!
Jaime Carragher – Was involved in the three way collision that left Holt to easily head into an unguarded goal post. When they attacked, especially on the counter, we looked very much on the back foot defensively. Can do better!
Martin Skrtel – Not one of his best matches. Holt and Morrison gave him and Carra more headaches than Rooney and Chicharito the weekend before. Inconsistent!
Jose Enrique – A few shaky moments at the start, but was creating play in the second half with his tireless forward forays. Marathon Man!
Charlie Adam – Still a shadow of the marauding captain we saw leading Blackpool last season. Slow on the ball and lost possession once too often for comfort, also leading to a counter which led to their equalizer. The only positive move in the full 90+ minutes was his slalom into the penalty area in the second half which was interrupted rather abruptly by Barnett. Disappointing!
Steven Gerrard – Understandably still way below his standards. He is much slower, tackles much less but the sore point here is that he has lost his precision. Patience!
Dirk Kuyt – If this guy was to translate 1% of his huge work-rate into a moment of magic, then he is guaranteed a goal a game. Ran his socks off but did not produce the vital ingredients. Undecisive!
Stewart Downing – Was a thorn in their side in the first half but should have been brought over to the left when we equalized by which time Lambert took counter-measures and his forays became less affective. Faded away!
Craig Bellamy – Finally given a start produced a stunning first half rewarded with a much wanted goal. Inventive, inspired, but then in the second half Lambert counter-measured with a double marking which made his life much harder. Should not have been substituted!
Luis Suarez – My fear is we are becoming dependant on him as much as we were on Torres. He may be building a reputation with referees that might work against him. By far our best player but is squandering too many chances in front of goal. Unlucky!
Jordan Henderson – Brought on in place of Downing and made to work where he has been least affective. His introduction provided no impetus thus rendering his run out almost useless. Out of place!
Andy Carroll – Lambert brought Holt out to go for it; we should have brought Carroll out to go for it too! Came in too late in the game but still had the opportunity to win it. Belated introduction!
Daniel Agger – Brought in to push Jose Enrique forward. He should have player instead of Skrtel because the Reds need class in that central defensive area which they lacked, especially with Lucas out. Misused!
Kenny Dalglish – The first half game plan worked fantastically, and we were the better team hands down with Lady Luck rewarding us with a deserved goal on the stroke of injury time. We did not counter measure Holt’s introduction, and we did not add much needed fire-power immediately after their equalizer giving the opposition the impression we were fearing defeat. Bellamy should not have come off and if anything Johnson should have been moved forward instead of Downing with Carra moved to cover for Glen with Agger replacing him as centre back! Carroll, as I said was brought in too late in the game and should have come one as soon as Norwich got the equalizer. Lack of improvisation!
One step back as far as I am concerned. We should not be ruing missed chances and imprecating bad luck. We should be winning these games. I feel we are not reactive enough and we fail to counter-act when the run of events take a bad turn.
The only real positive from yesterdays match is that we did not lose, because we did run that risk! By the way, the above is not a slogging off; it’s just what I saw!