Will Poor Chance Conversion Cost Liverpool a Top 4 Finish?

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The biggest problem with Liverpool so far this season can be summed up by comparing the three statistics in the following table:

Minutes Per Shot % Of Shots on Target % Shots Converted Into Goals
Man City 6 46% 22%
Man Utd 8 54% 22%
Chelsea 7 49% 17%
Tottenham 7 52% 15%
Arsenal 8 47% 19%
Liverpool 7 39% 9%

(stats: www.eplindex.com)

The first column shows how many minutes there are between each shot on goal. Manchester City have the most prolific attack, averaging a shot every 6 minutes. They are the only team in the league who shoot at goal more often than Liverpool. There is, therefore, nothing wrong with Liverpool’s ability to create chances.

The second column shows how often each team hits the target. Manchester United are the most accurate in this area, hitting the target more times than they miss. Liverpool are the least accurate by a comfortable distance.

The third column shows  how many shots are converted into goals. It is this stat more than any other which demonstrates our biggest weakness. The top two teams in the league convert 22% of their shots into goals, whilst Liverpool manage just 9%.

To put this into context, if Liverpool would have matched this 22% chance conversion, we would have scored a remarkable 33 goals so far this season. This equates to an extra 1.7 goals per game. The points those goals would have generated would have meant that, instead of fighting for fourth place, we would be in a title race.

Looking into the issue in more detail, here is how our four attacking players who have found their way onto the score sheet compare with each other:

Minutes Per Shot % Of Shots on Target % Shots Converted into Goals
Bellamy 32 40% 20%
Hendo 65 60% 10%
Suarez 20 47% 9%
Carroll 26 40% 8%

Suarez and Carroll are clearly the main contributors to both our goals tally and our low shot conversion ratio. There have been calls for Craig Bellamy to be given an opportunity in attack, and the above stats would appear to endorse this view. Bellamy has been generally used as a substitute so far this season, and has been coming off the bench to play in wide positions. Taking this into account, the fact that he manages to have a shot on goal almost as often as Carroll is impressive. He also has the highest shot conversion ratio in the team. Many would argue that, given how poor we have been in this department, Bellamy would be unlikely to do any worse.

To put the player stats into context, Van Persie has a 30% conversion, Van Der Vaart has 25% and Torres has 15%. All higher than our front two.

Hitting the woodwork 10 times obviously does not help, but we have to start converting chances. Put simply, our poor chance conversion will cost us a place in the Champions League if it does not improve considerably. I will update these stats later in the season.

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  1. Im all for Stats but im growing tired of hearing it to be honest. We have performed well in all games ( all competitions) apart from spurs and swansea. Somebody remind me how many points off Chelsea we are, which realistically is a target which if met- results in champions league football. Stats dont show that we WILL start scoring more. November could be the biggest month of our season as we could qualify for a semi final + beat Chelsea and City domestically, springboarding ourselves into a very winnable looking December. YNWA

    1. I hope your dream doesnot turn sour, because by the evidence of 10 games there is no guarantee that we wont be embarassed summarily but those two teams.

      Objectivity is a key virtue is supporting any program and that includes liverpool fc matches. Since KK cant buy or pick players on merit, disappointments and embarassments looms. Merit is the only way to excellence!

  2. We’re not converting chnces due to tactical ineptitude and outright bias on the part of the bench. If maxi, bellamy and kuyt were earning more starts, i’m sure we’d have been better off rather than sticking with the moribound new players. I don’t mean to sound rude, but a team consisting of new players to the tune of 120m pounds should be doing better!

  3. Why should the target be Chelsea? Aim above Chelsea or don’t aim at all. We should be above Chelsea, Spurs and Man U as we speak (8 points dropped at home), but already 11 games in, we are playing silly catch up and saying we are only three points off blah blah blah. Then its going to be 9, 12 15points… You know what, after the Chelsea and Man City games coming up, the gap will be 9 points off the 4th spot, and you people will be singing the same kind of song, “we are only 9 points behind so and so”. Pathetic losers, admit your team and its manager are clueless snails and tortoises, its all there for you to see, but you choose to look away and pretend the manager and his snails know what they are doing!!!

  4. its a shame the shots arent going in i cant remember us hitting the woodwork so much. but the way we are playing and the chances being created i think we could have a good winning run in us. hope bellamy and suarez start against chelski.

  5. Suarez got the moves like Jagger and Carroll’s hero is Peter Crouch …. what title curtis, the carling cup ??? these players need an ass kicking, getting paid all them pounds and cant score goals … craze

  6. What I am trying to say is, if we are 3 points of Chelsea at the beginning of November, how can that not be an improvement on this time last season. Somebody tell me how many points off them we were at this stage last season?! Unfortunately, I think too many “fans” are caught up on winning the title this season when realistically, regardless of how much money we have speant, and how under performing and inconsistent we have been, we are by FAR better off now than what we was. Also being 3 points off Chelsea-wheres the turmoil at Chelsea about being 3rd and only 3 points above Liverpool? There isnt, because there supporting there team and still believing they can catch the top 2. Maxi, Bellamy and Kuyt are CUP players this year. Not hard to work out. They dont perform consistantly enough to be regulars and perform better in the way Kenny uses them. Hence, our first quarter final in god knows how long. Im sure people have forgot the last 2 seasons when Kuyt and Maxi were regulars and Bellamy couldnt get in a premier league team. Fickle.

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