Woodwork Woes 2012/13

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.

For the second season running, if every woodwork hit was a goal, then Liverpool would have finished fourth in the league. What with this, and referees costing the Reds ten points through incorrect decisions this season, it feels like Brendan Rodgers has his work cut out even more than we thought!

I try not to make excuses for bad results wherever possible, but I think this information suggests that Liverpool aren’t that far away from where they want to be. Using the data in the aforementioned Optajoe picture, plus the regular league table, I have been able to compile a table of how each team’s results was affected by woodwork hits (though of course, it does assume that every match would have been otherwise unaffected aside from the extra goals, which they clearly would not have been), and how many hits each team had for and against.

Woodwork CostLiverpool’s poor finishing/bad luck (delete as applicable) cost them fourteen points in 2012/13, which was as many as the next two most affected teams put together.

Seven draws (including four of the Reds’ five 0-0s) perhaps should have been won, but for a lack of better finishing from Suárez and co. For instance, Stoke City managed to snaffle a goalless draw away from Anfield in September, yet Skrtel, Sterling and Suárez all managed to find the frame of the goal in the match, so the Reds were surely unlucky not to win.

It’s no surprise either to see that the Reds’ opponents had the fewest frame rattlers, as Liverpool gave away fewer shots in the box than every other Premier League side, so did well at limiting the close range opportunities that are more likely to lead to woodwork strikes.

Obviously the above numbers don’t change anything, but it struck me as interesting that the frame of the goal has cost Liverpool a crack at the Champions League for the second year running. Fingers crossed for next year, Reds!

Related posts you might like:

Woodwork Woes, And What-If’s – Whilst it’s well known that Liverpool have hit the post or bar a lot this season, which games has it really mattered in?

Liverpool FC 2011/12 In Stats: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly – An end of season round-up of the facts and figures behind Liverpool’s Premier League campaign.

Please check out my other articles, and follow me on Twitter or via Facebook. Thanks.

5 thoughts on “Woodwork Woes 2012/13

  1. This is just extraordinary. At the risk of special pleading, then, had the woodwork gone our way and refs not consistently gone against up, we’d have ended up with twenty-four more points, for a total of 85 — four points off the top, and clean in second a full seven points ahead of Man City in third.

    I just don’t know what to make of all this.

    Betfair is offering 29/1 against Liverpool winning the league next year. That has to be worth a punt each way.

    • It’s important to remember that there is most likely some crossover e.g. we had a bad call and a woodwork hit in the same game. In which case, the total would be below 24 points. I’d say reasonable to assume that with a little more luck, be it with refs or the posts, that we could’ve been in the mix for fourth.

  2. Hi,

    Is it possible to cross reference against games where opposing teams hit our woodwork and were unlucky not to draw or win or even balance out against Liverpool’s woodwork shots in the same game?

    Otherwise it feels slightly biased to games we should have got more points out of rather than being balanced. (As much as these things can be..)

    • Hi

      Apologies if it’s not clear, but the info you’re asking for is factored in to the above table.

      Liverpool’s opponents only hit our woodwork twice this season, and as it didn’t ‘cost’ us any losses, it means that they had no impact upon the results.

      Hope that makes sense! Thanks for reading.

  3. Pingback: 2013 Review (and a Thank You!) | Bass Tuned To Red

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