I will not be able to dedicate as much time to this blog in future as I used to, so my aim this season is to do a quick post for every match, rather than the longer articles which take too much time to research and write. These will often be just one or two things that I’ve noticed, and rarely in-depth, but hopefully I’ll spot something that you didn’t, or provide a little context to something that you did.
It was soon evident at Stoke that Mignolet was trying to find Benteke with long balls. The Belgian at the back found the one up front with eight passes, which was at least five more than Mig managed to any other Liverpool player in the mach. But how does that figure compare to the goalkeeper’s most frequent pass combinations from last season? I’ve also highlighted the other occasions when the most passed to player was a striker in the table below.
We can see that eight passes was a high tally compared to most of last season, and also that it was a rare that Mignolet passed more often to a striker than anyone else. Of course, this has just been one game, but it’ll be interesting to see if this continues; my assumption is that it is something we’ll see far more on the road than at Anfield, but only time will tell at this point.
The other thing to note (not least in light of my recent piece on Benteke, which was the most read article in this site’s history) was that Liverpool completed five crosses in this match, with the Belgian striker being the recipient of three of them. Again, one game proves nothing, but the Reds only averaged 3.8 completed crosses per game last season, so this is another trend to maybe keep an eye on. If they continue to complete five a game, then Liverpool will be one of the top teams in the league for accurate crosses.
That’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed this new style post. As ever, all feedback is gratefully received.