I took an in-depth look at Roberto Firmino (here) last Monday; now Liverpool’s new £12.5m right-back comes under the Bass Tuned To Red microscope. The former Southampton player (and there’s a heavily used phrase on Liverpool blogs these days) may not necessarily have impressive raw numbers, but factoring in location yields some interesting results.
There’s no doubt who Liverpool’s most highly rated signing so far this summer is; Hoffenheim’s Brazilian attacker Roberto Firmino. As is customary around here, I’ve taken a look at his stats from last season to see what we can learn about him, and what he might contribute in the Premier League next season. Continue reading
On the face of it, the headline stats suggested that this was a fairly even contest. You wouldn’t expect to lose a match 3-1 when you’ve had 61.5% of the possession, created seven chances to your opponents’ six, had an equal number of shots on target (four), and only three fewer shots in total. Yet looking deeper into the numbers reveals where the issues were.
After a frenetic, see-sawing Merseyside derby (which was Liverpool’s highest scoring league draw since the 4-4 with Arsenal at Anfield in 2009), I guess the most important facts from a Liverpool perspective are that they now have four points more than they had from the corresponding fixtures last season, seventy points from the last thirty-eight league games, and have only had more than twenty-four points from the first twelve games four times in the Premier League era.
Brendan Rodgers has now taken the same amount of league points (eighty-five) as Kenny Dalglish did in his second tenure, but in six fewer games. Overall, the Reds are doing pretty well.
In my last blog post, I introduced the concept of ‘chance quality’, which is a system I have devised for assessing which players and teams create the best goal scoring opportunities (read more here).
I have made the most of the two-week international break (as there was little for me, as an England fan, to enjoy on the pitch), and compiled the chance quality stats for the whole of the 2013/14 Premier League so far. Hence the name; PLCQ = Premier League Chance Quality!
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.
After Liverpool capitulated to a 3-1 defeat against Southampton, I noticed that the Reds had completed their second lowest number of final third passes in the league this season: 58.
Although I didn’t see the match, my instant thought was “no wonder they lost, as you won’t create many decent opportunities from so few passes in the attacking third of the pitch”.
Which lead me to this thought: in order to win games you need to score goals. You therefore need to have as many shots on target as you can, and in order to create those you need to pass the ball well in the final third of the field. By dividing accurate final third passes (FTC) by shots on target (SoT), you can create a final third efficiency (FTE) figure for both teams, to see which team made the most of the ball up front.
Having looked up Liverpool’s stats for the 68 league games from the past two seasons, the findings suggest that a good performance in this metric will definitely lead to a successful team. Obvious perhaps, but I have now been able to quantify it.