Myths #4: Foreign Players Dive More Often Than British Ones

Foreign players dive more. Sir Alex Ferguson says it, Michael Owen says it, ergo it’s a fact. Except…

Opta have provided the data on the players who have been booked for diving since August 2010, as listed below:

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Myths #3: Hodgson’s Liverpool Record Compares Closely To Dalglish’s

I have recently been reading tweets that suggest that Kenny Dalglish has barely improved on Roy Hodgson’s record for Liverpool, despite having a lot more money to play with.

MoosaMUFC14 pointed out: “LFC under Dalglish (PL, FA and EL): Played 33, won 16, drawn 9, lost 8. Hodgson: Played 29, won 13, drawn 8, lost 8.”

Whilst DylanMUFC14 (I assume they must be teenage brothers) said: “Dalglish has improved #LFC’s League, FA Cup & European results by just 6.8% on the Roy Hodgson era,despite spending £91.85m more..”

Blimey, and I thought Dalglish had been doing a much better job than Hodgson. How wrong I was.

Or was I?

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Myths #2: Liverpool Have Been Poor Away From Home For Ages

Ahead of the new season I have heard various theories on where Liverpool might finish. 4th place is probably the most common, but anything from 1st to 6th has been mooted.

As part of assessing how the Reds might get on, people have been trying to calculate how many points Liverpool can realistically amass.

Fans (myself included) seem certain that we will have an impressive home record, but a lot of people are uncertain about the away form, on the basis that we are usually poor overall away from home. But is this really the case?

Here’s a look at how many points the Reds have earned at home and away in the league PA (post Abramovich):

I think it would be fairer to say that Liverpool have been erratic away from home, rather than consistently poor. The high watermark is clearly 2008/09, when exactly half of the team’s points were won on the road.

The total of 43 points away from home is equal to or better than the home tally in six of the last eight seasons, and impressive achievement.

On the other hand, last season was as poor as the team have been away from home in any of the last eight years, with the season before little better, so it’s easy to see where the reputation comes from.

But how have Liverpool fared when compared to the season’s champions? Although there’s no guarantee that the champions will have had the best home and/or away record, they will always be the benchmark to compare to.

In three of the past eight seasons, Liverpool have actually got a higher percentage of the champion’s away points than of their home ones. Only once have they out-performed them though, in the much heralded 2008/09 season.

Again, taking that season in isolation reveals that Liverpool’s tally of 43 away points is better than the champions in seven of the last eight seasons.

Even the 34 points that the Reds mustered in 2005/06 and 2007/08 has not been bettered in the last two years by the country’s top side, and only just in 2005/06 and 2007/08.Indeed Liverpool’s average figure for the eight year period of 27 points won away from home is better than Manchester United posted last season on their way to the title.

So what does this prove? Not that Liverpool can win the league this season by any stretch. But hopefully the myth about their long running dreadful away form can be put to bed for the time being.

Please take a look at my other articles, a list of which can be found here.