Now that Jürgen Klopp has been confirmed as the new manager of Liverpool, it’s time to look at a few stats from his time at Dortmund, to see if his championship winning sides were that good, or if the team in his final season were that bad.
Category Archives: Shots In The Box
Analysis: Liverpool vs Carlisle
After Liverpool scraped through on penalties against Carlisle United of League Two, I don’t expect anyone will want to read this. However, as I collated the info I figured I may as well share it as this game will soon be long forgotten.
Analysis: Liverpool 1 Norwich 1
I wasn’t planning to write anything this week so I’ll keep this very brief. When Norwich equalised at Anfield on Sunday, I noted the following about their goal:
By the end of the match, they’d only had one further effort from inside Liverpool’s penalty box (compared to the Reds’ tally of fourteen shots in theirs) yet headed home with a point.
The problem is, this is far from an isolated case.
Liverpool’s Broken Attack: An Analysis
With just one goal to show for their efforts across their last five league and European games (and it was a heavily deflected goal at that, as we can see below), it’s clear that Liverpool’s attack isn’t working as it should right now.
An unusual stat which may in part illustrate why this is caught my eye after the Reds’ defeats to both Newcastle and Chelsea, so I thought I’d investigate it further.
Glen Johnson Needs Shooting Practice
Although Newcastle’s winning goal didn’t occur for a further twenty seconds, the Magpies regained possession and began the move that lead to it following a blocked Glen Johnson shot from outside of the penalty box.
Ah, a blocked Glen Johnson shot from outside of the penalty box. If you’re a Liverpool fan, you can picture it perfectly in your mind; Johnson receives the ball in a wide area, cuts inside, and then shoots wastefully. Rinse and repeat, ad naseum.
Or is that actually the case? If you regularly read my work you’ll know that I like to investigate perceived wisdom, and Glen Johnson is the latest to receive the in-depth Bass Tuned To Red treatment.
Balotelli In The Box
There seems to be consensus online that both Mario Balotelli and the Liverpool team as a whole perform better when the £16m Italian international is partnered by another striker; ideally with Daniel Sturridge (as we saw at White Hart Lane), but also when alongside Rickie Lambert or Fabio Borini.
Whilst it is hard to quantify this performance improvement, I thought I’d take a quick look at Balotelli’s impact in the opposition penalty box when he has played alone compared to when he has had a strike partner.
Hull City 3 Liverpool 1: Stats Zone Analysis
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.
Everton 3 Liverpool 3: Stats Zone Analysis
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.
Second Half Slump? Controlling The Result
Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield. The problems that have dogged the Reds this season were evident though, as they delivered a below par performance in the second half of the match as usual.
In their seven league matches in 2013/14, Liverpool have yet to trail at the half time break, leading in six and drawing the other. In view of this, it’s not surprising that they’ve been on the back foot in the second period as they have had something to protect rather than a game to chase.
Viewed through this reality, I’m going to show that they’ve had better control of their second halves than you might think.
PLCQ: The First Three Weeks
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!
Luis Suárez: With Or Without You
This article first appeared on The Tomkins Times on 25th June 2013.
As I sit writing this and you sit reading it, even though those two events are happening at different times, it’s a guarantee that wherever he is right now Luis Suárez will be telling anyone who cares to listen that he loves Liverpool, hates the media, and greatly admires the work of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
In fairness to him, so do I, but then the future of Liverpool FC is not dependent upon whether or not I stick with them; with Suárez, it matters a great deal.
Or does it? I’m sure by now you’ve seen the statistics for when Liverpool have had Suárez in the team in the Premier League compared to when they haven’t, but for the record:
There we are then; Liverpool are better off without Suárez, to the tune of over half a point per game. Case closed.
In reality though, thirteen games is far too small a sample to make a conclusive judgment on whether or not Liverpool will be a better team if Suárez leaves, so I have decided to dig a little deeper, and look at the key match stats that Luis affects.
A well-worn statistic that I often sprinkle liberally on here is that only one in forty-four open play shots from outside in the penalty box results in a goal. The vast majority of them are little more than ‘hit and hope’ efforts, in other words.
It’s all about being in the penalty box yourself, and keeping your opponents out, as a much healthier one in seven shots (excluding penalties) from within the goal area finds the back of the net.
Using data from WhoScored, I have been able to compile these figures for Europe’s top five leagues to create a ‘shots in the box difference’ (SIBD) metric. The good news for Brendan Rodgers is that Liverpool have performed exceptionally well at both ends of the pitch in this regard this season.
Liverpool 0 Everton 0: Shots In The Box Analysis
After a fairly dour derby stalemate at Anfield, it has proven difficult to find much of interest to write about, and I do like to try to assess as many Liverpool games as I can.
Whilst the Reds now have six clean sheets in their last ten games (tick), their failure to score meant they had their third 0-0 in the last five matches (cross). There was only five shots on target in total, so it isn’t much of a shock that both teams drew a blank.
So I thought I’d look at which team dominated the percentage of shots in the box as the match progressed. Long-term this will require further investigation (perhaps in the quieter summer months!) to see how relevant it is, but when I compiled the figures it appeared to illustrate the flow of the game pretty well.