Has Kenny got the attack wrong? | Liverpool FC Opta Stats

Has Kenny got the attack wrong? | Liverpool FC Opta Stats

A lot has been made of Liverpool FC’s attacking play this season. They’ve created chance upon chance and as we all know they’re finishing has been appalling. However how much of a change is it from last season? Were Liverpool as attacking? Did they take as many shots on goal?

We’ll look at all that in this article and have a projection to what the end of season stats will look like if Liverpool continued to perform at the level they are now. At the moment Liverpool have only played 26 games so it’s not going to be a perfect comparison as they’d have played different teams etc but we’re going to divide the stats by number of games played or minutes played to give averages for  each season.

Liverpool Attacking Stats Comparison

Liverpool FC Attacking Stats Comparison | EPL Opta StatsLooking first at overall stats (note we’ve only highlighted stats that can be compared fairly by breaking down to minutes or games per stat), the problem we all seem to know about with Liverpool’s lack of goals is highlighted here. Last season Liverpool managed a goal every 61 minutes as compared to a goal every 82 minutes this season. That’s a massive difference and one of our major flaws this season.

It’s not for the want of trying though, Liverpool are managing a shot every 7 minutes this season and on target every 17 minutes so there’s an improvement on last years attempt’s.

The shooting accuracy is down on last season and the chance conversion is obviously down on last season too. Had the chance conversion been 14% this season Liverpool would have scored (current chance conversion is actually at 8.57% – rounded up to 9 in the image) approximately 49 goals. That’s an extra 19 goals on what they have now and would have meant a lot more points for the side. Liverpool may have sat pretty in the top four had they matched last seasons effort when finishing off chances.

Also note that last season had the problems of Roy Hodgson as well as a poor end to the season (lost last two games without scoring a goal) and our stats this season really look poor. We will be looking back .

More on following pages: Liverpool FC Creativity Comparison, Kenny Vs Hodson, Kuyt, Suarez & Maxi stats…

Liverpool Creativity Comparison

Liverpool FC Creativity Comparison | EPL Opta StatsLiverpool’s crosses per game are up by almost 8 crosses however the cross accuracy has  only increased by 2%. You’d expect it to be higher when the number of crosses per game has gone up by almost 37%. So that’s one poor aspect, we’re just not finding our players. This can also be because of our squads inability to telegraph the pass into the box. Far too many times this season we’ve seen strikers left flat-footed or standing behind a defender when a cross is sent in. It’s not been good enough from the strikers or midfielders either really.

Liverpool are depending too much on strikers to score. They need their midfielders to score too and at the moment the grand total from midfield is: 7. That’s pretty poor so forwards Bellamy, Kuyt, Suarez and Carroll have 16 between them.

Another interesting stat is that Maxi Rodriguez is one of the three players to have a chance conversion % in their 20’s. The other two players being Gerrard and Bellamy and their participation is not regular however, as far as we know, Maxi can play every game and maybe he’s the missing link this season?

He certainly was on fire towards the end of last season. Scoring two hat tricks and his cohesiveness with Suarez and Kuyt was key for us. It looks like Kenny is adamant on playing Henderson, Downing and Adam although he may be best served to play Maxi on the right instead of Henderson. Henderson really should be playing in central midfield. The fact that Henderson has one goal all season and Maxi has two (despite playing drastically less) tells you everything.

More on following page: Kenny Vs Hodson 2010/11

Kenny Vs Hodgson 2010/11

The table on the right shows that Roy Hodgson struggled to get his side to score goals but his goals per game ratio is actually better than Kenny’s this season! So far Kenny’s Liverpool of 2011/12 are averaging 1.15 goals per game (rounded up to 1.2 in an image later). A worrying stat, anyway we’re supposed to be comparing last season so let’s get back to that.

As you can see, Kenny’s Liverpool of 2010/11 outperformed Hodgson’s Liverpool comprehensively. Averaging almost two goals per game and improving the shot accuracy by 12%. A key stat is the improvement of chance conversion from 11% to 16%. Suarez’s introduction last season got the side to improve its creativity and fluidity as he struck a chord with Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez. The side playing some super football at times especially at home to United, Newcastle & Birmingham and then away at Fulham.

Liverpool FC Shots Comparison | EPL Opta StatsHow we hope for a rise by 5% in chance conversion from now until the end of the season! However that is unlikely. Let’s also have a look at the other parts of the team’s performance against last season. There’s a marked improvement in shots per game over last year however only a slight improvement in shots on target. The major change has also come in the shots off target per game. The two shots per game that Liverpool have improved on from last year are going off target. The improvement in shots per game is therefore nullified by the fact that we can’t seem to keep the shots on target. Again accuracy is one of our major problems this season.

More on following page: Kenny 10/11 Vs Kenny 11/12

Kenny Vs Kenny

This is a really interesting section as there are many differences from Kenny’s side this year to last season. The table on the right shows that Kenny’s side was scoring almost 2 goals per game last term. There’s a drastic drop of about 37% in this area which is scary for any side let alone Liverpool. With the fact that we are supposed to have improved the side this summer and spent a lot of money, it doesn’t bode well that we’re not producing it when it comes to scoring goals.

In mostly all the other areas Kenny’s Liverpool of this season are also behind on last years team, apart from Shots per game which has an increase but as we’ve proved before the increase is eaten up by shots off target – very disappointing. All of the stats at the bottom of the table favour Kenny’s Liverpool of last year.

Does Kenny need to play the old guard again? The Kuyt, Maxi & Suarez triumvirate were a force last season scoring 21 goals between them under Kenny stewardship. That’s 60% of the goals that the team scored under Kenny. It’s a little naïve to disregard the fact that these three played really well together and the fact that they had no Steven Gerrard behind them. They had a midfield of Spearing and Lucas doing the hard work whilst they worked away up top. Liverpool have really improved in a lot of areas but up top there is something wrong. Maybe the new signings rocked the boat a little? Especially as Kuyt and Maxi haven’t nearly seen the same amount of games as last season.

More on following pages: Projected stats for 2012 plus Suarez, Kuyt & Maxi Stats from 2010/11.

Projected Stats for 2012

The last aspect we wanted to look at is predicting what the final stats of this season would look like if we kept on performing at the current rate.

Again all the statistics see an improvement apart from the two that Liverpool fans want to see improved the most. Goals and goals assists will be down if we continue at the rate we are going now.

Goals will see a reduction of 25% and assists will see a reduction of about 22%. It really would not be good enough and would surely condemn us to 7th place and another mediocre season in the Premier League.

We’re going to leave you with some attacking stats from the three players that gelled last season. These stats are from our new Quick Season Player stats which allows you to filter from month to month on player stats.

So my question to you is: Has Kenny got the attack wrong? Should we play with Kuyt, Suarez and Maxi?

Please leave a comment on the blog if you agree or disagree and don’t forget to follow @AnfieldIndex on twitter!

Maxi Stats 10/11

Maxi Rodriguez stats 2010/11

More on following pages: Kuyt and Suarez 2010/11 stats

All of the stats on the table above have been taken from the Quick Season Player section on our Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) See Demo’s and videos about the Stats Centre & read about new additions to the stats centre.

Kuyt Stats 2010/11

Dirk Kuyt Stats 2010/11

All of the stats on the table above have been taken from the Quick Season Player section on our Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) See Demo’s and videos about the Stats Centre & read about new additions to the stats centre.

Suarez Stats 2010/11

Suarez Stats 2010/11

All of the stats on the table above have been taken from the Quick Season Player section on our Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) See Demo’s and videos about the Stats Centre & read about new additions to the stats centre.