Liverpool are truly a mystery club, they have one of the best managers in world football, some of the most exciting players and the reputation to go along with it. Yet they fail to bring it altogether and supply their loyal supporters with the shiny silverware that they so desperately desire.
This is not a piece on a statistic that points to the light at the the end of this mysterious tunnel, or the result of a brief equation that answers why Liverpool struggle to convert their assets into profit. In fact, this ball of yarn may be quite alarming for the folk of Merseyside.
The Premier League is still as fresh as a recently opened packet of mint flavoured chewy, and as it stands the pace setters are the two Manchester clubs followed by Chelsea. Tottenham are struggling as are Arsenal, and typically as of recent years, Liverpool have dropped down the order following a strong start to the campaign.
We could mention the fact that they have won more games than they have lost, or we could highlight their win over Arsenal or embarrassing defeat to Manchester City, but that has been written, edited and critiqued a million times over. We want to focus on their shooting, and the bizarre results it yields.
Leroy Sané has now scored 4 goals in his last 4 games for Man City.
⚽️⚽️ vs. Liverpool
⚽️⚽️ vs. West Brom
At the double again. pic.twitter.com/DJa5RflFir
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 20, 2017
At the time of writing, Liverpool have had 97 shots at goal, which is the second highest in the Premier League behind Tottenham. No surprises there, the Reds are an attacking outfit so it should be expected. However, the next placement is odd. Liverpool are leading the way when it comes to shots on target. They have had 40 shots find the target, that’s more than the Manchester clubs and Chelsea.
If you are shooting as much as a trigger happy tiger among a sheep paddock then you are bound to hit the target more than you would miss right? Instead, Liverpool have scored just nine goals. Some credit has to be given as it is the third highest in the league, but the two Manchester clubs have scored 16 each. That makes it pretty evident why they are leading the league, and five points ahead of the Reds.
Why? As always your guess is probably as good as ours. We can speculate that Liverpool’s forwards aren’t performing, and there is some cause for that. Mohamed Salah has had 19 shots, 13 on target but has scored only three times. However, both Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have been far more productive with their efforts. In fact, between the three they have scored eight goals for Liverpool.
— Liverpool FC News (@LIVERPO0L_NEWS) September 17, 2017
That alone is basically a counter argument for the original speculation. But it is when you factor in the entire collection of Liverpool’s huge shot tally it becomes much less impressive and debatable. Therefore, some blame on the forwards is an easy excuse. There is more conjecture to be considered in the midfield combinations. There have been more than enough different ones, and the absence of Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho has taken its toll. Not to mention the the introduction of Salah will always take time it integrate successfully.
There are numerous concerns and arguments to be had, so take your pick.
This is just the Premier League we are talking about too, the picture looks like Mona Lisa during Halloween if we were to include the Champions League and domestic cups as well. If Liverpool are to be any sort of threat to the Premier League title, goals need to start dropping. The equation also presents itself in the Champions League and any other competition they are involved in this season.
There is always a lot of focus and criticism on Liverpool’s shaky defence, and for the most part it is more than warranted, but we should also put their attacking output under the microscope. It is like an university study; there is plenty of effort and progress, but when it is thrown into the real world it gets lost in the pile of everything else and ends up making a small footprint inside a stampede of hooves.
At the end of the day, shots and shots on target are about as useful as the possession stat. If you aren’t scoring goals none of it matters.
Win % as a manager.
David Moyes at Man Utd: 52.9%
Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool: 50.2% pic.twitter.com/YrTe2tFuql
— Transfer Posts (@TransferPosts) September 20, 2017