09 May 2012
Painting the Woodwork
As many have noted since yesterday, Downing's two strikes against the woodwork bring Liverpool's league total to 33 for the season, a seemingly egregiously large number. Rubbing salt in the wounds, after the 0-1 loss to West Brom, Opta Joe noted that Liverpool would be fourth in the league if all the shots which hit the frame were goals. 10 of the 33 came in five of Liverpool's frustrating home draws, so there's 10 points right there.
The scapegoat list: Suarez 8; Downing 5; Carroll, Kuyt 4; Agger, Bellamy, Henderson 2; Adam, Kelly, Maxi, Shelvey, Skrtel 1. And one by Wright-Phillips for QPR in the 1-0 home match. 19 different Liverpool players have taken at least one shot in the league this season. 12 hit the post at least once. Coates, Gerrard, and Johnson are the only Liverpool players to have scored in the league without hitting the woodwork.
As distribution goes, it's fairly evenly weighted. 13 off the crossbar, 11 off the right post, and 9 off the left post. 8 of the 11 which hit the right post were aimed at the bottom half of the goal, 6 of 9 for the left post, showing that Liverpool consistently shoot low into the corner, which is fairly common and supported by these analyses from EPL Index and The Tomkins Times. Those which hit the crossbar were scattered across its length.
Shot placement data taken from StatsZone, this YouTube video, other random match highlights, and my admittedly faulty memory.