04 March 2009

Liverpool’s left flank

From the comments in the last post:
Marlon said...

I thought it was interesting that while Aurelio might still be a better technical player than Insua, when Insua plays it seems to make Riera play better
Very interesting. The flanks have arguably been Liverpool’s longest-standing concern, so the records of each pairing would seem a meaningful stat. It doesn’t tell the whole story, as there were nine other players on the pitch, but there are a few trends.

9-4-0; 20 goals for, 6 against
1-0 Real; 2-0 Chelsea; 1-1 Everton; 0-0 Stoke; 1-0 Marseille; 0-0 Fulham; 2-0 Bolton; 3-0 West Brom; 1-1 Atletico; 1-0 Chelsea; 3-2 City; 3-1 PSV; 2-1 United

3-1-0; 8 for, 1 against
2-0 Sunderland; 2-0 PNE; 3-0 Bolton; 1-1 Arsenal

3-5-2; 13 for, 10 against
1-1 City; 0-1 Everton (FA); 2-2 Hull; 3-1 PSV; 0-0 West Ham; 1-2 Spurs; 1-1 Atletico; 3-2 Wigan; 2-0 Everton; 0-0 Stoke

2-1-1; 8 for, 8 against
3-2 Pompey; 1-1 Everton (FA); 2-4 Spurs (CC); 2-1 Marseille

1-1-1; 2 for, 3 against
0-2 Boro; 1-1 Wigan; 1-0 Pompey

2-1-0; 3 for, 1 against:
2-1 Boro; 1-0 Sunderland; 0-0 Liege

2-0-0; 8 for, 2 against
5-1 Newcastle; 3-1 Blackburn

Insua/El Zhar:
1-0-0; 2 for, 1 against
2-1 Crewe (CC)

1-0-0; 1 for, 0 against
1-0 Liege aet

0-1-0; 0 for, 0 against
0-0 Villa

• Liverpool hasn’t lost when Insua’s started. I couldn't be happier to see him establishing himself this season.

• Aurelio/Riera is the big game pairing, but we knew that. They’re also seemingly better for the team in the “big games” than against the likes of Stoke and Fulham.

• Those stats don’t bode well for Dossena.

• Riera’s first game was against United on 9/13. Benayoun hasn’t started on the left since Riera arrived.


Abhiram said...

Great work Nate!

Insua/Riera is what i want to see in the future games. To fit in all the players, we might have to play a few players off position.

In important or big games, without Torres (as is the case most of the times)

we can play 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1

When playing weaker teams, we can play the 3-4-1-2 formation


This can easily be converted to 4-2-3-1 when we go ahead on goal or we need to strengthen our flanks with one substitution. We need all the more support from the wings since Torres injury. Benny has been awesome. Riera has been on and off. I will not comment on Babel yet. He's still finding a spot in the main team this season.

But see the funny thing here. With Torres in the team, although we get one of the most lethal weapon in our armory, we become one dimensional. We start hoofing the ball to him and expect him to create some magic. Without him, we play in a multi-dimensional way. Having said that, i hope we utilize him well in the rest of the games.

Torres has been playing with a lot of injuries this season. In many matches he has not even been a shadow of Torres of last season. When this happens, we play even more badly. I am quite sure we'll score more goals if Torres plays in the team that plays without him (making runs, cutting passes) rather than the team that plays with him (hoofing the ball at him and seeing the fun). I hope it made sense :) .

Abhiram said...


I just love reading this guy's column. Why doesn't he come as a media pundit to Espn/StarSports or Sky/Setanta?

Is it a pre-requisite that only Liverpool haters need to be media pundits? It should be a part of the their resume' i guess.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I incited a post. No way.

Mike Georger said...

Riera is at his best when he is beating players down the sideline, yet for some reason he has been cutting inside way too much recently. I chalk it up to coaching, because his ability is his crossing, not his shooting. I realize they like to use the overlap but that can still be done with Riera out wide.

Anonymous said...

Riera hinted that he had been told to shoot more by teammates because of shots he had made in practice and his goal against PSV.

vinnie said...

torres should be a bonus for the team not the one that creates the magic. i've said this earlier season it's unfair to put all burden on him especially at such a young age. but apparently, like abhiram mentioned, the team plays one-dimensionally with him around

speaking of torres, this is off topic, i remember reading somewhere else, probably soccernet saying that torres has yet to find the form he had last season. i remember at that time of speaking he scored like 7 goals in 10 games, 7 of which he started the games. and even now, 8 goals in 15 games. what a strike rate for a player coming on and off injury. the team has to share the burden with him with all the injuries he carries

Mike Georger said...

Soccernet is vehemently anti-Liverpool.


great finding ;)

Anonymous said...

Insua & Babel wins!

Mike Georger said...

Nice little re-design there, Nate!

Mike Georger said...

Awesome, Yossi tore his hamstring.

The fuck is with this team and hammies? Granted, as I would expect a more defensive team against Madrid, I think Kuyt would play on the right rather than Yossi, he has been the most in form player for us the past month.

Abhiram said...

This can't be happening to us. He was our best player this month.

What is happening to our team? 4th instance of a player falling for the damn hamstring injury. I guess somebody up there does not want us to win anything this year.

nate said...

hey, thanks for noticing Georger.

I've been meaning to redo the banner for over a year now.