24 October 2011

Image of the Day

Nine games. 39 shots: 17 on target, 16 off target, six blocked. Four goals. That's an awful lot of shots without much return. Which seems to be the story of Liverpool's season so far.

This isn't to criticize Suarez. More often than not, especially against Norwich, he's looked the only one capable of magic, capable of somehow hauling Liverpool to three points. On Saturday, he created chances from absolutely nothing at least twice, somehow turning away from defenders in a phone booth-worth of a space, only to hit the frame or see Ruddy make yet another unexpected save. He is undoubtedly Liverpool's best and most important player, no matter Lucas' essential holding, no matter Gerrard's talismanic capacity, etc. Nonetheless, his 11 shots against Norwich – six on target, four off, one blocked – are the most without scoring for a single player in a Premier League game since Ronaldo did similar almost five years ago.

Yesterday, Dan Kennett wrote an outstanding look at Liverpool's chance conversion, game-by-game and compared to opponents and rivals. Needless to say, it's not pretty.

Sometimes it's worthwhile to dissect matches with chalkboards, tactics, and pseudo-scientific divination. Sometimes over-analyzing really is over-analyzing. Take chances, take the points.

The overall shots statistics for all Liverpool players through these nine games follows.


Anonymous said...

" He is undoubtedly Liverpool's best and most important player"

Can agree with everything but that.Gerrard had couple of crosses in the last minute which was as good any chance Liverpool had created.With Suarez,when you consistently miss as many chances as hes done,you gotta admit that hes not a good finisher.Finishing is a major part of a strikers/forwards game.He can do all the magic before the goal but if he cant finish it then no point..

Compare the effort which Ruddy palmed onto the post vs Balotelis goal.I love Suarez too just like any other Liverpool fan, but for this game Suarez has to be criticized for missing a few sitters.Again, Wouldnt have mattered if he missed a hundred and still won the game.But just like the untouchable Pepe, he has to take a share of the blame for yesterdays result.

nate said...

Certainly not arguing that Suarez doesn't deserve some blame for Saturday's result. The above was prompted because of his profligacy; finishing is clearly the 'worst' part of his game. But every Liverpool player on the pitch that day merits some blame.

However, I still think Suarez is more important to Liverpool than Gerrard (or Reina, or Lucas) these days. I realize that's blasphemy, but last season's run-in proved Liverpool can cope without its captain, even if he still adds an awful lot to the side. It's a very small sample size, but the only goal Liverpool's scored this season without Suarez on the pitch was the second against Brighton.

That he's so vital to basically anything good in the opposition's final third makes him Liverpool's most important player at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Again, mentioning Gerrard and Lucas in the same line when mentioning importance to Liverpool is insulting to say the least,however good Lucas might be.

I understand the reason why you think Suarez seems to be the most imp,but again my issue with him is that he does the eye catching part so well and that stays with everyone.I think at the end of the day if he converts only 2/10 inc. the chances he creates,he isnt any better than someone whos 2/5.But obviously his flashiness and the moments of magic will stay and make him a better player that he actually is.Hopefully for us this was just a bad patch.

And regarding last seasons run in without Gerrard, I think you rather explained that well in the With Gerrard/Without post.I honestly think we were a bit too lucky during that period.

nate said...

First off, thanks for referencing (and remembering) the With Gerrard, Without Gerrard post. Sometimes I worry about how much of my over-wrought over-analysis gets remembered.

I guess I should differentiate between "Liverpool's best" and "Liverpool's most important," even though I think Suarez is both at the moment.

You can make the argument Gerrard's still Liverpool's best player. It's definitely him or Suarez. But even considering that With Gerrard post, I don't think he's the most important.

Conversely, you can make the case that Lucas is Liverpool's most important. I obviously overrate the kid, but he's crucial to the side; there's no player who does what he does. Spearing's close, but nowhere near as well-rounded or talented. Liverpool's midfield has looked vastly different without him over the last two seasons. But even I wouldn't argue that Lucas is Liverpool's best player.

As for Suarez, that he's creating so many of Liverpool's total chances, and when in good form, converts a fair few of them, suggests he's exceptionally important to the side. It's not just the magic, it's that it results in goal opportunities. And he's still both very good and very important even if he's hitting the post or missing the target.

matt said...

Talent-wise, Gerrard, Suarez, and Reina are the best (at their respective positions of course)with Lucas coming in close behind.

But Gerrard has the same magic Suarez has; Gerrard is Liverpool's talisman. And it seems Suarez has sort of slid into that position in the Captain's absence. The position of talisman, the magic-maker, rabit-from-a-hat player.

For a while, Suarez has been our best scoring/creating player, and will be for the foreseeable future. Liverpool is suffering from a lack of goals, so at the moment, Suarez is without a doubt our most important player.

Frankly, I'm just excited to see a healthy Gerrard combine with Suarez.

vinnie said...

haven't read the article yet but the way i look at it was we were trying too hard to get the second goal. that wasn't the first time against norwich but it was very obvious

we were really direct and eager to get the 2nd goal to calm the nerve but i'd say we'll do better if we slow the game down, pass the ball around to gain some confidence and momentum, enforce the pass and move idea. we dominated first half, had a dozen of chance, we should have controlled the pace instead of giving the ball away so easily

not sure if this has anything to do with Lucas's absence as he holds the ball better and not attacking minded