23 October 2012

Liverpool Shooting Through Eight Games

To say that Liverpool are often wildly inaccurate in front of goal seems an understatement, reinforced by Suarez's ten shots against Reading with only one hitting the target. But just how wildly inaccurate have they been so far this season?

This started as an examination of Suarez's tendencies, as it seems he goes long stretches without testing the keeper only to have matches like that against Norwich, where he can't seem to miss, but that seems to be the case for most Liverpool players. He's just the most noticeable because he takes so many more shots than anyone else.

Gerrard didn't hit the target until the fifth match of the season, when he scored with his first shot on target of the season against Manchester United. He's hit the target with six of his eight shots since, scoring twice. Borini – ostensibly a striker – had his first shot on target against Sunderland, the fourth match of the season. Sterling's started every match but the first and didn't hit the target until Saturday. Both Skrtel and Şahin scored with their first shot of the season and haven't scored since, with Skrtel tallying the lone shot on target between them.

Ten Liverpool players have taken at least five shots this season. Six of them – Suarez, Johnson, Borini, Agger, Skrtel, and Şahin – have missed the target with more than 50% of their shots.

Liverpool have taken 26 more shots than at this point last season, scoring the same number of goals (however, one of the goals in 2011-12 came from an own goal, not a Liverpool shot). But Liverpool actually have fewer shots on-target this season than after eight matches last season: 36 compared to 40. Accordingly, Liverpool have had far more shots off-target and blocked this season: 71 off-target this season, 55 last season; 41 blocked this season, 29 blocked last season.

Somehow, Liverpool are becoming even more wasteful in front of goal. That is not a good sign, especially considering Liverpool's striker shortage as well as the complete and utter reliance on Luis Suarez. Suarez accounts for almost all of the additional shots, having taken almost twice as many as he did through eight matches last season – 50 compared to 28. He's scored just one more goal.

Incidentally, Liverpool have also hit the woodwork six times so far this season: Sterling against Arsenal, Johnson and Gerrard against Sunderland, and Suarez, Skrtel, and Sterling against Stoke. Three matches where Liverpool either lost or drew. That's one more woodwork strike than at this point last season – that hellish campaign where Liverpool couldn't stop hitting the frame of the goal. Sigh.

The overall percentages of Liverpool's league shots this season:
      - Goals [10] = 6.8%
      - On-target [36] (Goals + On-target) = 24.3%
      - Off-target [71] = 48.0%
      - Blocked [41] = 27.7%

1 comment :

Josh Thompson said...

Great analysis. I'm interested to know how the overall #'s compare to top scoring teams and those teams LFC aspire to compete with at the end of the season.