Tap For Menu  
Single word yields best result

Football News: A quick fix to solve Liverpool's long-term problem?

A quick fix to solve Liverpool's long-term problem?

A quick fix to solve Liverpool's long-term problem?

Statistics don't always tell the truth and should be placed into context. With that in mind, I'd like to take a look at a few statistics which I believe tells the story of Liverpool's season, particularly our front three strikers.

Touches in the opposition box:

All three of Liverpool's main strikers are in the top ten Premier League players with the most amounts of touches in the opposition's box, and they also feature in the top ten most shots on goal, telling us they are in the right place at the right time.

PlayerShotsOn target%

For context, Haaland is 93 - 44 - 47%

So they're in the right place at the right time and pull the trigger as much as anyone else, while also getting their shots on target, so what gives?

'Big chances' missed:

Keep in mind that the definition of 'big chances' is very subjective and not an objective measure like other metrics. But even with that in mind, our three strikers feature in the top 10 again.
Nunez: 26
Salah: 14
Diaz: 12

For context again, Haaland missed 30 big chances, and that's from fewer shots, making him more wasteful than both Nunez and Nicholas Jackson (hard as it is to believe).

But it starts to become clear when you further delineate the data to include the type of chance wasted between one-on-one chances and not one-on-one chances.
Nunez (26) 15
Salah (14) 9
Diaz (12) 6

All three of our strikers are poor, especially during the second half of the season. When it comes to one-on-one chances, Diaz (surprisingly) is actually the most efficient with Salah the least efficient.

At this stage in the season, you aren't going to coach a bad habit out of someone and the same goes for psychological changes. Typically they take around 6-9 weeks to change. So what can you do to fix it? A simple fix is to adjust where our strikers take their shots from.

The psychologist in me says that the data suggests our strikers struggle with high pressure chances as they score more goals with low quality chances where they are not expected to score. This coincides with the fact that chances in the box are cramped chances that need to be snatched quickly and our strikers just can't do that at the moment.

So how about creating the chances further out? It sounds counterintuitive given that the chance is harder with a lower likelihood of scoring, but that also makes it easier mentally because there is less pressure on the player. If this were the start of the season, I'd suggest counselling work with the three players to adjust how they think and feel about being in a goal scoring opportunity, but it's too late for that at this stage of the season.

If the Liverpool players were to create space for chances outside the box instead, I'd imagine we will see all three score more goals. It's only a temporary fix, but in my personal and professional opinion, it would lead to greater striker confidence and they will start to score more with the one-on-one chances as well.

A very large portion of all sports is psychological and the most successful teams are the ones who manage that side of the game effectively. The ones who don't, no matter how talented, crumble. Just ask Spurs.

Written by Nevada May 01 2024 12:07:16


Discuss rumours and transfers on our Liverpool rumours web page