Liverpool Message Board
The season is not over yet so this story is not fully told, however I do think there is a number of things we can already start looking at before the crunch run in begins.
Earlier this year a number of threads were started comparing the first half of this season with the first half of last season as evidence BR was not doing a good job. On the other hand some pointed out the second half of last season was not as good as the first half of this season as signs of improvement. But in both cases neither was really an apples to apples comparison. However now I think we can start looking at things in a more even mannered way, even if we don't know the final comparison till the season ends.
But let's begin the comparison. Last season we ended up in 8th place on 52 points. Today we're currently 7th place with 48 points from 31 matches. So only one spot in the standings better but just 4 points shy with 7 matches to go. Don't want to test fate, but surely we can pick up at least one win and a draw between now and the final whistle!
Additionally we currently sit with a goal difference of +19, with 59 goals scored so far while last term we ended with just +7 with just 47 goals scored. With all the talk of needing new strikers, and the fact we only had one recognized senior striker for the first half of the season, we’ve already easily outpaced ourselves on the scoring front, but on the other side of the coin already conceded the same number of goals (40) that we did throughout all of last season.
However that is still not strictly an apples to apples, but considering we were only on 42 points after 31 games last season, can it still be argued we've not made at least some progress? Considering we've also done this during what most agree is a season of transition with a new manager with new ideas, and 5 new players coming in (Allen, Borini, Sturridge, Coutinho, Assaidi) to the first team, and a number of youngsters who have either made their debut this season, or started to establish themselves as first team regulars (Wisdom, Shelvey, Sterling, Suso), I'd say so far it’s not such a bad achievement.
At least for me, the perspective is that we have and will have made progress this season. That progress may not be as much as some people’s high expectations, however its clear the direction is the right one, and imo is close to meeting my more realistic expectations.
Dave I agree with everything you've said. Essentially we are a more attacking team, but the balance isn't quite right with the defence just yet. I can't be bothered researching the stats, but I would be interested to see the goals conceded etc since the new year. It probably wouldn't look too bad!
The big think for me is that I don't feel I am flushing fifty quid down the bog every time I go to Anfield anymore, which has been the case since Rafas last season, and some of the footy we've played is a joy to behold! There is definite progress being made, and as I understand from a friend of a friend of a friend, the players love the new regime in terms of training, playing styke and personal fitness plans. Not only that but the links between the academy and Melwood are stronger than they've ever been with apparently a couple of real gems being developed and a new mentality in the sense that the lads now think they will get a shot at the first team.
Regarding the first team, a lot of work to do but I think the signs look really positive. Coutinho and Sturridge prove you don't have to splash masses of cash to improve things, at least 4 like that and I think we'll have a shot at the CL spots next season and keeping Suarez beyond 2014.
- 2 Replies to Loki
Loki Dave...u know Im no stats fan and with regard to goals scored in second half of season as opposed to first half...Ive mentioned this before....better u spread those goals scored out across the season than concentrate them into 15 games in the better half of our season. 5 v Norwich 4 v Sunderland right there that if spread about could account for seven more 1.0 wins and each of those is 3pts more...how many 1.0 wins have UniTURD ground out this season...thats why they are top and we are not.
OK right now Im deviating from the thread topic but have u read looks like Andy C is going to get a 2nd chance ? Evidently he and BR are due to meet and talk ,so probably when we play WHU this weekend..the conditions being that he submit to personal medical and fitness programme throughout the season and he resign himself to being an impact sub.One of the things I always noted about Andy was he covered a lot of ground in 90mins for me he had a very good work rate evidenced by all the times u would see him race back to defend corners and free kicks . Some on the board inc myself have been calling for the introduction of a hardman in the midfield someone who can be a ball winner and yet can attack the ball from set pieces either offensively or defensively....can anyone see Carrol given the role of "utility-player" in the midfield in a slightly advanced position, is it possible he could suit BR's play style if given such a role?Certainly he wouldnt be some big target man up front that was simply there to chase balls hoofed up the middle from deep defensive positions ? However even in such a utility role he could be in a sense that Plan B we have been missing all season ? Certainly we could look fw to reaping dividends from all the corners and free kicks we seem to be winning were Andy there to "put himself about" and create a bit of chaos in opposition defenses.
Actually Loki you got to my curiosity so looked up the numbers, and actually defensively we don't look much different from the first half to the second half of the season.
Can't really compare directly as we're not to the end of the season, but having played 31 games I looked at the first 15 versus the second 15 games played (so did not count the Villa match so it’s an even comparison).
Based on that first half of the virtual season of 15 matches, we conceded 18 goals, while the second 15 matches we conceded 19 goals. However on the attacking side it’s a marked difference with a goal difference of just +1 over the first 15 matches, and a whopping +19 in the second 15.
Now I know some will say this is just playing with numbers and you can pull stats to tell whatever story you want. However end of the day if you want to measure something you've got to come up with some sort of scale, and so long as your consistent in your calibration it’s an even comparison. So whether we use total goals scored, goals conceded, goal difference, points on the board, league position, or even personal impressions on the quality of play (which is subjective, but still valid as long as we're honest in how you measure the before and after impressions), I can't see how many can say we've not made progress.
I agree with a lot of that. I think it was Jason who put up a good point a while back for comparing whole seasons (not just segments of it).
It looks as if we will make some small progress over what was a very poor (and unfortunate in some ways) season last time out. A guess the question is, given the resources at his disposal, is that good enough?
I don't mean in our eyes, I mean in the eyes of the owners.
I guess we'll wait and see.
- 1 Reply to Paddy
Paddy that is the right question. We all have our own expectations, but the real question is what are the expectations of the owners: Top 4, Europa Spot, Progress over last season. The other parallel question is what time frame was set out to meet any goals; was in a single season, or longer?
I said it at the start and will say it again, with the way BR got stitched up in the summer window, if we were to match last seasons results, it would have been acceptable, anything else would be progress. There has been plenty of disapointments in terms of results as well as the strange decline in Martin Skrtel but on the whole I am happy we have blooded so many youngsters, become more attacking and at the end of the day, the table does not lie. It sadly is 'the hope that kills you' in that everytime we started a run we felt the top 4 would become achievable so that every time we would then flop it felt like a disaster. Even now I am thinking we should win the next 7 games but it just isn't going to happen. The first batch of transfers have proved average, Assaidi seems pointless but doubt he will lose any value, Borini I feel is awful and Allen has been all over the place but deserves another shot. Coutinho and Sturridge have been excellent so if we can make 3 additions like that this summer then we have a shout for sure. Nobody can argue with how Downing, Henderson and Enrique have been turned around or how Stevie G has become iron man. I would say I am satisfied with the season but not ecstatic, the acid test will be what happens next year, the top 4 should become a near on axe swinging target.