Early Doors

Facts about Liverpool

Early Doors

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A famous Liverpool manager once declared his preference for fact over conjecture.

So, here are some facts about Liverpool's season (first three from Opta, last two from ED's own tiny, sleep-deprived mind):

38 - Liverpool have had 22 more shots than Man Utd in the PL this season but have scored 38 fewer goals. Contrast.

In the period since Roy Hodgson took charge at WBA, the Baggies have scored four more goals than Liverpool.

5 - If the Premier League had started on January 1, the bottom three would be QPR, Liverpool and Wolves, all with five points. Toil.

Liverpool's 27 PL games have produced 56 goals at 2.07 per game, the lowest rate in the division.

Liverpool scored 25 points in their 20 PL games under Hodgson; they have 26 points from their last 20 under Kenny Dalglish.

To summarise: Liverpool cannot score goals, so things are going badly.

Worryingly, their manager still seems in some denial about this glaring deficiency.

After Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Sunderland, Dalglish tried to front up about Liverpool's lack of results - yet inserted a worrying caveat.

Dalglish: "I don't think the performances that we have had, especially at home, have merited the number of points we have got. But we just need to keep going and do what we do well, keep our mouths shut, not feel sorry for ourselves and try to get as many points on the board as we can."

If Dalglish really thinks Liverpool deserve more points, ED thinks he may not be defining 'performance' properly.

Have they dominated games? Yes. Have they taken shots? Yes. Have they actually scored? Not often enough.

Lest we forget, football is a game in which the object is to put the ball in the net more often than your opponent. And, as this is a game, your performance level can ultimately only be measured by your results.

If you believe you are performing well but you keep losing... you're probably wrong.

Of course, football is a chaotic game with a large element of random - it is possible to be 'unlucky' in one, two or five games - and it's true that Liverpool do hit the woodwork a lot (21 times in the Premier League).

But if it's March, and your entire season has followed the same, goal-shy pattern, it's time to accept it is not your luck that is failing you, but your team.

Liverpool's support is slowly coming to that conclusion, and the weekend even saw the genesis of a fairly shambolic #KENNYOUT Twitter campaign.

Of course, you can quote all the stats you like on Hodgson and Dalglish, but you have to accept that King Kenny's appointment was about more than a football manager.

It was about hope and inspiration. Lifting a battered fanbase off the floor after a spell of turbulence and uncertainty.

But that optimistic glow can only last so long, and beating a second-tier side on penalties won't be enough to sustain Dalglish through the summer.

All of which is a very long-winded way of saying: watch tonight's Merseyside derby. It could be very significant indeed.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Time-waste now." What Robin van Persie reportedly said to Newcastle keeper Tim Krul after Arsenal's thrilling late winner last night.

The pair clashed throughout the game, with RVP apparently enraged at Krul's attempts to run the clock down.

Frankly, though, the pair just seem to not like each other, and the Arsenal skipper had to be chaperoned off the pitch by Howard Webb after the final whistle.

With both men likely to be in the Dutch Euro 2012 squad, it could be back to the good old days of feuds and factions for De Oranje.

FOREIGN VIEW: A video for you today, and proof positive that not all Catalans are ace at football.

This action comes from the Catalonian Premier division clash between FC Asco and FC Sanfelieuc, and features a brilliant own-goal by one Sergi Grau. The real villain of the piece is surely goalkeeper Felip who, in his keenness not to handle a towering 'backpass', lets the ball in.

It was the only goal of the game.

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COMING UP: A great night of football. Not only do we have Liverpool v Everton at 20:00 UK time, there are two Champions League games at 19:45 - Internazionale v Marseille and Bayern Munich v FC Basel. Plus there's Football League action, including four Championship games.

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