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Penalty

Liverpool’s turgid season highlighted by penalty stat

Liverpool have gone 25 Premier League games without being given a penalty, the longest such streak since 1997. Jürgen Klopp’s […]

Liverpool have gone 25 Premier League games without being given a penalty, the longest such streak since 1997.

Jürgen Klopp’s Reds have not had the best start to a Premier League season it has been their worst on record. The 9-0 thrashing of Bournemouth and the hard-fought clean sheet against Guardiola’s City, are reminders that Liverpool is still a Premier League power to be reckoned with. However, as Arteta’s Arsenal improves, the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea gain impetus under new management. Liverpool is gradually falling behind in the top four competition.

Liverpool FC’s Penalty Stat

Liverpool has gone 25 Premier League games without being given a penalty, the longest such streak since 1997. This is due to our pressing going off a cliff in terms of pressing success.

And we’re failing to deal with the wide overloads that are designed to counteract their high press. Trent Alexander Arnold has taken the brunt of the criticism for his positional awareness and relentless ball-watching.

Sadly, for the young Scouser, the Reds have surrendered twice as many efforts down his flank as the other. Opposing teams are aware that they may target his side, which is also away from tough-tackling Thiago and brawny Virgil Van Dijk.

This issue is worsened by Liverpool’s inclination to attack down the right (39%), which means Trent is frequently beginning from an inverted or high position, leaving room behind to exploit.

Of course, in certain corners of the football world, this has led to scapegoating of the young fullback. Trent has held his own in duels and claimed great stats. It’s his positional knowledge and eagerness to step and press that occasionally catch him off guard. But it’s also a problem of team structure, which has been entirely missed in all of the vitriol directed at the Liverpool player.

Reduced Energy

Liverpool are struggling against the odds of a crammed schedule for the same reasons we’ve already discussed. As the majority of their players reach their thirties, the gaps grow, the energy slows, and the legs wear out. Fresh faces like Nunez, Carvalho, and Elliott have helped to instill a feeling of speed back into the club. Players like Alexander-Arnold and Salah can already hold their own in a footrace.

However, psychological issues appear to be emerging. Particularly when they push themselves into tackles (again – last in tackle success this season). Not only has success declined, but so has the number of pressures and tackles. Last season, Liverpool had the most tackles (2.82 per 90) and pressures (45 per 90) in the final third. In a contrast to the current, when they are solidly in the middle of the league (2.18 per 90, and 36 per 90). Liverpool may kiss their goals dead with this lack in energy. They’re not latching onto second or third balls like they used to. And when Trent inverts, he frequently doesn’t know where and when to counter-press.

(stats via Fbref)

Verdict

Liverpool’s 2022-23 season has not started as planned, but it is not too late to turn things around. As Klopp has stated in interviews, they must become the team that no one wants to play against again.

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