Fitness & Depth: Liverpool's Summer Needs

Fitness & Depth: Liverpool's Summer Needs

With silly season upon us, every radio host, back page editor and ITK Twitter expert will be theorizing on who Liverpool might be bringing in as the Reds prepare to make their return to the Champions League. Of course with Liverpool supporters there's always the added dimension of Fenway Sports Group. Are you #FSGIN or #FSGOUT? Are FSG spending enough? Are they allowing Jurgen Klopp to build a big enough squad? Do they have enough "ambition?" Rarely in any of …
LFC Set-Piece Defending Analysis: Making Sense of the Chaos

LFC Set-Piece Defending Analysis: Making Sense of the Chaos

At the end of the season, for a Liverpool supporter, it is time to look forward to a busy transfer summer and a few months without worrying that your heart might explode in stoppage time. But it is also time to look back at the aspects of the game when the team excelled; and those that were the biggest hurdle to a truly successful season. Getting top 4 is a good stepping stone but Liverpool Football Club should always aim …
How Has James Milner Really Done at Left-Back?

How Has James Milner Really Done at Left-Back?

At the start of the week I penned an article discussing the Liverpool players in the running for the club’s Player of the Year award. I chose five - Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson - and gave honourable mentions to Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner. The reaction to Milner’s inclusion brought the most divisive response of the lot, and it perfectly sums up why the 31-year-old will forever split opinion. He has always been …
Liverpool's Nuclear Attack: Stats Analysis

Liverpool's Nuclear Attack: Stats Analysis

*The stats in the article are gathered manually from Squawka. Minutes include stoppage time. Offensive, Defensive and Net rating are the totals per 100 minutes. Over the last month I have tried to analyze the different defensive and midfield lineups used by Jurgen Klopp and how well they have done. Finally we get to the area of the field for which the Liverpool supporters should have the fewest complaints - attack. After 32 matches Liverpool are the highest scoring team in the …
Jurgen Klopp Gets It Spot On At Stoke

Jurgen Klopp Gets It Spot On At Stoke

I've been peppering Jurgen Klopp with criticism of late - especially following the draw against Bournemouth in midweek. But it's time to give him credit for finally appearing to put the factors that derailed Liverpool's title challenge to bed. He rightly came under stick after repetitive tactical and poor time management against the Cherries on Wednesday - and hopes weren't exactly high ahead of the trip to the bet365 Stadium. Liverpool had not won a league game without Sadio Mane - …
Was Jordan Henderson the Balance Weight for Liverpool FC?

Was Jordan Henderson the Balance Weight for Liverpool FC?

It’s true what they say you know. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I’ve been pretty vocal in the past about my concerns surrounding Jordan Henderson operating in the number 6 role for Liverpool but it’s clear as day he’s been missed in recent matches. In games against Sunderland, Plymouth (admittedly with a shadow starting XI) and Southampton the midfield have looked lethargic, pedestrian and predictable. The complete opposite of what we’ve come to expect from a Jurgen Klopp …
Parked Bus, No Fuss

Parked Bus, No Fuss

There isn’t an awful lot to say, in general, about Liverpool’s performance last Saturday that Hull City captain Curtis Davies hasn’t already covered. Two aspects of what he said after the game are particularly encouraging from a Liverpool perspective. Firstly, as Davies points out, “Liverpool have that mix of nice little passes and then people who will run and run at you and beat you as well. Like Mané. Like Coutinho.” Indeed, there is suddenly a level of flexibility in …
10 out of 15 points, why is it so important to me?

10 out of 15 points, why is it so important to me?

For anyone who follows my Twitter account, (@mrmarksimpson) or coming across me on the EPL podcast, you will have heard me banging on about how important it is for Liverpool to break the season down into 5-game blocks, aiming for 10 points every block. A lot of the time, replies I get are, “Why? What’s the point?” Well, I think it is time to put it down in writing and explain the methodology behind this. Firstly, the math: 10 points …
Why Ball-Playing Centre-Backs are Needed in a Klopp System

Why Ball-Playing Centre-Backs are Needed in a Klopp System

There was a lot of talk over the summer surrounding the value, the importance and the need of ball-playing centre-backs in the modern game. It was the fear of the unknown and like anything, the British media appeared to quash the idea labelling it too risky, unnecessary and just asking for trouble while asking the question - why don't they just clear their lines like Stuart Pearce and Tony Adams did back in the day, it did those guys no …
Statistical Reasoning Behind the Calls for Karius

Statistical Reasoning Behind the Calls for Karius

I’m excited people. Very excited. The last time I was this excited about a Liverpool squad was, believe it or not, pre-Suarez/Sturridge/Sterling. Back in the day, the spine of Reina, Carra, Mascherano, Alonso, Gerrard and Torres was the strongest I’ve seen at Anfield, and a wonderful foundation to build a side on from front to back. But on the bench? The likes of Ngog, Kyrgiakos and Josemi hardly gave the stars of the team reason to fear and fight for …
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