Is Wastefulness The Big Worry In Title Race?

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Merseyside’s Achilles Heel: An Unforgiving Lack of Precision

In a season where rivals Manchester City display surgical precision and Arsenal construct an impregnable backline, Liverpool’s recent outings paint a concerning narrative of profligacy. The revered attacking machine, once the terror of defenders league-wide, now splutters with the inconsistency of a well-worn engine, failing to convert domination into points. This conversion conundrum, if left unchecked, threatens to derail their campaign. It’s fair to ask if it’s a case of waste not, want not.

Photo by IMAGO

Wastefulness in the Final Third

A deep dive into the statistics reveals the magnitude of the issue. Against Brighton, the Reds managed 30 shots but could only direct 8 on target. In a separate encounter with Sheffield United, 29 attempts resulted in a mere 9 on frame. The stark disparity between attempts and precision is jarring when juxtaposed with Manchester City’s clinical execution. Salah got the winner and was lauded that day, but that was one of his twelve shots that game.

Opportunities Squandered

You could have just kept texting ‘what a miss’ into the relevant group chat, although it wasn’t just the forwards despite them being the most guilty. Dominik Szoboszlai’s glaring miss in the clash against Manchester United epitomised the current state of affairs. The fixture saw Liverpool rack up 28 shots, yet only 7 tested the keeper. This isn’t an anomaly but rather a troubling trend. In their season’s duels with United, Liverpool unleashed a staggering 62 shots, a record for a Premier League team in a single season against one opponent, yet failed to capitalise effectively.

Chasing Shadows of the Past

Historically, Liverpool’s forwards have been lauded for their ruthless efficiency. All five senior ones in double figures and all able to play a part. However, this season they chase the ghosts of their former selves, with the frontline seeming the guiltiest party in this saga of squandered chances. The misfiring attack raises questions about tactics, training, and perhaps the psychological burden of expectation. Salah, Nunez and Diaz all squandered great chances against United and it’s almost becoming expected.

Photo by IMAGO

What Can Be Changed?

If Liverpool hopes to keep pace with their title-chasing adversaries, a tactical recalibration may be necessary. It’s not just the volume of shots but their quality and the decision-making that precedes them. While Jurgen Klopp’s heavy metal football has enchanted fans, the symphony now requires a more nuanced composition. Diogo Jota’s return can’t come soon enough either. It’s been fast and frantic but without poise and the icy coldness that’s needed. Should this trend persist, the cost will be measured not just in missed goals, but in lost silverware. A fix is not just desired but essential if they are to maintain their lofty standards and aspirations. The clock ticks mercilessly, and the time for Liverpool to correct course is now. Or we know what’ll happen.

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