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19 Jan 2021 09:49:02
Since Gomez and van Dijk last played a match for Liverpool, we have conceded 12 goals in 20 matches in all competitions. That's 0.6 goals per match and includes the FA Cup match against Villa and the dead-rubber Champions League match against Midtjylland. If you take those two matches out of the stats, it's 10 goals in 18 matches in the Premier League and Champions League, which is 0.55 goals per match. If you extrapolate either of those figures across a 38 match league season, you're talking about title-winning levels of goals-conceded (assuming we were scoring some at the other end) . For comparison, prior to Gomez and van Dijk both being out, we conceded 15 in 6 (2.5 per match but obviously skewed heavily by conceding 7 against Villa) .

There has been a lot of debate recently about the impact of van Dijk and Gomez being out, and how that translates to problems scoring goals at the other end of the pitch; and before anybody jumps all over this, I'm certainly not suggesting we're better off without van Dijk and Gomez, but a couple of points here:

(i) Hats off to Fabinho, Alisson and the other players who have played in our back four so far this season. The goals-conceded stats are outstanding.
(ii) If we come back next season with everybody fully fit, what is our best centre-half pairing? I think a very strong case could be made that Fabinho is now the second best centre-half in the club and that, therefore, the strongest pairing would be van Dijk and Fabinho. Just a question of whether we're better off with him in midfield.

Agree8 Disagree0

19 Jan 2021 10:09:07
Fabinho is doing a great job but he should be in midfield, he’s not a centre back.
Losing VVD and Gomez has had a major impact all over the pitch, it’s unsettled the entire side and that’s one great big reason why we are playing so poorly, bar the odd game.

19 Jan 2021 10:33:07
Exactly Mikey! All these number stats mean nout! Sick to death explaining the situation it’s caused having our best mid in a make up defence!

19 Jan 2021 10:45:59
Really good post, thanks.

I don't think it's important to have the absolute best players for each position. Even if pound for pound, Fab is slightly better than Gomez, we should look to play a team which is best collectively. As it is, we play best when we have exceptional pressing, ball recovery high up the pitch, and incisive transitional play, all of which is more likely with Fabinho higher up the pitch. A midfield of Hendo, Thiago and Fab allow us to play in a manner which makes any perceivable weakness in Gomez and Matip to be inconsequential over the course of 90 minutes.

19 Jan 2021 11:07:43
Jay dub red: The stats certainly do mean something. They mean that Fabinho, Alisson and the others who have played in our back four have done an outstanding job, and the defensive side of our game generally deserves a lot of credit. That was my point - to decouple this from the wider discussion about how it impacts the attacking side of our game and to shine some light on our brilliant defensive record and give credit where it's due.

It's our outstanding defensive record for the last twenty matches than means we're in the knock out stages of the Champions League and still very much in contention in the Premier League. For example, if our two 1-0 wins over Ajax had been 1-1 draws, then the final table would have looked very different.

If we'd conceded just one goal more against Sheff Utd, West Ham, Brighton, Man City, Fulham, Tottenham, West Brom, Newcastle and Man Utd; then wins would have been draws, and draws would have been defeats and we would be well out of title contention already.

So quite clearly our excellent defensive stats mean a lot more than nout.

19 Jan 2021 11:10:49
How many of those 15 goals were conceded by Adrian? He's the worst keeper to play more than 10 games for Liverpool in my lifetime, bar none. Alisson would've stopped at least 5 of Villa's goals.

19 Jan 2021 13:52:31
I am fed up of the level of abuse Adrian gets. Had been good enough? No, but that is outrageous hyperbole MK.

Karuis, Migs and Diego Cavlierri immediately spring to mind. Especially when the first 2 were our supposed first choice, not a backup.

19 Jan 2021 14:09:51
RR, I am not a stats guy either but your stats are backed up by actual facts. Goals conceded are goals conceded, end of story. 1é goals in 20 games is nothing to sneeze at regardless of what level of CB's you have and Klopp deserves huge credit for making us tough to score on. Like I said before, the defence is not much of an issue anymore even tho, it hurts at times. Defence was not the issue in the last 4 games at least. It was our inability to either create nor take our chances that is hurting us more.

Even in the Utd game were we were average at best overall; the openings were there. Our strikers' confident is shot to bits. Is that the fault of the defence? Yes, we would be better if we brought in a CB BUT it is not going to matter cos the strikers cannot score and midfielders are creating space with third man runs into the channels. Should the defence do that for them too? I believe that when we start scoring, the defence will even get better, new CB or not cos we are built to play on the front foot anyway.

19 Jan 2021 15:35:02
Karius and Mignolet are better keepers than Adrian, and i don't remember Cavalieri ever playing 10 games for the club. I specifically added the 10 game caveat because i' fully aware we've had some bad 3rd choice keepers or 2nd choice keepers who never got called upon.

Adrian has been somewhat of a regular and for me he is the worst regular we've had.

Obviously we've had other shockers who haven't really played like Bogdan, Itandje, Cavalieri, Doni etc. But my opinion still stands. I'd rather have Scott Carson, Brad Jones or Chris Kirkland in the net to be honest.

Call it hyperbole if you want but Adrian is average at best. Maybe it's unfair that he's had to play so many games. Very few 2nd keepers have to. But i started watching in 2005 and i cannot remember any other Liverpool keeper conceding 7 goals in one game. I can't remember any other keeper repeatedly kicking the ball straight to opposition players (game after game) which has led instantly to a goal. I cannot remember any other keeper letting in a free kick from a centre back who passed it into the corner because the keeper was leaning on the opposite post trying to see the ball through his own wall. Shots go straight through him even if he gets his whole body behind them. It's baffling and embarrassing.

He is not good enough and that is why Kelleher has surpassed him. Sometimes the truth is brutal. Adrian is not good enough as a 2nd choice keeper at a top club. He wasn't good enough for West Ham as back up. He's a 3rd choice keeper at best. Respect your right to disagree but this is not a knee jerk post the day after he has had a shocker. I genuinely just think he is Papa Johns Football League Trophy level.

19 Jan 2021 16:01:11
Karius was shocking. I think he was worse than Adrian.

19 Jan 2021 16:24:13
His performance against Atletico at Anfield last year gave me a nightmare I’m still trying to wake up from! I think it’s his apparent indifference to his goal-costing errors that really infuriates me. But it’s not his fault that the club signed him though. In fact the center back crisis is a similar scenario - the club were trying to make do rather than spend the extra money, which maybe they don’t have. which might cost us a title and another Champions League. Damn!

19 Jan 2021 18:31:24
I'm sorry MK but if you watch the highlights back of the Villa game Adrian was at fault for the first goal (the pass to Arnold), made an absolute cock up of it. After that he had not much chance with the other 6, including 3 deflections. wouldn't have mattered who was in nets. that's not me saying Adrian is a great keeper, he's not, far from it but blame him for things he has done wrong not for things he hasn't just to strengthen a debate.



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