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We Go Again - Liverpool Reds

About the blog

Welcome to We Go Again - Liverpool Reds, a blog about Liverpool Football Club with a Swedish perspective written in English. My name is Leif Larsson and I am a Swede living in Sweden. I have been a Liverpool supporter for over 40 years. I will write about all kinds of things that concerns Liverpool FC. Sometimes I will hand out praise, other times it will be the opposite. I will continuously add different categories to the blog.

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Few prize duels Liverpool vs Man Utd

Records & statistics Posted on Fri, March 20, 2015 21:19:57

The fixture involving arch rivals Liverpool and Manchester United is always intense and important. But it has rarely been games to decide where a big prize ends up. But on Sunday it is, well, if you think that a top four finish is a major honour.

The two north England adversaries has met on 191 occasions in league and cup, but surprisingly seldom battling it out between each other for league titles or cup trophies. And in European competitions they have never locked horns. It was close, though, in 2008 when Man United reached the final in the Champions League and the Reds got knocked out in the semifinal.

In the League Cup the teams has featured in 19 finals (Liverpool 11 and Man Utd 8) but met just twice in the last match, in 1983 and 2003, with the Reds winning on both occasions. In the FA Cup it´s the same story, only two finals between Liverpool and Man Utd, the latter winning both, in 1977 and 1996. And bear in mind that the teams has played in 32 finals, United leading by 18 to 14.

In the league a similar odd record appears. Liverpool has won the league 18 times and Manchester United 20 but just on five occasions has the clubs finished first and second during the same season. Liverpool edges this particular statistic with four to one. The Reds triumphed in the league 1947, 1964, 1980 and 1988 pushing the Red Devils to second spot. Just once, in 2009, has Man Utd won the league when Liverpool was runners-up. So in 33 season when either Liverpool or Manchester United lifted the finest domestic prize the other team ended up lower than second in the table.

So in 51 domestic finals the sides has faced each other just four times and only five times in 125 years of league football has a title duel between them occurred. Pretty peculiar since both clubs has been so successful in gathering trophies.

On Sunday another prize clash is on the cards. Back in the day a top four finish wouldn´t have raised an eyebrow. Now it´s something teams chase like crazy due to the Champions League qualification. The winners in the match at Anfield put themselves in the front seat for a top four finish. At the moment Man Utd is in fourth place two points ahead of Liverpool so a Kop win is crucial. A victory lifts us up to fourth place, a position which was completely unthinkable just four months ago. Do it Reds as:

We Go Again.

Statistics are for and against top four

Records & statistics Posted on Mon, January 12, 2015 15:57:15

The recent improvement in form has raised new hope of a top four finish for Liverpool. But even if we keep it up it will be a tough call to reach a Champions League qualification place. Historical figures tells us so.

I have checked how good our form are at the moment compared to how good it has to be to get us to top four. First out is our form in the last nine games. In those games Liverpool won five, drew three and lost one and collected 18 points. On paper a decent form but it will not take the Reds to top four.

An 18 points accumulation in nine games averages two points per match. If Liverpool continue in the same way the season through then the total sum will be 66 points. This tally hasn´t been enough for top four since the 2004/05 season. So in the last nine seasons the team in fourth place has collected more than 66 points, and in five of these campaigns the team in fourth amassed 70 points or more. So 66 is more than likely not enough.

To reach 70 points, and to even have a chance, Liverpool must average 2,24 points in the last 17 fixtures. That means ten points in every four match sequence or if you break it down: three wins, one draw and no defeats. A tall order indeed.

But perhaps it´s not an impossible task. Because in the last four matches that is exactly what Liverpool has managed. In those games we downed Burnley, Swansea and Sunderland and shared the spoils versus Leicester. But as you can see, it wasn´t achieved against the toughest of opponents. To do it in the future wont´be as easy. For instance, in an upcoming four match sequence we face Everton away, Tottenham home, Southampton away and Manchester City home. To pick up ten points in those encounters is a mammoth proposition.

But then again, if Liverpool can copy last season´s spring form then we can beat anybody and in the process reach 70 points, and beyond. In the final 17 fixtures last season the Reds collected 42 points, an average of 2,47 points per game. A similar haul this time will give us a total of 74 points and in all likelihood a top four place. Just on three occasions in the previous 22 Premier League seasons has 74 points not been enough for CL qualification.

The enormous question now if the Liverpool of today is good enough to do it. I have my doubts but delighted if proven wrong as:

We Go Again.

Long time since 11th place

Records & statistics Posted on Tue, November 18, 2014 14:56:18

If Liverpool continue to perform as badly as we have started then the end result will be the lowest league postition for 53 years. In 1961/62 the Reds won the second division and was therefore of course lower than the 11th place in the top division which we are holding now. But since promotion in 1962 Liverpool has never finished as low as 11th inte the league.

This season Liverpool has accumulated a meagre 14 points in eleven games. If The Reds keep up that lousy form it will certainly mean a final place somewhere in mid-table. Perhaps in the current 11th place. If we do it´s the worse effort for a very long time.

The last time Liverpool was in the lower half of the table in the top tier was in the season 1953/54. The Reds finished in 22nd place and got relegated. During eight years the second division was the arena. Then in 1961/62 Liverpool had a magnificent season, won 27 out of 42 matches and scored 99 goals. The Reds topped the final table eight points ahead of Leyton Orient. Needless to say it was Bill Shankly who steered the Reds upwards on this occasion.

Ever since that success Liverpool has statyed in the top division and is now playing their 53rd consecutive season in the top flight. And during this time Liverpool has never finished worse than eight and only on three occasions. So to finish 11th now would be a massive disappointment, a really bad historical event and a gigantic step backwards. So it´s time for the Reds to start winning when:

We Go Again.

A record-breaking poor record

Records & statistics Posted on Thu, November 13, 2014 17:15:12

Liverpool has started the season poorly, no question about that. When was it this bad last time? And what can we expect if the early season form continues?

Liverpool has lost five out of the first eleven league games and only picked up 14 points and is languishing in a lowly 11th position in the table.

Last time we did something similarly awful was in fact as recent as in the 2012/13 season. After eleven fixtures the Reds occupied a 13th place in the table standing on a mere twelve points. Even worse than this season. The defeats were three, fewer than this time around, but the wins were only two compared to the current four.

Goal-wise the record is almost the same this campaign and 2012/13. Liverpool had scored a meagre 14 then, same as now, and the goal against was 16 then compared to 15 this season. After that crappy start in 2012 Liverpool recovered some and climbed to a final 7th position gaining 61 points.

This was Brendan Rodgers first season in charge and his first eleven matches proved to produce a worse record than Roy Hodgson´s first eleven in the 2010/11 season. That time Liverpool claimed 15 points from the first eleven fixtures which meant a 9th place in the table. Goals for were 12, against 14. Roy Hodgson was sacked in January 2011 and replaced by Kenny Dalglish who managed to take the Reds to a sixth place with 58 points.

These poor records have only once been worse during the Premier League era. In the first season back in 1992/93 Liverpool was as low as 15 in the table after eleven matches standing on a mediocre 12 points.

If Liverpool keep up the current form in point-grabbing and goal-getting where will we land when the campaign is concluded? The current 14 points in eleven matches means we are collecting an average of 1,27 points per game. Same goes for goals, 14 goals scored at the moment means 1,27 goals per game. Goals against stands on 15 which gives an average of 1,36 goals per game.

If we collect 1,27 points per game the total after 38 matches will be 48 points. That amount would have put Liverpool in 11th place in last season´s table, one point behind Newcastle. With 48 points the most common place is around 9th to 11th in the final table. But sometimes it´s just enough for a 12th placing. So, if Liverpool keep up the current form we are in for a really bleak season and a pitiful final position far from the top.

The Reds has always managed to accumulate more than 48 points during the Premier League era of 22 years. I fact, Liverpool has never collected as few as 48 points since three points for a win was introduced in 1981/82. It would be sad if we ended that streak now.

If we continue our present goal-scoring form then the total sum in 38 matches will be a measly 48 goals. The same amount as we scored in 19 away games last season. But only three seasons back we were as goal-shy as now. In Kenny Dalglish´s last season at the helm, 2011/12, the Reds found the net only on 47 occasions.

Let´s hope that Liverpool rapidly can start to win and score more so we don´t have to suffer another depressing season victory- and goal-wise. In other words:

We Go Again.

Three defeats in five can end with the title

Records & statistics Posted on Fri, September 26, 2014 18:10:31

Liverpool has suffered three defeats in the five initial league fixtures this season. Newcomers QPR is the only other team to experience the same. Is it unrepairable or can Liverpool recover? An historical look gives a divided answer.

Twelve times through the years Liverpool has started with three setbacks in the first five games. On one occasion the Reds shaked it off and became champions. On another occasion it was detrimental as Liverpool got relegated.

The trophy winning season happened long ago, in the 1905/06 season. The Reds lost the first three matches and had the goal-difference 1-11. Then Liverpool changed things around dramatically and won 12 of the following 15 games. It took them to the top spot and there they stayed for the rest of the season.

In 1894/95 Liverpool´s fate was the opposite. They drew the first two matches and lost the following three. The results refused to pick up and not even a late rally was enough to save the Reds from relegation. Liverpool landed in 16th place, bringing up the rear.

These two seasons are the extreme examples how it can go if three of the first five matches are lost. Most of the three out of five seasons took place decades ago. Between the 1894/95 season and the one in 1937/38 it happened nine times. In 1924/25 Liverpool recovered pretty well and finished fourth. In 1911/12 it was on the other hand a close shave as Liverpool was only one point from relegation in 17th place.

In the fifties Liverpool twice suffered this kind of poor start. In 1954/55 the team landed in 11th place and in 1959/60 Liverpool turned things around and climbed to a final 3rd spot. After 1960 it took 52 years for Liverpool to once again be so slow out of the blocks and lose three out of five at the beginning. This was in fact two years ago and Liverpool had to settle for a 7th place finish. And now it has happened again.

Hopefully Liverpool can copy what the team in 1905/06 did, namely recuperate, get back on track and claim the title. Perhaps it´s just a dream but I´m confident that:

We Go Again.

Top marksman not needed for league win

Records & statistics Posted on Mon, September 08, 2014 16:13:56

Quite often you hear that a team must have the top goalscorer to win the league. In fact, it´s almost the opposite. Liverpool is a proof to that.

There are more particulars to corroborate my take on the issue but I start to dismantle the myth with Liverpool as an example.

The Reds claimed their first league victory in the 1900/01 season and have added 17 more through the years. The latest coming in 1989/90. In just two of these 18 seasons the league´s top goalscorer was a Liverpool player. The first was, not surprisingly, Ian Rush in 1983/84. He netted 32 league goals. The surprise is instead that the 14 league titles we won before that was without having the league´s top marksman. The second time Liverpool won both the league and possessed the best goalscorer was just four years later. In 1987/88 John Aldridge found the net 26 times to top the charts.

On four other occasions a Liverpool player was top goalscorer – to no avail. The team didn´t win the league. It happened in 1902/03, 1909/10, 1997/98 and 2013/14. The four strikers were Sam Raybould, 31 goals, Jack Parkinson, 30 goals, Michael Owen (shared with two other players), 18 goals and Luis Suarez, 31 goals.

Here is more facts to strengthen my theory about league wins and top scorers. Since the start of the league in 1888/89 English football champions has been crowned 115 times. Just in 29 of those seasons the champions did boast the best goalscorer. A funny thing is that seven of these seasons came within the first twelve years of league football. Then decade upon decade passed with few top scorers belonging to the winning teams. In recent years it has become more common again and the record from long ago is almost copied. In the last 13 seasons the top goalscorer has represented the league winners seven times.

So between 1900/01 and 2000/01, a 100 year period, the league champions only on 15 occasions also had the top goalscorer. While in the late 19th century and during this century it happens every other season.

If statistics should be trusted then it´s not so bad to have the most prolific striker nowadays if a league win is to be obtained. A look at statistics further back in time another message occurs and says that it´s not necessary.

The question is now how it will pan out in the coming years. But apparently it´s no need to panic if other teams possess the most goal-hungry striker. It is possible to win the league anyhow. With or without the sharpest striker:

We Go Again.

Avoid three 1-0-wins in the start

Records & statistics Posted on Fri, August 15, 2014 09:25:19

Last season Liverpool started with three straight 1-0-wins. Many would be satisfied with a repeat now. But let´s hope it doesn´t happen. Why? Because then the title chances are ruined.

How do I know? Historical facts tells me so.

115 seasons of top flight football i England has passed. Tomorrow number 116 starts.

During these 115 seasons Liverpool is one of only three teams to manage three 1-0-wins at the start. And none of the teams won the league, despite going to the summit after these three opening fixtures.

Liverpool did it last season, Stoke, Aston Villa and Manchester United were all downed by 1-0. The Reds went top of the league thanks to these triumphs but as we all know we had to settle for a second place finish.

Before that it was a long time since this extraordinary thing happened. In fact 94 years ago. In 1920/21 Huddersfield won their first three games with 1-0, went top of the table but skydived and finally landed in 17th place (out of 22).

Eight years earlier Manchester City did the same, won the first three fixtures by 1-0. It helped them to the top of the table but they didn´t remain there. The current champions dropped to a final 6th place.

I have thoroughly examined the starts of all 115 seasons and I think, and hope, that I haven´t missed anything and that the three mentioned occasions is the only ones when three opening 1-0-triumphs has occurred.

So if statitics is anything to cling to and belive in let´s hope Liverpool grabs three wins at the start of the season but avoids 1-0-results.

Should they anyhow do that then why not continue on the same path all season through and after every 1-0-win say:

We Go Again.