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4 Revealing Statistics From Liverpool 0-1 Wolves Match

 4 Revealing Statistics From Liverpool 0 1 Wolves Match

When the final whistle blew at Anfield Wednesday night, the air was deafened by the sound of a chorus of boos. That was followed by some in The Kop singing Kenny Dalglish’s name and cheeky “Hodgson for England” chants. In what was definitely Liverpool’s worst performance of the season, the team crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Wolves and gave a lethargic performance that can be best summed up by considering the following four statistics.

  1. One shot. Both Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres played the entire 90 minutes and between them, they created one shot which was a feeble effort from Torres, outside of the penalty box, that was blocked. Ryan Babel, meanwhile, generated two shots – twice as many as Gerrard/Torres – and he came on in the 63rd minute. One shot was off target while the other one was blocked.
  2. One cross. Liverpool completed just one successful cross during the entire match.
  3. Zero shots on target in the second half. With Liverpool down 1-0 in the second half, you would expect the Reds to mount a massive charge in their pursuit of getting an equalizer. But it’s hard to win or draw matches when you create no shots on target in the second 45 minutes. During the first half, Liverpool created just three shots on target (two from David N’Gog and one from Raul Meireles).
  4. 27 years. The win by Wolves was the first time in 27 years that the club have beaten Liverpool.

Those depressing statistics for Liverpool supporters will ignite the belief of many who think it’s time for Hodgson to leave. In the post-match conference at Anfield, Hodgson had some stinging words for the Anfield faithful which will not help him win any fans:

“Ever since I came here the famous Anfield support hasn’t really been there. There was the problem with the former owners [Tom Hicks and George Gillett] and there was the fact that Kenny [Dalglish] was so popular, but the job went to me. I have had to live with that. I have to hope the fans will become supporters because we need support. We are not deliberately losing games. You have seen these players before but they are not playing like they have in the past, so I think it is time for the fans to really help as well.”

Whether Liverpool supporters will get behind the team is tough to say. At times you could hear a pin drop at Anfield Wednesday night during the match, so quiet were the spectators. But it seems that the loss against Wolves, who sat at the bottom of the league before the match began, was one too many even for me. I’ve backed Hodgson throughout his career as a football manager at Liverpool saying that the Reds need to give him more time. But based on tonight’s performance, I believe it’s time for Hodgson to thrown in the towel. It’s not working and it doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to work for him at this rate.

If Liverpool owner John W. Henry doesn’t have an exit strategy in place for Hodgson, chances are that he may want to get one ready because it does seem that the Liverpool players have given up hope. Footballers have to earn praise. Play well and give it 100% and football supporters will get behind a team. But when a team plays as pathetically as they did Wednesday night, it’s only natural to expect the punters who pay hard-earned money for the tickets to boo their disapproval.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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39 Responses to 4 Revealing Statistics From Liverpool 0-1 Wolves Match

  1. Dave says:

    Fact number 1 – Ryan Babel did not come off, he came on – Perhaps you confused him with Ngog?

    • spenghali says:

      “Ryan Babel, meanwhile, generated two shots – twice as many as Gerrard/Torres – and he came on in the 63rd minute.”

  2. Norsk Wolf says:

    Don’t see what the fuss is all about we (Wolves) played really well and got what we deserved. Tactically MM got the match spot on, even for the step out on the free kick, we were better and deserved winners. Too many times this season (Blackburn and Wigan excluded) we have outplayed opposition including Man U and not got what we deserved. Last night we did. Last season you beat us with some disgusting playmanship getting one of the nicest guys in the league sent off, anyone who knows Stephen Ward knows he is a clean player and if you saw the game and are an honest fan you will know this. This time the same player and you got what was deserved.

    As a club and fans, I like Liverpool and always have unlike the ones down the M62 but fairs fair where is the credit for a good team display. These bigger teams can never give credit where and when it is due. That is arrogance and you know what pride comes before!

    • Meireles says:

      @NORSK WOLF – credit should be given where its due..and we congratulate Wolves on a Fantastic win…it was well deserved and you were by far the better team.

      However, LFC is an institution – in my 24 yrs supporting LFC I have never witnessed us being boxed into our own half and passing the ball back to reina as would did against wolves.

      With all due respect to wolves we were expecting LFC to at least put in a decent performance if not win.

  3. Bemused Wolf says:

    Very disappointed with views.
    Fact – Wolves first win in 27 years at Anfield. They have only played there three times.In 2003/04 Liverpool got a luckly injury time winner for 1-0. Last season Wolves were better team until you pressured referee into sending off Ward. (remember Reina’s 70 yard dash to speak to referee ?).
    Last night you were totally outplayed and should give Wolves credit for that.

  4. Jaiwolf says:

    Depressing? For a Wolves fan these stats (bar the last one) show how well we shut down Liverpool. Give credit were credits due EPL Talk. I’ve seen no media coverage on the great tackles we put in last night….especially from our magic Serbian Nenad Milijas.

    Also Liverpool’s single shot on target was very well stopped by Hennessey!

    • The Gaffer says:

      Absolutely. Congratulations need to go to a Wolves team who ran their legs off, chased every ball, closed down Liverpool and played tremendously. This particular article was written from the angle of how Liverpool fans must be depressed by the stats. But Wolves deserve full credit for their historic win.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Jon Sharp says:

        Gaffer,
        But the issue is, surely, that after a tremendous performance by Wolves and a well deserved win, you chose to write about Liverpool. To me, it’s far more interesting to try and understand how Wolves managed to put in such a good performance (they have been better than their results suggest all season, but at last their defense looked committed and organised is one answer). Everyone seems to want to write about the decline of the big clubs without recognising that the real story this season is just how well the smaller clubs are doing. The tightness in points distribution in the lower part of the table suggests the smaller clubs are getting better, not that the bigger clubs are worse. The PL has four teams in the knockout stage of the Champion’s league with three topping their groups. So is the whole of Europe getting worse? No. The fact is that the smaller clubs in the PL are substituting flair and expensive talent for sheer industry and great organisation. When Birmingham Beat Chelsea, or drew against Man U the other night everyone wrote about how poor Man U were (and the arguable goal). But the fact is, none of the big teams have won there for over a year. At some point the pundits have to start recognising that the smaller clubs are learning to lay their stalls out very well indeed and that David’s can now beat Goliath’s consistently. Nothing against Liverpool, but understanding why that is the case is, in my opinion, more worthy of anlaysis than Liverpool sinking under Hodgeson.

        • The Gaffer says:

          Jon, to be honest, I began writing the article last night by focusing specifically on Wolves. But after I analyzed the statistics from the game, the ones for Liverpool jumped out at me because there were so awful. So I rewrote the piece and focused on the four stats that I thought were most revealing about Liverpool’s performance.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • Jon Sharp says:

            Gaffer,
            Fair enough. Maybe someone will get round to an analysis of the rise of the small clubs at some point. Surprise results have always occured, but that’s really not what’s happening this season. Wolves beat Liverpool because Wolves were better. Wigan drew with Arsenal because Arsenal weren’t good enough over the 90 mins to beat them. Birmingham have built a fortress at St Andrews where it seems none of the big teams can get a result. Blackpool is another angle altogether. As a supporter of one of the small clubs (Brum) I just feel a bit like Rodney Dangerfield ;-)

  5. El Nino says:

    I was at the match last night. The Kop was quite silent even from the beginning. Wolves were great in their closing down of anything in the Liverpool midfield. Their support was also top notch. Still, Liverpool played like their were scared of making a mistake. Certainly the chants against Hodgson weren’t that loud, but the crowd was clearly disappointed. Hodgson had survived this long because of solid relationships with players/media/board. It looked as if he had lost the players last night. Woy’s selection alone was bizarre. It had already been proven that Meireles is not suited as a winger. Dirk Kuyt certainly looked out of place on the left. Unless there was an injury I didnt here about, why wasn’t Maxi playing on the left? That sentence does say something about the squad when Maxi being on the bench is questioned. Hopefully Rijkaard comes in and cleans up this mess and instills some confidence within the side.

  6. totti says:

    I am not a Liverpool fan ( I am a massive Chelsea and Red Sox fan) but I don’t think Roy deserves any more sympathy. Normally, I am for giving coaches time to stamp their mark on the team. But, Hodgson’s game plan is clearly not working. His tactic of defenders floating long balls into the opp area and hoping that it pops up to Torres is clearly absurd. Personally, I think Kevin Keegan is the best man for the job as he has all the elements required to be Liverpool manager being a legend as a player, highly respectable record as a EPL manager and will be popular with fans. But I have never heard of him being linked to Pool job. Other alternatives will be the usual suspects Dalgish, Big Sam, Riijkard, O’ Neill (who is the second best alternative after Keegan in my perspective), and even Rafa.

  7. Jason says:

    Why are people surprised by how poor Liverpool have been under Hodgson? Do a search of Hodgson’s credentials and you will see that he is nothing more than a mid-table manager with old ideas. Some have said that he was hired by Inter so they must have rated him highly. Firstly, that was eons ago. Secondly, he was a failure there when they lost to Schalke in the Europa Cup after being heavily favored and the Inter fans threw coins at him after the loss. It was Inter’s first ever European cup defeat. He was fired in the midle of the next season. At Blackburn he took a club that had won the EPL to the bottom in two seasons and was fired before Christmas. Yet, to the British media he is a success just because he won titles with clubs in Scandinavia. If he were a foreign manager, like Houllier of Villa, they would all be calling for his firing. Double standards.

    The Liverpool fans are some of the most knowledegeable and patient fans in the world and when they become restless you know things are really bad. Reading the blogs from Liverpool most fans questioned Roy’s tactics the moment the team was announced and wondered why Meireles was on the wings when he has been poor there before, why split up the Lucas-Meireles midfield partnership that was coming together nicely and leaving out maxi who had also been playing well of late. It’s no wonder the fans think he should go. Unfortunately for Liverpool fans I don’t think that will happen anytime soon as NESV are still not sure in what direction to take the club. Buy top players now and make changes in mid-season with Hodgson in charge or wait till the summer and do the overhaul then, including the manager. Tough choice.

    • Hahaha says:

      ‘The Liverpool fans are some of the most knowledegeable and patient fans in the world ‘

      Hahaha! Yes, of course they are. That’s why they consider the vastly overrated Gerrard the most complete player EVER and better than avi, Iniesta et al (don’t believe me, read their forums).

      I like how they boo their own players as well.

      Groan.

    • Hahaha says:

      That should read Xavi, not avi.

  8. SantaClaus says:

    Gaffer, I’m surprised you haven’t defended Roy hodgson for once. You’ve been his biggest supporter. Have you finally realised what many of us already knew that he was a poor choice for Liverpool? Or do you still believe he is a top class manager and that the players are to blame and not him?

    • The Gaffer says:

      SantaClaus, I still believe he’s a top class manager but no one is perfect and the Wolves match was a good example of mistakes he made such as not starting Maxi Rodriguez, playing Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard out of position and relying on Joe Cole who was hopeless.

      I still insist that the players are to blame, too. Appointing Hodgson was not a mistake, but it looks like his players have lost faith in him and I believe it’s time for Liverpool to find a new manager.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  9. Clampdown says:

    It’s just downright depressing.

    I wanted to believe Hodgson would be OK, but I can’t stand it anymore. He’s got to go.

    The problem is, even if he goes, half the team isn’t very good. There are needs at just about every position on the pitch. Not only did they not seem to know what they were doing tactically last night, they also were just plain awful with the ball. So many poor passes and heavy touches. Were they not training during their holiday time off?

    Full credit to Wolves, though. They put in the effort and deserved the win.

  10. brn442 says:

    Gaffer – I think that’s a bit much to say that the players have lost faith in Hodgson based on this match. Also, Maxi may not have been fully fit.

    Torres was woeful but the club would dare not drop the striker for fear of him leaving.

    Liverpool WILL NEVER return to its glory days until it re-acquires a footballing philosophy on or off the pitch and stick to it – something it hasn’t had since the demise of the boot-room, and for that reason, I would agree with you – Hodgson may not be the long term answer.

  11. Robert says:

    Liverpool was ugly last night. Blame the coach all you want but you can’t make the players on the field any better. I saw several passes roll out of bounds when Liverpool was attacking and the long balls have got to stop. Sell Torres and buy some quality players. Gerrad has got to go as well. Midfield, you’re next.

  12. dominjon says:

    It is really simple. An opposing team who applies pressure constantly and harries the Liverpool players will get a win, or at worst a draw. Give Liverpool all the time they want and they will play like they did against Villa or West Ham.
    This would be obvious to Helen Keller. However Roy has no answer. It has been happening all season, and any manager who doesn’t use those tactics against Liverpool is either an idiot or has a far superior 1st 11 to Liverpool so doesn’t have to worry about it.
    Does anyone seriously believe the much maligned Rafa would fail the same way game after game? For all his weakness, Rafa would have altered things, changed formation, worked out a complete set of tactics to help nutralize it. Hodgson has just rubbed his face and continued the same old school 80s style rigid 4-4-2 with long hoofs 2 feet above Torres head and expecting Torres to somehow act as a Heskey-lite.
    In fact Hodgson’s Liverpool remind me of the teams who Liverpool used to brush aside back in the early 80s. Why is Gerrard playing in front of the back 4 while Lucas pushed forward? Why was Merles played out wide when that has been proven to be a mistake previously? Why is Jovanovic, who actually has some sort of direct running style not tried alongside Torres against a team like Wolves. Why do you have to play a lesser striker like Ngog or Babel on the other side of the pitch to Torres when it isn’t working, why not try Gerrard as a 2nd striker which has a proven track record? Or even give Joe Cole a chance in the space behind. Of course that is not the system Hodgson has used for 35 years, so it isn’t going to happen. We are going to do the same thing over and over and expect different result. The very definition of insanity.
    Hodgson is a mistake, I believe NESV knows that, and was planning to just ride him out for the season. Hopefully though they have learned enough about the game to realize how disaterous that could be in terms of just destroying players. Rushing a new manager choice would be a mistake, but I think they have to ask King Kenny if he will (a) take it in a caretaker role and be willing to step aside afterwards and (b) make a statement to the fans that he is only doing it until a new manager is found. With that in place it is time for Hodgson to go find a team he can mold into mid-table regulars, where such a thing would be a success rather than an utter failure.
    Hodgson Out.

  13. nathan says:

    What does N’gog have to do to get dropped from the team? Take a dump Nando’s shoe?

    • spenghali says:

      You mean our top goal scorer for the season? I personally like N’gog, and he was the only one to scrap some chances together the first half, meanwhile Torres is trotting around lackadaisically as if he just came to collect his ridiculous paycheck . This is why there were boos when Babel came on because Roy replaced our only player who was looking to score, (no, the fans were not booing our players, they were booing Roy’s change, they wanted N’gog on still).

      You should be asking what does Roy have to do to get dropped from the team, or even El Nino, who seems to never show up anymore. Sell him before his value plummets.

      • nathan says:

        You are out to lunch if you think that N’gog was any good. I was booing him from my seat I can tell you that! I would need 3 hands to count how many moves he killed with a poor pass or a poor run. And as far as fernando goes, after a while it is hard to get yourself to make a lung bursting run if you think there is a 20% chance the ball will actually reach you. After an hour of that I’d stop too! Lets get some width along with gerrard and torres up front, and meireles and lucas in the midfield…that leaves you the attacking flexibility to put on a striker, flex gerrard back, and take lucas or meireles off if you need to push for it at the end of the game. We have the players to be easily in the top half of the table, but they are all out of position! Plus, we’d be talking about a draw if Kyriagkos was still alive.

  14. jbm says:

    As someone else pointed out on another site, Liverpool is averaging enough points per game to have 46 points this year, in 12th place.

    Want to guess who was 12th last year with 46 points?

    I stood by Roy in the beginning, lost some confidence, rebuilt some of it, and now it’s all gone. Wolves played their assess off, but we should have had the starting 11, formation, creativity, and heart to actually win. And we didn’t. And all that can be placed on the manager.

  15. SantaClaus says:

    Gaffer, to say that Hodgson is a top class manager is beyond belief. Perhaps your definition of a top class manager is one who avoids getting his club relegated. Like most people, you haven’t analyzed his credentials carefully. You might want to read what Paul Tomkins has to say about Roy and where he is ranked among EPL mangers based on his EPL career to date, somewhere in 34th or 39th place. For you that may be top class butI beg to differ.

    Yes, the players are definitely to blame but it’s the manager’s job to put out the best team possible with a clear game-plan and proper tactics. This poor performance yesterday is not a one off but has been there all season long.

    I was never a fan of Benitez, and personally would not like to see him come back even though he is miles better than Roy, but at least he had the stature of someone the players listened to. He would never hasten to take off Gerard or Torres if they were not playing well. Roy doesn’t have the same stature and is afraid of taking off Torres even if he is having a bad game. That is not the mark of a top class manager. Rather it’s one of a manager that is afraid to upset his star players even if it is to the detriment of the team. Mediocrity at best.

  16. It is difficult to know where to lay blame for such a poor performance. Clearly they lack the creativity of Alonso or even Aquilani but where is the penetration from wide areas?

  17. Carolyn says:

    Here’s an interesting look at Hodgson’s career.
    http://tomkinstimes.com/2010/11/roys-hodgsons-managerial-record/
    Not pretty. Never understood why so many people rated him so highly.
    Santa, Hodgson ranks 35th out of the 49 EPL managers ranked who completed at least two full seasons.

  18. Gaz Hunt says:

    Could you even consider what Torres was doing as “playing”? He looks like he has checked out and is ready to leave. While I hate to see him go, I hate to see him take up a spot on the squad when he’s clearly not playing with the club and supporters in mind.

    Sigh

  19. old33 says:

    Gaffer – I’m a diehard Liverpool supporter and am too depressed to comment any further on what has been said already. However, it should be said about articles like this, or the one where you had the worst players in the EPL, that I love reading about. They bring out the true emotions from the fans, whether they agree with what was written or not. It goes to show how much easier it is comapred to yesteryear to follow a team, or even have dialogue about one in the States. Keep writing an invoking our sporting passions.

  20. Santa Claus says:

    Here’s another article about Roy Hodgson by diehard
    Liverpool FC supporter Paul Tomkins. I don’t always agree with
    Tomkins (he is too pro Rafa Benitez in my opinion) but on his
    analysis of Roy I agree. Go to his website at
    http://tomkinstimes.com/ and read his latest article titled “It’s
    Getting Ugly: Hodgson’s Way.” Good read.

  21. dominjon says:

    One person who does read Tomkins site is a certain Mr. Henry of Boston. They even had a lunch together shortly after the take over. Be sure an article by Tomkins carries a lot more weight than all the “97% want Hodgson out” internet polls.

  22. James says:

    If dominjon is right that Mr Henry reads Paul Tomkins’s articles then maybe there’s hope for Liverpool after all.

  23. Steven K. says:

    Carolyn, thanks for the Echo link. My God, Roy is mediocre. I can’t believe so many people rate him highly. Shocking.

  24. Colin says:

    Liverpool fans wanted Rafa sacked. They got their wish. Now they’re complaining about Hodgson. What did they expect about a man whose entire career has been mediocre at best. Hodgson’s team has won all of 13 away games in the EPL while in charge of Blackburn, Fulham and Liverpool. That says it all. By the way, that Rafa guy you sacked won 13 away games in one season. You will not find many Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Inter Milan or Bristol City (he managed in the lowe division and was fired in less than a season as he was so bad) fans who would rather have Roy back as manager.

    Liverpool fans, you get what you ask for.

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