Archive for the ‘Analysis’ Category

March 20, 2014 · by Steven McMillan · Analysis, Feature

Things didn’t go so well for Cardiff in the reverse fixture

There hasn’t been much in the way of a turn around since Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan replaced fan favorite Malky Makay with Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – the Bluebirds are still in the same seriously dire straits they were in when Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners at Anfield back in December.

Second from bottom, but only three points off from safety, the Welsh side are looking like prime candidates to be involved in the relegation scrap. It’s been a bit of an odd Premier League season for everyone involved, and with less than ten matches remaining for almost everyone involved, any of the teams currently in the top four could win the title, and anyone conceivably up to tenth place, could go down.

March 14, 2014 · by Steven McMillan · Analysis, Feature

Danny does it in the reverse fixture

Every time I look at the league table, I do a double take – and it’s not so much because of where Liverpool are, but more out of shock that Manchester United aren’t up in the mix. The way we’ve been playing, our position is only the logical result of both our form and desire to win; which is exactly what can be said for United’s as well.

This doesn’t look like a team that won the Premier League title at a canter last season and that’s because it’s not, in the philosophical sense anyways, the same team. Under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, they had more than mere belief. Nothing short of an arrogant entitlement to the three points on offer was drummed into them and they responded, time and again, in kind. Unfortunately for them, and buoy for the rest of us, new boss David Moyes has failed to inspire such feats – that, and no one is scared of him.

March 10, 2014 · by Steven McMillan · Analysis, Feature

Numbers don’t lie

It goes without saying that it’s been a breakout season for Jordan Henderson; the £20mil man looked like he was going to be a bit part player when Brendan Rodgers was installed as boss at the beginning of last season, but the former Sunderland man has stepped up his game and has so far appeared in every one of Liverpool’s Premier League matches this season.

With the Reds enjoying a rare lay-off over the weekend after their match with Sunderland was postponed, I took started comparing the 23-year old to some of his contemporaries around the league. Using the stats freely available at Squawka.com, I ran Henderson’s numbers against Chelsea playmaker Oscar, Arsenal pretty-boy Jack Wilshere, Everton upstart Ross Barkley, Manchester City stalwart Samir Nasri, Southampton ace Adam Lallana and Manchester United scapegoat Tom Cleverly. I’m hardly a seasoned statistician, but some of the results were rather surprising.

February 24, 2014 · by Steven McMillan · Analysis, Feature

Three points? Job done.

As far a substitutions go, introducing Joe Allen for Raheem Sterling in the early stages of the second half was an inspired piece of work from Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

The Northern Irishman, who is quite often criticized for not making any substitutions, let alone the right ones at the right time, made an astute tactical shift with the score tied up. Although Sterling was doing his best to track back, Rodgers recognized that Swansea City was having the run of the midfield, with the duo of Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson failing to adequately cope with the amount of bodies the visitors were committing forward. The introduction of the Welshman, who put in an almost perfect cameo appearance, was the perfect adjustment to stem the tide.

February 24, 2014 · by Steven McMillan · Analysis, Feature

Brendan is proud of the boys

To be fair, we’re not used to being pressed quite that hard at Anfield; in a glimpse of what could be on the way when the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City visit Merseyside, Swansea City gave us the kind of test that Arsenal and Everton never looked like providing.

Although the Reds came away with the points, Garry Monk’s sides ability to draw level was a bit disconcerting, with Liverpool’s offense once again proving to be their saving grace.”It was an excellent three points for us,” Brendan Rodgers said in his post-match press conference. “Yet again the offensive side of our game was very good to get four goals.” And, it has to be said, very poor to concede three.

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