14 May 2009

Gerrard and Torres: Facts, figures and analysis of their strike partnership

The Steven Gerrard/Fernando Torres partnership is the latest in a long line of fantastic Liverpool FC strike duos, but just how effective is the partnership in the Premiership?

I have analysed every LEAGUE game Gerrard and Torres have started together since the Spaniard joined the club in 2007. I think you'll agree that the results are quite intriguing.

Season 2008-2009

Gerrard + Torres starting together (t=Torres g=Gerrard a=Assist)

Aug 16, 2008 - Sunderland - W, 0 - 1 (t1)
Aug 23, 2008 - Middlesbrough - W, 2 - 1 (g1)
Sep 20, 2008 - Stoke City - D, 0 - 0
Sep 27, 2008 - Everton - W, 0 - 2 (t2)

Oct 5, 2008 - Manchester City - W, 2 - 3 (t2 g1a)
Jan 19, 2009 - Everton - D, 1 - 1 (g1)
Jan 28, 2009 - Wigan Athletic - D, 1 - 1
Feb 1, 2009 - Chelsea - W, 2 - 0 (t2)

Mar 14, 2009 - Manchester United - W, 1 - 4 (t1 – g1)
Mar 22, 2009 - Aston Villa - W, 5 - 0 (g3)
Apr 4, 2009 - Fulham - W, 0 - 1
May 9, 2009 - West Ham United - W, 0 - 3 (g2 – t1a)


P12 W9 D3 F25 A6

Torres: 9 goals + 2 assist
Gerrard: 8 goals + 1 assists
Total: 17 goals + 3 assists


* G+T: 20 goals scored/created in 12 games started together
* G+T: Average of 1.5 goals scored/created per game
* Unbeaten in all 12 games together
* 75% of games won with G + T starting together

SEASON 2007 - 2008

Gerrard + Torres starting together

Aug 11, 2007 - Aston Villa W, 1 - 2 (g1)
Aug 19, 2007 - Chelsea D, 1 -1 (t1)
Sep 29, 2007 - Wigan Athletic W, 0 - 1
Oct 7, 2007 - Tottenham Hotspur D, 2 - 2 (t1)

Oct 28, 2007 - Arsenal D, 1 - 1 (g1)
Nov 24, 2007 - Newcastle United W, 0 - 3 (g1)
Dec 2, 2007 - Bolton Wanderers W, 4 - 0 (g1 t1)
Dec 8, 2007 - Reading L, 3 - 1 (g1)

Dec 16, 2007 - Manchester United L, 0 - 1
Dec 22, 2007 - Portsmouth W, 4 - 1 (t2)
Dec 26, 2007 - Derby County W, 1 - 2 (g1 t1)
Dec 30, 2007 - Manchester City D, 0 - 0

Jan 2, 2008 - Wigan Athletic D, 1 - 1
Jan 21, 2008 - Aston Villa D, 2 - 2
Jan 12, 2008 - Middlesbrough D, 1 - 1 (t1)
Jan 30, 2008 - West Ham United L, 1 - 0

Feb 2, 2008 - Sunderland W, 3 - 0 (t1 – g1)
Feb 23, 2008 - Middlesbrough W, 3 - 2 (t3)
Mar 2, 2008 - Bolton Wanderers W, 1 - 3
Mar 5, 2008- West Ham United W, 4 - 0 (g1 t3)

Mar 8, 2008 - Newcastle United W, 3 - 0 (t1 g1)
Mar 15, 2008 - Reading W, 2 - 1 (t1)
Mar 23, 2008 - Manchester United L, 3 - 0
Mar 30, 2008 - Everton W, 1 - 0 (t1)

Apr 13, 2008 - Blackburn Rovers W, 3 - 1 (g1 – t1)
May 4, 2008 - Manchester City W, 1 - 0 (t1)
May 11, 2008 - Tottenham Hotspur W, 0 - 2 (t1)


P27 W16 D7 L4 F50 A21

Torres: 20 goals + 2 assist
Gerrard: 10 goals + 10 assists
Total: 30 goals + 12 assists


* G+T: 41 goals scored/created in 27 games started together
* G+T: Average of 1.4 goals scored/created per game
* Unbeaten in 85% of games started together
* 60% of games won with G + T starting together
* 13 league games drawn in 2007-2008: T + G started 7 of those
* Failed to win 40% of games with T + G starting together

GRAND TOTALS (Last 2 seasons combined)

P39 W25 D10 L4 F75 A27

Torres: 29 goals + 3 assists
Gerrard: 18 goals + 12 assists
Total: 46 goals + 15 assists


* G+T: 62 goals scored/created in 39 games started together
* G+T: Average of 1.5 goals scored/created per game
* Unbeaten in 90% of games started together
* 64% of games won with G + T starting together

* 24 league games drawn from 2007-2009: T + G started 10 of those
* Failed to win 36% of games with T + G starting together

Clearly, the Gerrard/Torres partnership is vital to Liverpool’s success in the league. However, I do not think it is completely accurate to say that if they had played more games together this season Liverpool would have won the league.

This season alone, Gerrard and Torres played in the league draws against Stoke City, Everton and Wigan; last season, they played together in 7 of Liverpool’s 13 league draws.

If the partnership is so potent, why do we still draw so many games with both players in the starting line up?

Based on last season’s draw stats, it’s conceivable that Gerrard and Torres wouldn’t have made that much difference in the other 8 draws during this campaign.

Of course, it works both ways – they could have had a massive difference, but I’m just making the point that having them both in the starting line up more regularly doesn’t necessarily mean Liverpool draw fewer games.

One thing is for sure: with Gerrard and Torres in the same team you are practically guaranteed goals and a very high probability of not losing the game.

Overall: pretty damn impressive figures but arguably still room for improvement, which is great news for Liverpool.

How effective are Liverpool without Steven Gerrard? Find out here:
Revealed - The ultimate proof that Liverpool do not struggle without Steven Gerrard

*Source for statistics: LFC History + Soccernet


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  1. Jaimie, I wonder if I could get you to say "Steven Gerrard is a really good player"?

    I know you don't rate him, for whatever reason, but you have been very vocal recently about how important the Gerrard/Torres partnership is. Yesterday you admitted that you often "get it wrong." Why not eat the humblest of pie and admit that your severe distaste for Stevie G is misplaced.

  2. @billywhizz - like most people, you slightly misrepresent my views on Gerrard.

    It is not true that I 'don't rate him'. I have always acknowledged that he is an excellent player and there is ample evidence in my articles over the years to support this.

    My problem with Gerrard stems from other things that I've documented countless times before and can't be bothered to go over again right now.

    I'm vocal about the success of the Gerrard/Torres partnership because it's a success - To argue otherwise just because Gerrard is not my favourite player would be ridiculous.

    This doesn't mean, however, that my feelings about Gerrard have changed. It's possible to not like a player and still respect their talent.

    I will never be persuaded that Gerrard is World Class though unless and until he dominates a major tournament for England. ;-)

  3. "last season, they played together in 7 of Liverpool’s 13 league draws"

    And yet how many as a front two? Only league game in 07/08 we didn't win when switching to Gerrard behind Torres was away at OT, and with Mascherano going off early we played like that for only a portion of the first half.

    Of this season's games we were unlucky to get a legit Gerrard goal disallowed against Stoke and only a defensive lapse from Lucas cost us a 1-0 victory against Wigan (the kind of dogged, perhaps undeserved victory Man United have 13 of in the league this season).

    More telling is the stat that we've only had our spine of Alonso, Masch, Gerrard and Torres for 3 league games and we won all 3. We have the top players for the spine but we need 3 for each set of two positions so there isn't so much of a discrepancy in quality when one's unavailable: personally I'd rather have Barry over Lucas and Tevez rather than using Kuyt centrally.

  4. What a load of tosh, Gerrard needs to dominate a tournament for England to be world class? Sorry but has Ronaldo, Messi, Dalglish, Rush, Best, Greaves.... I could go on....., have any of these done that? Would you argue they are/were all not world class?

  5. Yes - no player should be considered to be world class unless they have had a specific, measurable impact on their national team at a major tournament.

    All the greats of the game have done this, i.e. the likes of Pele, Zidane, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Ronaldo (Brazilian) etc - It should be hard to be classed as world class.

    There are of course, exceptions, which I've outlined elsewhere on the site. I'll post an article on this issue soon.

    It's my opinion - if you don't agree, fair enough.

  6. Just one more note - you have to also consider the context: Dalglish for example. He played for Scotland, who are never going make a serious mark in a tournament, thus personal impact must be measured in relative terms: In the context of what Scotland were able to achieve; the players at their disposal and their expectations of success, did Dalglish have a specific, measurable impact on the national team?

    The answer is clearly yes - without Dalglish's goals and assists, Scotland would not have qualified for the World Cups in 1978 and 1982, thus that constitutes a specific measurable impact on the national team.

    That combined with his success at national and European level means he can be classified as World Class.

    Gerrard has done the business at national and European level but has never done the business on the international level, thus he cannot be world class.

    How can someone who has never performed at a major tournement be classed as on the same level as Zidane or Pele?!

    Let's get real here...

  7. I see your point but nowadays, Gerrard plays against the cream of world football every week. It was different years ago. Tournaments up to the 90s even pitted players from different nations once every 2 years. Gerrard has scored 7 in 7 in the CL this season. He has played against all the top sides. For England he was our top scorer at the last World Cup (albeit with only 2 goals). Any coach in world football would class him as world class. John Barnes never did it for England but for three or four seasons (87-90), apart from Maradona, he was the best player in the world in my opinion.

  8. @Anon - I'll get back to you on your points later as I have to go out now. Cheers.

  9. It looks to me like you decided to do this research in an effort to back up your assertion from yesterday that lfc havent really missed torres and gerrard playing regularly this season.

    Unfortunatly ( for you) it just proves how important they really are.

    You then point out all the draws (7) they played in last year as the proof that "Gerrard and Torres wouldn’t have made that much difference in the other 8 draws during this campaign"

    You also said yesterday that we only needed to have won 3 of those draws to be sitting top of the table.

    Your figures state that they have either scored or assisted 1.5 goals per game when they play together.

    I cant say for certain that we would have won the league but its more than reasonable to believe that they were more than likely to score in several of those games as well. Giving us the wins we needed to help us to the top.

    especially as you sum up the article by saying
    " One thing is for sure: with Gerrard and Torres in the same team you are practically guaranteed goals " (which are vittally important in tight games.)

    Even though the squad has stepped up we have undoubtedly missed the influence of these two players and the difference they could have made in winning us the league.

  10. And for the fact that Gerrard was always told to play on various other positions in the team for England, namely left, right, centre..., it's not fair on him that he is supposed to excel everywhere on the field.
    Try asking your other 'world-class players in your view' to do so.

  11. @Kopite - Yes, Gerrard did score a goal v Arsenal and his goal is in the overall figures; I just forgot to put a 'g1' next to the game.

    Who says I think my opinion matters re World Class status? I just have a an opinion - I don't care whether it matters or not. It matters to me - outside of that doesn't make any difference because I'm not trying to change peoples' opinions.

    Whether Gerrard excells at national level is irrelevent - the fact is, he has been poor at every tournament in which he has performed. By that, I mean he has not performed anywhere near the level of which he's capable and he's never dominated a game at a major tournament.

    To label someone as 'world class' in these circumstances is nonsense, as it devalues the achievements of players who *have* done the business in world/european tournaments.

    WC status should be hard to achieve and should be reserved for those players who prove themselves at every level.

    Can a tennis player be considered world class if they never win a grand slam?! Can a box be considered world class if they never win a major title? Can an athlete be deemeed world class if they never win a gold medal?


    So why is football any different?

  12. Those examples are desperate efforts in a losing argument. Tennis is played all over the world by the same group of players. Grand Slams are won by the same players who win all the other tournaments during the rest of the year. Gerrard plays league football for his club in his own country and then in European competition. For his country he plays maybe 5 games a season and then a tournament once every 2 years (if we are lucky). The top players from all over the world play in Europe. Similar to basketball in the NBA. It's clear who are the best players. You don't need the Olympics for basketball to know that LeBron James is one of the best in the world. Similarly if Messi's Argentina didn't qualify for the next three world cups or they did rubbish, it would still be clear that he is world class.

  13. y did u delete kopites comments? I thought they were quite valid. The healthy banter made interesting reading Jaimie. Did you not want to respond?

  14. Jamie, I believe that your arguments are rather simplistic, uni-dimensional and if I may say so, at times rather shallow. Ideally, when you research something, you have an aim in mind NOT a predetermined outsome.. your investigations begin with the asserton that

    a. Gerrard is overrated

    b. Rafa Benitez sucks

    So it is but natural that your observations would be inclined to support this view. Instead of objectively analysing Gerrard's game and his falws, you fall back on the argument of performances for the national team and tennis players not winning slams -- in other words comparing Oranges and Apples. Daglish is excused because he played in a team that was not exoected to challenge anything, but at the same time Gerrard is slated when he's played out of position in a dysfucntional set up, which hasn't won anything for over 40 years..

    you talk about Tennis, if you know of gradslams, it is well known that there are many greats who won different slams many times, however, ver very few who won ALL THE FOUR SLAMS.. Pete Sampras , arguably one of the greatest ever, never won the French Open, but Andre Aggasi who won fewer slams that him, won ALL FOUR at least once and the Olympic Gold, so that makes him a bigger legend than Sampras in your opinion?