13 Oct 2009

10 reasons why Liverpool FC DO NOT NEED Javier Mascherano. Sell him, and buy THIS player...

After trying his best to engineer a move away from Anfield in the summer, rumours are flying again that Javier Mascherano wants to leave Liverpool. So where’s the problem? Why can’t Liverpool just let him leave?! There seems to be this idea that Mascherano is somehow integral to Liverpool’s success, but I disagree. In fact, I would argue that Liverpool could cope perfectly well without the Argentinean midfielder.

As a matter of recorded fact, Javier Mascherano wanted to leave Anfield in the summer. Despite Liverpool resurrecting his career; the team coming close to winning the title, and guaranteed Champions League football every year, Anfield was apparently not good enough for Argentina’s captain.

Benitez blocked a proposed move to Barcelona and later revealed that Mascherano was ‘disappointed’ at having to stay at Liverpool.

So why is Mascherano apparently so important to Liverpool. Fans regularly come out with the same old clich├ęs when discussing the player, stuff like ‘but he’s an integral part of the spine of the team’ or ‘he’s the best defensive midfielder in the world’ etc, but I just do not believe that.

Here is a list of reasons why Liverpool should sell Mascherano at the earliest opportunity:

1. He clearly wants to leave! His form has arguably dropped as a result of being forced to stay at Anfield. Why keep an unhappy player?

2. There are several clubs who would pay big money for Mascherano. Sell him now so we can get the best price possible. Delay, and his price may go down.

3. Defensive duty aside, Mascherano offers nothing to the team in terms of creativity.

4. Mascherano may have a high pass-completion rate, but many of his passes are sideways/backwards/short passes.

5. Defensive midfielders are REPLACEABLE. That position should not be the most important role in the team. Is it possible to find DM who can do a comparable job to Mascherano? Of course it is.

6. Masch is increasingly prone to costly errors - his most recent glaring mistakes came against:

Chelsea (2 – 0 defeat this season);
Arsenal (x2 in the 4-4 league draw)
Chelsea again (4-4 CL game last season).

These mistakes (and others he has made) make a mockery of the notion that Mascherano is the best DM in the world.

7. Mascherano’s stats since he came to Liverpool:

100 appearances
Wins - 59
Draws - 27
Defeats - 14
Goals - 1

That’s 41 games Liverpool failed to win with Mascherano in the side, 27 of which were draws! it is also no coincidence that since Liverpool signed him, the number of draws each season has skyrocketed, with 24 league draws in the last two full seasons.

Is this the best Liverpool can do? Are we to believe that no other defensive midfielder on the planet can help Liverpool improve this?!

I submit that there are other DM’s out there who could achieve a similar (or better) record; would WANT to play for the club, and would perhaps contribute more going forward.

8. Mascherano averages only 25 league starts a season. How integral to our league form can he be?

9. Liverpool cope just fine in the league without Mascherano:

2009-2010: Liverpool thrashed Hull 6-1 without M (he was a late sub)
2008-2009: 6 games without M (3 wins/3 draws)
2007-08: 5 games without M (4 wins/1 draw)

Basically, Liverpool has never lost a league game with Mascherano out of the team. Pretty good record if you ask me.

10. Liverpool fans often argue that Mascherano makes the difference against the top teams. Is this true? I've examined all games Mascherano has played against top class opposition. This means Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

Played - 24
Wins - 11
Draws - 6
Defeats - 7

* 13 games against top opposition in which Liverpool failed to win with Mascherano in the team. It can also be looked at as 17 games unbeaten (wins + draws), but I would rather Liverpool were winning more games against the top teams, rather than simply not losing.

Is this a record to be envied the world over? Could it be improved? Yes! Absolutely no question about it.

My overall point is that Mascherano is NOT integral to Liverpool’s success. He is NOT irreplaceable, and it IS possible to find players who can do a similar, if not better job than him. I will even suggest what I believe to be a perfect solution to this problem:

1. Sell Mascherano for as much as possible (minimum £20m)

2. Buy Lorik Cana from Sunderland in the Summer.

i) Cost: I estimate £7-£10m. Sunderland paid £5m for Cana, so that doesn’t seem too unreasonable.

ii) In my view, Cana is just as good as Mascherano on the defensive side of things (Latest OPTA stats show that he is one of the most effective tacklers in the Premiership). He is also far more dynamic, faster and a more positive/direct passer of the ball.

iii) Cana is smash hit at Sunderland so far, but I have no doubt he would go to Liverpool if the club pursued him. After all, he has to have higher aspirations than Sunderland, and Liverpool were heavily linked to him last summer.

iv) If Liverpool buy Cana in the summer, there will be no settling-in period required as he will have spent a year with Sunderland already.

v) Rafa can put the remaining cash from the Mascherano sale towards other players in more pressing areas of the pitch.

Just because a player is cheap, doesn’t mean they will turn out to be rubbish. It’s about choosing the right players at the right price; big money doesn’t always need to be spent. Sami Hyypia is a prime example of this – the big Finn cost less than 3m, and look how superb he was for Liverpool.

And mark my words - if Liverpool do not snap up Cana next summer then he will go to Man United, Arsenal or Chelsea (or some big team abroad), and we will all be moaning about another great player that got away.

Ultimately, I see no compelling reasons to keep Mascherano. As such, there is only one solution: sell him to the highest bidder and use the money to further strengthen the team.

If Mascherano IS so integral to Liverpool, I would be very interested in specific examples of how and why.



164 comments:

  1. You're clearly an idiot!

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  2. Complete Nonsense. You have spent far too much time looking at meaningless statistics and using them in an argument against Javier. Furthermore, you have taken statistics that are positive and made them negative. Data Mining is not the way to win an argument. Javier Mascherano is a very good player, you could argue the point that he is not World Class if you want. I for one think that too many Liverpool fans these days expect far too much; we have a very good player playing Defensive Midfield - I don't need to defend his ability and so I won't, my point here is that you are talking complete gash.

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  3. Not predictable at all ;)

    If I'm wrong, explain why.  But you can't of course, which is why you snipe and run, which is the standard response of the utterly ignorant Liverpool fan, of which the number increases all the time.

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  4. Literally the most embarrassing thing I've ever ever read

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  5. Blah blah blah.

    This is just an excuse to not address the issues.

    You state: I don't need to defend his ability and so I won't.

    Of course you won't, because you can't. 

    And where did I argue the point that he isn't world class?  Di dyou even read the article?  And statistics make up na very minor part of what I wrote.

    I have presented a detailed case as to why Liverpool can survive without Mascherano.  I have backed up what I've contended with concrete examples.

    Now, you do the same.

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  6. For once I agree with you.  If the player is truly unhappy, then sell him and move on.  The idea that he is turned by the "Big club" Barca is ridiculous.  Liverpool aren't exactly small potatoes.  I think it's all about money, and if that's the case, then sell him to Juve or whomever will pay the highest price and move on.  He is not Torres, and he is not Gerrard.  Good, yes.  But not great.  

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  7. If cana was that good and in my opinion he isn't, he'd be at a top side already. The whole world has known about this guy for a couple of years and no -one has taken him can't be that great! i do however agree with some things regarding Mascherano- i think he is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world but when he more or less tried to engineer a move to Barca last summer he was no longer a favorite of mine.
    We don't need players who dont want to play for the club, you can see that his heart is not in it. After Argentina have a good world cup (And they will get there!) Masch will be right there in the window and Rafa will sell him in the summer £40 mil plus, and we will get another Def Mid Player making a tidy profit. Cana ain't the answer though Jamie!

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  8. This is no way to judge a player! If it was you wouldn't buy Cana. Stevie G doesn't have a massively better record of games won. Should we sell him too?

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  9. JohnBarnesATEmysandwich2:42 pm, October 13, 2009

    Jamie, I've read a lot of your columns recently.  Newsnow always directs me here, and alas the page loads before I realise that you are the author.

    You are always critical of Rafa, you always have amazing insights (24 hours after the same insights have appeared in the papers/on 606 etc), but most damningly of all, your articles are always stat heavy and suggest someone who pores over results and stats but never actually goes to Anfield to watch games.

    Sound about right?  Nah, didn't think you'd admit it!

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  10. Sell Masch and get Lorik Cana? Haha! Pure comedy gold!

    I believe I read a stat the other day that stated Aaron Lennon's crossing is more successful than David Beckham's. You can manipulate stats in whichever way you want, I know who i'd rather have crossing the ball. Hands down Masch is far better than Cana.

    Having said this, I do agree with you that Masch is replaceable - especially for the money we'd get for him. However, your article lost all credibility once the Lorik Cana argument came into play.

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  11. Stats are important in forming an overall picture.  You cannot discount stats, and to do so is not in keeping with the way the world workd.  The fact is, people discount stats when it proves something they don't agree with, and embrace them when it reinforces their belief system/opinions.

    it's human nature.

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  12. Very good article Very good points .. PPL shouldnt be so 1 sided.. Take nothing  away from Javier he is a world class  player but his form lately shows he doesnt wana play for us look at torres he could go to any club yet he wouldnt leave liverpool for any amount of money to any club thats loyalty..
    If javier wants to go let him go and bring in sumone who wants to play for us..

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  13. SG doesn't have a 'massively better record of games won'.

    Really?

    Don't just say it. PROVE IT.  Without proof your asserion is meaningless, is it not?

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  14. yet more baseless generalisations.

    please explain WHY Lorik Cana is not a good player/anmd or not good enough for Liverpool.  Don't just say it, explain why. Or is it the case you have no idea what you're talking about?

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  15. I think this fella needs to get the game and stop writing such rubbish

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  16. Roll out the stats.  Stats tell you very little.  It's much more important to actually watch the player play.  You highlight 4 examples of mistakes he made which cost us.  There is no real way to identify how many 'mistakes' he makes, whether they can be attributed to him or other players, whether in fact his tackles up to that point kept us in the game etc.  Much better to just use your common sense.  Mascherano isn't responsible for every loss that occurs when he's in the team, so what's the point in quoting that?  Don't be so dim.

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  17. I agree set him free to screw up some other team.

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  18. I hope I'm wrong but He doesn't look like he wants to be here... I think most of those south americans are probably money grabbers at heart, this new tax situation in england is probably in the back of his head somewhere...And Barcelona is a great place to play, for many reasons.
    That's all speculation obviously... but i haven't heard him say he wants to stay or thank the club for saving his career or even say he's concentrating on winning the league.. All i've seen him do is give the ball away in crucial areas of the pitch and argue with referees... If he doesnt want to be here Rafa should ditch him(in the summer)... If he wants to stay.... Keep him. He's better than Cana.
    Jamie - Cana has played a handful of games for Sunderland and u harping on about how he's the best thing since sliced bread.. it's articles like this that push his price up way over the 10 million u hoping 4. If we were to sign him we would lose one of the gr8 alex millers - 'success'es and if u got your way replace him with a '?' and then the following week there would be an article here saying how awful it was to sign Cana based on one lucky season at sunderland.
    I have figured out whats wrong with u jamie. You think the season is 2 months long and that we have qualified for the europa league and that Cana has won player of the year.. Knee jerk reactions are your speciality Jamie. You just create bad vibes for the sake of it.. You want us to already have the league in the bag which is impossible in October.. As i said in my last reply - Can u not leave the reading of the riot act until May and try n get behind the club u say u support??

    To sum up - Anyone who doesnt wanna be at Anfield can feck off and anyone who thinks a DM who just happens to look good in the early stages of the season for a Sunderland team should be brought in, no questions asked, for Argentina's captain, and as stated by u on many occasions, one of our better players - is crazy.
    Viva Rafa

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  19. Anon - I've edited out the insults from your post.  once more and I will ban you permanently from commenting.

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  20. Brian - I follow French football, and I've seen Cana play many times over the last few years for Marseille, way before he moved to Sunderland.  In fact, I've actually seen him live a couple of times when I've been in France. I've been calling for Liverpool to sign him for over a year, and the club was actually linked with him over the summer.

    And why don't you try and grasp this simple concept:  supporting a clu is not just about blind faith.

    I've removed all the 'you're crap' stuff from your post. 
    Please stick to debating the issues. 

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  21. JohnBarnesATEmysandwich3:10 pm, October 13, 2009

    Not always jamie.

    I actually wholeheartedly agree with your central argument.  I've been saying since the summer that if Masch wants to go we should let him go.

    I'd rather have 2 attacking midfielders who can defend a bit rather than a dedicated DM.

    So your statistics actually back-up MY arguement too.  I just don't feel article after article of statistic after statistic is productive, entertaining or valuable.

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  22. I was just saying that u cant win the league in October and that i find some of your articles to be knee jerk reactions to the odd unlucky result, which can prove to be disharmonious..
    Don't ever let anyone tell u that u are crap Jamie. Sure don't we all come back to read your articles??
    You must be doing something write

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  23. I don't disagree with you on this except we should get closer to 30M, not 20. In saying this, I think we need to wait until Aquilani has had a run of games; it's all about balance, not one player. The introduction of the Italian could (we hope) make a significant difference to the way Masch plays as I don't think he is one-dimensional. My only gripe is a general one in that you seem so quick to trash everybody else's opinion. How about giving some people a little air-time instead of seeking to discredit them at the first opportunity (although some do seem to ask for it). I don't think you always live your policy of welcoming disagreement as stated below. Perhaps it's just the tone I have a problem with. Anyway, I digress, we shouldn't judge Masch until the last third of the season imho.

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  24. I don't get it!!! As soon as a player has 4-5 good games, a lot of people, who have no idea of football, shout: buy this player, he is a genius! Thats complete nonsense, as with Cana. Everybody knew about his availability in the summer and no big club wanted him. Why? Because the responsible persons at these clubs think/thougt he isn't good enough!!! Just trust the people like managers, who have far more knowledge of football, than the idiots and experts, who just think they know everything better!!! And you are one of this people, who think they are a football genius.
    This site contains quite a few articles, which are just bullshit and if you would have more respect and trust in other people abilities, you would even agree with me...

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  25. Billium - how do I trash peoples' opinions? Please provide examples.

    If people advance their view in the right way, I respond in the right way. if people snip and post stuff like 'you're an idiot', why should I afford them any respect?

    Everybody who advances their opinions correctly has 'air-time'.  people who snipe get deleted.

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  26. What insults? Why are you so insecure?  I haven't said anything more insulting than the"blah blah blah" or "why can't you grasp this simple concept" in your posts.  I will happily stop posting here now, not because you have banned me but because you repeatedly refuse to actually answer the questions in my posts or engage with my arguments.  You ignore them and pick at my posts, deleting what you fancy.  Hardly a good way to edit your site.  Goodbye and... cheer up :)

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  27. I agree with a lot of your piece here.  I've always believed that the club decided it had to hold on to either Alonso or Mascherano, and once it became clear that Xabi was adamant about leaving, the recent extension of Mascherano's contract meant it was easier to keep him in place.  But I've always been operating on the assumption that this would be Mascherano's last season in Liverpool. He doesn't like it, his wife doesn't like it and we'll get nothing positive from an unhappy player.  It wouldn't surprise me if there was already a gentleman's agreement in place that we'll flog him to Barca next summer, like the Ronaldo arrangement last year.  We need him (and we need him to perform) this season, but we don't need him in the long term.

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  28. Disagreeing with people is not trashing opinions.  People disagree with me all the time - are they trashing my opinion?  no.  They're just disagreeing.

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  29. As I said, statistics are vital to understanding a variety of things.  That is almost everything in life is classified in statistical form in some way. is the whole world wrong?  I guess all the dedicated statistics organisations, such as the Office for National Statistics, are all a pointless waste of time, right?

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  30. Just away of keeping public servants in a job or generating traffic on a website perhaps

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  31. I do not knee-jerk at all.  My views are consistent and have been consistent for years.  Example - Mascherano.  When Liverpool signed him in 2007, I argued on this site that it was a mistake, and that the money should've been spent on an attacking player.

    Since then, I have retained the view that mascherano is expendable, and that Liverpool should cash in whenever they can.

    Articles on the site back this up.

    And you may not be able to win the league in October, but it can certainly be lost in October.  And if Liverpool continue losing games this month, that will happen sooner rather than later.

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  32. Are you always removing other people's posts????????????????????

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  33. I've repeated this 100 times - the comment policy is quite clear.  if you slag off the site/me instead of focusing on the issues then your post will be deleted. I will not allow debate to be derailed by sniping posts.  If people don't like that then there is a simple solution: focus your energy on debating the issues.

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  34. Generating traffic on a website:  to make money from advertising, right?

    Oh wait, there is no advertising on this site.

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  35. At Man Utd is was obvious Ronaldo wanted to go every season but Fergie persuaded him to stay adding quality to an average Utd team. Is this the same with Mascherano? Should Rafa be persuading him to stay? I believe a player plays better when he is happy to be wearing the shirt, but it didn't seem to affect Ronaldo much so I'm not sure the argument of he wants to go so let him go works all the time. My honest opinion is that with a quality midfield partner next to him like Gerrard or Aquilani then Mascherano will be the monster Masch we all know. I think he has looked average this season due to being paired with Lucas not because he has had his head turned by Barcelona.

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  36. you made some really good points untill you mentioned Cana as his replacement....what are you on about? He is the argentinian captain and is worthy of that. He raises tempo's in games when he seeks out the ball and breaks down play. His job is simple, protect the back line and feed players like Aquilani (when he is fit) Gerrard, Riera, Kuyt, Yossi, Johnson, Insua, Aurelio. We score lots of goals (as last season proved). why replace a player that is regarded as world class in his position, who is the captain of argentina and is wanted by barcelona for someone like cana? sorry but you are wrong.

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  37. Okay, but you haven't explained why Cana would not be a suitable replacement.  You say I'm wrongt.  Why?

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  38. First of all, i didn't meant you especially! But if you take everything personally, i can't do anything for it!
    I just argued, that you have no respect and trust for other peoples like managers judgements and that you have no idea of football. And i wrote in quite a polite manner and even gave a good reason for it. But if you can not live with the truth or if you just won't believe that, then it is not my but your own fault!!!
    I personally think you didn't like my earlier posts, because you couldn't argue against them. And the same goes for my last post...

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  39. To be fair, I have red your article through a few times now, and although I don't agree, I do see your point.

    I think we shouldn't keep a player who doesn't want to be here, especially if we can get in the region of £20-30 million. I think that despite doing a very effective job, he IS replacable. The one thing I disagree about your article is Lorik Cana. Fair play, he's got the same winning mentality as masch (and you forgot to mention that he is Sunderland captain - another important point). And I can see your point in that he could very well make the step up to a top 4 club, however I think that this would be a risk at the heart of the team and having watched him several times I think he is a good player but not as good as you're making out. I don't have stats to back this up, as I think you can iscolate certain stats to say what you want, it's just my opinion.

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  40. Nonsense.  In your last comment, you stated:

    <span style="">'This site contains quite a few articles, which are just bullshit'</span>

    I don't take things personally (!) - it's not about that.  This site is about intelligent debate - I want fans to present their views in an adult manner, not like terrace yobs.  There are plenty of football forums on the net fo that.

    If i see any posts which contain stuff like the above, they will be deleted (mostly automatically by the comment software)

    If people don't like it then it's simple: just stick to debating the issues.

    Ultimately, this site encourages proper debate/discussion.  I - and lots of other commentors - are not interested in wading through pages of crap to get to the discussion.

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  41. Fair enough.  it could well be the case that he's not good enough to make the step up. I just think he is a superstar in the making.  Also, I don't think DM is - or should be - the most important part of the team.  if we're just looking for someone to break up play, get in tackles, unsettle the opposition and give the ball to the creative players, I think we could do a lot worse than Cana.

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  42. Good points.  I definitely agree that the Lucas factor needs to be taken into consideration.  It seems clear that the Lucas/Masch partnership is a non-starter.

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  43. I agree, we should sell mascherano. get £40 mill for him from barca and buy silva/villa. jay spearing can move into the first team, play gerrad and aquilani centre with spearing and lucas as back up.

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  44. I think you're spot on - the most important factor could be Masch's state of mind.  if he and his family are not happy in England, then it surely serves no purpose to keep him at the club.

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  45. I agree with your article AND the bit about Cana, I've also seen him play a few times and he gets lots of tackles in. I reckon he would be as effective as <span style=" ">Mascherano. I think Mascherano is a great player but he isn't as important to our team as many people say he is.</span>

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  46. As I said, Jamie, perhaps its the tone. Most people don't have the time to do the kind of research you call for; they just love LFC and speak up. Make some allowance for that. And those that snipe - well, why justify them with a response? Allow the dialogue to flow a bit more by inviting people to elaborate instead of telling them to "prove it" with facts.  Important things cannot always be measured and statistics, as we all know, can be misleading. Your views are informed but often contentious, so naturally there will be some knee-jerk reactions. You don't have to prove you are right by responding to every single respondent. 

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  47. rafa pls go away from lfc. u don know wat u doin. u suck

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  48. Do you write all the articles on this page??? If the answer is yes, then you are right, if not, think about it!!!
    If there would be an intelligent debate, this debate would not exist!!!
    What do you mean with "stuff like above"? If someone writes in insulting language, you just erased this parts, and if I write in normal language, you erased everything... Where's the point in this???

    Back to the basics:
    Masch should go, because he don't wants to stay (you are right there), but Cana would not be the right replacement.
    And managers have far more experience and knowledge of football than 80-90% of the fans, commentators, experts, etc. They have an education in this, etc. You can not argue against this! Just because you have planed a garden shed, you are by far no architect!!!
    That's why i think you and me should have trust in their decisions!!!

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  49. To be fair, I think you've argued the point quite well. Cana is a good player and the stats you've highlighted are relevant. However, I just think that if we spent closer to £15million then we could get a player with a bit more in his locker than Cana.

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  50. Masch offers next to nothing creatively to the team.  I would argue that Cana can do everything masch can do in a defensive sense.  What do you classify as 'a bit more in his locker'?

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  51. I'll have to disagree there. I think masch is a lot faster than cana, and this can be crucial in the DM position.

    In terms of 'having a bit more in his locker', an example is Yaya Toure. He is a brilliant DM, regularly fills in more than adequately at CB and is a constant threat from attacking corners. I'm not in any way suggesting this is a viable option, but I think this is an example how a DM can be much more than just breaking up opposition attacks. Do you catch my drift?

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  52. I agree. Masch is not worth playing against most teams. As you say he is useless going forward and against most PL teams, that is what which is important. We shouldn't need to be playing him to defend against the likes of Sunderland, Hull, Wigan, etc.

    Also Rafa should be sacked because he continues to persevere with the worst L'pool player ie Lucas.

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  53. A water Carrier? This is my first visit here. I see you whining about intelligent debate and you call one of the finest defensive midfielders in the world a water carrier. Masch is fierce in the tackle and a great reader of the game you want to replace him with a player who looks reasonable when i have seen him but has not played a full season in the EPL, not played through an English winter not played in high pressure situations. You obviously have a problem with masch that i and a lot of other supporters are not seeing. Now if your argument was based on him wanting to skip then i would probably have some sympathy for that but the stuff you listed in your blog was, well ridiculous.

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  54. Ridiculous?

    Don't just say it - explain why.  I take it you are referring to the 10 points in the article?  Anyone can just pitch up and say 'it's ridiculous' - that's meaningless/  Please explain why it's ridiculous.

    And 'water carrier' is not an insult 0 it is just a figure of speech. 

    masch may be 'fierce in the tackly'  but he is not among the premiership's most effective tacklers this season.
    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11096_2705370,00.html

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  55. Cana is too aggressive and looses his head.We should monitor him for the whole season and then make a descision.For me Toulalan,Veloso or Yaya seem to be better bets.
    Barca give me Yaya + 15mp for Masch and I will bite your hands off.

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  56. Nobody can argue with Mascherano's talent, hence the Barcelona interest. However he is very much replaceable at a fraction of the cost. Defensive Mid's are available who chip in with a goal or two. And at the end of the day if a player want's out of Liverpool then he has to go regardless of who he thinks he is in terms of ability or reputation.
    Trouble is Rafa is such a control freak and Mascherano is the ideal player for how he likes to play. Unfortunately we'll never win the league until we start storming the barricades again, which won't happen under Benitez. Sure we'll win a cup or two but that won't work in the prem.

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  57. Jaimie, my statistics show that you're an <span style="text-decoration: underline;">IDIOT.</span>

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbafAMsoCKo

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  58. Alan from Ireland4:46 pm, October 13, 2009

    "I just think he is a superstar in the making" - he is older than Mascherano - Cana is a good player but for what Mascherano brings to the side which was quite evident in last years Champions League Quarter Final 1st leg against Chelsea when he was suspended. He breaks of the play and enables our creative players to shine.

    For the system that Benitez plays Mascherano fits the bill. Cana is doing well for himself at Sunderland and did well at Marseille in a relatively poor side - Ben Arfa, Niang and Cana kept them going last season. Buit still I know who I would rather have for what he brings to the system. 60% win rate is not too bad and he isn't to blame or the hero for the win, loss and drawn games. So that statisitic is disparaging to say the least.

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  59. I would suggest that JM should not be required in the midfield in 80% of the games at Anfield. I agree that he does not offer enough going forward to break down teams coming for a draw. We should be good enough throughout the rest of the team to cope with breakaways, especially if we have 60-70% possession.

    The problem is then away from home. JM does a great job in my opinion and would be difficult to replace. I dont think Cana is the answer (from those youtube clips he doesnt look to have the correct discipline in dangerous areas). That said however, if we were able to extort £25m from Barca, surely there is a player in Germany or Italy who could do the same job for a lot less £££££ - NO? Don't ask me who as I only have enough time to watch the Prem highlights (above and beyond every minute of Liverpools matches) without the wife banging on about something or other at the weekend!

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  60. I would not feel the pain if Rafa sell Masch. He doesn't seem to have the fighting spirit and enthusiasm to play for liverpool this season. Seem like he is unhappy at anfield and if that's the case, sell him. 

    From pre-season until now, he's has been linked with big clubs like barca and juve. But something bothers me is that he has yet to declare his loyalty to liverpool, unlike torres and recently benayoun. Look at how quickly they distanced themselves from the reports linking them with other clubs. I'm still waiting for Masch to come out and say that, although i think it's not going to happen.

    He was rubbish at west ham and rafa brought him to liverpool. This is where he started to perform and gain his reputation as one of the best defensive midfielder. It's rafa who rescued him from 'hell'. He seems to forget about that after barca declared their interest in him.  This is the way he treated liverpool back. 

    Give players like spearing and plessis a chance to play. Either of them would show more commitment than Masch. 

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  61. Completely agree, Byrne - that;s the crux of the issue: we could sell Masch for a huge sum and buy someone else who could do the same job for considerably less,a dnSTILL have money left over to reinvest elswhere in the team.

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  62. You argue the case for stats being useful but in your own article totally dismiss the relevance of the Opta stats that show Masch as having one of the best pass completion records in the premiership. Undeniably double standards.

    For me it's also still a stretch to say that he tried to engineer a move a abroad, he was just as likely to be engineering a pay rise and even if that's not the case surely Gerrard has to come in for the same ire for admitting his head was turned by Chelski two years on the bounce.. Masch was chased by Barca in the press and via Messi, they'd just won an unprecedented triplet of trophies and were clearly the best team in the world.. fair enough if his head was turned a little at the time - but he never said a single word in public, behaved impeccably in fact by keeping his trap shut, the most we heard was from brothers, agents and bizarrely Benitez himself.. Not one single quote from Masch - how is this clear proof of him trying to engineer a move? He's been respectful of LFC throughout by NOT saying anything publicly - even if at heart there's probably a degree of truth to him being keen on joining Barca - which sane footballer wouldn't at that point?!?

    I thought his general form against Chelsea had really picked up and am more than happy for him to stay as our DM lynchpin for as long as possible. To say that Cana is of the same quality is... ambitious - he may get there but he's not there yet so we'd be lowering the quality of the squad to make such a swap - in my opinion.

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  63. Can u prove u watch French football alot and have seen Cana live?
    Back it up please.

    Thank you

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  64. <td style="padding-bottom: 8px;" colspan="2">
    <div class="js-singleCommentText" style="padding-top: 4px;">Can u prove u watch French football alot and have seen Cana live? 
    Back it up please. 
     
    Thank you</div>
    </td>
    <td rowspan="2" width="28" align="right"> </td>

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  65. Can u prove that u watch French Footbal a lot and have seen Cana live.
    Back it up!

    Thank you

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  66. To the author:

    I agree completely with your statement. I'm a massive Liverpool fan, to the point of obsession, to the point where it feels like the end of the world when we lose and my mrs is scared to even ask me a question, LOL.

    I agree entirely though. He's a good player, but certainly not irreplaceable. He CANNOT pass well. 85% succession and every pass is 5-10 yards and not always the correct pass. Any half decent player can pick the ball up from a centre-half and play those passes. Its about variety, speed of pass, and decision making that make passing more crucial, not 85% of 5 yard passes getting to their target. His technical ability is average at best, even his body positioning is awkward when he passes, it doesnt look natural to him.

    Defensively he is great, quick across the ground and can break up play, and I'm probably among the rest of Liverpool fans praying that he and Aquilani can make the perfect pair.

    But I agree with your post, and there are a number of excellent players on a par, and certainly better in possesion than Monster, for example:

    Lassana Diarra
    Lorik Cana
    Stephen Defour
    Gohkan Inler

    Not to mention players like Essien, Fletcher that perform similar roles.


    Good post ... certainly not irreplacable.

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  67. SELL MASCHERANO - he clearly has the hump. What ever his reasons (wife unhappy, chance to go to Barca, unhappy with contract etc), it doesnt matter. Here is a demotivated player whose form has been off. Get players in who care and are prepared to work their balls off for the team. Mascherano used to be such a player but tbh something is definitely not right. 

    I mean, here is the captain of Argentina, a true leader. You'd have thought the departure of Alonso would be an event that he would respond to positively. Instead of rallying the team (like Reina did), Mascherano looks like a baby whose thrown his toys out of the pram. 

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  68. Its not Masch's job to be creative. 
    Its not a DM job to be creative.
    Break up play and pass it off.......
    Name 3 better players in the Permiership better than Masch over the past 3 seasons?

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  69. Previously this site has posted statistics that Lucas has a better tackling and passing rate that Masch. Additionally, it has been stated that Lucas is a waste of money and Masch isn't. You complain that people don't buy into your statistics yet deem them meaningless when it doesn't suit you.
    And why should we try to buy someone cheaper when selling Masch, sure net spend isn't a consideration as far as you are concerned.
    You need to get out a bit more Kanwar, you should get a breath of fresh air. I suggest Anfield as am sure you have never been.

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  70. Who said anything about advertising?

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  71. Cana, Cattermole and Palacios lol..
    viva masch

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  72. Such a knee-jerk reaction. Have we not learned from our past mistakes. We are soooo quick to write off players as soon as there is a dip in form. We did it to Kyut. We did it to Alonso and now we're doing it to Mascherano. Do the stats track how many 40yard plus dashes a player makes to break up a play? Is there any doubt that Masch as the DM gives the other CM greater freedom to be more offensive minded? Point is that a dip in form is no reason to just be calling for a player to be sold.

    And yes Mr. Kanwar statistics, as with everything else, play a role in how we evaluate things. Your problem, IMO, is that you feel that they're totally objective. As I have said before, anyone who's familiar with stats knows that they're both objective and subjective. The numbers are real and true BUT THEY CAN BE MANIPULATED IN ANY WAY THE USER FEELS FIT. there's a reason they say "U HAVE TO WATCH THE GAMES TO GET A TRUE PICTURE" AND "THATS Y THEY PLAY THE GAMES"........numbers alone don't paint the complete picture.

    As for the DM players are irreplaceable be careful with that........look how long it took Real to get over the loss of Makalele.

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  73. i think this is nonsense the amount of time mascherano has done defensive work that has been brilliant is uncountable. Yh of course he makes mistakes WHO DOESNT he is one hell of a defensive player he never gives up, his work rate is phenominal so why are you crucifying him. I do however think that if he wants to leave we should let him but only on those terms NOT in any way shape or form because of quality as you just cant. If someone does offer say 40m+ then yh we should sell him as we could buy a few good players with that but only if he wants to go. I really dont no wat ur obsession is with lorik cana he really isnt as gd as u think there are better players out there so really stop goinon and on about him. 1 more thing statistics are useful but not all the damn time all u ever go on about is statstics, some times you cant rate players on statistics like mascherano and when you do dont use them all the time as negatives the fact is we may have got draws from those games thats a hell of a lot better than a loss, with mascherano a consistent team member last season we only lost 2. DRAWS ARE BETTER THAN LOSSES AT LEAST YOU GET A POINT FOR A DRAW.

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  74. Because he plays for Liverpool Football Club and clubs like Barcelona and Juventus want to buy him. He is Captain of the Argentinian Squad and most of the Argentinians rate him higher than Messi (it's not just Maradonna). Cana on the other hand is an average player who plays for Sunderland and the reason why he plays there is that no one else wanted him. I'm sorry I don't have any stats, but sometimes you don't need any stats to point out the obvious!

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  75. So yes i would sell him if he does want to leave and for a decent amount

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  76. Garvin - could you possibly spout any more cliches?  Whenever someoneholds a view that departs from the fan consensus it is automatically a knee-jerk reaction.  Here is evidence that this is NOT a knee-jerk:

    http://www.liverpool-kop.com/search/label/mascherano?max-results=200

    Not the articles going back to 2007 questioning the wisdom of signing mascherano AND questioning his effectiveness.  I have felt this way about him since he arrived.

    And stats 'can be manipulated' - the classic retort of someone who wants to discredit stats that don't agree with their view of things.

    I challenge you to illustrate you show me how the stats I've provided 'can be maniuppulated in any way the user sees fit'.

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  77. And i completly agree with you in the fact he  offers absolutly nothing going forward which is what we really need

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  78. Please provide credible reasoning for the following unfounded assertions:

    1. Cana is an 'average player'.

    2. The reason why he is at Sunderland is that 'no one else wanted him'.

    3. Argentineans 'rate Masch higher than Messi'

    Stats are not needed - just reasons.

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  79. I can see your points but in general you are being very biased against Javier. Its almost as if you are looking for logic to cushion the blow of him actually leaving, which is understandable and I will do the same if he does leave. However, the fact is, top sides need top players. Right now the top players Liverpool have are Reina, Javier, gerrard and torres. You could argue glen and jaime should be in there also. Alsonso was certainly in there. We NEED to keep our top players. And to me there is no doubt that Javier is the best DM in the world. His form has been below par this season yes. But so has gerrards and so was torres's for the first 5 games. He didnt lose his ability overnight and we ll see it in abundance before this season is over.

    No one can break up play like Javier. He is very quick, has a great engine, is good on the ball (although not very creative), he doesnt just win 50/50s he wins 40/60s and id fully fancy him in a 20/80. When he goes in for a challenge simply put he is going to come away with the ball. Someone may say well in game X both lucas and Javier both won the ball 6 times so are equal at tackling (thats what the stats may say). But ive watched every liverpool game for the last 2 seasons and the difference is that lucas may make a tackle in a crowded midfield or on a cornered player, but javier makes that all important tackles when it counts. When its crucial. Obviously stats tell us alot but its watching full games that really show us a players importance. Think of the first half of the fiorentina game. What was happening? The italians were finding space inbetween the liverpool midfield and defence and simply turning and having free runs at our defenders! Our midfield players were missing tackles and suddenly the space was there to run into. THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN IN A GAME MARCHERANO PLAYED IN.

    Liverpool have lacked the guile going forward of man utd, chelsea and arsenal over the last few seasons. But we have won our fair share of games and we have NEVER been dominated. Why is this? Its because even if we offered no threat attacking wise our midfield of javier and Xabi always gave us a level of control in the game. They were always too good to be out played. People below  were talking about replacing him with cana, and comparing him to fletcher and essien. None can offer the same protection as Javier.

    Finally one of the reasons Im such a big fan and something that wont come up in the stats is Javier's mentality. Like all top players, he plays better when liverpool are losing. He is a leader and drives the team forward. Ever wonder why liverpool make so many unbelieveable comebacks last year? Because fortunately we have several players who when the chips are down, dont feel sorry for themselves and instead play harder and better. Javier, Reina, Gerrard, Torres, Kuyt, Carragher. Eg, we are 2 nil down against utd and playing poorly. Who do you want on the pitch? lucas and babel who when really up against it fade away into the background? or macherano and kuyt. no brainer

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  80. I've read a few of your articles now mate and have to ask if you are really a fan??  If you are then you are a complete and total idiot.  And yes I'm very serious.

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  81. Please Rafa bring CANA on Liverpool. he is the best.

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  82. but we cant afford to lose him atm we lack gd defensive midfielders i mean mascherano is the only really decent 1 i mean lucas sucks and u cant disagree with me when i say he gives us a lot defesively

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  83. I didn't say at any point it was a DM's job to be creative, but would it hurt? Especially only playing with one recognised striker

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  84. Because Cana - in comparison to Mascherano - is pump.  In one of your many diatribes against Rafa you have said that it is possible to "see" who the failures are - so no stats there.

    I put it to you that it is also possible to see that Cana is nowehere near as good at dominating the defensive midfield area as Mascherano is.

    To say nothing of the fact that when one of the "Big Four" go sniffing around a Premiership player then they start talking telephone numbers.

    We go after Cana, that does two things, One Sunderland inflate their asking price, Two Green Light to Barca for Masch.  We lose Masch and get a worse player in return.

    You are talking Toffee.

    http://tomkinstimes.com/2009/10/the-benitez-myths-series/

    There's your myths Kanwar.  To use one of your favourite words - Debunked.

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  85. Actually, Chris, the article to which you refer was not written by me, it was written by Alex Miller.

    re Cana - you state he 'nowhere near as good' as Masch, but where is your evidence?  You're just making generalisations.  As usual.

    Just because Cana went to Sunderland does not mean he is a bad player.  And please do not post links to Paul Tomkins site here.

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  86. 1. Cana cannot pass.  If you are frustrated with Mascherano's passing ability, Cana is a step in the wrong direction. 

    2. He went to Sunderland for the cheap price of 5 million when every single club went into the summer transfer window needing a DM and was looking for one.  Arsenal, Liverpool, Juventus, Barcelona, and many other teams wanted to buy a holding mid.  Cana is a poor passer and has disciplinary issues (I don't know the exact stats on how many bookings and sending offs he had at Marseilles, but it was a lot).  While he is an excellent tackler and an energetic player, its not as though no one knew about him before he went to Sunderland.  Certainly his lack of discipline and poor passing prevented the big clubs from going in for him.

    3. Argentines rate Mascherano very highly because he is a true defensive midfielder with a toughness that the side cannot replicate.  But how his national team rates him really shouldn't matter.

    Bottom line is that you are focusing too much on the negative aspects of Mascherano and not the positive.  Without him, you would not have challenged for the league last year or made the run to the Champions League Final three years ago. He is a quality player and would not be easily replaced, as DM's rarely are.  Ask Arsenal how they fared after the loss of "replaceable" Flamini.  Look at how well Chelsea are playing now that Essien is back. The DM role is naturally underrated because it is a position that is supposed to be invisible. But it is pivotal.

    That being said, if he wants to leave, he should be allowed to leave. Forcing a player to play against his will is never good, but I think Rafa's afraid that without Mascherano, Liverpool may not finish in the top 4.  Hell, they might not even with him.

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  87. 1. Poor passing ability?  Based on what?  Please expand further on this. 

    2. Cana was Marseill Captain; he has been man of the match in three of his Sunderland games so far, including against Chelsea; he has already been made Sunderland captain, despite only being at the club for a couple of months; his Opta stats illustrate how effective his defensive game is; he's an experienced international...yet apparently he's not good enough for the top 4?

    I agree with you about his disciplinary record - 62 bookings and 4 reds in his career so far.  This is likley to be the stumbling block with bigger clubs, not his ability.

    3. You state: Without him, you would not have challenged for the league last year or made the run to the Champions League Final three years ago.

    CL: Mascherano played only 4 games in Liverpool's CL run that season (including the final) - 2 of which were defeats.  How exactly did he have ANY impact whatsoever on Liverpool's overall run?!

    LEAGUE: Mascherano started only 27 league games last season, 9 of which were draws/defeats.  As such, i would argue that it is inaccurate to state that Liverpool would not have challenged for the league without him.  Another defensive mid could've done just as good a job.

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  88. Good argument. In general we chould never keep key players in the squad that don`t want to bee in the club.

    Javier is a good player but he to often makes two or three mistakes a game (wrong passes or losses posision in wrong places) that bigger teams takes advantages of.

    I would realy like to try Agger in DM position. He is big, good header of the ball, quick, excelent passer (long and short range), good defensiv posision and can move the ball forward with forward runs.

    Javier can be replaced, no question .......

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  89. Agger at Dm is an excellent suggestion.  I'd like to see that given a run-out...

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  90. What tosh. Firstly, you need to disaggregate your argument into (a) Is he the right player, (b) does he want to play for LFC and (c) how much he is worth in the market relative to his transfer. My view is that (a) Yes, (b) Unclear and (c) His is worth a lot but unclear as to whether his "replacement" is the same as what we can get.

    In response to each of your points:
    1. Who knows if he wants to leave. Do you honestly believe the crap in the papers? From what I read, he himself never said he was unhappy. Yes there were alleged comments from brothers/friends/neighbours/the waiter who served him dinner about him not being happy, but they should be considered to be speculation. And drop of form? On what basis, mr stato? Argument inconclusive
    2. Big money? Firstly - can you confirm? Again, no speculation (I seem to remember that Ribery was going to be bought for billions, and David Villa for trillions. And yes, that is sarcasm). And if so, who cares? If we were offered £40m for Torres, should we take it? I mean, we *could* buy someone who has the same stats... Argument irrelevant/unsupported
    3. He is a defensive midfielder. The argument presented is against the tactics that Rafa employs not on the player himself. Unless Rafa changes that, which I would doubt, we have to assume that we will use a DM Argument is flawed/null
    4. So what? As a defensive midfielder, his role is (a) to breakdown the opposition attacks, (b) retain possession and (c) give it to someone else to create. This argument is totally irrelevant. The most important thing is that the ball is given for someone else to create something - so we shouldnt evaluate him on this basis.
    5. All players are replaceable and this argument could apply to EVERY player on the field. Ar<span style="font-weight: bold;">gument null/not relevant.</span>
    6. What a one sided piece of analysis. Every player makes an error. If you want to evaluate how effective a DM is, you need to net off the times he has prevented goals and then compare it against the league. That is the only fair analysis rather than a subjective and random list of times when a player makes a mistake. We could make the same type of comment on any player in the premier league. Argument inconclusive/without sufficient evidence
    7. What an almightily ridiculous comment is this? What is the base of comparison for these stats? You dont present the overall wins with and win JM on a similar sample size. That is if you can isolate his effect in influenciing these wins (ie. how many times did SG, FT, etc play, against which opposition, etc). Of course any performance can be improved? This statement is is just a sloppy and puerile argument. Argument without sufficient analysis/backup
    8. Do you account for injuries and Rafa's rotation policy in that stat? As a defensive midfielder, he will be more prone to injury, so that is not unexpected. How does his appearances compare to other Defensive midfielders in the league, once you account for injuries - wouldnt that be a more appropriate comparison, rather than some loose, rhetoric question? Argument without sufficient analysis
    9. How good are the opposition in each of those? In addition, it is a ridiculously small sample set to make such a sweeping generalisation. Last season, I believe that insua played in eight games and we won seven (may have got those wrong, but the stats are in that order of magnitude). So that would tell me that (a) we should play him every game and (b) he is playing total rubbish this season as our win rate has dropped. Argument inconclusive
    10. And what is this telling us? Does JM play each of these teams by himself? Another irrelevant analysis of cause and effect. What happens [...]

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  91. Why not?  It was a better article with more facts than this entire site!

    And I didn't say that Cana was a bad player because he's at Sunderland, I said Cana is a worse player than Mascherano, and that the fact he is worse is self evident to anyone who watches a game other than in the 5 feet surrounding the player with the ball.  However, that isn't evidence.  I put it to you that you haven't produced any either.

    Lets see the direct comparison Opta stats over the past three seasons.  I'll put my Mortgage on roughly equal stats.  Thats Cana playing in the French League, Masch playing in the toughest league in the world.  Masch is poor this season, and I believe his mind is elsewhere.

    But on form, on his day, he'll pocket some of the greatest players in the World.

    Still, if we get pumped by Sunderland then you can have a crow about how Alex was right all along and how Rafa should go now to be replaced by Sam Allardyce.

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  92. Then we agree.  I think he will offer balance to the midfield and strenghten our defensive on set pices. Not to forget, he has an excellent shot from outside the box .....

    Keep up the good writhing, you trigger a positive debate on issues that concern us all.

    Regards from Norway ...

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  93. i fuckingly support u men. mascherano has cost a lot with his mistakes, and gives lfc no creative ability, but he has very god defensive qualities.
    what do you think about RAUL MERIELES of PORTO.

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  94. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11096_2705370,00.html

    Sky Sports seem to think that Javier is the Top Passer, with most passers and best accuracy, he is however behind Cana and Lucas on tackles.

    http://fantasyfootball.telegraph.co.uk/premierleague_statistics

    Cana rates 10th in the league on tackles won, behind Lucas in 2nd.  Masch languishes down in 35th.

    On successful passes Javier and Lucas are first and fifth in the table respectively, with Cana not making the top 50.  Neither does he make the top 50 in attempted passes, Masch and Lucas are 1st and 9th respectively.

    Masch has created 11 chances this season (39th in the league) again Cana does not feature,  Mascherano has conceded exactly the same amount of fouls as Cana, however Cana is ahead on Yellow Cards.

    All in all its Horses for courses.  But there is your proof you have been crowing for.  Thus far, in a season that we all agree that Masch is not performing, he is out performing Cana in finding a same coloured shirt and making chances for the team.  He aint getting the tackles in, but it looks like Lucas is doing that for him.

    Stats eh?

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  95. In response to each of your points:
     
    1. You stated: there were alleged comments from his brother...but they should be considered to be speculation.

    There was nothing 'alleged' about the comments.  They are FACT.

    Sebastian Mascherano told COM Radio. "If Barcelona really come with a very good cash offer, I believe Javier may leave Liverpool as it would be the best for him and his family. But I think that if there is no good offer, they will not let him go. I am sure Messi and Javier have spoken. Leo is one of the people who have been pushing the most for Javier to play at Barca."

    Would his brother have made such a statement without JM's knowledge?  I think not. 

    Rafa Benitez also added: <span><span style="font-style: italic;">“I had to talk to Javier a little bit. Barcelona is a top side, so if a club like Barcelona, who won three trophies in the last year, are interested it’s not easy for any player.</span></span>

    <span>That snippet proves that Barcelona WERE interested.

    Rafa added:<span style="font-style: italic;">“We told Javier he was so important for us and we wanted to keep him. <span style="font-weight: bold;">He was a bit disappointed</span> as it was a fantastic opportunity with a big club. But he is happy here, and as a player and a person you can trust him 100%.”</span>
    </span>
    <div id="TixyyLink" style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">
    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">That snippet proves JM wanted to go.  Why would he be disappointed otherwise?  Why would Liverpool 'want to keep him' if he didn't want to leave?!</div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">
    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">2. You stated: 2. Big money? Firstly - can you confirm? </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">
    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">You are being pedantic.  Given the fact Barcelona were, as a matter of FACT (confirmed by Benitez) interested, it is highl unlikely Liverpool would sell for less than they bought JM for.  Thus, anything higher than 18.6m (17m price + 1.6 m loan fee) is big money.</div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">
    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">3. You stated: He is a defensive midfielder. The argument presented is against the tactics that Rafa employs not on the player himself. Unless Rafa changes that, which I would doubt, we have to assume that we will use a DM Argument is flawed/null .</div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">
    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: [...]

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  96. <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">4. You stated: So what? As a defensive midfielder, his role is (a) to breakdown the opposition attacks, (b) retain possession and (c) give it to someone else to create. This argument is totally irrelevant. The most important thing is that the ball is given for someone else to create something - so we shouldnt evaluate him on this basis.</div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">
    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">The argument is not irrelevant.  Your simplistic view of a DM's role is the problem here.  It is perfectly possible for a DM to be positive and direct, rather than negative and indirect.  The idea of just having a DM who breaks up play and tackled is one-dimensional, outdated and should not form part of Liverpool's tactical philosophy.</div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">
    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">Comparison: Roy Keane was a defensive midfielder.  Did he just tackle, break up play and make sideways passes? NO.  He contributed going forward too.  Same goes for Patrick Viera, and our very own Didi Hamann.
    </div>
    <div id="TixyyLink" style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">
    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">5. You stated: All players are replaceable and this argument could apply to EVERY player on the field. Ar<span style="font-weight: bold;">gument null/not relevant.</span>  </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">
    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">You are missing the point. In my experience, LFC fans seem to see JM as irreplaceable.  This point is in response to that general idea.</div>
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    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">
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    </div>
    <div style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">6. You stated: If you want to evaluate how effective a DM is, you need to net off the times he has prevented goals and then compare it against the league. That is the only fair analysis rather than a subjective and random list of times when a player makes a mistake. We could make the same type of comment on any player in the premier league. Argument inconclusive/without sufficient evidence</div>
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    ReplyDelete
  97. 7. You stated: What an almightily ridiculous comment is this? What is the base of comparison for these stats? You dont present the overall wins with and win JM on a similar sample size.

    Once again: learn to read properly.  The stats DO state overall wins WITH JM, and the total is 59. How did you miss that? Or is this deliberate?

    And why does there need to be comparison?  We are talking about one player; comparisons are not relevant.

    8. You stated: Do you account for injuries and Rafa's rotation policy in that stat? As a defensive midfielder, he will be more prone to injury, so that is not unexpected. How does his appearances compare to other Defensive midfielders in the league, once you account for injuries - wouldnt that be a more appropriate comparison, rather than some loose, rhetoric question? Argument without sufficient analysis

    Once again, pedantry and misunderstanding of the highest order. It does not matter WHY he only averages 25 starts; the fact is he only averages 25 starts, end of story. And again, comparing to other DMs in the league is utterly irrelevant - what possible difference does it make to JM's performance if we look at how many starts X made for Chelsea.  Answer: NONE.  All this stuff about making comparisons is just a way for you to pad your 'arguments', which are increasingly empty.

    9. You stated: How good are the opposition in each of those? In addition, it is a ridiculously small sample set to make such a sweeping generalisation. Last season, I believe that insua played in eight games and we won seven (may have got those wrong, but the stats are in that order of magnitude). So that would tell me that (a) we should play him every game and (b) he is playing total rubbish this season as our win rate has dropped. Argument inconclusive  

    Sweeping generalisation?  It is a FACT.  Liverpool have never lost a league game when Mascherano has not been in the team.  How can something that is a fact be a generalisation?!

    Furthermore, the 'sample size' is set in stone!  It is not variable, i.e. whatever games Liverpool played in the league WITHOUT JM automatically become part of the sample. As such, your Insua point is completely irrlevant.

    10. You stated: And what is this telling us? Does JM play each of these teams by himself? Another irrelevant analysis of cause and effect. What happens when he doesnt play (not that i am arguing that is enough of a control set).

    Once again, you are missing the point.  As I stated in the article, Liverpool fans (in my experience) always say that JM is vital against the bigger teams.  I provided the factual stats to try and disprove this generalisation.  And that stats tell us that when JM has played against the top teams, Liverpool have failed to win more times than actually winning.

    In your zeal to try and prove me wrong, you have: tried to fudge the issues; ignored pertinent points; advanced points that have no bearing on my argument.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I left a comment on Tomkins' site once, responding to a point in one of his articles.  He deleted it and proceeded to slag off me and the site without any provocation at all.  Thus, I have no time for Tomkins, his site or anything he writes, and any links to his site posted here will be removed. And Chris, don't waste comment space telling me how his site is better than here and blah blah blah.  If it is, great!  Go and hang out on his site then!

    ReplyDelete
  99. Last I heard, Mathieu Flamini had a pain in his baguette playing right-back for Milan. He certainly knows his onions... in midfield as a DM that is. We were awful against Arsenal in the CL in 07/08 for about 35min, which coincided with Flamini going off injured...hmmm! It was only then, that we didn't look to be fluky to be one a piece.

    Just a thought!

    But yes, Javier has been very ungrateful to Liverpool. If it wasn't for Rafa talking to a dodgy football-agent, would he have seen the light of top-flight football day?

    I often wonder about these WAGs too - there are plenty more fish in the sea if they don't like that their husbands work, has them living in
    Livah-pewell. Hey 'Monster', who wears the trousers?

    ReplyDelete
  100. Easy mate, no need to type in bold.  I don't have stats or passing percentages to back it up, but watching Cana play, he seems to do exactly the thing Mascherano does, which is pass horizontally and keep possession.  There aren't many Xabi Alonsos out there, DMs who can actually impact the game with their passing.  If you are looking to upgrade at that position, then, Cana is nothing more than a replacement for Mascherano, if even that. 

    And I am keen on Cana too, but the media's awarding of the Man of the Match and him being already named captain of a Sunderland side that almost got relegated last year isn't really good enough for me, sorry.  He is certainly a very strong defensive player, but he has disciplinary problems and seems to be more of a centre-back without the positional sense that has become a DM.  Again, Benitez and Wenger went into the transfer market looking for a DM, knowing Cana was available for cheap, and both neglected to make a move for him.  There has to be a reason for that.

    Mascherano was the best player Liverpool had in the final against AC Milan in my opinion, and it was a game that Liverpool dominated and should have won because of his bulldog-like perserverance in the midfield.  The loss cannot be placed on him.  In the semi-finals against Chelsea, it was a 1-1 draw over 2 legs and Mascherano played brilliantly.  Again, the loss in the first leg cannot be put on his shoulders, and the holding of Chelsea to just one goal and the disappearance of Frank Lampard in the semifinal can be credited to Mascherano. And in his first Champions League appearance for the side (don't forget it was hard for him to break into the team with Sissoko already an established member) he was in the side that won 3-0 at Eindhoven, giving Rafa a chance to rest him in the second leg. 

    Had you played Lucas in his place in the league last season you would have finished fourth behind Arsenal, if not even further down. Throw any stats out you like, it is convenient to blame every loss or draw on Mascherano and ignore every other player who played in the game.  How many of last season's losses or draws did Gerrard or Torres play in?  Surely they should be sold as well?

    Mascherano is quality.  There are not many better DMs out there right now.  Its too bad he doesn't want to be at Liverpool, and is playing like he doesn't want to be there, but do not let that jade your view of Mascherano as a player.  As defensive midfielders go, he is one of the best in the world, which is why the best team in the world, Barcelona, wants to buy him.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Love the article n the fact thats backed up with statistics! And love the way u defend what u post. IMO Masch was once great cos he was surroounded by great players. Take am away n u have someone who's fast fading, even as the Argies captain. Lorik Cana any day!

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  102. i dont disagree with what you are saying but your statistics are total nonsense.  your stats would only be accurate if he was the only player on the team.  which he is not.  if you are going to discredit his skills you need statistics that are specific to the player not the team.

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  103. i have to agree with red, if you want to go delving into statistics then that's fine, but in mascherano we have one of the best DMCs in the world, and your argument that he lacks in creativity maybe true but that is not why he is in the team. he breaks down attacks constantly and is both tenacious and hard working. we have players who play along side him who are the creators- gerrard, benayoun, aquilani.
    once again jamie you fall under the catogery of a lazy journalist imposing your flawed views with useless facts which never show the real picture.

    ReplyDelete
  104. i have to agree with red, if you want to go delving into statistics then that's fine, but in mascherano we have one of the best DMCs in the world, why would barcelona and juve be intersted in him if he was in the same class as Cana for example!!! and your argument that he lacks in creativity maybe true but that is not why he is in the team. he breaks down attacks constantly and is both tenacious and hard working. we have players who play along side him who are the creators- gerrard, benayoun, aquilani. 
    once again jamie you fall under the catogery of a lazy journalism imposing your flawed views with useless facts which never show the real picture.
    And i hope your joking when you say we could replace him with Cana- who is a good player but not a scratch on the world class DMCs. how do you think we can ever win the title if we're going to keep on letting our best players go.

    ReplyDelete
  105. I think it is good to keep an eye on Cana.

    I am not sure whether it is right to compare Masch with Cana, because they played in two different leagues last season and in this season Cana is still adjusting himself to the Premier League.

    A good manager tries to keep his best talents while always preparing a plan B. Try to keep Mascherano if you're so convinced he is the right man for Liverpool, but keep an eye on Cana and other DMs, just in case.

    Cana is a great tackler and time will tell whether he will grow furthermore as a player in the Premier League. If that happens, Liverpool would be silly not to keep their options open.

    Of course, there are other fish in the ocean. But just because you're enamored with Masch or favor other DMs, this is not a reason to dismiss the potential of Cana as a PL player.

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  106. utter nonsense.
    by insinuating that masch is crap shows that u dont understand football.
    that statistic that he only does sideway/back passes is so ridiculous its almost offensive.
    get a grip, the guy captains argentina...barca wants him, fergie wanted him...how can he be that bad?

    ReplyDelete
  107. Jamie.
    My counter points were applying the same logic and at the same level of 'pedantry' as yours. As for fudging this issues, that is rubbish.

    Press: What is published is not always true/fact. 

    Statistics: The use of statistics is useful. However, a statistic in isolation is meaningless. You need to compare it to something (a 'control set' with a sufficiently large 'sample size' to make the comparison meaningful). Why is a goal every other game a good ratio? Why not 2 in 3? It is because we know that is what other top strikers achieve. Likewise, your statement about JM being error prone - my comment would be that (a) Number of errors is a function of the amount a player is involved and the rate of errors - which is causing this or (b) how can you state there is a trend of him worsening. What based on 3 games?
    As a consequence, you are making broad, sweeping generalisations and used 'stats' to SELECTIVELY support you point. 
    Defensive Midfield Role: My argument is based on the same type of 'simplistic' views you have used in previous articles (e.g.  an attacking player is ONLY judged by goals and assists). People in glass houses shouldn't through stones.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Hmmm

    I'm sorry, but your counter points did not apply the same logic as mine at all - You were obsessed with trying to prove me wrong rather than looking at things with in a credible manner.

    Re your latest points:

    PRESS: Totally wroing.  Quotes are fact.  It is possible to omit words to change the meaning of a quote, but that rarely happens.  The quotes from Rafa and Masch's brother are unambiguous, clear and 100% true.  You cannot just discredit these quotes with a one line generalisation about how what the press publishes is not true!

    STATS: Statistics in isolation are meaningless? Are you listening to yourself?!  Stats do not always have to be compared - this is a cop-out, designed by people who unfairly try to didscredit statistics. According to you, the following stats are meaningless:

    * There are 6bn people on the earth - we can't compare this to the populations of other planets so I guess this means nothing, right?

    * Liverpool has won 18 titles and 5 European cups.  Considered in isolation, these figures are completely unimpressive, right? 

    * To use your example:  fernando Torres' goal rate is one every other game.  This stat on its own is massively impressive - we do not need to compare it to someone else in order to validate.  In and of itself, a goal every other game is an inarguably good ratio.

    I'm sorry, your stat argument is not credible at all, and in the real world, this is not how stats are approached.
    DM ROLE: Completely missed the point and misrepresented by view:

    1) At no point was I assessing the overalleffectiveness of JM as a DM.  At no point was I suggesting he was a bad DM.

    2) I have NEVER argued that an attacking player is ONLY judged on goals and assists (your misrepresentation is amazing!) - I have argued that the MAIN THING attackers should be judged on is goals, assists, shots on target, goals per game ration, goals per minute ratio, assists per game/minute ratios and other specifically measurable attacking attributes.

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  109. i totally agree with you. and its not only Masche. we have likes of Lucas, Babel whose form is always luke-warm at his peak. these can bring in around $45m

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  110. I saw stats somewhere that Masch is the best tackler and passer in the premier league. Was that fabricated?

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  111. He is not saying Masch is bad. He is just saying that Masch is done playing for Liverpool and wants to leave. Unless he changes his mind, you'll have an unhappy player who will not play 100%.

    What do you do at this point? You let him go or do you hope he will make up his mind to play with the club for at least one more full year.

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  112. Hard to answer if you don't get more specific about what is this "somewhere"?

    Anyway, "fabbricated" is not your only option. "Inaccurate", "incomplete" and "insignificant" could be among the possible answers.

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  113. OPTA stats for this season so far (i.e 8 games only) show that Masch's passing accuracy is the best in the league.

    Best tackler though?  Nowhere near.  He came in at 35th.  Lucas is way ahead.

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  114. Exactly Ruben.  I don't think he's a bad player - far from it - but if he's unhappy and wants to leave, then let him go.

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  115. LUCAS FOR PRESIDENT , SELL EVERYBODY ELSE

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  116. I am surprised somebody here talks about selling Masch and replacing him with Cana in the middle of every crisis we're having currently. I mean, what exactly would you get from Cana that you don't get from Masch? Goals or more accurate passes? My whole point is, why not talk about a passing-midfielder  than talking negatives about DM who has been doing his job better than most DMs in the EPL? Why not talk about world class striker to pair or substitue Torres?(I assume you've heard the latest injury news about Torres and Gerrard)

    Get rid of Lucas and pair Masch with someone like Alonso. Buy a world class striker to pair or sub Torres.

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  117. Hi Jamie,

    I guess I agree with points brought up some others who said you only look at negative stats. Did you look at how many attacks he broke up? Then you should also have the same stats with the Lorik Cana.
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  118. I have to agree with majority. Masch has made mistakes in big games too, not the CL against Milan mind you, taking him off with 70 mins played was a rafa blunder. If Kaka is worth watchnig for 70 mins , he is worth marking for entire game and second gola cost us the final, noit the first one.

    Lets face it Masch is a specialist defensive player, need only against top teams in PL and CL. Against lower teams and at home we dont need two or even one definsive midfilder as too many drays as we know from last year. The point about apecialist DFM is that in the big games they can never give the ball away as generally when they do it is goal against. Masch has done this a number of times aspecially against Chelsea twice.

    Othere point is that Alonso also did a lot of defensive work and made Mash look better then his is, no coincedence that he is not playing as well this year. Personally i would have driven him to Barsa for 40M and begged alonso to stay, another self inflicted fuck up by rafa. Piss off the player who loved liverpool and argubaly thir best last season and pander to a guy who has his head turned, barsa never even made a bid.

    I dont subscribe to the nonsense that a DFM cant pass, look at Ession, he can defend and pass, recall Souness and later Ronnie Whelan, Ronnie sat deep in front of the back four, but cut teams apart with passing.

    Now if he went next summer, we could take toure instead + loads of cash, buy VDV to strenghten attack. What about forgetting DFM and go for Javi Martinz for about 10M, put rest towards David Villa.

    Now for Stats / maths.

    if we lost more games last year (mainly against bottow teams) but had more wins, ie less draws, then we would most likely be PL champs.

    For EG, lets say a team has 9 draws = 9 points

    would be better to have 5 wins and 4 losses = 15 points

    Masc contributes to the drawrs and not the latter.

    He wants to leave, I say get best amount and reinforce cmf and attcaking midfiled or second striker.

    Now if Mash is so good and he is captain of Argentina, how come they are doing sooooooo bad>>>>>>>

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  119. Fair play... great post

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  120. Your article makes sum valid points, in that if a player wants to go, let him!! However i dont think we need cana as a replacement!! Not because he isn't good enough (i haven't seen enough of him to know) but because we dont need him and have a ready made replacement waiting in Jay Spearing. He's a local lad who will give more than a 100% to wear the shirt, he's young and he's english!! I've also just read that rafa has asked him to learn to play the role mash plays, i guessing so he is ready for next season!! Also i think as good as the gerrard, torres partnership may be i think rafa has to admit he's wrong and until aquillani is fit move gerrard back to midfield and play either yossi or kuyt behind torres!! This will give us the balance in the midfield we have been missing! Lucas and mash both seem to play better with gerrard next to them, so play lucas and mash against the better teams!! P.S. Mash woz the best player against chelski barring his error and if he wants to put himself in the shop window he will improve his performances!!

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  121. I'd buy that for a dollar.

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  122. The main debate orginally was why liverpool dont need mascherao.

    I can see both side to the debate on one hand Mascherano is a top class DM who breaks up the opposition attacks. Me personally I rate him number 1 in the world at what he does.

    On the other hand i think no player is irreplaceable (no one is bigger and better than the club). Attacking he poses no threat, i also think mascherano is always millimetres away from a red card in alot of his tackles this is my main concern.

    IN CONCLUSION I THINK ITS A CASE OF TASTE AND MANAGERIAL TACTICS.

    REASONS WHY WE NEED TO KEEP MACHERANO
    1- bringing someone in to replace him during a season will only disrupt the team more. new player would need time to gel. foreigners may need to adjust to premier league.
    2- im all for the saying "if a player wants to go let him" macherano may or may not want a move away just coz he wanted a move last summer doesnt mean he still wants it, but once the manager make the decision weather to keep or let him go either way he will be a professional and get on with the job.
    3- If we do sell mascherano it will only alert other clubs to inflate the price of any players we are interest knowing what we doing. I think this was a case with alonso i think rafa had other preferences before aqualani but wasnt prepared or wasnt alowed to spend all the money from the alonso sale. Aqualani is still to show his price tag and prove me wrong that the 20m wasnt inflated.
    4- If we was to sell macherano its not guarenteed rafa will get all the money to finance a replacement and to stregthen other areas.
    5-macherano isnt in the team to score or attack or even pass. Rafa got him in the team to alow the full backs (glen johnson in particular) to attack. To break the opposition when they counter. He is number one at his job.
    6-every player is prone to costly mistake gerrards done a few so has carragher along with more or less every other human being. So for the OP to put that has a reason to get rid isnt really valid.
    7- Stats dont lie (tho can be shaped to the advantage of points you wish to make). For example the stats say macherano is the most sucessful passer of the ball though we all know its beacuse the passes are short sideways and back. I admit the stats the OP points out does look bad.
    8- To much a big gamble. To many IFS + BUTS.
    9 - It be more sensible to bring someone in first in January this wood give them time to gel and test to see if they are right for the team.
    in january my oppinion is that you should stregthen team, get rid of dead wood players and not to make major changes. if mascherano goes it should be in summer if at all.

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  123. Aaah ok fair enough Jaimie but im liking that best accuracy stat. He just needs to more alert when coming from deep under pressure and make the easy pass to safety.

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  124. Only if we can spend the money on the squad, unlike the Alonso sale.

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  125. Don't bother feeding this Manc troll.

    Next he'll be saying sell Torres , pocket 50 million and buy Heskey and Carlton Cole.
    He's Hicks and Gillette's grass roots lackey.

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  126. To the person who wrote the story......remember when Makelele said he wants a pay increase, Florentino Perez dismissed him as one who contibutes nothing going forward, always passing horizontally or backwrad. But what happened after he left. Even Zidane claimed he was the midield lynchpin.
    My friend ....dont joke. MASCERANO is MASCHERANO he is not replcable...okay

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  127. Must say that Mascherano has been trying my patience this season. For a long time i have felt that he shouldn't really be involved in home games against weaker opposition because we should have more faith in our attacking players. Against better sides i think his positional sense and ability to break up attacks (and track back if our attacks break down) is second to none. That said he has been woeful this season. His part in Peru's equaliser the other night was risible so it doesn't appear to be confined to Liverpool. I think he is an excellent player but if he isn't doing the business or doesn't want to be here he should be shipped out. 

    I also don't think it is fair to criticise the author on the basis that barcelona want mascherano therefore he must be awesome for us. Unfortunately we don't have xavi; iniesta; messi and co in our team so we can't afford a purely destructive player in the same way they can.

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  128. I remember when people used to knock Hamman.  Everytime he got subbed off we got beat.  Masch is the new Hamman.  If we were to sell Alonso then Masch also then I look forward to the UEFA cup because that is all we would be fit for.

    He is a magnificent player.  The fact the strongest team in Europe (Barca) come looking for him to 'improve' their midfield is a testimony to that.

    Anyone who would not get 100% behind this giant of a player should be dragged in to the street and shot.

    I bet your all arm chairs anyway.

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  129. HI J

    I do think that there is plenty of life in our side if we do lose Masch in the future ...

    But i still maintain that with the LACK of pace in 3 of our current back 4 , Cara,Skr and Ins/Fabio ...We need his work rate and huge defensive influence to be competitive against the stronger teams...right now

    Cana has been very impressive , but playing for Sunderland vs Playing for LFC are 2 very different things , he is to much of an unknown to suddenly think Stats alone will prove he can fill Masch's shoes @ LFC

    Now players like Lassana Diarra , Mamadou Diarra , Sully Muntari , Flamini ,Felipe Melo ,Marcos Senna ,Ramires (Cruzeiro) , Palacios , Mark Noble, Moutiniho , Yaya Toure ...are streets ahead of Cana.

    Personally i feel that Players we missed out on when letting Xabi go , are Deigo Rebus that went to Juve from Bremen and Melo that left Fiorentina ....

    That's besides the point , so yes to Masch leaving , but not till we have Agger back up to full fitness consistently and have TOP replacement lined up.

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  130. I agree Red. Jaimie this is the second poor posting in 2 days. No balance to the arguement and clear manipulation of stats. Someone pointed out an equally silly statistic that over the last two years when Gerrard has been injured we have a better record than when he plays. Let's sell him while we're at it. He did, afterall, once express a desire to leave us and join Chelsea! 

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  131. I'd harldy say we resurrected his career. He was quality before he went to West Ham. For whatever reasons he struggled there. He was always going to play well for whoever went in for him.

    I also disagree that wanting to move is his reason for an alleged dip in form. We're in a world cup year and with Argentina struggling he should be looking to play at his best.

    I do agree that if he wants to move away then let him. We need players who are fully committed to Liverpool and getting number 19. Get the best possible price and spend it on a midfield who can play now.

    On a side note, Kanwar's still quick to throw the baby out with the bath water and enjoys the sound of his own pontificating!

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  132. JK - yes i am trying to prove you wrong. The reason is that I believe your arguments are flawed or rely on statistics in a way that does not provide a CONCLUSIVE outcome.

    When you use stats, you have to have a comparator set. If not, how can you make a conclusion if something is better or worse. The words themselves imply comparison.

    For example - lets go back to some of your points:
    1) Is 25 starts for a defensive midfielder good or bad WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER defensive midfielders in the league? If JM is higher than average, then that would tell me you need more than 1 DM, rathe than a new player. I dont know the answer but, then again, i am not making the assertion.
    2) Prone to errors - what is JM's error rate? How does that compare to other defensive midfielders

    the list goes on.

    Dont accuse me of trying to discredit the use of stats. I am trying to highlight the inappropriate application of the stats as I believe they raise more questions than answer them.

    As for representation on attacking midfielders, your article on Yossi (14 sept) was based on 2 stats alone.

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  133. To be fair to Jaimie, he does post article from other writers whose views differ from his. I think he just has very strong opinions regarding the articles he writes, and persuading him otherwise is near impossible
    :)

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  134. I rate Javier highly, but like Xabi, if his heart is no longer with the club then good riddance.

    Inler would be a fantstic aquisition and do just as good a job I believe, with a little more attacking prowess to boot

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  135. i've got a good stat for you jaimie. mascherano passing seems to be looking up this season, and her's some concrete evidence for you before you shoot me down:

    <h1 class="main-headline">Premier League stats</h1>
    <h3>Opta look at the league's best and worst.</h3>
    <table class="arttable" border="0">
    <tbody>
    <tr>
    <td>Passers</td>
    <td align="center">Team</td>
    <td align="center">Passes</td>
    <td align="center">Accuracy</td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td>Mascherano</td>
    <td align="center">Liverpool</td>
    <td align="center">542</td>
    <td align="center">87%</td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td>Essien</td>
    <td align="center">Chelsea</td>
    <td align="center">466</td>
    <td align="center">87%</td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td>Ferguson</td>
    <td align="center">Birmingham</td>
    <td align="center">443</td>
    <td align="center">85%</td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td>Carragher</td>
    <td align="center">Liverpool</td>
    <td align="center">428</td>
    <td align="center">86%</td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td>Huddlestone</td>
    <td align="center">Tottenham</td>
    <td align="center">426</td>
    <td align="center">77%</td>
    </tr>
    </tbody>
    </table>


    this was taken from the skysports website.

    ReplyDelete
  136. jaimie seeing as you didnt reply to my previous post i went hunting and found some stats that completely disprove your point about masch.

    <h1 class="main-headline">Premier League stats</h1>
    <h3>Opta look at the league's best and worst.</h3>
    <table class="arttable" style="height: 106px;" border="0" width="302">
    <tbody>
    <tr>
    <td>Passers</td>
    <td align="center">Team</td>
    <td align="center">Passes</td>
    <td align="center">Accuracy</td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td>Mascherano</td>
    <td align="center">Liverpool</td>
    <td align="center">542</td>
    <td align="center">87%</td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td>Essien</td>
    <td align="center">Chelsea</td>
    <td align="center">466</td>
    <td align="center">87%</td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td>Ferguson</td>
    <td align="center">Birmingham</td>
    <td align="center">443</td>
    <td align="center">85%</td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td>Carragher</td>
    <td align="center">Liverpool</td>
    <td align="center">428</td>
    <td align="center">86%</td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td>Huddlestone</td>
    <td align="center">Tottenham</td>
    <td align="center">426</td>
    <td align="center">

    77%
    </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center">


    </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"> </td>
    <td align="center"></td>
    <td align="center"></td>
    </tr>
    </tbody>
    </table>

    ReplyDelete
  137. jaimie seeing as you didnt reply to my previous post i went hunting and found some stats that completely disprove your point about masch.
     mashcerano      542 passses      87% success
     essien               466                 87%
     ferguson           433                  85%
     carragher         428                   86%
     huddlestone      426                  77%

    this was taken from the skysports website, so your argument that masch cannot pass is completely flawed.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Masch is having a dip in form and it's easy to attack him right now. The fact is he is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world and is fantastic at what he does. He needs some more quality around him, that's what the problem is. One can spout statistics, and manipulate them to prove any point. The real facts are what you see on the pitch, and I can see thatw e are suffering witht he likes of Lucas in the centre being made to play the Alonso role, and with us looking ineffective on the wings as we don't have someone like Alonso spraying quality balls around to them.

    No, we need to keep Masch ... I actually think Lucas is an able deput for him, but we must NOT play Lucas and Masch together, it just doesn't work.

    Interestingly, whilst Alonso is a very good player I did think that he was too defensive minded at times and simply did not give us enough goals. I have high hopes for Aquilani - he is more attacking minded, scores goals and can pass. If he can stay fit, in theory I think Masch and Aquilani could be a mind blowing partnership.

    But please, none of this knee jerk claptrap ... replace Masch with Cana, give me a break!!

    ReplyDelete
  139. madrid are world class and they took Julian Faubert of west ham on loan last year, does this mean he is world class,

    ReplyDelete
  140. you cannot manipulate statistics they are the basis of fact.

    ReplyDelete
  141. I would only sell Masch for £20 mil and get either M.Diarra or £10mil plus Yaya Toure and Keita/Bojan/Pedro.

    Basically I love Monster masch, but clearly his heart isn't in it this season. Stats tells you a story, but not the whole story. Someone like Masch it's his presecence that tells most of the story. The way he tenaciously closes down an opponent or his expertly taken bone crunching tackles (there's no stats for that). It's the manner of how he goes about his business on the pitch, bullying other Midfileders. He changes the mindset of the team and the opponents. He's like a pitbull waiting in the dark, that scares thye hell out of you. He reminds me of Gattuso but with more abilty. face it without him, we have Lucas.

    I think that he his really important to our side, but is not irreplaceable. We could get Yaya, M. Diarra or Keita and still have change to add to our Silva or Mata fund.

    Altough Cana is a decent player, we should be aiming higher and players that have served Real and Barca well like Diara, Keita or Yaya have a greater calibre and look much the better bet.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Just like it's not always about the amount of passes, but how key they are, It's not always about how many tackles but the manner of the tackle. Getting done over (legally) makes a player think twice. Also the possesion of where the tackle was made is very important and at what stage of the game.

    ReplyDelete
  143. hi jamie got some stats for you. this is from soccernet since
    you have used it a couple of times is a valid source. this are masailles+sunderland and
    lorik canas stats since january 2007 around the same time we got mascherano.
    in every game lorik cana has played in the teams have got this result(maseille+sunderland)

    lorickcana
    played 112
    won 55
    draw 29
    los 29
    goals 5
    assists 6
    yellow cards 31
    red cards 1

    so compared to mascheranos stats in each gamethat cana has played in the team has won
    less games and drawn and lost more games(58 in total) compared to masch,s 41.
    the only place he is better is that he has 5 goals only 4 more than masch and 2 more assists
    than him. so he is not that superior goig foward.
    i als added the yello/red cards assuming they are all from fouls, he is prone to get alot of bookings
    compared to masch (21 yellow cards and 1 red) thus he may not be that good at tackles
    (already has 3 yellows for sunderland) so
    saying that i see no reason to get cana over mascherano who because of unknown reasons
    people think he does not pass foward or get foward. Ask yourself this how come
    pep guadiola wanted to sign masch while he still has yaya toure who is a more "foward thinking"
    DM than masch if masch is not as good as we make him to be? and what happened to flamini? i thought
    he was one of the players we should have signed as you told us over the summer or are
    you not singing his praises because both he and milan are performing poorly?

    ReplyDelete
  144. Sell Masch. Yh hes worth alot but wen u r captain of argentina u earn dat right. he runs non stop.and your crappy stats show ur full of it. hes is cdm. wat part of dat position shows he shud be scoring goals. thats like criticising carra for not breaking dwn defenses. also u want alonso replacement we gt betta. masch can knock ball 50-70 yards and aquilani will attack. 1 cm attack 1 cdm defend. and wen playing week in week out i dont no any1 mo consistent than him. luk at our start this season.we lost to fiorentina widout him cos no1 was holding the ball in midfield.U c y we need him.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Forget all this stat rubbish. There is no point keeping a player who doesn't want to stay. Get rid if that is what he wants and reinvest. I would suggest a decent striker. Carlton Cole perhaps?

    ReplyDelete
  146. One thing I will agree with Jamie on is that Cana is a very good player.  However, he is NOT a defensive midfield player and definitely not in Mascha's class in that department.  He is a very smooth passer and he is a sitter.  The French league has one in nearly every team.  They rarely leave the central third of the pitch.  Cana does not run around, snarling and pressurising the opposition like Javier.  The rest of the original post is usual Jamie pap.  He likes to come out with something controversial.  I will ask this;  how do we know that Mascha is unhappy?  How many draws have we had this season?  How many teams in the world would he not get in to?  My answers:  We don't.  None.  None.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Jamie, you refuse to listen to simple reason. Don't ask me to expand, explain or post statistics, because specifics lead the point astray. If there was no Masche last season our spine would not have been so formiddable, and I shudder to think what would have become of the games Jamie Carragher was playing out wide on the right. 99% of the time theory and practise don't see eye to eye. Any real Liverpool supporter knows that Masch should be one of the first names on the team sheet after Torres, Stevie and Pepe, and no i don't have stats to prove this. =-X  

    I suppose you've forgotten the Tottenham game that ended last season? But you seem like the guy who only cares about the Tottenham result this season because it entitles you to a rant.

    I dare you to edit or delete this post because you know I'm right. 

    ReplyDelete
  148. I ony edit out insults from posts, and I only delete entire posts that do nothing but slag off the site/authors.  Why would I edit/delete your post?  You're entitled to your view.

    ReplyDelete
  149. i completly agree with lfc4life well done because that is fact and i would like to see jamie reply to the football comment of that not the deleting his comment part because lfc4life is completly right with everything he said

    ReplyDelete
  150. personally i feel that your being a quite harsh on javier as i completly disagree with the amount of content u spent completly and unessesscarily slagging him off because i dont really think he deserves it as much as you do

    ReplyDelete
  151. lfc4life has just made generalisations.  He states:


    If there was no Masche last season our spine would not have been so formiddable. Any real Liverpool supporter knows that Masch should be one of the first names on the team sheet after Torres, Stevie and Pepe.

    Your reaction to his post is typical of modern fans - all too willing to embrace empty generalisations but when faced with cold hard facts, they don't want to know.

    So - WHY wouldn't our spine have been as formidable without masch last season?  Explain.

    Any real Liverpool supporter knows that Masch should be the one of the first names on the teamsheet. Nonsesne.  Again, explain why.

    Just making empty assertions and using the cop-out 'I don't have to provide reasons' is just not going to cut it.

    ReplyDelete
  152. How have I 'slagged him off'? 

    Please provide examples of where I did this.

    ReplyDelete
  153. if you read what i first said on page 2 then there is all my reasononing there are my cold hard facts and what is this thing about modern fans you seem to keep going on about because at the moment i feel it is just a stereotype your using to single out the peopl who are defending javier as they should be doing not crucifying him like you are

    ReplyDelete
  154. I agree, sell the jumped up little bugger. We resurrected his flagging career and for that we deserve a bit of loyalty. I used to love masch but he's gone right down in my estimation since he started giving barca fleeting glances in the summer. Why keep a player who clearly doesn't want to be there? it must be detrimental to the team as a whole surely? promote Spearing! 

    ReplyDelete
  155. 10 REASONS WHY WE NEED HIM
    1>LUCAS LEVIA
    2>LUCAS LEVIA
    3>LUCAS LEVIA
    4>LUCAS LEVIA
    5>LUCAS LEVIA
    6>LUCAS LEVIA
    7>LUCAS LEVIA
    8>LUCAS LEVIA
    9>LUCAS LEVIA
    10>Cause maybe Lucas Levia is shite

    ReplyDelete
  156. First of all, Masche is ONE of the best DM in the game, not necessarily THE best, but to say we must sell him and buy someone else is ludacris... Unless, of course we have anothe Xabi Alonso case, where the player wants to leave, then in my opinione, yes let him go, but for a decent price. then get in a cheaper, yet quality DM. like we did with the Alonso-Aquilani situation. I also see some player names mentioned and would like to add to that list... How about Palacios from Spurs? or Veloso from Lisbon? or even Gago from Real Madrid? the latter two would then obviously need some time to settle... BTW this is my first time on this site, it looks interesting and will definitely not be my last time... keep it up, YNWA

    ReplyDelete
  157. I think Mascherano did alright last year but when you look at the improvements we need, he no longer seems to fit.  Last year Alonso and him played well together and that helped make up for the fact that neither of them scored many goals.  Now that Alonso is gone and we are playing Lucas who has a similar style to him, we no longer need him.  He wanted to leave so let him leave.  I won't remember him for the crap goal he got against Everton, which wasn't even credited to him, I'll remember him for the stupid red cards he got.  At Old Trafford 2 years ago he got a double yellow before half time because he wouldn't shut his mouth.  Only down 1-0 at the time, we still had a chance to get back in the game.  Again, we play at Anfield earlier this season and we get the upper-hand. Up 1-0 and Vidic is sent off.  Masch decides to go into a tackle on van der Sar 10 minutes late and gets sent off again.  I don't think it was the best idea to redo our defense, who is not struggling, to become more offensive and avoid the draws.  We replace Masch with an attack-minded midfielder and we could be looking at a different season.

    ReplyDelete
  158. <span>I think Mascherano did alright last year but when you look at the improvements we need, he no longer seems to fit.  Last year Alonso and him played well together and that helped make up for the fact that neither of them scored many goals.  Now that Alonso is gone and we are playing Lucas who has a similar style to him, we no longer need him.  He wanted to leave so let him leave.  I won't remember him for the crap goal he got against Everton, which wasn't even credited to him, I'll remember him for the stupid red cards he got.  At Old Trafford 2 years ago he got a double yellow before half time because he wouldn't shut his mouth.  Only down 1-0 at the time, we still had a chance to get back in the game.  Again, we play at Anfield earlier this season and we get the upper-hand. Up 1-0 and Vidic is sent off.  Masch decides to go into a tackle on van der Sar 10 minutes late and gets sent off again.  I don't think it was the best idea to redo our defense, who is now struggling, to become more offensive and avoid the draws.  We replace Masch with an attack-minded midfielder and we could be looking at a different season</span>

    ReplyDelete
  159. audie in leicester8:06 pm, May 03, 2010

    mascharano is the best tackler in prem he is also the best passer 83% for both tackling and passing his clearly the best anckor man in world football ARGENTINA RATE HIM HIGHLY well add barsalona and real madrid to that list and chelsea and man city

    the guys the best 5 in the game on the planet and your clearly anti argy

    ReplyDelete