3 Feb 2012

Revealed: The 10 Liverpool players who give the ball away the most...

As a team, Liverpool's passing accuracy in the Premier League so far this season is 81%, which is fairly good, but it means means that 19% of passes are being misplaced in every league game. Who are biggest culprits when it comes to giving the ball away?

Before you read any further, try and guess who are the worst offenders.

I'm sure - like me - you'll come up with the usual suspects, but you may be surprised by the actual results below.

Liverpool FC: Misplaced Passes Comparison



* Daniel Agger aside, Liverpool's defenders give the ball away alot, with five of the top 10 spots taken up by the back-line.

* If you add on Lucas Leiva, that makes six defensive players in the top 10.

* There appears to be an (obvious) correlation between total passes and misplaced passes. The more passes completed, the more possibility of giving the ball away. However, this is not replicated across the whole table: Gerrard, Kelly and Carra all have low total passes, but they're in the top 10 for giving the ball away.

* Surprisingly, Luis Suarez gives the ball away more often per game than Andy Carroll, but overall, Carroll's passing accuracy is worse.

* With only 1.8 misplaced passes per game, Maxi's ball retention skills and ability to find a man with a pass are unsurpassed in the Liverpool team.

* Charlie Adam and Jose Enrique clearly need to tighten up their passing accuracy.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. It's needs another column.... % misplaced

  2. Poor statistical presentation.

    Results are therefore misleading.

    Anlaysis is meaningless.

    Go figure genius. 

  3. A lot of them can be explained, Enrique does try to cross the ball from the left as does Johnson from the right, when you're crossing a ball into an area where there can be 4 defenders against 2 attackers you are more than likely to give the ball away.

    Adam attempts a lot of Hollywood cross field passes/defence splitters, if a few of them come off in every game then that is good enough for me.

    Henderson tends to keep it simple, quick and short hence a low total, especially when you consider how many passes he makes... not a negative point... Xavi and Iniesta keep it simple and short and no one complains.

    Lucas is a surprise... however he has tried to be a lot more expansive in his passing the last 18 months or so... and his tackle success etc more than makes up for it

  4. Don't think these stats mean anything much. as, sometimes, defenders have to hoof the ball away under intense pressure, creative players try to play defense splitting balls that don't always come off.

  5. Seems to suggest to me that our most attacking players are our full backs. Says a lot about our midfield and the lack of creativity and movement.

  6. Meaningless stats in many respects, full backs who play deep crosses and more creative players will always have more misplaced passes than those that play it safe. If you were comparing full backed in other teams, comparing players who play in the same position then it becomes better quality or if you factor in key contributions then it becomes interesting.

  7. I would have to agree with some of the above comments. If you sort the table according to % misplaced then I think you can see where the most concern should be directed. Carroll has the worst % but isn't in your top 10. Nice to see Jay's contribution though. I'd like to know what the % rates are for the other young players.


  9. I think, for me, from watching games Charlie Adam is reckless with his passing. Yes, he tries hollywood/killer balls but I am referring to the simple/ticking-over possession passes that he screws up a fair bit. You simply can not afford to be so wasteful in central midfield. His possession stats against Bolton were shocking and most of it didn't come from trying hollywood/killer passes, though he wasn't helped by his team mates in that regard.
    The Swansea central midfielders are really good and tidy with the ball, as well as help the team play good football. They recycle possession, that is the key thing. Their possession stats in the middle is brilliant and is something Charlie could learn from.

    Probably one of the reasons why I am not keen on Stevie G in a central midfield duo anymore. Like Adam, he can be reckless and naive with the art of tidy but probing orchestration in the middle in terms of tempo, despite his useful hollywood/killer passes. 

  10. Where's Downing? He must be near the top!

  11. Lies, lies
    and statistics.

    Not sure
    what the problem is with Lucas according to the stats above he gives the ball
    away 14.3% of the time which puts him in the lowest quarter.

    Anyone not
    completing 20% of their passes really needs to stay behind and practice but I
    think we should not include crosses in this statistic.

    If I
    remember Liverpool philosophy we pass and then move to be open to receive the
    ball again. Surely we can do that more frequently than the stats above suggest?


  12. As they say: statistics, damn statistics and lies. To me all it proves is that Enrique is one of the hardest workers on the field. 

  13. I think the term is lies, damn lies and statistics

    The stats are perplexing really, but maybe hold more value when players from the same general positions are compared to one another

    I wonder what a defensive clearence under pressure is called?  Surely couldn't be a pass?

    What if defender gets lucky with said clearence and it goes to a team mate, is it then a pass??

  14. I always knew Charlie Adam would be among top3 of this list, apart from his long range passing, he is useless in the middle. I am hoping he doesn't start against Spurs.

  15. Enrique,Adam,Suarez and Johnson are the 4 players who have tried to be creative this season and have been the ones carrying us forward could be worth adding amount of ground covered by players in a game, when the defence play it out of defence I rarely see a missed placed pass especially by Enrique .