A look at the club's 2011/12 season so far, in statistical form.
Much has been talked about this season with Liverpool football club. From Kenny's first full season after his hero's return, to the money spent and received for players in the transfer market, there has been a lot of discussion held surrounding the Merseyside outfit. Liverpool have played 15 games this campaign, and average 54% of the ball when they play. They have scored 18 goals from 203 shots, and conceded 13. The Anfield side have scored 1/3 penalties awarded to them, and conceded one against Stoke which cost them their first defeat of the season in September. They have had 22 yellow cards and 3 red cards from 167 fouls given away. Here's the rest of the facts, the whole facts, and nothing but the facts:
13 - Liverpool have conceded thirteen goals this season so far, at a rate of 0.87 goals against per game, the lowest amount in the league. This statistic would be even more clinical had Tottenham not scored four past Pepe Reina at White Hart Lane in September, when the Reds were down to nine men following red cards to Charlie Adam and Martin Skrtel.
5 - They have kept five clean sheets in the fifteen games played, a third of their matches. This included a strong defensive display at The Emirates against Arsenal, in a game they won 2-0. They kept these clean sheets thanks to 300 tackles at a 74% tackle success rate, 323 clearances, and 51 blocks. These defensive duties have been carried out by seven defenders, most noteably Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique, and Glen Johnson.
3 - The number that Jose Enrique wears on his Liverpool jersey. The left-back who joined the club for £6 million pounds in the summer from Newcastle has made 28 tackles at a success rate of 85.7%. He has also made 19 clearances and 2 blocks, contributing the most to Liverpool's defence this season. You can also credit 40% of aerial duels won by the full-back, and 16 interceptions. As individual displays go, Enrique has been pivotal to Liverpool's strength at the back, and has been a crucial addition to Dalglish's side.
17 - Tackles made by Martin Skrtel. Incredibly, Skrtel has won 94.1% of the challenges he's gone in for this season, and has been a rock at the back for Liverpool. Since Jamie Carragher's injury in September, Skrtel has stamped his authority on the side and has made himself the lead defender in the squad. In an interview recently, Skrtel also admitted that Carragher playing alongside him for the past few seasons has really helped his game and his will to succeed at Anfield has been heightened by Carragher's influence.
90 - The percentage of aerial duels won by Glen Johnson. Johnson has been the most dominant player at the club when the ball is in midair, and has also made 13 interceptions on the ground and 60% of his tackles have been won successfully, so he's not just a trick pony. Johnson will be remembered mostly for his wonderful solo goal at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea which stole the victory for Liverpool that evening, but defensively he has been back to his best since his return from injury, and is keeping the young prospect of Martin Kelly on the bench because of his performances.
33 - Interceptions made by Lucas Leiva. Arguably Liverpool's best player so far this season, and after damaging knee ligaments in the Carling Cup quarter-final against Chelsea, ruling him out for the season, King Kenny knows it is a massive blow for the chances of success at Anfield come May 2012. Lucas has won 63.4% of his duels in the heart of Liverpool's midfield, and has won 76.5% of his 68 tackles made, this highest at the club by a margin. He has passed the ball 687 times, at an accuracy of 85.6%, which averages at an astonishing 57.3 passes per game.
26 - Charlie Adam's age, and shirt number for Liverpool. Signing for around £8 million in the summer, Adam has settled down instantly at Anfield and says it's a dream come true for him to be playing for the most historical club in English football. The midfielder has played 1265 minutes this season, second only to Jose Enrique for outfield players. He has won 71.4% of his aerial duels, which has been key to breaking up the play in the centre of the park, with Lucas being there to pick up the pieces from Adam's headers in a partnership that had been working superbly well until Lucas suffered his unfortunate injury at the back end of November. As well as that, Adam has made 764 passes, the most passes by any player at Liverpool, and has assisted 32 of Liverpool's shots, being involved in 10 of Liverpool's 18 goals so far this season, and has been a key member of Kenny Dalglish's squad.
74 - Total crosses attempted by Stewart Downing, the highest in the Premier League. Despite having his critics since his big money move to Liverpool from Aston Villa in July, Downing has been an ever-present on the left hand side of Liverpool's midfield, and has never shyed away from the ball, even though he has been struggling in front of goal. Downing has been successful with 3/4 of his tackles so far, which is a big feat for such a slender man, and has been creating chances for Suarez, Carroll, Kuyt and the rest all season long, and will continue to do so I'm sure. With a bit more support from the crowd and the media, I'm convinced Downing will be a success for Liverpool.
100 - The percentage of tackles won by Jay Spearing. Although one of these led to his dismissal in Liverpool's away trip to Fulham, make of that what you will.
4 - Shots on target by Maxi Rodriguez. That doesn't sound an awful lot but when you consider Maxi has only attempted 4 shots, that converts to 100% accuracy of shots and one of those went in when Liverpool faced Chelsea in November in the league, helping the Anfield side to victory against one of their arch rivals. Maxi hasn't had much chance to prove himself this season because of the arrival of Stewart Downing, but when Kenny has given him his chances, Maxi Rodriguez has given his manager a healthy headache, and a decision to make before each and every game due to his performances.
19 - Tackles made by Luis Suarez. After all the controversy surrounding the little Uruguayan this season, with accusations from various members of the footballing world, the media, and fans, it comes as no surprise that Suarez has made the most amount of tackles for a striker in the Premier League. Labelled as so many things, determined is one you can certainly tag onto Luis Suarez, and his passion for his football club is second to none.
87.3 - Pass accuracy of Craig Bellamy. Bellamy is another player that has been known to cause controversy in the world of football, but this season he has really found his form again under the guidance of Kenny Dalglish, who Bellamy states is an honour to work for. Bellamy has also scored 1/2 of his shots on target, which came in the 1-1 home draw to Norwich earlier in the season.
363 - Minutes per goal for Andy Carroll. A lot of people put heavy pressure on Andy Carroll after his big, big money move to Liverpool in January from Newcastle for £35 million. But I do believe that fee only occurred due to the sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea, and Carroll's price tag is only relative to the £50 million received for Torres. However, I cant defend Carroll with respect to his goals per game ratio. He hasn't been prolific for Liverpool since joining the club, but he's a young man with time on his side, and hasn't been given the game time he would have liked because of a knee injury he has last season. Kenny has preserved him well and I still do truly believe Andy Carroll will prove to be a brilliant signing for Liverpool football club and will respond with goals soon.
59 - Shots by Luis Suarez. Incredibly, Suarez has only converted 5 of those shots with a rate of 8.5% shots to goals. He makes brilliant runs, superb with the ball at his feet, and can split defences with one pass. But give him the ball eight yards out, and he seems to just lack the clinical edge that Rush, Fowler, St. John all possessed. There's no doubting that Suarez will be and arguably already is a Liverpool star, but with everything hanging over him from the media and The FA in recent times, it must have affected him in some way. Neil Warnock said Suarez was by a mile the best player on the pitch when QPR travelled to Anfield, and Suarez's winning goal justified that comment. Do not fear Liverpool fans, the goals will come.
15 - Goals scored from inside the box. It seems that Liverpool players are shot-shy, and should be encouraged to shoot more often maybe. We know Adam, Gerrard, Downing, Henderson can all score goals from midfield, and this should be reinforced by Dalglish to get their shots away, even if they don't go in, you can be rewarded with a corner, or a deflection can take it anywhere, as we saw with Adam's shot against Manchester City at Anfield when Jolean Lescott managed to divert it past a sprawling Joe Hart to give Liverpool their equaliser just a minute after City had taken the lead.
So there you have it, from Martin Skrtel's clinical brutal tackles to Andy Carroll's missed opportunities, Liverpool have been statistical champions in many respects this season. None of these stats will mean anything unless Liverpool pick up three points each week. The only stat King Kenny wants is simple: 1 - Liverpool's league position. Will that happen in the near future, only time will tell.