Stephen Drennan Profile picture
@CraqueStats Co-founder || Freelance writer✍️⚽ || & @EmpireOfTheKop contributor || BabuYagu on RAWK 📩DM for work
TheNormalOne 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 Profile picture ( UNBEARABLE RED ) Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
12 Jul
Klopp actually talked about this on MNF football years back with Carra - if you can find it. He was highlighting our match against Newcastle and how we failed to 'protect the attack'.

Essentially what he was showing was how Coutinho moved over on to the left to receive the ball
up the line from the full back. Henderson moved over onto the flank also deeper than Coutinho to give him an option if he couldn't progress - which he couldn't so passed to Hendo.

At this point we had our left 8 and our 6 both on the left flank. Gini tucked in as the 6.
Hendo tried to pass the ball into sturridge's feet - but we lose the ball. He shouldn't have though because you don't pass into a central underload - if you lose the ball they can just immediately attack right through the middle - which is what happened.
Read 14 tweets
22 Dec 19
“When we were about to go on to the pitch for the biggest game of the year in Madrid, suddenly it was Gini who said, ‘Hang on, boys, let’s all get together here’.

“We formed a tight circle right there in the dressing room and Gini started to talk,” Van Dijk told as quoted here.
“He said all the right things, he really went for it and I could feel I was getting a lump in my throat.

“It was so special what he said – and it was so perfect. Gini is such a warm person.”

Leaders do not need a captains armband. Having the armband will not make Virg any more
of a leader on the pitch than he is right now. When you have mutual respect, a player doesn't need a badge or title for their words to carry weight with their team mates.

When Rafa wanted a message to reach the players - he always went through Mascherano on the pitch. We would
Read 5 tweets
15 Dec 19
I see some Firmino slander from people who only seem to see the game in terms of end product.

Against Salzburg, our entire gameplan was built on the idea that they would outnumber us in midfield unless Firmino dropped right in as a 6 or 8 at times. He wasn't a striker. Go watch
the game again and ask yourself whether what Firmino was doing resembled more a midfielder or a forward.

All Salzburg's danger in the first game stemmed from them overloading us in central areas with their 1-3 midfield and then using it to isolate our full backs.
Klopp countered this by matching them up - look at our own 1-3 in midfield (Henderson - Naby, Bobby, Gini). Again, don't believe me, or the data, go back and watch the game.
Read 20 tweets
10 Dec 19
Note below a list of all Premier League players to have played at full back this season and who average fewer dribbles past per 90 than Aaron Wan Bissaka.

Séamus Coleman
Matt Doherty
Martin Kelly
Kevin Danso
Phil Bardsley
Steven Alzate
Ben Davies
Ben Chilwell
Max Aarons
Javier Manquillo
George Baldock
Arthur Masuaku
Kyle Walker
Yan Valery
Calum Chambers
Matthew Lowton
Christian Fuchs
Nacho Monreal
Jan Vertonghen
Jamal Lewis
Charlie Daniels
Joel Ward
César Azpilicueta
Jack Stacey
Neil Taylor
Jetro Willems
Solly March
Adama Traoré
Andrew Robertson
Lucas Digne
Sead Kolasinac
Danny Rose
Diego Rico
Patrick van Aanholt
DeAndre Yedlin
Axel Tuanzebe
Joe Gomez
Paul Dummett
Stuart Armstrong

That is 41 full backs in total.

*Data from whoscored, filtered by position played to only include time played at full back
Read 14 tweets
19 Nov 19
I didn't see the game or this passage of play - it could just be that in that moment Arthur weighed up the chances of having a counter attack versus retaining possession.

Quite simply, we want Keita to be the controller in our matches. So under Rafa, this was the role of Xabi.
He was our deep controller. He usually decided the tempo of the game, even decided the point of attack. He stayed outside the attack itself as a passing option to refocus our attack elsewhere, hoover up clearances and support the defence in dealing with long balls forward.
At Barcelona, Xabi was their controller but often did so higher up the pitch - as an 'advanced controller' and this looks a lot more like what we role want Keita to perform.

He isn't dropping in the CB as much to help them move the ball forward, he is providing an option
Read 10 tweets
14 Nov 19
A long list of managers have accused Pep of using tactical fouls to disrupt the flow of the game allowing them to reset in transitions rather than deal with counter attacks.

So reading the below is really interesting. But let's look at it in terms of data.
There are 21 fouls given in an average Premier League game = this game had 15, one of the lowest.

I won't even touch throw-ins. I have literally never heard of a manager moaning about throw-ins before.

But given City have long defended tactical fouls as part of the game
is this now going to flip into being something nefarious in this game which statistically had very few fouls. Are they going to say the few that were given were disruptive of their attacks?

Heard that somewhere before.…
Read 12 tweets
12 Nov 19
My timeline is full of people having a pop at James for this piece.

One thing I would say is, fans tend to put high value on the obvious and highly visible, but a low/null value on things that are subtle and low-visibility.
What I mean by that is, with goalkeepers we tend to jump on the ones who make obvious errors, such as Karius. The reason being it is easy to see, everyone else will see it, you can't be wrong calling it out - it is highly visible and memorable.

It's low hanging fruit analysis.
However, a player probably makes only a few of those big errors per season and they tend to be random, unpredictable & not really linked to anything specific that is a problem.

What coaches look for, are things that are a problem underpinning an aspect of the game - limitations
Read 13 tweets
22 Sep 19
Absolutely no surprises with this XI. I think this is Klopp's 'big game' XI this season replacing Milderson+Gini from this time last year.

I had hoped Ox would get a sneaky start as I think his explosiveness in midfield would cause Jorginho an absolutely nightmare though.
What are your thoughts on this though Reds?

Chelsea XI is also interesting. Gutted Kante is fit for this - he ruined us in the Super Cup. Though think Gini will fare better than Milner did that day. Mount also makes it. Looks like he is reverting from a back 3 to a back 4 also.
Read 85 tweets
16 Apr 19
Basically there are 5 principals of play in football each for defence and attack. The common denominator between both is depth.

To put it in terms relating to Liverpool. In terms of defensive depth, imagine we have a flat midfield. If someone escapes a tackle from Hendo
as the RCM, then they are behind the midfield line and attacking the back 4. However, if you have a 1-2 triangle, Henderson presses and Fabinho is staggered behind to provide 'depth'.
Likewise, if Mane is pressuring their full back on our left, Robertson doesn't follow in and do the same, but sits off to provide that depth. That means one move doesn't take two defenders out of the game, he would have to beat Mane and then Robertson.
Read 17 tweets
12 Jan 19
Centre-backs at the top 6 teams in the premier league:-

- Only includes players who have played 630+ minutes (7 games)
- Size = Minutes Played
- Colour = Team
Redone as it cut Gomez name first time despite being told to always show.

Also just to add, saying someone is better/worse based on a couple of metrics would be wrong. But you absolutely want your CBs as high up & to the right as possible here. Losing duels is never a positive.
You want to look at stuff like how much someone is dribbled past, giving the ball away in their own half, getting caught in possession, mistakes leading to shots as well as team metrics when involved... because you are part of a defensive unit & teamwork + communication are vital
Read 14 tweets
5 Oct 18
@MaddockMirror Hey David, really appreciate the feedback mate.

It's an interesting question. One of the problems is there is no public facing data for pressure itself really out there. The clubs get this data (I believe from TRACAB) but it isn't in the public domain unlike Opta data.
@MaddockMirror Which you can find in lots of sources and drives sites like Squawka, Understat and the likes.

The hack to this is using PPDA - Which is the number of PASSES a team is completing inside their own half of the pitch PER DEFENSIVE ACTION of the opponent.
@MaddockMirror So it works on the assumption that the higher you are pressing, the more you disrupt the passing of the opposition. This isn't always true though - as good sides will still play through a poor press. But the press still occurs. For example Liv v WHA first game of the season.
Read 12 tweets