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Friday, 23 March 2012

Dave Prentice: Liverpool FC’s bread and butter is going stale

IT’S always been Liverpool FC’s bread and butter – but this season it’s gone stale. Carling Cup success and FA Cup progress has deflected attention away from Liverpool’s recent Premier League form – which has been rotten. And the reason why the Reds are currently 17th in the form table – and a disappointing seventh in the real one – are clear. They couldn’t score at The Grafton. The two chances Liverpool FC managed to put away at Loftus Road on Wednesday (and even then their second came at the third attempt) took their tally for the season to 35. That’s 35 goals in 29 matches. Sunderland, Fulham, Norwich, and even Blackburn have all scored more. That’s 35 goals from a team which has forced a staggering 242 corners and has fired 241 shots on target. Liverpool desperately need a penalty box predator, a Darren Bent, a Demba Ba – even a Danny Graham or a Grant Holt – someone who can convert excellent approach play into goals. Only Chelsea have hit more shots off target this season than Liverpool. No side has been caught offside more times. No side has missed more penalty kicks. And only Man City have hit the woodwork more often. Luis Suarez is a scorer of great goals rather than a great goalscorer, while Andy Carroll hasn’t started more than three matches in a row all season. The Cups may be running over, but the Reds have made a pudding of their bread and butter.

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