Well, another weekend is ended meaning that another set of Premier League matches is completed leaving us to wait for the next weekend. The unfortunate thing is having to wait till the 20th due to yet another international break coming up.
I want to know what you took away from this weekend in the Premier League. What surprised you the most? I had expected Liverpool to get a win this weekend over Stoke. I know that Stoke is a hard team to play against and they seemed to play very physical, but it did not appear that Liverpool pushed them enough. My feeling is that their passing and possession style of play kept them from being able to break down the Stoke defense. Their win last week was against a poor Norwich side and, while they dominated play against Manchester United, they still lacked the ability to get the goals they needed.
Against Stoke they had 63% of the possession and took 18 shots with only 2 on goal. You could compare this to Tottenham, winners today, who took 22 shots with 6 on target, 10 off target and 6 blocked. They had 55% possession during the match. Additionally Liverpool had 524 passes with an 81% completion rate compared to Tottenham’s 449 passes and 87% completion. I’m comparing the two mostly because Tottenham came out winners today while Liverpool drew at home, which is pretty much a loss for most fans. Tottenham did much more with the ball when they had it compared to Liverpool who were just not effective.
I know it might look like I’m picking on Liverpool, but they are a team with high expectations that has been underachieving all season. I don’t think Brendan Rodgers will be going anywhere this season and he will be given time to get the team settled. Also, I don’t think they will be relegated, but I don’t see them making it into the top 10 either. Rodgers is attempting to bring in a system of play that is very different from what most of these players are used to. In the past they have been much more accustomed to Steven Gerrard leading them forward, playing passes around the field and pushing himself forward. They are no longer the sort of team that will spray crosses down field the way he used to, and I don’t think he is that type of player anymore anyway.
They will adapt eventually, but how soon is the big question for them right now.
What were your highlights for the weekend? What were the big surprises?