Tag - Liverpool

Chicks Don’t Dig The Long Balls Per Match

Tika-taka football is all the rage today and unlike their fellow professional athletes in baseball where chicks do dig the long ball in footballing circles chicks definitely do not dig the long ball. These hoof it and hope tactics are so unliked by some they have been describes as “19th Century football”. Sam Allardyce and other football managers throughout the football league disagree with the esteemed Jose Mourinho and the long ball does have a place in the game. With that in mind, here are the top three players in accurate long balls per match in the Premier League this season so far according to our friends over at WhoScored.com:

3. Gareth Barry, Everton, 6.7

The defensive midfielder on loan from Manchester City has started 24 league matches for Everton. He is a no frills player who is an accurate passer as seen by his 86% pass completion rate. He enjoys a long ball and the target of those passes is often the on loan Chelsea striker Roman Lukaku who is strong and athletic averaging three aerial duels won per match.

2. Steven Gerrard, Liverpool, 6.9

Brendan Rodgers has Liverpool playing some very pleasing football and Steven Gerrard is the deepest central midfielder in their 4-3-3. The target of his long balls are Sterling and Coutinho out on the wings who are then able to feed the ball to the scoring duo of Sturridge and Suarez. Showing that even in a short passing system based on ball retention a long ball mixed in every now and then is needed to keep the opponents back-line on their toes.

1. Phil Jagielka, Everton, 8.5 

Jagielka joins his teammate Barry on this list. Jagielka has excelled as a defender this season but can also distribute the ball effectively with both short and long passing. He averages 53.2 passes per match with 8.5 of them being accurate long balls which is about 16% of his total passes.

There should be very little surprise that the top three players on this list are English. It is very interesting though to see that two Everton players are part of this group. New Everton manager Roberto Martinez has been lauded for bringing his attack minded style of football to Goodison Park from Wigan. Yet, Everton do not play out of the back as much as one would think.

In terms of long passes per match but they actually rank third with 70 per match which is actually the same ranking and six more long balls per match than they averaged last season under David Moyes. As mentioned above Roman Lukaku being a target man type of striker who is good at holding up the ball has a lot to do with that but one could argue that perhaps the media narrative (Martinez plays short passing attacking football) gets in the way of the actual truth seen in the statistics. To illustrate this point further guess what club is number one in long balls per match? That’s right, pat yourself on the back if you came up with West Ham free-flowing Southampton who average 70 long balls per match.

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Episode 39: Red Card Madness

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Just when you think you have everything figured out and know how things will look at the end of this Premier League season, everything gets turned on its head as a series of unthinkable events happen (including some red card madness). That very long sentence is how the Premier League can be described this weekend and the Two Daft Yanks Podcast rides back into action to break it all down. On this week’s episode:

– Not Ray Hudson stops by.

-10 man Manchester City win comfortably at Hull.

– Chelsea with a red card double salvo lose at Villa Park.

– This week in daftness featuring Warren Barton.

– Liverpool go to Old Trafford and win just like everyone else.

-North London Derby analysis.

Listen to or download the podcast below, or listen on your mobile device via Stitcher, TuneIn or iTunes.

Two Daft Yanks Episode 39

 

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Episode 35: What’s My Age Again?

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The FA Cup sprung back to action with Manchester City and Arsenal both having a redemption day from league losses in the past few weeks. The Two Daft Yanks podcast is here to lead you through the FA Cup action plus much more. On this week’s episode:

– FA Cup 5th round results and analysis

– FA Cup 6th round draw

– Financial Fair Play regulations come into focus with new guidelines and interpretations

– Lazio youth player controversy

– Julian Green to pledge services to USMNT?

Listen to the podcast below, subscribe to the TDY feed on your favorite pod catcher or download on your mobile device via Stitcher or iTunes.

Two Daft Yanks Episode 35

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Episode 34: My Little Pony

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The Two Daft Yanks are back and focusing on what they love the most the English Premier League after getting sidetracked by lesser endeavors the past few weeks. It was another action packed weekend and we have just a few days of rest until the next round of league games on Tuesday. Mental toughness and testicular fortitude go a long way in getting a club through this time of the year. On this week’s episode:

– Liverpool trounce Arsenal in a laugher.

– Chelsea are the kings of mind games and horse races.

-Manchester City hits another road bump.

-South Wales Derby is a Rout-ledge.

-More Man U schadenfreude.

-Budweiser refuses to pour the FA another Cup.

And much more!

Listen to the podcast below, subscribe to the TDY feed or download on your mobile device via Stitcher or iTunes.

Two Daft Yanks Episode 34

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Episode 24: European Vacation

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It’s international break time but the Two Daft Yanks do not know the definition of the word break. They work their soccer brains 365 days a year so sit back relax and soak up the footy talk. On this week’s episode:

-International break media and supporter oxygen deprivation.

-The Cosmos admire somebody!

– A snapshot and breakdown of how things stand in England, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain at the last international break of 2013.

-Preview of next week (USMNT year in review!)

Listen to or download the podcast below:

TDY_Episode_24

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