Liverpool: Clear As Day 2013-14 Issue 6
The sixth instalment of Vital Liverpool's latest serialising of editor Gavin John Day's acclaimed Clear As Day football column...
During the course of the past season Vital Liverpool editor Gavin John Day has continued to pen his monthly Clear As Day column for LFC fanzine Anfield Roar.
With the campaign now over we are delighted to be able to share these articles with you and will be publishing the series at regular intervals over the coming weeks.
In this instalment, the sixth Clear As Day of the 2013-14 season, Gavin looks at a number of records and achievements that the Reds had in their sights at the turn of the year.
Clear As Day 2013-14 #6
Originally published: January 2014
I've always found it pretty pointless, in many regards, to compare teams and players from different eras even if it does provide for engrossing conjecture over a cold beer.
The matter is highly subjective and usually requires taking the subject matter out of context from the period in which they operated.
Football has changed so dramatically, even in the past decade or so, with everything from rules and tactics to the quality of pitches and kit evolving significantly over time.
That said, it's still interesting to analyse recent statistics and their historical equivalents and raise a glass when long-standing records are finally broken.
In that regard, the turn of the year always produces a host of facts and stats concerning the preceding 12 months and this January has been no different.
For the first time in a long time, Liverpool faired rather well during 2013 and we actually led the way in categories other than hitting the woodwork!
Our tally of 84 goals scored in 37 Premier league games, at a healthy ratio of 2.27 goals per game, was more than any other top-flight side.
The figure is two more than Manchester City (82), 13 more than Chelsea (71), 14 more than Arsenal (70) and a whopping 16 more than Manchester United (68) managed.
At the time of writing, the Reds are having their most prolific Premier League season in front of goal ever with 53 goals scored in 22 matches.
With 16 fixtures remaining, our current highest final total of 77, notched in 2008-09, is clearly under threat although we'll need to go some to challenge our pre-Premiership top-flight high of 92.
Much of the club's proficiency in front of goal has obviously come via Luis Suarez with many well-placed observers suggesting the Uruguayan is fast becoming the best player to ever pull on the famous red jersey.
Suarez led the way individually in 2013 with 29 strikes, a massive nine ahead of second-placed Romelu Lukaku (20). A feat made all the more remarkable given he played significantly less games than most as a result of the 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.
Consider the fact captain Steven Gerrard remains on penalty duties - he despatched five spot kicks during the calendar year - and the former Ajax man's numbers could have been even more astonishing.
Looking at the current season in isolation, Suarez has 22 goals and is on course, at his current rate, to surpass the existing 38-game Premier League record of 31 which is jointly held by Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08) and Alan Shearer (1995-96).
In fact, should he find the net a further 13 times in the final 16 games, Suarez could actually surpass the overall Premier League record of 34 goals set by both Shearer and Andy Cole when the top-flight still contained 22 teams and therefore four additional fixtures were played.
El Pistolero's 2013-14 numbers even compare favourably to lauded La Liga-based duo Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The 26-year-old has one more league strike than Ronaldo, despite playing two fewer games, and 14 more than Messi.
If the phenomenal South American gets somewhere near the all-time Premier League records it will clearly increase the chances of Liverpool earning a return to the Champions League for a first time since 2009-10.
Talk of a first title since 1989-90 has understandably rescinded in recent weeks following defeats to Man City and Chelsea, and the dropped points at home to Aston Villa last weekend, but the Reds are still in a great position.
Out of the current top eight, Liverpool must travel only to David Moyes' stuttering United whereas the other six leading sides - Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United - all still need to visit Anfield before the season is done.
Winning these proverbial 'six pointers' is going to play a key role in determining the final standings and consequently Tuesday's Merseyside Derby against Everton becomes an even bigger encounter than usual with more than just local bragging rights potentially up for grabs.
It should be a cracking game and we will need to improve markedly on the exceedingly poor defensive displays produced against Villa and Stoke City to emerge victorious.
Hopefully the required solidity won't hinder the club or Suarez in their pursuit of record goal hauls in 2013-14.
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Previous articles in this series2013-14Clear As Day Issue 1Clear As Day Issue 2Clear As Day Issue 3Clear As Day Issue 4Clear As Day Issue 52012-13Clear As Day Issue 1Clear As Day Issue 2Clear As Day Issue 3Clear As Day Issue 4Clear As Day Issue 5Clear As Day Issue 6Clear As Day Issue 7Clear As Day Issue 8Clear As Day Issue 9Follow Gavin on Twitter @superbag
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