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Monday Miscellany

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aqua
It's a good thing we were so overstaffed,
otherwise I might be upset.

I've moaned about Roy enough for the next few hours at least, so here's a miscellany of interesting Liverpool tidbits from around the intertubes to help keep you company in the meantime.

* As planned, John Henry met with Liverpool supporter groups today, including Spirit of Shankly. The BBC caught up with him afterwards and got a few interesting lines from our new owner about them being "Here to listen and learn from them," and that the "Biggest issue was disenfranchisement." More promising noises, at the very least.

* Meanwhile, Paul Tomkins wraps up his series on the current on-pitch crisis at Liverpool by looking into the concept of cost per point, a way of looking at success or failure relative to the average cost of the starting 11 the manager runs out for each game in the Premier League. You may be shocked to hear that Hodgson is really underpreforming:

The problem comes when you see the team with the 4th-costliest £XI so far this season: Liverpool, £80m. And then you look at the league table. Something, clearly, is horribly wrong.

While it’s relatively early days, the Reds are ‘on course’ for just 28.5 points this season.

Now, an £XI of £80m is not that high. But to be averaging less than a point per game for such a team value – even at this stage – is appalling. It’s almost without parallel.

He also brings up the specter of Hodgson's failure at Blackburn--the last time he managed a team near the top of the league as far as player spending goes--to help scare you before Halloween:

If Hodgson had kept his points-per-game rate up, Blackburn would have ended with 24 points, not 35. Kidd arrested the nosedive, but it was too late.

So, 24 points.

Not too dissimilar from what Liverpool are on course for (28.5).

So, with an £XI that cost £68m, guess what Roy’s cost per point was during his 14 games?

£2.83m.

Liverpool’s this season?

£2.84m.

It's a long read, but very much a worthwhile read, so if you haven't stopped by over there yet you really should.

* On the tactics front, Nate takes some time to dig into Liverpool's failures crossing the ball so far this season, and gives plenty of food for thought, even if it all seems to be more ammo with which to string up our current manager for his tactical ineptitude:

Benitez's system at least compensated for that [the lack of a traditional target man], with Gerrard in support of Torres and players like Kuyt and Benayoun cutting in as "attacking midfielders" rather than wide-men. Johnson and Insua were the ones who created width and provided crosses, and it was reflected in their assist totals – last season, Insua had six and Johnson had five in all competitions; only Gerrard, Benayoun, and Aquilani (also shipped out) registered more. But, like with the deep backline and man-marking, the way Hodgson's set out his side just doesn't play to its talents.

* And Aquilani's still technically a Liverpool player, right? So at least one player on the club's books looked impressive over the weekend--I just don't know how on earth Juventus is managing to find minutes for him when a nineteenth-place Liverpool would have been too overstaffed to get him any playing time. Of course, I'm under no belief he would be doing the same were he still in England--he wouldn't look any better with our current tactics than any of the attacking players currently at our disposal--so perhaps the only silver lining is that we have one less dirty foreigner for the media muppets to blame before they belatedly settle on what we all know is the real problem. Enjoy the video, and try to enjoy the rest of your morning/evening/lunch/ drunken insomnia wherever you may be.