clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Vote: Who Will Accumulate the Most Goals and Assists?

Talking the most traditional, easily understood statistics in football, and which of Liverpool's leading goal-getters will end the year with the most combined goals and assists across all competitions.

Milly and Adam prove it doesn't take gravitational waves to observe every black hole.
Milly and Adam prove it doesn't take gravitational waves to observe every black hole.
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

It's been getting increasingly warm in our neck of Southern American woods over the past few weeks. On more than one occasion we've been reminded that the oracle of modern weather forecasting--Punxsutawney Phil--didn't see his shadow, and so we're going to have an early Spring.

Or perhaps he saw his shadow? Whichever one ends in warmer weather sooner. And you have to say it's an impressive feat for a marmot to go toe to toe with all of the dopler, super dopler, and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious dopler radars around the world, and come out on top.

At least it is impressive insofar as you don't apply any actual critical thinking to the phenomenon. Do that and one is left with the cold realization that Punxsutawney Phil's demonstration isn't one of a furry, soothsaying medium to the weather gods, but rather a ridiculously compounding lie built to cover up the uncomfortable truth of Phil's handler's unhealthy obsession with groundhogs.

Blindly taking a narrative to be true, you see, is a human phenomenon, not just a football fan phenomenon.

Here's another narrative that should be getting brought into question as this 2015/16 reaches its climax: James Milner and Adam Lallana aren't about that end product life. We know this because they don't score enough goals or provide enough assists, which are statistics that are taken as the most direct evidence of a player's ability to provide end product.

How many combined goals and assists are they not contributing, you ask? 14 for Milner and 11 for Lallana. Outrageous! What's more, they are the leading goalscorers for Liverpool's last great hope for silverware this season in the Europa League, with two a piece. How dare they!

In all seriousness, these are hardly skyscraping numbers. Riyad Mahrez, for example, has 26 combined goals and assists across all competitions Leicester City have played in this season. So, no, Lallana and Milner aren't as effective as arguably the Premier League's player of the season, so far. Fair enough.

But it is interesting to consider, in this inconsistent season of stop-start offense and fluctuating teamwide performances, that Lallana and Milner are among Liverpool's best goal creators and scorers. £32.5m striker Christian Benteke, for example, is tied with Lallana at 11. Philippe Coutinho is sitting just ahead of Lallana at 12, and Liverpool's best player Robert Firmino is only just beyond Milner's reach on 15 combined goals and assists across all competitions.

So, two things there: A.) Score more goals Liverpool, and B.) Relative to the success and failures of this offense, utility man Milner and not-a-striker-nor-purchased-to-be-one Lallana aren't actually that far off of what could be reasonably expected in terms of the most obvious, bottom line return in this sport. This is to say nothing of the myriad contributions the pair give Liverpool on the press, in possession, on the mark, with their positional flexibility, and in the locker room. Plus, the season isn't finished, yet.

At what point will Lallana and Milner's 2015/16 return be enough to put a dent in this lack of end product narrative? At what point can the constructors of these narratives cede that if Liverpool were merely a bit more consistent with the good form that they have demonstrated throughout Klopp's first season, we may be looking at even more impressive figures here from the pair of Englishmen? Time will tell, we suppose.

For the time being, lets put in some predictions. Which out of the aforementioned top five Liverpool goal-getters will end on the most combined goals and assists across all competitions? Will it be the natural in Firmino? Will Benteke take advantage of what will assuredly be another chance at minutes coming his way? Will Philippe Coutinho continue his crackling pass-first form that he's been in the last two weeks? Or will Lallana and Milner continue to quietly put together a net plus season for this not quite a disaster, yet of a season?

Best South American Footballers

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liverpool Offside Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Liverpool FC news from Liverpool Offside