Liverpool and crosses
When I was reading this great piece I thought of something rather obvious, but something that I haven’t seen in the debate about the usefulness of crosses in modern football.
I believe that a team focusing on crosses should have midfield players that constantly run into the box to provide an additional threat. It is simply too easy for the opponent to defend against crosses with only one or two targets in the box (Andy Carroll and maybe Luis Suárez). I believe that Stewart Downing’s stats would increase significantly with midfield players that provide that additional aspect to the game. Do Liverpool have such a player? I doubt it.
Steven Gerrard used to be that player, but is he today? In any case he doesn’t play enough matches nowadays. It would be interesting to investigate if the teams with great crossing statistics (Norwich et al) have midfield players with this properties.
Remember how Paul Scholes linked superbly with David Beckham in their prime at Manchester United!