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Liverpool FC: Importance of Pre-Season Using Past Results

HULL, ENGLAND - JULY 23:  Kenny Dalglish, manager of Liverpool looks on from the bench during the Pre Season Friendly match between Hull City and Liverpool at KC Stadium on July 23, 2011 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Jake RoddCorrespondent IIIAugust 2, 2011

Liverpool were held to a 3-3 draw yesterday against Norwegian side Valerenga, a result which concerns most of the Liverpool camp. After conceding three goals for the fifth time in a row, questions must be put to the defensive line, and the team in general. However, despite the underwhelming performances, I asked myself, what does a bad pre-season mean for the upcoming season?

To answer that question, I looked at some past pre-seasons. Let's start with Manchester United's pre-season results from last year. As you all know, they went on to win the Premier League. Here are their results, courtesy of Eurosport.co.uk:

17 Jul, 19:45      AFC Fylde 1 - 2   Manchester United Friendly Match
18 Jul, 10:30 Malaysia   2 - 3   Manchester United Friendly Match
20 Jul, 13:45 Malaysia   0 - 2   Manchester United Friendly Match
24 Jul, 12:00 FC Seoul   2 - 3   Manchester United Friendly Match
26 Jul, 13:00 Hangzhou Greentown   2 - 8   Manchester United    Friendly Match
28 Jul, 19:45 Luton Town   1 - 2   Manchester United Friendly Match

As you can see, Manchester United won every match, scoring twenty-two goals and conceding nine along the way. This is the form of potential champions.

 

Let us then look at the 2009 pre-season for Tottenham. Spurs finished that campaign in the final Champions League spot, which is Liverpool's aim for next season. Information courtesy of Wikipedia:

15 July:   Exeter 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur

17 July:  Bournemouth 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur

20 July: Peterborough 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur

 

Then came the Wembley Cup, where Tottenham's results where as follows:

Barcelona 2-0 Tottenham

Celtic 2-0 Tottenham

 

Following this, they competed in the 2009 Asia trophy, where Tottenham had some mixed results:

West Ham 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Hull City 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur

South China 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Olympiakos 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur

 

Looking at both sets, the results seem quite consistent, with very few goals conceded. The first match of the season for Tottenham that year was against Liverpool, and they beat the Reds lost 2-1. So, it looks as if a pre-season can lay the groundwork for a good start to the actual season.

To round things off, lets take a look at Liverpool's 2009/10 pre-season, a season which finished with Liverpool in sixth place.

That year, only two friendly games were played, and Liverpool lost both:

Atletico Madrid 2-1 Liverpool

RCD Espanyol 3-0 Liverpool

Conversely to these results, Liverpool were undefeated during the 2008/09 pre-season, and they went on to finish second in the league.

Although this is a small sample, it seems that a good pre-season can correlate to a successful season, and vice versa. As a Liverpool fan, I hope the club can prove this formula wrong after a disappointing pre-season.

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