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All-out attack will bring riches; THE MIDWEEK DERBY - The Anfield Iron v The Goodison Legend.

WITHOUT argument Liverpool were very successful in 2001, winning five trophies.

But what is arguable is whether Liverpool's style of counterattacking play will continue to produce trophies and entertainment.

I believe that in knock-out competitions safety-first counterattacking is the best style of play to win trophies. I would counterattack in the FA Cup and the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

For the Premier League and Champions League's early stages, I would play all-out attack as a win-to-lose ratio of 2 to 1 will be successful.

Teams in the group stages of the Champions League target 10 points to qualify. Out of six games, four wins and two losses will provide 12 points.

In the Premiership, 25 wins and 13 losses in a season would provide 75 points. In the six 38-game seasons of the Premiership 75 points would have guaranteed a top three finish, and in 1996/97 was sufficient to win it.

Liverpool's highest total in this time was 71 points and that was long before Gerard Houllier and counter-attacking. In fact, in Houllier's three seasons we have totalled 54, 67 and 69 points.

So let's go for all-out attack in all league football and save the counter-attacking style for knock-out matches.

Tony Boyham, Maghull SMITHY SAYS: You cannot knock a style that has proved so successful, but you have to look deeper into the Reds' performances and realise that not all their goals come from counter-attacking.

Of course they use Michael Owen's pace, but they can be a very creative side, too.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 9, 2002
Words:255
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