What I Wrote, Week of 5/6
You know what would be a great Mother’s Day gift? A forwarded pre-order email for Net Gains, baby! Are you, yourself, a mother? No problem; buy your own copy!
As for the content from this week:
-I wrote about all 10 coaching changes in the Premier League this season:
Although the points have remained the same, everything else has gotten worse. And it's not just goals and shots, either. Under Lampard: They're pressing less. They're completing an even smaller share of the final-third passes in their matches. They're allowing more touches in their own penalty area. They're taking fewer touches in the opposition penalty area. And they're moving the ball up the field at a slower pace.
Taken by itself, none of those markers is necessarily negative, but taken as a whole, it's a really dire picture: Everton are controlling less territory and not pressing as much, but there's no payoff at the other end. It's not allowing them to get more bodies behind the ball to prevent it from entering the box, and it's not allowing them to coax out the opposition backline and then quickly attack into space. Plus, they added players to the roster in January.
-What might the next four years look like at Liverpool?
Three years ago now, I wrote a piece wondering about the future of Liverpool's front three. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were all the same age, they were likely to decline all at the same time, and their contracts were lined up to expire at once. It used to feel like this was the chokepoint of Liverpool's future: Do you sell one of them while you can still get something close to $100 million? Do you re-sign them all and eat the risk that they all fall off a cliff at the same time? Instead, those answers almost seem unimportant now.
The questions still exist -- at 29, Salah, Mane and Firmino's contracts all expire in a year, right as their theoretical primes end -- but Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz now exist as Liverpool players. The former is an absolute workhorse without the ball -- both in and out of possession -- and he's also third in the league in non-penalty goals. Diaz, meanwhile, has become a first-choice starter and a borderline undroppable player. Despite joining the squad in the middle of the season, he's doing just about everything.
Shoutout to all the moms out there. We love you.