Liverpool are believed to be ‘calm’ about the situation that will see current sporting director Julian Ward leave the club at the end of the season.
The update, which comes courtesy of CBS Sports Golazo reporter Ben Jacobs on Twitter, also reveals that the Anfield outfit will lose director of research Ian Graham at the end of the season.
“Liverpool director of research Ian Graham will also leave at the end of the season after giving notice in June. #LFC calm about the situation,” Jacobs wrote. “They have a clear plan to replace Graham & deal with Julian Ward’s exit. Both will go in May, working out notice, allowing #LFC time to recruit.”
The Welshman has been at the club since 2012 and is in charge of the data science side of things for Jurgen Klopp’s side – the team that helps analyze opposition players and their respective tactics.
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Being very much a ‘behind the scenes’ figure at the club, not many Reds fans will have heard of the University of Cambridge graduate, but his departure could be significant.
The work that Liverpool do in analyzing their opponents in the build up to games is vitally important and is one of the main reasons why the Merseysiders have tasted so much success in recent seasons.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com back in 2020, Graham discussed his role at the club.
“Pre-match, there’s a set of reports that James [French] and Greg [Mathieson] put together and then post-match there’s a similar thing that Harrison [Kingston] and Mark [Leyland] put together,” he said.
“What we’ve built is a platform where the analysts can either look at the opposition analysis or post-match analysis from our point of view, so we’ve got expected goals models and expected possession value models that are linked to video to say : ‘This is what we thought was a dangerous situation.’
“We rarely work directly with the coaches, but the analysts’ department has got access to all of our stats resources and they use those in their reports and meetings.”
He also explained the relationship that he has with our German tactician.
“Jürgen is very open and receptive to our area,” he added.
“In terms of our week-to-week relationship, I don’t have very much interaction with him, but that’s not a bad thing because he knows the analysis we do and how it feeds into the various reports and the weekly work that him and his team do.
“Just the fact that he is open to it and intuitively understands the numbers, that’s enough. And if there is anything in particular that needs addressing, we’re there for the coaches. We’ve done one-off bespoke pieces of work where they’re concerned about a particular area of play or want to know something about travel before a game and whether that affects performance.
“They’re aware that we can help out with stuff and give an opinion on it, which is great. Jürgen is really open to it and understands it. He doesn’t work too much with it day-to-day or week-to-week, but that’s not a bad thing at all.”
With FSG inviting investment offers for the club recently and with two important figures now preparing to leave at the end of the season, there is a huge and uncertain few months on the horizon for the club.
Check Jacobs’ tweet below via his official Twitter account:
Liverpool director of research Ian Graham will also leave at the end of the season after giving notice in June. #LFC calm about the situation. They have a clear plan to replace Graham & deal with Julian Ward’s exit. Both will go in May, working out notice, allowing #LFC time to recruit.
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 24, 2022