Andrew Beasley interview

Written on 2 July 2020, 09:27am

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Andrew Beasley is a freelance football writer, LFC supporter and one of the balanced and competent voices in the field. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for (the website where I write about football from time to time).

Andrew Beasley as football writer

1. For how long are you writing about Liverpool FC? 
I wrote my first article back in 2010, as Paul Tomkins wanted someone to look into the timing and impact of Rafa Benitez’ substitutes. Shows how long ago it was! From there I started my own blog and continued to contribute to The Tomkins Times too. I went freelance as a professional writer in 2017. 

2. You are one of the writers using data in most of your columns. Why do you think data is important in football? 
It’s a really powerful research tool. FiveThirtyEight have a spreadsheet you can download for free which has expected goal data for over 31,000 matches. I couldn’t possibly watch a fraction of those games in full (it’s getting on for almost three million minutes of football), but with that data I can get a pretty good idea of who deserved to win, and then which teams are strong and weak and so on. 
It’s the same with players. They all go through hot streaks and cold spells, but the underlying numbers can give a bit more insight into how they have been performing. 

3. How do you deal with the toxicity in football? (ex. [angry] armchair supporters knowing better than anyone, social media negativity coming from rival fans, etc.) 
Ignore it. Mute and block on Twitter, and that includes Liverpool fans too by the way, it’s not just rival clubs who have idiot supporters. 
I can’t be too critical of armchair supporters as I’m one myself! 

4. You have the chance to interview a single LFC player from the current squad. Who would you pick and why?  
Probably Andy Robertson as he seems like a really cool guy but also he’s been on a remarkable journey to get to this point. 

5. The same exercise with the LFC staff, but you cannot pick Jürgen 🙂  
The obvious answer would be one of the data science guys, but while I haven’t interviewed them I have met them before. I think there’s a distinct possibility that Pep Lijnders will take over as manager when Klopp finally leaves, so it’d be good to learn a bit more about him. 

Andy Robertson. Image:

Andrew Beasley as Liverpool FC supporter

1. What was the most difficult moment in your life as a Liverpool supporter? 
I was a bit too young to fully comprehend Hillsborough, but you presumably mean on the pitch. There have been many bad defeats over the years but I’ve learned to not let them get to me too much – life is too short, and all that. 
I suppose in recent years the defeat to Chelsea at the end of 2014 bothered me most because I knew then that the title dream was over. People go on about what happened at Palace, but it had already gone by then in reality as City had easy remaining fixtures. 

2. When did you turn from doubter to believer? 🙂 
Pretty much straight away, and that’s not with the benefit of hindsight. Klopp’s eighth match in charge was a 4-1 win at Manchester City, which remains easily in my top 10 Liverpool games during his time at the club, probably top 5. He’d already got a win at Chelsea too, albeit they weren’t in a great place that season. 
Obviously I didn’t automatically assume at that point we’d get to where we have, but it indicated he’d make us competitive again at the very least. 

3. What is your prediction for the next season? (That is, if there will be a next season in the first place…)  
It’ll be Liverpool and City fighting for the title once again. Chelsea and United look set to improve, but I can’t see them closing the gap entirely. A lot may depend on the result of City’s CAS appeal regarding their European suspension. If they’re out of Europe, retain their players and spend well this summer – which is a lot of ‘ifs’ at this point – they will be very well placed for an assualt on the league. 
Liverpool won’t drop off though, and are very capable of making Klopp only the second Liverpool manager in history to retain a league title that he’s won. 

4. Gambling and the PL: some recent news reported “cross-party support from MPs calling on football clubs to end gambling sponsorship“. Do you see this happening soon? 
While it’s a hugely important issue, I think the government has far more pressing problems to deal with in the form of Brexit and responding to COVID-19. But I think it will happen eventually.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter:

Andrew Beasley, Twitter

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