5 Oct 2009

REVEALED: The negative trend that Liverpool FC has NEVER been able to overcome.

Played 11 - Lost 4. It doesn’t make for pleasant reading, does it? This is not the first time Liverpool have had such a poor start to the season, and while it is definitely too early to write off the club's title chances, history proves that when the team starts this badly, the season is usually a washout.

Since the Premiership began, Liverpool have had similar bad starts on 5 occasions:

1992-93 - 4 defeats in first 11 games (Final position: 6th/59 Points)
1993-94 – 5 defeats in first 11 games (Final position: 8th/60 Points)
1999-00 – 4 defeats in first 11 games (Final position: 4th/63 points)

2003-04 – 4 defeats in first 11 games (Final position: 4th/60 Points)
2004-05 – 5 defeats in first 11 games (Final position: 5th/58 points)

For two years running under Graeme Souness, Liverpool had particularly bad starts to the season. Twice under Gerard Houllier it was the same story. And we shouldn’t forget that we’ve been here before during Benitez’s reign – in the horrific 2004-2005 league campaign, Liverpool lost 5 of their first 11 games!

The most compelling fact about the above stats is this though: None of the managers who guided the club to such pitiful results have ever won the league with Liverpool.

Let’s go back a little further:

1971-72 – 5 defeats in first 11 games (Final position: 3rd /57 Points)

So – in the last 39 years, Liverpool have never recovered from losing 4 of their first 11 games.

History (regrettably) seems to be repeating itself this season .

Having said that, I sincerely hope that Benitez and Liverpool can turn this negative trend around this season. It’s possible, but give the manager’s continued stubbornness; favouritism for underperforming players; unwillingness to adapt to current realities of the team, and apparent refusal to play to Liverpool’s current strengths, I can’t see it happening.

2009-10 – 4 defeats in first 11 games (Final position ?)


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  1. as an lfc supporting solicitor i am looking into the possibility that this site has libelled or defamed rafa benitiez and or lfc the club...you have been served

  2. Jaimie i forgot 2 to put my name on my comment above . Ive got a question. Who should manage our club after Rafa is kicked out(i hope liverpool fans wake up to the fact dat he wont win the PL)?
    My suggestions: Rikjaard, Martin Jol, Klinsmann, Martin O'Neil, Phil Thompson, Jaimie Redknapp, Tony Adams(lol). Wat r ur sugestions mate?

  3. I must say I was flumoxed by the starting 11 on Sunday. I confidently (misguidedly) predicted that Gerrard would start in mid field with Masch and Benni would sit behind Torres.
    Imagine my surprise to see Lucas there instead!
    As much as I think Lucas is an improved player we really needed strength and passing ability in midfield with Bennis trickery to unlock Chelseas formidable defence.
    Everyone is eagerly awaiting Aquilani but he is no replacment for Alonso.
    All in all it is looking pretty poor at the moment I really hope that we can pull it together against Sunderland and Lyon, this should give us confidence going into the united game.

  4. I'm sorry, Jaimie, but this is intellectual dishonesty at its worst, and you know it. Firstly, you're only talking about our premier league position, so why include Carling Cup and Champions League games? That brings it down to 3 losses in 8 matches.

    Secondly, the Premier League is decided not on number of wins, losses and draws, but number of points. So why go on the number of losses? You are just shifting the goalposts to make the argument. Just like when the players talk negatively about something, you talk about their "loser's mentality", and when they highly about the form of the team, or the manager, or another player, you talk about the "self-love" that they have. If we had 4 draws and 4 wins, I can bet you wouldn't be talking about wins and losses, but points and Rafa's negative approach which leads to draws. 

    Lastly, I compiled some stats about our form in the first 8 games and our final position in the league from 1999/2000 - 2008/09. Only 3 times have we scored higher points from the first 8 games, and once we finished 5th (Rafa's first year). The other 2 times we finished 2nd. I'll get stats from 1992/93 - 1998/99 later. 

    <p style="">1999/2000 - w,l,l,w,w,l,d,l - 10 pts, 4th 
    <p style="">2000/2001 - w,l,d,w,w,d,d,l - 12 pts, 3rd 
    <p style="">2001/2002 - w,l,l,,w,w,w,d,w - 16 pts, 2nd 
    <p style="">2002/2003 - w,w,d,d,d,w,w,w - 18 pts, 5th 
    <p style="">2003/2004 - l,d,d,w,w,w,l,l - 11 pts, 4th 
    <p style="">2004/2005 - d,w,l,w,l,w,l,w - 13 pts, 5th 
    <p style="">2005/06 - d,w,d,d,d,l,w,l - 10 pts, 3rd
    <p style="">2006/07 - d,w,l,l,w,w,l,d - 11 pts, 4th
    <p style="">2007/2008 - w,d,w,w,d,d,w,d - 15 pts, 4th
    <p style="">2008/09 - w,w,d,d,w,w,w,w -  18 pts, 2nd

  5. Correction, we didn't score more points in Rafa's first season, but 2002/03 as you can see in the list. We still finished 5th. 

  6. Dude - sort out your website - I don't want to download nearly 4 MB just to read this nonsense!!  Too much clutter!!

  7. Good luck!

    I am legally trained, and I can confidently say that you have no case whatsoever.  Have fun!

  8. Hi there,

    Ideally, Rafa will not leave and will lead Liverpool to the title.  As a fan, I would love that, I really would.  However, I just don't think he'll do it. so if we have to make a change, then I would look at the following Managers:

    Martin O'Neill
    Frank Rijkaard
    Guus Hiddink
    David Moyes (Everton, but a superb manager - definitely a contender for the United Job when Ferguson retires)
    Michael Laudrup
    Manual Jiminez (Sevilla)

    I don't profess to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of world football, so I'm sure there are many other possibilities out there.

  9. Hi Bikram,

    I disagree that it is intellectual dishonesty. The impact of defeats in all competitions has an impact on the team and its progression, especially if the team has a series of defeats all at the same time.  Take this season, for example - The Fiorentina defeat cannot be dscounted just because it's not a league game; it took place only a few days before the Chelsea defeat, and both are not mutually exclusive. Confidence would've take a knock midweek, and probably had an impact on the Chelsea game.

    I try and find trends wherever I can, and this is a valid trend to highlight.  Furthermore, in every season i highlight, it is not just league games lost in the first 11, so the comparison is basically the same.

    The fact is, whenever Liverpool have lost their first 4 games in all competitions, the team has gone on to have a dodgy season in the league.  People can make of that what they will.

  10. "<span style=" ">and while it is definitely too early to write off the club's title chances<span style="">"</span></span>


  11. Despite the three league defeats, the title can still be won.  We have't drawn any games yet and we're only 6 points behind, so it's still all to play for.  I don't think we'll do it, but it's still theoretically possible.

  12. Liverpool did well last season because we started well. The good start had a positive effect on Liverpool's perseverance toward the end of the season. With the current start, it will be much more difficult to do well. This is being realistic. Going forward if we lose/draw further, it will be bye-bye again.

    Honestly speaking, Rafa's chances are looking slim. He should just call it quits and consider opening a restaurant. He can be Chief Waiter.

  13. Let's all give up and go home.! We could be dead and buried by the end of October. Defeatism is a cancer! So what will we do...sack the manager! The list of people being put forward as his replacement is depressing and having any respect or belief in them is hard. It must be difficult for the players that they have been unable to keep their game at the levels of last season. And puzzling to the staff. Whatever past statistics show though history does not always repeat itself.
    I will keep supporting the LONG TERM need for a stable club and hope the hard work by them all will return confidence to the players and they improve. Rafa is right in saying that it is the objective. There is nothing else to do.
    I still believe that money will buy the PL this year as it has in the past. Chelsea or Man City have such strong squads that they will take some beating. And Tottenham's investment is huge. Arguments that Gillett and Hicks have piled money into the club are not true. City may be the last of the big spenders to buy success. I'm interested in what the new regulations will mean next Season. At some stage youth will need to be invested in.

    The important thing is not this obsession with the PL. It is getting a squad that can play well consistently and adapt to other teams tactics. We couldn't quite do this at Chelsea and the ball did not run for us when chances came and we missed them.

    We must stop giving the ball away in mid-field. Our passing is too erratic . Mid-field is where you win your games. This will be a long hard season with many crises to endure but throwing out the manager and half the squad is not the answer. WORK/IMPROVE/PASS is the only way.
    Get your head's down and offer some encouragement and support.

  14. Three points worse off than at the same stage last season... hardly time to start panicking. As an historically quite sensible club with regards to its managers, I believe we will let Benitez prove his worth over the course of this season. If we finish empty handed again, and with a worse points total than last season, then we'll have to look at replacing Rafa. Until that point, I think it's futile to start calling for his head, or even to start predicting gloom for the ensuing season. Everyone seems to have overlooked the fact that each of Chelsea, Man U and Arsenal have dropped points that they should've won on paper.

    Theoretically possible...? I'd say absolutely possible. If this dip continues, then we can start to worry. But if we can remain in contention while playing so badly, then that can only be good news. Remember Man U's awful start last season?

    I do agree that Rafa has to start taking a long hard look at himself, though. This stubbornness is really getting in the way of what could be a great season.

  15. All right, point taken. However, in that case, you would also have to see how we've done when we've WON 7 out of our first 11 games, wouldn't you? Also, I think a defeat works better than a draw in certain cases because it causes a team to react far better. If we snatch a draw in the last minute, it doesn't seem that bad, even though we may have dropped 2 points. I really don't think our confidence should be that low now though considering how emphatic our wins have been, and also the fact that Chelsea didn't dominate the game. 

  16. it's also mathematically possible for portsmouth to win the league, but I don't think they have a snowball's chance in hell either.

  17. Well, i think the best man for the job would be Kenny Dalglish - if he says yes!

    It'll solve one of the biggest problems during the Benitez era - Young British talent. No man better than Dalglish to set that straight. It'lll mean that we won't need to buy another Glen Johnson for 18mp just because he's English.