8 Oct 2015

Klopp vs. Rodgers: 3-year stats comparison. Who's the best? Surprise results reveal disappointing reality

It's official: Jurgen Klopp is Liverpool's new manager, and for the first time in months (if not years), there's a genuine sense of joy and excitement amongst the fanbase. The prevailing view seems to be that Klopp is a massive upgrade on Brendan Rodgers, but is that really true?

Earlier this evening, Liverpool released the following statement on the club's official website:

"Liverpool Football Club are delighted to announce J├╝rgen Klopp has been appointed as the club's new manager.

"The German coach has signed a deal to take the helm at the Reds and will be presented at a press conference at Anfield on Friday morning".

The club also confirmed changes to the backroom staff:

"Sean O'Driscoll, Gary McAllister, Glen Driscoll and Chris Davies have left their respective first-team roles at the club.

"McAllister will remain with the club, albeit in a different role, not connected to first-team duties".

"The Scot has accepted an ambassadorial position, which will allow the club to benefit from his strong connection and affinity with the supporters".

Klopp is a welcome addition to the pantheon of Liverpool managers, but how does he compare to Rodgers?

As I do with every managerial chance, I've compiled a stats analysis comparing old (Rodgers) and new (Klopp) on the following basis:

- Performance over the last 3 completed seasons.

- League, and all competitions.

* I've chosen the the last three completed seasons as the comparison timeframe because that's how long Rodgers managed Liverpool FC.

* In my view, it's a fair comparison, as it takes into account current and most recent managerial performance.

* Klopp won two Bundesliga titles at Dortmund, but that was three years ago. As such, those achievements are largely irrelevant now in the context of current and recent performance.

RODGERS vs. KLOPP: 2012-2015

Key Points

* In all competitions, Klopp has a higher overall win percentage (55%), and his teams scored more goals, and conceded slightly fewer goals per game.

* Defensive issues plagued Rodgers' reign, but Klopp's figures with Dortmund are not much better. In the league, for example, Rodgers' teams achieved significantly more clean sheets overall.

* On average, Klopp's teams conceded the same number of goals per game over the three-year period. Given Liverpool's perennial defensive problems, that is arguably a cause for concern.

* In both the league, and all competitions, Rodgers achieved a higher unbeaten ratio than Klopp, but both managers also lost the same number of games (League, and all competitions).

* In terms of league position, Klopp's overall performance is superior (two 2nd place finishes, to Rodgers' one), but he only outperformed Rodgers in one of the three years (2012-13).

* When all is said and done, Klopp's overall results (in some categories) are only marginally superior to Rodgers, and the difference is not really statistically significant.

Like Rodgers, Klopp's teams clearly have defensive issues. Rodgers is slated for failing to address Liverpool's defence, but Klopp achieved practically the same record over the last three years. As such, Reds fans may be in for a rude awakening if they expect the German to come in and transform the club's defence.

Ultimately, I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but the plain fact is this: when it comes to performance over the last three years, there's not much difference between Klopp and Rodgers, though some fans make it sound like the German is ten levels above Liverpool's deposed manager.

Hopefully, though, there will be a major difference over the next three years.

Author: Jaimie K


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