7 Feb 2017

Klopp vs. Rodgers: First 85 games comparison. Shock stats reveal the truth about Liverpool's progress

The prevailing view amongst Reds fans appears to be that Liverpool have improved with Jurgen Klopp at the helm, and the team is now far more effective than under the stewardship of ex-boss Brendan Rodgers. Is this really true, though?

Make no mistake: the current sorry excuse for a team is a Jurgen Klopp team, and he confirmed this himself over the summer, when he told reporters:

“It’s my team, my squad now. After all the transfers, this time it is my team. There are no players here I don’t want. There are no transfers I didn’t want. We have not sold anyone I didn’t want to sell".

Still despite this emphatic statement, fans continue to engage in the usual selective criticism. When Liverpool play well, it's a Jurgen Klopp team, and he's responsible for getting the best out of Brendan Rodgers' signings. when Liverpool lose games and/or go on a bad run, it's still a Brendan Rodgers team, and he deserves censure for signing a raft of poor players. Then, when Liverpool start winning again, it's suddenly a Klopp team again! (Repeat ad infinitum).

The question is, have Liverpool actually improved on Klopp's watch; and by 'improved', I mean is there objective evidence to show that the Reds have progressed in the last 16 months? Well, here is some objective data that compares Rodgers' and Klopp's first 85 games in charge at Liverpool:

Key points:

* Overall, Rodgers has a better win percentage (52%) than Klopp (48%)

* Klopp is lauded for his team's goalscoring ability, but Rodgers' team scored scored more goals in his first 85 games.

* Klopp's team has also failed to win more games overall (52%) than Rodgers' team (48%).

* Looking at the league only, there's literally no results improvement whatsoever, but Rodgers' team scored more; conceded fewer goals, and achieved more clean sheets in his first 54 league games in charge.

* As the stats show, Klopp has improved only two things since taking over: Slightly fewer goals conceded (all competitions), and two less defeats overall.

Ultimately, as the stats prove, Liverpool have actually regressed under Klopp, and after 85 games in charge, the German - who many fans claims is 'world-class' and one of the best managers in the world - is not an improvement over Rodgers, who is still regularly maligned by Reds fans.

And let's not forget: Rodgers also had a middling first season in charge, and his stats are still superior to Klopp's. Additionally, in his second season, Rodgers' team finished 2nd in the league, a feat that Klopp is unlikely to match this season. Despite this, FSG recently handed Klopp an improved 6-year deal. For what, exactly?

Klopp started slowly at Dortmund, too, before taking the club to consecutive league titles, and given his pedigree, there's every possibility he might repeat that pattern at Liverpool (and I hope he does). Right now, though, it is totally inaccurate to state (as some fans do) that Klopp is an improvement over Rodgers and/or Liverpool are doing better since he took over the reigns.


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