8 Feb 2017

Klopp vs. Rodgers: First/Last 85 games comparison. More surprise stats that reveal the truth about Liverpool's progress

Yesterday, I compared Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp's first 85 games in charge at Liverpool, and the statistical comparison showed that Liverpool (in terms of overall results) had actually regressed under Klopp.

As expected, though, many fans refused to accept the stats, and the usual attempts to discredit the objective facts ensued.

Whenever statistics produce a result that fans don't like, and/or doesn't meet their personal expectations, they either attempt to discredit them (by focusing on irrelevancies) or demand that the compiler adds different parameters, in the hope that a new, updated analysis will yield a palatable result.

This is human nature, and it's especially prevalent amongst football fans. Example: Several visitors yesterday posted a variation of the following post from Red Paradox:

"Comparing the first 85 games discounts the starting point for the team that each manager may had. A better comparison might be Rodgers last 85 games and Klopp's first 85. That would actually link the two tenures and give us a better sense of whether Klopp improved the team he inherited based on the results".

To be fair, I can see the sense in this kind of comparison, even though it's arguably underpinned by a desire to change the goalposts in the hope that the new set of stats will be more favourable to Klopp. Well, be careful what you wish for as the comparison requested does not yield the results most fans might expect.

Key Points:

* Once again, there are signs of regression. Rodgers' win percentage in the league (54%) is higher than Klopp's (48%)

* Klopp's points per game average (1.7) is also lower than Rodgers' (1.8) in his last 85 games.

* In all competitions, the win ratio for both managers is the same, which shows zero overall progression.

* Both managers also failed to win the same number of games overall (44).

* In all comps, Klopp is ahead on goals scored, and goals conceded, but this hasn't translated into any discernible improvement in results.

* Plus, where it really matters - i.e. the league - Liverpool have gone backwards. Clearly, Rodgers got more out of (basically) the same squad than Klopp, who was presumably brought in to get more out of the same players.

So there you have it. To be clear: When compiling the stats, I had no idea how they would come out, and if the results were massively positive for Klopp, I still would've posted them.

Now - I await the next request to update the stats in a way that favours Klopp. Perhaps I should incorporate distance covered, or injuries sustained?

To allow side-by-side comparison, here is the stats table from yesterday's article:


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