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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Being Liverpool Manager


Earlier this evening Liverpool Football Club announced that Brendan Rodgers has had his contract terminated. The full announcement is here.
"At a football club, there's a holy trinity - the players, the manager and the supporters." Bill Shankly
I've been watching Liverpool since the early 70s. I stood on the Kop and watched the end of the Shankly era and the beginning of the Paisley era. I watched the best team in the world defeat all before them. This was the time when, to paraphrase Shankly, the bond between fan, team and manager was strongest. I grew up giving the manager my full support and I was richly rewarded. Support for the Liverpool manager is in my DNA. At least it was until Roy Hodgson. I was uneasy with that appointment and I was carrying a metaphorical pitch-fork by the end. I'm saddened that Brendan Rodgers has been sacked. He is a talented coach who gave his all to the cause.

Let me put my cards on the table. Kenny Dalglish is my hero. And I still love Rafa who was working with both hands tied behind his back in his last season, dealing first hand with the Epic Swindle. Of course I would have given Dalglish more time as manager. Sacking Kenny would have been like cutting off my own arm. The Liverpool manager's job is arguably the most difficult in the football world and comes with a serious health warning. The manager must face many challenges: the hopes and expectations of the fans who have seen the best team in the world; the long shadow of the great managers and teams; and all this with finances that predict a 5th place finish.

Rodgers also faced the shadow of his own great team from 2013-2014 that so nearly ended the long wait. The Liverpool manager's job is a draining experience. There comes a point when enough is enough, when the manager and fans need to move on. I'd argued that he deserved at least 10 games. But I accept that the time may now be right for Rodgers to leave, with the ghost of last season's implosion refusing to go away. As Rodgers stated after the Everton game, the post-Suarez 'rebuild' was still in progress. The rebuild was stuttering forwards, with Rodgers once again seeking the magic formula that would transform his team. In truth the appetite for another Rodgers-led rebuild was diminishing, particularly when there were strong managerial candidates waiting in the wings.

In 2013-2014 Brendan Rodgers came very close to realising every fans dream of winning the league title. It was a fantastic season, characterised by exciting attacking football. To put this in context, see my article From Rafa to Rodgers, written a few days after the Stoke debacle. I've also summarised below the key premier league stats for Rodgers, Dalglish, Hodgson and Benitez.

Thanks Brendan, you can be proud that in season 2013-14 you made the people happy.


LFC Manager Stats: June 2004 to October 2015

Manager: Brendan Rodgers
From: 01 Jun 2012, To: 04 Oct 2015

Prepared by @lfcsorted
Season

Win

Draw

Loss
Total
Games

Win%

Draw%

Loss%
Total
Points
Points
 Per Game
2012-2013
16
13
9
38
42.1
34.2
23.7
61
1.6
2013-2014
26
6
6
38
68.4
15.8
15.8
84
2.2
2014-2015
18
8
12
38
47.4
21.1
31.6
62
1.6
2015-2016
3
3
2
8
37.5
37.5
25
12
1.5
Total
63
30
29
122
51.6
24.6
23.8
219
1.8

Manager: Kenny Dalglish (2ndTerm)
From: 08 Jan 2011, To: 16 May 2012

Prepared by @lfcsorted
Season

Win

Draw

Loss
Total
Games

Win%

Draw%

Loss%
Total
Points
Points
 Per Game
2010-2011
10
3
5
18
55.6
16.7
27.8
33
1.8
2011-2012
14
10
14
38
36.8
26.3
36.8
52
1.4
Total
24
13
19
56
42.9
23.2
33.9
85
1.5

Manager: Roy Hodgson
From: 01 Jul 2010, To: 08 Jan 2011

Prepared by @lfcsorted
Season

Win

Draw

Loss
Total
Games

Win%

Draw%

Loss%
Total
Points
Points
 Per Game
2010-2011
7
4
9
20
35
20
45
25
1.2
Total
7
4
9
20
35
20
45
25
1.2

Manager: Rafael Benitez
From: 16 Jun 2004, To: 03 Jun 2010

Prepared by @lfcsorted
Season

Win

Draw

Loss
Total
Games

Win%

Draw%

Loss%
Total
Points
Points
 Per Game
2004-2005
17
7
14
38
44.7
18.4
36.8
58
1.5
2005-2006
25
7
6
38
65.8
18.4
15.8
82
2.2
2006-2007
20
8
10
38
52.6
21.1
26.3
68
1.8
2007-2008
21
13
4
38
55.3
34.2
10.5
76
2
2008-2009
25
11
2
38
65.8
28.9
5.3
86
2.3
2009-2010
18
9
11
38
47.4
23.7
28.9
63
1.7
Total
126
55
47
228
55.3
24.1
20.6
433
1.9

Summary Chart






















Acknowledgements
Thanks to lfchistory.net for providing the raw data. And thanks to the python community for providing the data analysis tools.                             

This article was also published here on lfchistory.net on 13th October 2015.                      

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