Liverpool: What the Stats Tell Us About the Reds' 2012-13 Season Under Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers' first season as Liverpool manager is nearly complete. Has the 2012-13 campaign emerged as a success or failure? Let's decipher exactly that.
With seventh place confirmed, it's time to assess the outcome of a year that has seen the club put an emphasis on developing young talent. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and Suso have been afforded significant game time from the incoming manager who has undoubtedly steadied the ship Kenny Dalglish left in disarray.
Just how far have Liverpool come under Rodgers? Here are the numbers.
Home and Away Record
The foundation of any successful season is built around home form. This year the Reds have won eight out of 18 matches at Anfield, drawing six and losing four. This produces a win percentage of 44.44 in front of The Kop. Although these statistics will alter slightly after Liverpool's final Premier League game of the season against QPR, a mixed bag is there for all to see.
It's a similar tale on the road. Rodgers' team have won seven games from 19 away from home, drawing seven and losing five times. Despite posting a 36.84 win percentage, it's important that Liverpool only lost 31.58 per cent of matches across the country.
Many fans are likely to have been frustrated with draws away at Sunderland, Swansea and Reading, but these are the types of game that Rodgers' side needed to gain at least a point from. In fact, Liverpool's current total of 13 draws could be the difference between the side finishing seventh and ninth.
Dalglish's last season managing the club saw Liverpool win 36.84 per cent of their games. At the time of writing, Rodgers' inaugural year has seen the team gain victory in 40.54 per cent of matches. His 15 victories (rising to 16 if the side beat QPR on the final day), already improves on Dalglish's ability to capture three points on just 14 occasions during the 2011-12 campaign.
Liverpool have turned the style on with heavy 5-0 and 6-0 wins this season. The club's average output of goals has already blitzed the measly 47 in 38 games produced by Dalglish's team. Rodgers' revolution outlined free-flowing offence and movement from its outset; a decision that has seen the team rack up 70 goals with one game remaining.
Regular Anfield visitors have witnessed 32 of a total that trumps the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and Everton. Liverpool have scored an average of 1.78 goals per match in front of a home crowd that often calls for the demolition of weak opponents.
The golden touch has been even more prominent on away days. With the pressure of Anfield left behind, Rodgers' team have netted 38 in 19 appearances. This is the highest total of the entire season going into the final day, with Manchester United two goals behind having played one less away game. Impressively, the Merseyside club have notched an average of two goals per away match.
One of Liverpool's biggest failures last year was the ability to concede too many goals at important times. Dalglish's lineup often left gaping holes that allowed opponents' to score 40 during the entire season. While letting in an average of one goal per game isn't disastrous, the lack of goals scored hampered the squad's progress.
Rodgers' first round of numbers is extremely similar. Liverpool have conceded 17 in 18 home matches, producing an average of 0.94 per match. Despite cutting the opposition apart with greater ease away from home, defensive stability has perished. Pepe Reina and Brad Jones have picked the ball out of the net 27 times across 19 away appearances, resulting in a total of 1.42 goals conceded per game.
The seriousness of these numbers is lessened by Liverpool's effectiveness in front of goal. Rodgers' ever-changing back four has already conceded three more goals than Dalglish's selection, but it's all relative. Last season the Reds finished with a goal difference of plus-seven, while this year, they are currently enjoying an output of plus-27.
The Luis Suarez Effect
Undoubtedly Liverpool's most important player this season has been Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan has scored 32.86 per cent of the team's goals and been directly involved in 40 per cent of the 70 successful strikes.
As an interesting tidbit, Liverpool have scored 58 goals in the side, averaging 1.76 per game when he is available for selection. The squad has faced four Premier League games without Suarez this season: the 3-2 win at West Ham, 6-0 defeat of Newcastle, 0-0 draw with Everton and 3-1 win at Fulham.
Although statistics after four games shouldn't be taken too seriously, the Reds average three goals per game without him, double the amount when he is in the side. This shouldn't be read into too furiously, as this number would absolutely detract during the course of a full season.
What the Numbers Tell Us
Brendan Rodgers asked for time when he took charge of Liverpool (via The Daily Mail). His short-term task was to stabilise a club that teetered dangerously close to plummeting down the Premier League table and build an infrastructure that would allow Liverpool to achieve its long-term goals.
Has Liverpool's first season under Brendan Rodgers been a success?
While the latter plan will take a number of years to judge, Rodgers' first season should be deemed a success. He has rejuvenated Liverpool's style as a side, placing an emphasis on smart attacking football and the ability to retain possession in midfield.
His key signings, namely Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, have also outlined themselves as the club's future stars. Alongside Sterling, Wisdom, Suso and players including Jordan Henderson, Rodgers appears to have quickly remoulded the squad into an exciting contender for the Premier League's top six.
Despite missing out on that target this year, Rodgers' first 12 months in charge has given the Anfield faithful plenty to get excited about.
How do you judge Brendan Rodgers' first season in charge of Liverpool? Was it a success or failure? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to follow me on Twitter right here:
All statistics in this article were produced using numbers from Whoscored.
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