After securing league positions of 7, 6, 8 and 7 in the last 4 seasons, not many would have guessed Liverpool to be one of the title contenders at the end of this season (2013-14) with 5 games in hand. Considering the relative Financial Position of Liverpool, they were not the candidates (at the beginning) to challenge the financial giants Chelsea and Manchester City. However, with their performance they have changed the opinion. Most quoted reason for this transformation is “Brendan Rodgers”. In this article, we are going to produce some of the statistics to support the points on how Brendan Rodgers have transformed Liverpool.
1. INSTILLING THE PASSING STYLE
One thing that no one can refute is Liverpool’s play is so beautiful to watch this season. Their players are enjoying themselves on the pitch. Brendan has transformed the team into a passing side. His philosophy of “Death by Football” has been well instilled into the team. Their pass success percentage has increased really high.
2. CLEARING THE DEAD WOOD
9 players with equal to or more than 28 years of age have moved out of the club. This is really important since it cleared out space for a lot of young talent and it has helped them to grow as well. Apart from these 9 players, Charlie Adam and Andy Caroll were moved out since they didn’t actually fit the system well and were costing a huge amount of money. Clearing these players helps in reducing Liverpool’s wages expense too. Sticking to players who fit in the system is pivotal for the team’s development and Brendan has been pretty clear in this mission.
3. IMPACT MAKING TRANSFERS
The impact made by Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Simon Mignolet, Kolo Touré and Mamadou Sakho among other Brendan’s signings have been really high. All these players have been continuously featuring in the starting XI. The average age of all these players except Kolo is pretty much on the lower side. Signing players who fit in and showcase high impact is one of the key trait of a great Manager. Brendan seems to have got it.
4. EFFECTIVE UTILIZATION OF YOUTH ACADEMY
Liverpool’s Youth academy has been producing players who directly walk into the First team. It may not be entirely Brendan’s effort, but giving opportunity for emerging talents in the main squad is definitely a trait to be appreciated. Players like Jon Flanagan and Raheem Sterling have been contributing like major transfer signings. An interesting statistic is that 37% of Liverpool’s PL goals and 38% of Liverpool’s PL assists have been contributed by the new signings and the youth academy promoted players.
5. DEVELOPING KEY PLAYERS
Three key factors have helped Brendan to build his Red army.
(1) Retaining Luis Suarez and making him lethal in front of goal.
(2) Signing Daniel Sturridge and creating a wonderful strike partnership with Suarez.
(3) Developing Steven Gerrard even at an age of 33.
These three players have together contributed 72% of Liverpool’s PL goals and 49% of Liverpool’s PL assists.
6. MAKING ANFIELD A FORTRESS AGAIN
The following statistics will be self-explanatory to prove this point.
a) If Liverpool secures 6 points from the 3 remaining games at Anfield, they will surpass their highest home Premier League points of 48 (Current home points is 43).
b) Liverpool are one win away from their highest number of Premier League home games won in a season.
c) They have just lost 5 points at home so far (14 Wins 1 Draw 1 Loss)
d) Current goal tally of 48 home goals and their current Goal Difference of 35 are their highest ever in Premier League.
7. ATTACKING EARLY AND KILLING OFF OPPONENTS
One interesting characteristic of the current Liverpool side is that they usually score early into the game and kill off the opponents. They are known to have scored majority of their goals in the first half of the game. 60% of their goals have been scored in first 45 minutes of their game. This has helped them in securing wins comfortably and settling the game to bed early.
With all these observations, we can definitely say that Liverpool have a great manager in Brendan Rodgers at just 41 years of age. There is a lot to be expected from Brendan in the upcoming seasons and it will be exciting for the Premier League to have such managers in hunt for the title.
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