I wrote last week (here) how Brendan Rodgers’ league points-per-game (ppg) record as Liverpool manager would bypass his predecessor’s with a win against Tottenham.
As I’m sure you know the Reds won 3-2, meaning that Rodgers now has a ppg of 1.55. This is slightly ahead of Dalglish (who averaged 1.52 across his whole second tenure), and comfortably ahead of Roy Hodgson’s 1.25.
The next logical target is therefore Rafa Benitez.
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to give Rodgers a target of the 86 points that Benitez achieved in 2008/09 on his way to a second placed finish, (not least as it’s not possible this year!) but the 63 point tally the Spaniard posted in his final season makes a reasonable target from this point.
Not least as the Reds are roughly on target to achieve this.
By beating Spurs at home on Sunday, Liverpool picked up two points on the corresponding fixture last season (which was a 0-0 draw). In total, the Reds are now eleven points up on last season’s matching fixtures.
As Dalglish won 52 points last season, if Liverpool replicate their results from that campaign in their remaining matches then they will finish on 63, the total from 2009/10. The below graph compares the ppg trend between this season and that one:
The lines are certainly converging, and are at their closest point so far this season. For the record, to beat the previous three seasons, from their remaining nine fixtures Liverpool need to bag:
2011/12 – 8 points (0.89 per game)
2010/11 – 14 points (1.56 per game – essentially the form so far this season)
2009/10 – 19 points (2.11 per game) – not an easy target by any means.
As Liverpool’s nine-game form has been at minimum of 1.56 ppg for the last twelve matches running, it’s reasonable to assume they should better the last two seasons. Match or better Benitez’ final campaign, and Rodgers can really say he’s made progress this season.