The Reds have suffered defeats in their past two matches, and as anyone would have predicted, ‘Rodgers Out’ tweets were not too far behind. 2013/14 was a remarkable season, with this one broadly acceptable (but more on that below) and so I’m happy for Brendan Rodgers to continue as manager next season. The recent results have made me ponder what an acceptable points tally would be this season though. I was comparing Liverpool’s points total so far this season with previous campaigns and spotted the following:
The Reds are on target to match the club average for a Premier League season this year, but what if we look at longer time-frames? One season isn’t a very large sample, after all. As I said above, I think the last two seasons have been good enough overall to warrant allowing Rodgers another season, but how does Liverpool’s form from August 2013 to May 2015 compare to other two-season spells since the Premier League changed to a thirty-eight match season in 1995? We have to bear in mind before assessing these figures that Liverpool still have seven games to play in 2014/15. Despite that fact, the current two season run is already slightly ahead of the club’s average, and if Liverpool take thirteen more points this season then it will be the second best two-season run over the last twenty years.
As Brendan Rodgers will have completed three seasons at the helm at the end of the current campaign, I thought I’d check out how he compares on that front too.
This table is understandably not quite as favourable, because the standout 2013/14 campaign has less of an impact for Rodgers when the sample is larger. If Liverpool can accumulate ten more points this season then Brendan’s era will move into the top third of the table though, so he’ll have still done pretty well when compared to his predecessors.
There are of course numerous other factors to be considered when assessing the performance of a manager: transfer spend, backing from owners/unity of club and quality of football played to name but a few. League form is usually impacted by cup form too, and when these include runs to European finals, most people will forgive lower points tallies in the league, and that has to be considered when looking at some of the points totals in the above tables too.
You (or far more importantly, FSG) also have to decide if slightly bettering the club’s average performance in the Premier League era is satisfactory. In my book, doing so is enough to warrant another crack at a league season, but I can understand some restlessness amongst Kopites too; I’m not arguing that a multi-season assessment is ‘right’ necessarily, but it certainly beats looking at only a handful of matches which is what the media and many fans tend to do.
To answer the question in the title of this article, Rodgers needs thirteen point to match the club’s average performance for a Premier League season. For longer periods, he’s already well on track.