23 July 2010

New Manager, Better Results?

With recent additions to the Liverpool squad, morale's definitely improved, and fan expectations in regards to the coming season seem to have heightened. So I thought I'd go back and see how Liverpool fared after changing managers.

As always, click on the image to open in a new window.

When changes have been made mid-season (as with Shankly, Evans, and Houllier), I included the first full campaign the new man had in charge – the real test of whether the side's any different. Unsurprisingly, results vary.

Dramatic increases:
• Fagan to Dalglish (+11 points)
• Souness to Evans (+14 points)
• Evans/Houllier to Houllier (+13 points)

Dramatic decreases:
• Dalglish to Souness (-12 points)
• Evans to Evans/Houllier (-11 points)

Essentially unchanged:
• Taylor to Shankly
• Shankly to Paisley
• Paisley to Fagan
• Houllier to Benitez

It took time for Shankly to get Liverpool out of the Second Division (winning promotion two and a half seasons after taking the reigns, and winning the league two seasons after promotion). It took time for Benitez to revamp Houllier's squad (despite recent revisionism) and come to terms with the Premiership. But during the glory days, Liverpool kept humming, from Shankly, to Paisley, to Fagan, with results and league finish similar before Dalglish made an enormous impact.

Meanwhile, negative changes were soon evident during Souness' appalling tenure, and after the appalling idea to make Evans and Houllier joint managers.

Circumstances matter. Please remember that before expectations about Hodgson working wonders spin wildly out of control.

Full numbers follow below:

Phil Taylor --> Shankly (Shankly took over December 1959)
1958-59: 53pts (4th; 2nd div)
1959-60: 50pts (3rd; 2nd div)
1960-61: 52pts (3rd; 2nd div)

Shankly --> Paisley
1973-74: 57pts (2nd)
1974-75: 51pts (2nd)

Paisley --> Fagan
1982-83: 82 (1st)
1983-84: 80 (1st)

Fagan --> Dalglish
1984-85: 77 (2nd)
1985-86: 88 (1st)

Dalglish --> Souness (Souness started May 1991)
1990-91: 76 (2nd)
1991-92: 64 (6th)

Souness --> Evans (Evans started February 1994)
1992-93: 59 (6th)
1993-94: 60 (8th)
1994-95: 74 (4th)

Evans --> Evans/Houllier (Evans sacked November 1998) --> Houllier
1997-98: 65 (3rd)
1998-99: 54 (7th)
1999-00: 67 (4th)

Houllier --> Benitez
2003-04: 60 (4th)
2004-05: 58 (5th)


Ben said...

Very interesting read thanks. I'd be surprised if we don't do better than last season, which lets face it was abysmal. The real question is will we ever top the 86 we got in 2008/9. The answer to this is a NO for me, unfortunately.

drew said...

Good entry. I'd say that even a return to normal luck (evening out in ridiculous number of posts hit, no beach ball, so on) would produce a higher points return, but then I would expect that to be canceled out by inferior tactical knowledge and a smaller squad. Fourth and a CL spot would require as good a job as Roy did with Fulham the last two years, with less knowledge of his roster and much stricter limitations on the budget. In other words, I think it's probably out of reach, but on the edge of possibility if we are very lucky with the health of our core group.