22 September 2011

Liverpool Managers: The First 30 Games

Yesterday marked Dalglish's 30th game in charge since taking over last January. The side's record over that span is 15W-6D-9L. How does that compare with previous bosses?

Read the hexagonal diagrams from left to right, in rows of six. Just to make things confusing. Linearity isn't really the point.

They're ranked in order of points per game in the table below. Yes, I'm aware wins weren't worth three points until 1981-82, giving draws greater importance for Paisley and Shankly, especially away from home. And that some games were in Europe, some were cup ties, etc. Bear with me anyway.

Managers appointed before the start of the season invariably, understandably had a better record than those appointed mid-campaign. Except Hodgson. Who managed 31 games in total. And whose record looks far better than it arguably should because of 10 Europa League ties, facing easier competition than his "peers" often had to handle.

Dalglish's record in his second stint is the best of managers appointed mid-season, joint-top with Souness (who needed slightly more than 30 games to wreck the house the Bootroom built) but with one more win. Houllier, in sole charge following his failed co-managerial partnership with Roy Evans, had the worst.

Outside of the Dalglish, Fagan, and Houllier outliers – the first two remarkably better, with Liverpool a perfect, soulless crushing machine devouring all comers in the 1980s, records are remarkably similar. It takes time for managers to make their mark, for better (Shankly, Paisley, Houllier, Benitez) or for worse (hi Graeme).

1 comment :

Tom Foolery said...

Enlightening as usual, Nate.

I've been having questions of this exact sort lately. But, being a lazy POS, I hadn't taken the time to actually research it. And, its 'good' to see that the trend of managers appointed midseason is fairly consistent with what we've seen from Dalglish this time round.

Its also good to see a comparison to respectable managers from the glory days. I've only been hearing comparisons to Roy Hodgson.

And, fuck Roy Hodgson. Pardon the French there. But... fuck Roy Hodgson.