For me as the author of this article it is extremely difficult to come with terms that my favourite team Liverpool are going through such a poor patch at the moment.
Whole ten matches in 2017 without a single win across all competitions have seen the Reds get eliminated from two Cup competitions, lose pace behind Chelsea in the Premier League title race and seemingly place their top 4 spot in real and tangible danger.
And as they sit backed by 5/4 betting odds to end the hoodoo against Tottenham at the weekend, there has been a devastating piece of statistics that only added insult to injury.
A piece of statistics illustrating the identical record between Jurgen Klopp and former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers. The two managers have both won 26 games, recorded 16 draws and 12 defeats in their first 54 Premier League matches in charge at Liverpool.
A dagger in every fans’ heart as the supporters of other Premier League teams think they have a last laugh at the Normal One.
Jurgen Klopp is actually worse than Brendan Rodgers…
And no, my intention is not to try and convince anyone into anything using biased arguments and claims. As much as it hurts to admit, looking at the overall record through all competitions Brendan Rodgers is actually holding an upper hand on the German tactician.
Looking at the first 85 matches in Liverpool’s hot seat, Rodgers has a better win percentage – 52% – to Jurgen Klopp’s 48%. Even though Jurgen Klopp’s team has received a widespread acclaim over the goalscoring ability, it was Rodgers’ team which scored more goals in his first 85 matches – 173 to 153.
Liverpool appear to have actually regressed under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp as the German seems unable to prove class over the mediocrity Brendan Rodgers has been submerged into during his finals days in change of the Anfield club.
Claiming that Brendan Rodgers had more time to get his team ready would not be a strong argument to hold against Jurgen Klopp, as Rodgers also had a middling first season. What is more, Rodgers boasts a runners-up finish with Liverpool in his second season at Anfield, while it seems that Jurgen Klopp will have difficulties breaking into top 4 as things stands at the moment.
…but is he really?
So why exactly am I asking of us all to stop comparing the two Liverpool bosses?
Let’s start from the reputation and previous work experience. There are no guarantees in football as we all know it but if Jurgen Klopp’s spell at Borussia Dortmund is anything to go by, then we could expect the German tactician to gain his footing eventually at Anfield.
Tying him down on a 6-year contract was another debated point and argument in the entire Brendan Rodgers comparing debate, but the fact Klopp received such a backing from LFC owners should be regarded as a break from what has become customary in world football – a break from impatience, lack of belief in own choices and lack of support.
Charisma is another thing not to be argued with, but Brendan Rodgers had a similar line of his own character. Yes, character. Jurgen Klopp’s infectious optimism is perhaps a trait currently giving the Liverpool boss a tad too much of the credit than he actually deserves, but given his winning mentality and the winner’s pedigree, it can be accepted as an argument.
Pros & Cons
One big point Jurgen Klopp has been fighting against is the increased competition for top places in the Premier League. The big five of English football – Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham – have never been stronger. With all of the clubs investing a great deal of money and effort to create as competitive sides as they can, it can be understandable that Liverpool are finding it too difficult to break into the leading pack with – let’s all agree on it – an average side.
Albeit a negative aspect in this analysis, Liverpool’s average team is an in favour argument for Jurgen Klopp as is stands as a testament to the German’s magic touch he used to transform a seemingly limited-quality side into a well-organised attack-oriented unit.
And while Brendan Rodgers had a world-class striker Luis Suarez to rely on as his main power engine, Jurgen Klopp has a more distributed unit with players thriving in each other’s company.
Having turned midfielder James Milner into a top left-back, Jordan Henderson a hard-working midfield machine and Adam Lallana into a versatile world-class footballer, Jurgen Klopp has alleviated pressure away from arguably the only top-class star in his squad – Philippe Coutinho.
With a couple of tweaks here and there, mainly to his defensive lines, and a world-class star or two to take the team on par with league’s big spenders, I am fairly certain that Jurgen Klopp will be able to prove to the doubting world that comparisons with Brendan Rodgers are simply out of place.
So, let’s stop with the comparisons. Please.
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