Liverpool FC League Analysis 1990/91 – 2009/10

Liverpool FC League Analysis 1990/91 – 2009/10
May 24, 2010 Gary Fulcher

By Gary Fulcher.

Following on from my post looking at Liverpool’s 2009/10 stats, I wanted to assess every season since we last won the league title in 1989/90 before comparing each respective season in terms of best overall points total, worst overall points total, best & worst home record and best & worst away record. I’ve started off this post with statistical data of Rafa Benitez’s six years in charge but you can find data of every season starting with 1990/91 – 2009/10 in this PDF I created on which the second part of my analysis is based.

This is NOT intended to compare each manager’s overall record or impact at the club, nor is it taking into consideration finances, injuries, various disruptions during each season or any other variables. This is purely a statistical assessment of each league season. My work was done to find out just how accurate the media’s, pundits’ and ex-players’ claims are towards the 2009/10 season being our worst showing since 1999 (and some suggesting way beyond that).

2004/05 League record under Rafa Benitez:

•    Position: 5th P: 38 W: 17 D: 7 L: 14 F: 52 A: 41 GD: +11 Pts: 58
•    Pts behind 1st: 37
•    Home: P: 19 W: 12 D: 4 L: 3 F: 31 A: 15 GD: +16 Pts: 40, Rank: 4th
•    Away: P: 19 W: 5 D: 3 L: 11 F: 21 A: 26 GD: -5 Pts: 18, Rank: 10th

Winning percentage:

•    Overall – W: 45% D: 18% L: 37%, Rank: 5th
•    Home – W: 63% D: 21% L: 16%, Rank: 4th
•    Away – W: 26% D: 16% L: 58%, Rank: 10th

Attack & Defence:

•    Average goals scored – Home: 1.63, Failed to score: 21%, Rank: 4th
•    Average goals scored – Away: 1.11, Failed to scored: 47%, Rank: 9th
•    Average goals conceded – Home: 0.79, Clean sheets: 32%, Rank: 4th
•    Average goals conceded – Away: 1.37, Clean sheets: 5%, Rank: 7th
•    Clean sheets – Total: 7 Home: 6 Away: 1, Rank: Joint 15th

2005/06 League record under Rafa Benitez:

•    Position: 3rd P: 38 W: 25 D: 7 L: 6 F: 57 A: 25 GD: +32 Pts: 82
•    Pts behind 1st: 9
•    Home: P: 19 W: 15 D: 3 L: 1 F: 32 A: 8 GD: +24 Pts: 48, Rank: 2nd
•    Away: P: 19 W: 10 D: 4 L: 5 F: 25 A: 17 GD: +8 Pts: 34, Rank: 3rd

Winning percentage:

•    Overall – W: 66% D: 18% L: 16%, Rank: 3rd
•    Home – W: 79% D: 16% L: 5%, Rank: 2nd
•    Away – W: 53% D: 21% L: 26%, Rank: 3rd

Attack & Defence:

•    Average goals scored – Home: 1.68, Failed to score: 11%, Rank: 4th
•    Average goals scored – Away: 1.32, Failed to score: 32%, Rank: 2nd
•    Average goals conceded – Home: 0.42, Clean sheets: 74%, Rank: 1st
•    Average goals conceded – Away: 0.89, Clean sheets: 42%, Rank: 2nd
•    Clean sheets – Total: 22 Home: 14 Away: 8, Rank: 1st

2006/07 League record under Rafa Benitez:

•    Position: 3rd P: 38 W: 20 D: 8 L: 10 F: 57 A: 27 GD: +30 Pts: 68
•    Pts behind 1st: 21
•    Home: P: 19 W: 14 D: 4 L: 1 F: 39 A: 7 GD: +32 Pts: 46, Rank: 2nd
•    Away: P: 19 W: 6 D: 4 L: 9 F: 18 A: 20 GD: -2 Pts: 22, Rank: 5th

Winning percentage:

•    Overall – W: 53% D: 21% L: 26%, Rank: 3rd
•    Home – W: 74% D: 21% L: 5%, Rank: 2nd
•    Away – W: 32% D: 21% L: 47%, Rank: 5th

Attack & Defence:

•    Average goals scored – Home: 2.05, Failed to score: 16%, Rank: 3rd
•    Average goals scored – Away: 0.95, Failed to score: 53%, Rank: 13th
•    Average goals conceded – Home: 0.37, Clean sheets: 68%, Rank: 1st
•    Average goals conceded – Away: 1.05, Clean sheets: 37%, Rank: 5th
•    Clean sheets – Total: 20 Home: 13 Away: 7, Rank: 2nd

2007/08 League record under Rafa Benitez:

•    Position: 4th P: 38 W: 21 D: 13 L: 4 F: 67 A: 28 GD: +39 Pts: 76
•    Pts behind 1st: 11
•    Home: P: 19 W: 12 D: 6 L: 1 F: 43 A: 13 GD: +30 Pts: 42, Rank: 4th
•    Away: P: 19 W: 9 D: 7 L: 3 F: 24 A: 15 GD: +9 Pts: 34, Rank: 4th

Winning percentage:

•    Overall – W: 55% D: 34% L: 11%, Rank: 4th
•    Home – W: 63% D: 32% L: 5%, Rank: 4th
•    Away – W: 47% D: 37% L: 16%, Rank: 4th

Attack & Defence:

•    Average goals scored – Home: 2.26, Failed to score: 11%, Rank: 3rd
•    Average goals scored – Away: 1.26, Failed to score: 32%, Rank: 5th
•    Average goals conceded – Home: 0.68, Clean sheets: 47%, Rank: 3rd
•    Average goals conceded – Away: 0.79, Clean sheets: 47%, Rank: 2nd
•    Clean sheets – Total: 18 Home: 9 Away: 9, Rank: 3rd

2008/09 League record under Rafa Benitez:

•    Position: 2nd P: 38 W: 25 D: 11 L: 2 F: 77 A: 27 GD: +50 Pts: 86
•    Pts behind 1st: 4
•    Home: P: 19 W: 12 D: 7 L: 0 F: 41 A: 13 GD: +28 Pts: 43, Rank: 2nd
•    Away: P: 19 W: 13 D: 4 L: 2 F: 36 A: 14 GD: +22 Pts: 43, Rank: 2nd

Winning percentage:

•    Overall – W: 66% D: 29% L: 5%, Rank: 2nd
•    Home – W: 63% D: 37% L: 0%, Rank: 2nd
•    Away – W: 68% D: 21% L: 11%, Rank: 2nd

Attack & Defence:

•    Average goals scored – Home: 2.16, Failed to score: 16%, Rank: 2nd
•    Average goals scored – Away: 1.89, Failed to score: 16%, Rank: 2nd
•    Average goals conceded – Home: 0.68, Clean sheets: 58%, Rank: 3rd
•    Average goals conceded – Away: 0.74, Clean sheets: 47%, Rank: 3rd
•    Clean sheets – Total: 20 Home: 11 Away: 9 Rank: 3rd

2009/10 League record under Rafa Benitez:

•    Position: 7th P: 38 W: 18 D: 9 L: 11 F: 61 A: 35 GD: +26 Pts: 63
•    Pts behind 1st: 23
•    Home: P: 19 W: 13 D: 3 L: 3 F: 43 A: 15 GD: +28 Pts: 42, Rank: 5th
•    Away: P: 19 W: 5 D: 6 L: 8 F: 18 A: 20 GD: -2 Pts: 21, Rank: 8th

Winning percentage:

•    Overall – W: 47% D: 24% L: 29%, Rank: 7th
•    Home – W: 68% D: 16% L: 16%, Rank: 5th
•    Away – W: 26%, D: 32% L: 42%, Rank: 8th

Attack & Defence:

•    Average goals scored – Home: 2.26. Failed to score: 11%, Rank: 4th
•    Average goals scored – Away: 0.95, Failed to score: 47%, Rank: 10th
•    Average goals conceded – Home: 0.79, Clean sheets: 53%, Rank: 5th
•    Average goals conceded – Away: 1.05, Clean sheets: 37%, Rank: 3rd
•    Clean sheets – Total: 17 Home: 10 Away: 7 Rank: 3rd

I’ve taken the above information (and the information in the PDF) and ranked each season in specific categories to see how each season compares in areas such as highest overall points total, lowest overall points total, best home record, worst home record, best away record and worst away record.

Best overall season performance in points total:

•    Season: 2008/09, Points: 86/114, % of available points won: 75.4%, Position: 2nd, Points behind 1st: 4, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 2005/06, Points: 82/114, % of available points won: 71.9%, Position: 3rd, Points behind 1st: 9, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 2001/02, Points: 80/114, % of available points won: 70.1%, Position: 2nd, Points behind 1st: 7, Manager: Gerard Houllier
•    Season: 1990/91, Points: 76/114, % of available points won: 66.6%, Position: 2nd, Points behind 1st: 7, Manager: Kenny Dalglish
•    Season: 2007/08, Points: 76/114, % of available points won: 66.6%, Position: 4th, Points behind 1st: 11, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 1995/96, Points: 71/114, % of available points won: 62.2%, Position: 3rd, Points behind 1st: 11, Manager: Roy Evans
•    Season: 1994/95*, Points: 74/126, % of available points won: 58.7%, Position: 4th, Points behind 1st: 15, Manager: Roy Evans

Worst overall season performance in points total:

•    Season: 1992/93*, Points: 59/126, % of available points won: 46.8%, Position: 6th, Points behind 1st: 25, Manager: Graeme Souness
•    Season: 1998/99, Points: 54/114, % of available points won: 47.3%, Position: 7th, Points behind 1st: 25, Manager: Roy Evans & Gerard Houllier
•    Season: 1993/94*, Points: 60/126, % of available points won: 47.6%, Position: 8th, Points behind 1st: 32, Manager: Graeme Souness
•    Season: 2004/05, Points: 58/114, % of available points won: 50.8%, Position: 5th, Points behind 1st: 37, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 2003/04, Points: 60/114, % of available points won: 52.6%, Position: 4th, Points behind 1st: 30, Manager: Gerard Houllier
•    Season: 2009/10, Points: 63/114, % of available points won: 55.2%, Position: 7th, Points behind 1st: 23, Manager: Rafa Benitez

*Denotes the seasons where 42 games were played as opposed to 38 in the current format as there were 22 teams in the League at that time

Conclusions: On three occasions since we last won the league title in 1989/90, we’ve finished with a higher points total than what was needed to be crowned champions (79) in that year. Twice Rafa Benitez has broken the 80 point barrier; the other came under Gerard Houllier in 2001/02.

In 2004/05 we had a poorer league season compared to 2009/10. We finished with 5 fewer points yet ended up two places higher in the league. The difference was, although Chelsea finished a massive 37 points ahead of Liverpool, the overall standard of the league wasn’t as high as in 2009/10. Only Man Utd (3rd) outside of the top two finished with more than 70 points (77) during the 2004/05 season, yet both Arsenal (75) and Tottenham (70) reached the 70 point mark or higher during 2009/10. In comparison, Everton finished 4th in 2004/05 on 61 points, compare that to 2009/10 where Man City finished 5th with 67pts, Aston Villa 6th (64pts) and Liverpool 7th with 63pts, 2 points more than what earned Everton a crack at Champions League football in 2004/05.

Best home record in points (the ‘rank’ stated below is where the home form is ranked compared to the home records of every other Premier League club. In 2009/10 we had the 5th best home record in the league that season):

•    Season: 2005/06, Points: 48/57, % of available points won: 84.2%, Rank: 2nd, Overall league position: 2nd, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 2006/07, Points: 46/57, % of available points won: 80.7%, Rank: 2nd, Overall league position: 3rd, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 1995/96, Points: 46/57, % of available points won: 80.7%, Rank: 3rd, Overall league position: 3rd, Manager: Roy Evans
•    Season: 1990/91, Points: 45/57, % of available points won: 78.9%, Rank: 2nd, Overall league position: 2nd, Manager Kenny Dalglish
•    Season: 2008/09, Points: 43/57, % of available points won: 75.4%, Rank: 2nd, Overall league position: 2nd, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 2000/01, Points: 43/57, % of available points won: 75.4%, Rank: 3rd, Overall league position: 3rd, Manager Gerard Houllier
•    Season: 2007/08, Points: 42/57, % of available points won: 73.6%, Rank: 4th, Overall league position: 4th, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 2009/10, Points: 42/57, % of available points won: 73.6%, Rank: 5th, Overall league position: 7th, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season; 2001/02, Points: 41/57, % of available points won: 71.9%, Rank: 1st, Overall league position: 2nd, Manager Gerard Houllier
•    Season: 1997/98, Points: 41/57, % of available points won: 71.9%, Rank: 4th, Overall league position: 3rd, Manager: Roy Evans
•    Season: 1994/95*, Points: 44/63, % of available points won: 69.8%, Rank: 4th, Overall league position: 4th, Manager: Roy Evans
•    Season: 1991/92*, Points: 44/63, % of available points won: 69.8%, Rank: 2nd, Overall league position: 6th, Manager: Graeme Souness
•    Season: 1992/93*, Points: 43/63, % of available points won: 68.2%, Rank: 5th, Overall league position: 6th, Manager: Graeme Souness

*Denotes the seasons where 21 home games were played as opposed to 19 in the current format as there were 22 teams in the League at that time

Worst home record in points:

•    Season: 2003/04, Points: 34/57, % of available points won: 59.6%, Rank: 6th, Overall league position: 4th, Manager: Gerard Houllier
•    Season: 1998/99, Points: 35/57, % of available points won: 61.4%, Rank: 6th, Overall league position: 7th, Manager: Roy Evans & Gerard Houllier
•    Season: 2002/03, Points: 35/57, % of available points won: 61.4%, Rank: 8th, Overall league position: 5th, Manager: Gerard Houllier
•    Season: 1996/97, Points: 36/57, % of available points won: 63.1%, Rank: 4th, Overall league position: 4th, Manager: Roy Evans
•    Season: 1999/00, Points: 37/57, % of available points won: 64.9%, Rank: 7th, Overall league position: 4th, Manager: Gerard Houllier

Conclusions: It’s clear that we’ve consistently had an excellent home record in each of Rafa Benitez’s 6 seasons in charge, amassing a minimum of 40 points on each occasion. There have been claims from various ex-players and sections of the media that we’re in a worse state now than when Gerard Houllier left us in 2003/04 yet on four separate occasions under Gerard Houllier’s management, we finished with 37 points or less.  In the case of his final season in charge, we finished with just 34 points out of a possible 57.

Best away record in points:

•    Season: 2008/09, Points: 43/57, % of available points won: 75.4%, Rank: 2nd, Overall league position: 2nd, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 2001/02, Points: 39/57, % of available points won: 68.4%, Rank: 3rd, Overall league position: 2nd, Manager: Gerard Houllier
•    Season: 2005/06, Points: 34/57, % of available points won: 59.6%, Rank: 3rd, Overall league position: 3rd, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 2007/08, Points: 34/57, % of available points won: 59.6%, Rank: 4th, Overall league position: 4th, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 1996/97, Points: 32/57, % of available points won: 56.1%, Rank: 3rd, Overall league position: 4th, Manager: Roy Evans
•    Season: 1990/91, Points: 31/57, % of available points won: 54.3%, Rank: 2nd, Overall league position: 2nd, Manager: Kenny Dalglish
•    Season; 1999/00, Points: 30/57, % of available points won: 52.6%, Rank: 3rd, Overall league position: 4th, Manager: Gerard Houllier

Worst away record in points:

•    Season: 1992/93*, Points: 16/63, % of available points won: 25.4%, Rank: 18th, Overall league position: 6th, Manager: Graeme Souness
•    Season: 2004/05, Points: 18/57, % of available points won: 31.5%, Rank: 10, Overall league position: 5th, Manager: Rafa Benitez
•    Season: 1991/92*, Points: 20/63, % of available points won: 31.7%, Rank: 14th, Overall league position: 6th, Manager: Graeme Souness
•    Season: 1993/94*, Points: 20/63, % of available points won: 31.7%, Rank: 14th, Overall league position: 8th, Manager: Graeme Souness
•    Season: 1998/99, Points: 19/57, % of available points won: 33.3%, Rank: 11, Manager: Roy Evans & Gerard Houllier

*Denotes the seasons where 21 away games were played as opposed to 19 in the current format as there were 22 teams in the League at that time

Conclusions: Over the 20 year period that this data covers, we’ve only managed to surpass the 40 point mark away from home on one occasion. That was under Rafa Benitez during the 2008/09 season. Going further back, the last time we reached 40 points away from home came in 1987/88. A season where we ended with 90 points and were crowned Champions, although the one caveat with that season is that there were 21 teams in the league so one extra game was played away from home, meaning Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool won 66.6% of available away points, a lower percentage compared to what was achieved under Rafa Benitez in 2008/09. This doesn’t mean the Liverpool team of 2008/09 was a better team than the 1987/88 model, it simply means the bar has been raised considerably in modern day football.

On the one other occasion where Liverpool had a poor away record under Rafa Benitez (2004/05), we followed it up in 2005/06 with our third best points tally over a 20 year period of 34/57, winning 59.6% of available points on our travels. The stats aren’t bad for someone who supposedly “doesn’t understand English football”.

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