Is Klopp the Greatest Liverpool Manager?

Alex Lew, CFA
4 min readMay 11, 2024
  • Efficiency in Winning Trophies: Bob Paisley stands out with the highest trophies per year ratio (2.22), indicating exceptional efficiency in winning silverware.
  • Offensive Strength: Kenny Dalglish (1st tenure) has the highest goals per game ratio (1.22), showcasing a strong offensive strategy during his tenure.
  • Defensive Strength: Bob Paisley also shows the strongest defensive record with only 0.45 goals conceded per game.
  • Consistent High Performance: Jürgen Klopp has the highest win percentage, suggesting highly effective management in the modern era despite fewer total trophies compared to Paisley.

Goals to Concede Ratio

Manager Goals to Concede Ratio Goals to Concede Efficiency Rank Bob Paisley 2.35 1 Kenny Dalglish (1st) 2.21 2 Jürgen Klopp 2.09 3 Rafael Benítez 1.94 4 Bill Shankly 1.71 5

  • Bob Paisley ranks the highest with a ratio of 2.35, indicating the most effective offensive performance relative to defensive vulnerabilities.
  • Kenny Dalglish (1st tenure) and Jürgen Klopp follow, reflecting strong offensive strategies while maintaining better defensive records compared to the others.
  • Rafael Benítez and Bill Shankly round out the rankings, with Shankly having the least efficient ratio in this category.

Trophy and Win rate ratio

Trophy Efficiency Analysis:

  • Bob Paisley leads significantly with a ratio of 2.22 trophies per year, indicating exceptional efficiency in winning silverware during his tenure.
  • Kenny Dalglish (1st tenure) ranks second with a ratio of 0.83, showing a strong ability to secure trophies relative to his years managed.
  • Jürgen Klopp ranks third, while still being competitive with a ratio of 0.78 trophies per year.
  • Rafael Benítez and Bill Shankly have lower trophy per year ratios, indicating less efficiency in securing trophies relative to their tenures.

Win Rate Efficiency Analysis:

  • Jürgen Klopp has the highest win percentage at 60.73%, demonstrating the most effective management in terms of winning matches.
  • Kenny Dalglish (1st tenure) follows with a win percentage of 58.53%, also showcasing strong match-winning capabilities.
  • Bob Paisley, while third in win rate, still shows a very competitive 57.57%, complemented by his highest trophy efficiency.
  • Rafael Benítez and Bill Shankly rank lower in win percentage, aligning with their overall lower rankings in trophy efficiency.

We now work on weighted Efficiency Rankings

Formula Components:

  1. Trophy Efficiency Rank (TER): Rank assigned based on trophies won per year. Lower ranks are better, indicating higher efficiency.
  2. Win Rate Efficiency Rank (WRER): Rank based on the win percentage. Lower ranks are better, indicating a higher win rate.
  3. Goals to Concede Efficiency Rank (GCER): Rank based on the ratio of goals scored to goals conceded. Lower ranks are better, indicating more goals scored for each goal conceded.

Weightages Assigned to Each Component:

  • Trophy Efficiency: 50% (0.50)
  • Win Rate Efficiency: 30% (0.30)
  • Goals to Concede Efficiency: 20% (0.20)

Final Manager Efficiency Rankings

Take note that Bill Shankly has transformatory impact on the club instead

Jürgen Klopp

  • Trophies per Year: 0.78
  • Win Percentage: 60.73
  • Goals to Concede Ratio: 2.09
  • Weighted Score: 2.4

Comment: Klopp shows a high win percentage, the highest among the managers, which reflects his effective and aggressive playing style that tends to score more goals than it concedes. His trophies per year are solid, but not the highest, suggesting that while his team performs exceptionally well in matches, this performance does not always translate into the highest number of trophies per year compared to historical counterparts.

Bob Paisley

  • Trophies per Year: 2.22
  • Win Percentage: 57.57
  • Goals to Concede Ratio: 2.35
  • Weighted Score: 1.6

Comment: Paisley has an exceptional record for trophies per year and the best goals to concede ratio, indicating not only success in winning titles but also in maintaining a strong defensive record while being highly effective offensively. His lower weighted score (best among the managers) signifies overall the most balanced and successful management period.

Bill Shankly

  • Trophies per Year: 0.40
  • Win Percentage: 52.11
  • Goals to Concede Ratio: 1.71
  • Weighted Score: 5.0

Comment: Shankly’s numbers reflect the foundational work he put in; although his metrics are lower across the board, his impact goes beyond the numbers. His higher weighted score indicates relative underperformance in these metrics, yet he is known for building the team’s ethos and setting up future successes.

Rafael Benítez

  • Trophies per Year: 0.50
  • Win Percentage: 56.29
  • Goals to Concede Ratio: 1.94
  • Weighted Score: 4.0

Comment: Benítez’s tenure saw moderate success across all metrics. Known for tactical prowess, his slightly better goals to concede ratio than Shankly or Klopp highlights his defensive organization. His period of management was stable but not as trophy-laden as some of his predecessors.

Kenny Dalglish (1st tenure)

  • Trophies per Year: 0.83
  • Win Percentage: 58.53
  • Goals to Concede Ratio: 2.21
  • Weighted Score: 2.0

Comment: Dalglish’s numbers show a balance between offensive effectiveness and winning, with a good number of trophies and a high win rate. His style reflected a dynamic and attacking approach, and his weighted score places him effectively amongst the greats, highlighting his impact during his first tenure.

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