Rodgers by Numbers: A Statistical Look at Celtic’s New Manager

Resident 90 Minute Cynic Stat Maestro Seth Dobson looks over the important numbers regarding Brendan Rodgers time at Liverpool – What can we expect from the new Celtic Manager? 


Aggressive Attack

As Table 1 indicates, Liverpool were among the top 4 in total shot attempts and shots on target (SoT) each season under Rodgers. This bodes well for Celtic, as total shots and SoT are among the most sustainable team metrics.

One concern is that Liverpool had relatively low Score Rates (goals per shot on target) in 2012/2013 and 2014/15. This can be explained in part by relatively low “danger zone” SoT in those seasons.

Danger zone or DZ refers to the central and/or close-range areas inside the box where most goals are scored from.

Thus, a relatively high percentage of Liverpool’s SoT in 2012/2013 and 2014/2015 were coming from outside the box or difficult angles inside the box, contributing to relatively low Score Rates.

However, given the league-best number DZ SoT produced by Liverpool in 2013/2014, I’m optimistic that Rodgers can do the same at Celtic with the right players and tactics.


Solid Defense

Liverpool had relatively solid defensive stats under Brendan Rodgers, top 8 or better for every metric in Table 1 except overall save rate and DZ save rate.

These numbers indicate that, in general, Liverpool was better than most teams at limiting both the quantity and the quality of opposition chances.

However, it appears that the Irishman’s time at Anfield was plagued by relatively poor goalkeeping.

In all three seasons, Liverpool’s save rate ranking was much lower than its DZ SoT conceded ranking. In other words, Liverpool’s goalkeepers conceded a high number of goals from low-quality attempts under Rodgers.

Given Craig Gordon’s recent domestic performances at Celtic, I am fairly confident that goalkeeping will not be a problem for Rodgers in his new job.

Bottom Line

Based on his stats at Liverpool, I am confident that Celtic’s new manager Brendan Rodgers will help the club continue to dominate Scottish football. Hopefully he can do so in a style that is attractive and entertaining as well. The big test will be Europe.




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