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Comparing Apples To An Idiot

How do Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson really stack up?

Clive Brunskill

Over the past couple days, I've seen a lot of people trying to draw a parallel between Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson. And they're wondering why Rodgers isn't have his head called for by the fans like Woy was. After all, he doesn't have as many points as Hodgson did at this point in his tenure. While the argument laid out today at F365 is exactly the one I'd make, let's stack them up and see what we see.

Roy Hodgson's and Brendan Rodgers's first 10 League games

1-1 v. Arsenal (H) 0-3 v. West Brom (A)

0-3 v. Man City (A) 2-2 v. Man City (H)

1-0 v. West Brom (H) 0-2 v. Arsenal (H)

0-0 v. Birmingham (A) 1-1 v. Sunderland (A)

2-3 v. Man United (A) 1-2 v. Man United (H)

2-2 v. Sunderland (H) 5-2 v. Norwich (A)

1-2 v. Blackpool (H) 0-0 v. Stoke (H)

0-2 v. Everton (A) 1-0 v. Reading (H)

2-1 v. Blackburn (H) 2-2 v. Everton (A)

1-0 v. Bolton (A) 1-1 v. Newcastle (H)

3W-4L-3D - 12 points 2W-3L-5D - 11 points

I didn't include Hodgson's sad exit to Northampton in the Cup or Rodgers's only slightly better one to Swansea, though at least they're a top flight team. Both had similar results in Europa/UEFA as well.

Obviously, the actual record only looks better in that Rodgers managed more draws and one less loss, but of course the one less win. But let's look a little deeper. In Hodgson's first 10, he had treated us to a loss to or draw with relegation fighters or straight up relegated-later Blackpool, Birmigham, Sunderland (they were at the time), and scratched out wins against Blackburn and Bolton. Rodgers has seen only Sunderland, Reading, and Norwich that are near the bottom of the table, and got two wins and one draw. And one would expect Sunderland to emerge from there before it's all said and done.

Rodgers has seen the bigger teams as well. On Hodgson's tablet, there was Man City (not the champions they are now), Arsenal and Man United. Everton were not the force then. Rodgers has seen those first three, a much better Everton team, and Newcastle. While Hodgson managed a draw against Arsenal, he oversaw total capitulations to City and Everton while getting something of a brave defeat thanks to Gerrard doing it all by himself. Only against Arsenal has Rodgers's team looked completely out of it against a top side, and they should have had wins against City, Everton, and United. At no point under Hodgson's reign did we think we were robbed of a result, and usually felt sheepish about the wins.

Of course, the real story isn't the actual results, is it? Whereas Rodgers has brought Sterling, Suso, Wisdom through, we never saw any young players with Hodgson. Whereas Rodgers has brought Joe Allen, Assaidi, Nuri Sahin and Fabio Borini to the club (with only Borini not really showing anything yet, though he's young and we can see the movement at least) Hodgson treated us to Joe Cole, Paul Konchesky, and the only thing he got right in Raul Meireles. He also immediately shipped out Insua, Aquilani and basically torched Fernando Torres's desire. Only Andy Carroll generated any debate on his departure under Rodgers, and that was a half-hearted debate at best.

But the real question is what were they trying to install. Even though it's only flickered and sparked most of the time, most supporters can see what Rodgers is trying to do here. It's a system that fits well with the tradition and if it works, could totally overhaul the club. Hodgson came in and basically was just going to grind his way to points. You never saw imagination or invention.

To be somewhat fair to Roy, he took a job no one else would have at a club in absolute turmoil. There were some handcuffs. Rodgers comes in under a much more stable ownership that is financially more well off than Statler and Waldorf. At least we think.

But for me it's not even a question. I'm not guaranteeing that Rodgers will succeed, and the time where results have to start rolling in consistently is has parked the car and is approaching if it's not already ringing the bell. But a new culture and style and approach is worth having some patience for. Just trying to be functional and failing isn't.