John W. Henry, the owner of Liverpool and the Red Sox, revealed how he chose a losing coach to take charge of the Reds to take them to European glory.
John W. Henry bought Liverpool, a historic team from England, in 2010, when the club were in an economic and sporting crisis. His mission was to return the Anfield side to the top in the Premier League and to become a central team in the Champions League. But it was in 2015 that he found the perfect recipe to reach his goal.
After three years, the Red Sox and Boston Globe owner has revealed the method on which he relied to hire Jürgen Klopp, a losing strategist who would be in charge of settling Liverpool at the top of the football world. Henry didn't trust in public opinion, so he looked for a mathematical method very similar to 'Moneyball'.
According to El País, Henry used a Cambridge physicist's mathematical model to select the coach and reinforcements essential for Liverpool to win the UEFA Champions League, which they did last Saturday in Madrid.
Liverpool's owner is an expert of advanced statistics, so when he saw Ian Graham's study, he realised this was the method he wanted to follow to form winning a team.
Graham's study is about eliminating the numerous random football elements to end up without distortions. The New York Times revealed that to obtain this data, the Cambridge doctor did not see any football match since that could bias the final result.
Graham's arrival at Liverpool
When Graham was appointed as the head of analysis at Liverpool, the magic began. Along with Dafydd Steele and Will Searman, he set up a lab at Melwood to identify the best strategist to face this new project, as well as looking for the right players.
Three seasons after starting the project, results began to come; from being lower down the table in England, Liverpool have reached two Champions League finals in a row and were runners-up in the Premier League this season, with 97 points.
Since the Klopp and analysts project began, the Reds have dug deep to sign players like Salah, Mané, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Robertson, Becker, Fabinho and Van Dijk; they're the spine of the 2018-19 Champions League winners.
Between Becker, Fabinho and Van Dijk, on the one hand, the Dutch defender is the most expensive in the world, 84 million was spent on a defender who has not been dribbled past in the last 64 games. About 82 million was paid for the Brazilian goalkeeper, making him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, and finally Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, on whom Liverpool spent 50 million, was worth every penny, as he became the mind behind Klopp's game this season.
So far things have gone well for John W. Henry with the math system, but this summer everything can change since there's talk about some of his stars leaving the club, although it'll be necessary to see who the new additions are.