Upon Jurgen Klopp's appointment as Liverpool boss in October 2015, he spoke with Ian Graham - the club's director of research - about previous matches that his Borussia Dortmund outfit had contested.

Graham detailed a number of different games from the past Bundesliga season, pointing out the bad fortune that Dortmund had suffered on several occasions but to Klopp's surprise, Graham hadn't actually watched any of the fixtures.

His analysis and - crucially - his willingness to appreciate performance indicators allowed him to find that despite being in the relegation zone at the time, Klopp's side was clearly the second-best team in Germany behind only Bayern Munich.

"I analysed 10 seasons of Bundesliga performances," the physicist said, "and Dortmund were the second-unluckiest team in that 10-year history. It was just some terrible luck that cost Jurgen that one season. The performances did not match the results."

That final remark captures what spectators can fail to consider; wins are derived by any means necessary, yet the aspects that are required in order for wins to be consistent and sustainable tend to get overlooked.

When Klopp eventually decides to conclude his Liverpool legacy by leaving Anfield, those in charge of recruitment on Merseyside will once again identify his successor by appreciating performances in conjunction with results, which bodes well for a certain Steven Gerrard.

The former Liverpool captain has led Rangers since 2018 after resigning from his role as an academy coach at his boyhood club, and although he's yet to secure any silverware, his time in Scotland is almost certain to impress Graham and his team of analysts.

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Gerrard's period without a trophy looks likely to end in 2021, with Rangers currently on a different level to Old Firm rivals Celtic.

Through 15 Scottish Premiership matches this season, Gerrard's men are unbeaten having won 13 of those and, more notably, they have scored a total of 41 goals while conceding just three at the opposite end.

Such numbers are a product of solid performances, with the 40-year-old gradually improving his team's ability to out-shoot their opponents since the day he arrived in Glasgow.

Rangers have evolved from outshoot their opponents by around 4.1 shots per match before Steven Gerrard's appointment to 13.8 times per match in his third season
Rangers have evolved from outshoot their opponents by around 4.1 shots per match before Steven Gerrard's appointment to 13.8 times per match in his third season

In the season before Gerrard arrived, Rangers posted 14.3 shots per match in the Scottish Premiership and usually faced around 10.2 on the defensive side of the game, which means that Rangers averaged a shot differential per match of roughly +4.1.

With time, that shot differential has evolved to the extent that Rangers are currently shooting 18.2 times per match while allowing their opponents to muster only 4.4 attempts for themselves.

Rangers are boasting a shot differential of +13.8 at present, which is remarkable in comparison to every other team from Europe's top five leagues.

Rangers' shot differential this season would be enough to place them top of Europe's top five leagues at present
Rangers' shot differential this season would be enough to place them top of Europe's top five leagues at present

By shooting roughly 14 times more than the opposition, Rangers are technically ensuring that very little of the result is left open to the element of chance.

Liverpool's shot differential per-match currently ranks fifth in Europe, with the Reds typically posting in the region of 15.3 efforts on goal compared to 7.7 shots faced.

Manchester City rank seventh and Bayern Munich place 10th, while Arsenal rank as low as 75th with a negative differential of -3.2, meaning they typically face more shots than they generate.

At this point, it is worth noting that Rangers are one of only two teams that are truly capable of dominating the Scottish top-flight and many people would suggest that such numbers are to be expected.

While elements of that argument are true, the best domestic campaign that Brendan Rodgers experienced at Celtic when it comes to out-shooting opponents was in his first season.

Celtic posted a shot differential of +11.6, which Gerrard is on course to better for the second consecutive year.

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If his performances in Scotland aren't convincing enough, the Liverpool legend has proved that his team can compete in Europe.

Since his appointment, Rangers have lost only five of their 39 Europa League contests including qualification matches, and Bayer Leverkusen remain the only team to beat Gerrard's side by more than one goal.

The Glasgow outfit have kept a clean sheet in 20 of those 39 bouts, remaining undefeated against FC Porto, Benfica, Feyenoord and Villarreal in that period.

Gerrard has previously talked about his desire to retain many of the principles instilled by Rafa Benitez, albeit with more attacking flair.

Gerrard said: "In terms of the tactical side, I will always try and go for Rafa [Benitez] for the base. Out of possession - especially away in Europe - the block, compact, no lines, slide quick, and move at the speed of the ball.”

His management career is faring well and if he continues on his current trajectory, he could easily be in the running for a Premier League job before too long and - perhaps in the future - the chief role at Anfield.

For that happening to manifest at a data-driven club such as Liverpool, Gerrard needs to demonstrate that he's able to coach and improve a team to an elite standard .

Right now, he's doing exactly that.