News Article

Has the managerial sack race paid dividends for clubs in the Premier League?-Part 1

Written by: Darth Anakin

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With the sack race claiming yet more casualties in the Premier League by the turn of the year, Khel Now looks at how top flight clubs who have sacked their manager midway through a season have fared over the last decade, in a special two part series...

Hull City recently sacked manager Mike Phelan and replaced him with 39-year old Marco Silva. Swansea City have already changed managers twice; going from Francesco Guidolin to Bob Bradley and finally Paul Clement, former assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti. The other managerial change this season saw Crystal Palace sack Alan Pardew for Sam Allardyce.

In light of these changes, to understand how mid-season manager changes have affected a team in previous seasons, we looked at the performance of teams who changed managers during a season. The seasons observed for the research were: 2004/05 – 2015/16. Part 1 will look at the first six seasons.

 

Top of the Lot:

Manager 2

Season

Club

Games

PPG

Hiddink

2008/09

Chelsea

13

2.615

Grant

2007/08

Chelsea

32

2.313

Roeder

2005/06

Newcastle

15

2.133

Benitez

2012/13

Chelsea

26

1.962

Sherwood

2013/14

Spurs

22

1.909

Dalglish

2010/11

Liverpool

18

1.833

Mancini

2010/11

Man City

21

1.810

 

The above table sorts the managers by Points Per Game (PPG). All managers in this list are incoming managers who have replaced another mid season. Guus Hiddink recorded the highest PPG by an incoming manager mid-season, while Avram Grant has the highest PPG of a manager that managed more than half a season.

2004/05 Premier League Season:

 

During the 2004/05 season there were nine mid-season managerial changes with Southampton and Portsmouth changing their managers twice. Blackburn had the highest PPG difference after changing managers. The club were 19th when they sacked Graeme Souness and ended 15th by the end of the season. However, since Souness was only given 4 games it is hard to judge the difference between PPG.

Although Man City sacked their manager late in the season, the managerial change had a great impact on both their PPG and final position. They were 12th when Kevin Keegan was sacked but ended up finishing 8th after 1.78 PPG in their last 9 games under Stuart Pearce.

Southampton were the biggest losers of the season. Sacking their manager after two games proved costly as they moved from 1.50 PPG under Paul Sturrock to 0.64 and 0.91 under Steve Wigley and Harry Redknapp respectively. Eventually this led to their relegation finishing bottom of the league.

2005/06 Premier League season:

 

The 2005/06 season had the fewest mid season managerial changes in the time period studied. During this season only three clubs changed their managers; Portsmouth, Newcastle United and Sunderland. The most significant impact was had by Glenn Roeder at Newcastle. He replaced Souness after Newcastle had 26 points after 23 games and found themselves in 15th. Roeder was able to earn 32 points in their last 15 games to propel them to 7th place.

2006/07 Premier League season:

 


In the 2006/07 season there were six mid-season managerial changes. Charlton Athletic changed manager twice, West Ham United, Fulham, Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle were the other teams to change managers.

Halfway through the season Charlton were on their second manager, Alan Pardew, who was sacked by West Ham two weeks earlier, took the reins.  West Ham hired Alan Curbishley. Both clubs were in a relegation fight with West Ham 18th and Charlton 19th during the manager changes. However, Curbishley won the battle of the Alan’s securing 15th place for West Ham with 27 points in his 21 games in-charge. Pardew could only manage 19th and earned 22 points in his 19 games, unable to avoid relegation.

2007/08 Premier League Season:

 

 

The 2007/08 season saw the end of Jose Mourinho’s first stint at Chelsea, however the performance of Avram Grant is one to be applauded. Bolton, Tottenham Hotspur, Wigan Athletic and Fulham were in the relegation positions when they changed their managers, however all four survived the drop. Derby were not as fortunate, between both managers they managed to amass a record low of 11 points and were relegated bottom. Birmingham City and Steve Bruce had fallen out the summer before and when Wigan came calling Bruce obliged. This ended up fatal for Birmingham who replaced him with Alex McLeish but ended up getting relegated.

The manager who had the greatest impact on his club was Juande Ramos. When replacing Martin Jol mid-season Tottenham were 18th with 7 points in 10 games. He was able to move Tottenham seven places to 11th position by the end season with a PPG of 0.693 more than that of Jol.

2008/09 Premier League season:

 

 

In the 2008/09 season seven clubs changed their managers mid-season with Newcastle and Portsmouth changing managers twice in the season. This also marked the fifth successive season where Newcastle changed their manager before the season ended. Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Nigel Pearson, Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Alan Shearer are the managers who took charge of Newcastle between 2004 and 2009. The large turnover during this period finally saw them relegated from the Premier League finishing 18th.

Spurs, Sunderland and Blackburn were able to survive relegation scare when they replaced their managers. Spurs hired Redknapp, who left Portsmouth mid-season seeing them fall from 7th to 14th in the table by the end of the season. Redknapp guided Spurs from bottom to 8th position in his 29 games. Sunderland replaced Roy Keane with Ricky Sbragia and moved from 18th to 16th, while Blackburn replaced Paul Ince with Sam Allardyce and moved from 19th to 15th.

2009/10 Premier League Season:

 

 

The 2009/10 season was not as favourable to most managers as it has been in the past. During this season three out of the five managers who came in mid-season, got relegated. Avram Grant at Portsmouth, Brian Laws at Burnley and Ian Dowie at Hull City.

Bolton and Burnley are only separated by 32 miles and when Owen Coyle drove that distance to manage Bolton who were struggling at 18th, he left Burnley who were doing well following their promotion back into the Premier League. In what proved a great move for Coyle but a not so fortunate ending for Burnley, the tables were turned and Bolton finished 14th while Burnley finished 18th

This season saw the beginning of a new era in the Premier League, one which would include Manchester City. Roberto Mancini came in mid-season after Mark Hughes was let go. He was charged with introducing Man City as a new force in European football. Although Man City were 6th when he joined, he wasn’t able to propel them to the top four and had to settle for 5th.

 Part 2 to follow soon

 

Published: Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:26 PM IST

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