With the ever-increasing pressure on Premier League managers, it is never too long before the first casualty of a new season emerges.
This term is was Sunderland, sacking Paolo Di Canio back in September. Six other clubs have had managerial changes since, with Fulham having two new men at the helm since Martin Jol was given his marching orders back on December 1.
However, with statistics compiled by Proven Quality being used, have the clubs been right to part ways with their managers?
It should be stated that Crystal Palace have been the only club that have parted company with their manager ‘by mutual consent’, with Ian Holloway leaving the London club in October and being replaced by Tony Pulis a month later.
It appears that the Selhurst Park outfit have made the right choice, as their points per game statistics have dramatically improved, even if they are now scoring less goals.
For Tottenham, Tim Sherwood has replaced Andre Villas Boas, with the former midfielder leading the north London club towards the top four. Spurs have won much more points on average after the change, scored more goals and conceded less.
Sunderland are another side that look vindicated in their decision, with the average points per game jumping from 0.2 to 1.2 under Gus Poyet. The Black Cats are still in the relegation zone at the time of writing, but have improved significantly both statistically and on the pitch.
Rene Meulensteen seems to have paid the price for a continuation of the work of Martin Jol, as Fulham have averaged 0.8 points per game under both managers. New boss Felix Magath will need to exceed this to keep his job and ensure the Cottagers avoid the drop.
West Brom’s decision to axe Steve Clarke in favour of Pepe Mel was something of a shock back in December. Although the Baggies have been scoring on average more goals per game since the Scot’s dismissal, their points average has been slightly worse.
Cardiff’s eccentric owner Vincent Tan showed Malky Mackay the door in December, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replacing him a week later. The Bluebirds could well rue this decision; the Welsh side was averaging more points under Mackay and conceded drastically less goals.
Finally, Swansea sacked Michael Laudrup recently, with Garry Monk taking over on an interim basis. With only two games played since the change the stats are not conclusive, but the managerial change has worked in the Liberty Stadium’s benefit in the short term.
Sacking a side's manager appears to have severe consequences; some good and some bad. For the likes of Crystal Palace, Tottenham and Sunderland, a change in the hot seat has played its part in an upturn in fortunes.
However, for the likes of Cardiff, Fulham and West Brom, they may well have been better served in showing some loyalty and sticking with what they had.
For a more in-depth analysis and to see the full figures visit Proven Quality.
image: © joncandy