As Felix Magath becomes the twelfth man to take charge of a Premiership club during the current campaign we take a look at whether changing managers has helped clubs this season.
Those 12 includes four caretakers at Sunderland, West Brom, Cardiff and Crystal Palace while there have also been mid-season changes at Tottenham, Swansea and Fulham who have now changed manager twice with Magath replacing Rene Meulensteen just 75 days after he had replaced fellow Dutchman Martin Jol.
Meanwhile the likes of West Ham and Norwich City have resisted the temptation to sack their bosses despite being under pressure at different times of the season.
The widely held belief is that changing manager can give a club a short term lift which can improve results, of course not all these managers have been dismissed solely due to results but what do the stats say about the results for teams who have changed during this season?
Well of those teams four have seen an improvement in league results since their new manager took charge, Tottenham, Palace and Sunderland, while Garry Monk’s tenure at Swansea is in its early stages his two league games have produced a win and a draw.
The board at Tottenham will certainly feel their decision to replace Andre Villas-Boas with Tim Sherwood has been vindicated, the team have picked up 23 points in Sherwood’s 10 games in charge, just four shy of the total they managed in 16 games under AVB, that is a win percentage of 70% compared to 50% a run which has put them in contention for a Champions League spot.
Crystal Palace and Sunderland both appeared destined for the Championship but have had a renaissance under new managers Tony Pulis and Gus Poyet.
When Pulis took over at Selhurst Park Palace had won just two of their first 12 games, under Pulis they won six of the next 13 a win percentage of 46% compared with 16.6%.
Poyet replaced Paolo Di Canio after just seven games of the season when the Black Cats had just one point on the board, the next 18 games under Poyet has seen six wins giving them a fighting chance of staying in the league meanwhile securing a Capital One Cup final place and progression in the F.A Cup.
Cardiff’s win percentage under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is similar to what it was under Malky Mackay although after only five games for the Norwegian it is perhaps too early to draw a conclusion from that.
The same could be said for Pepe Mel at West Brom who have yet to win in the Spaniard’s five games in charge, while Fulham gathered exactly the same number of points in Meulensteen’s 13 games in charge as they did in the first 13 under Martin Jol.
These figures suggest that of those faltering clubs the ones which have acted earliest have seen the biggest improvement in results.
While there are many examples of managers getting a club out of a rut if they are given time to do so, West Ham this year for instance, fans of Norwich City might look at Crystal Palace and Sunderland’s results since changing managers and wonder what might have happened if their board had acted when Chris Hughton was under pressure.
Tottenham are the only team who were in the top half when they changed manager, so it could be said that the acid test of these decision will come at the end of the season with the other six clubs still facing the prospect of relegation.
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