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New Manager Bounce: Fact or fiction plus 13/1 new-boss acca!
Alex Wrigley
Alex Wrigley
April 5, 2023
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Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.

Graham Potter became the 13th managerial casualty on Sunday evening as the Chelsea boss was sacked just 206 days into a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

He is the fourth manager in the last month to leave his post and now, despite only being in March, we have already seen three more departures than in any other Premier League campaign.

Chelsea, as well as Tottenham, Leicester and Crystal Palace, will all be hoping the fabled “new manager bounce” can salvage their seasons, but does a change in gaffer really make much difference?

I analysed the 29 mid-season managerial changes since the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season in a bid to find out whether the so-called new manager bounce is truth or lie and the results are pretty conclusive.

I have omitted Graham Potter’s move from Brighton to Chelsea as his Amex Stadium exit was not down to poor form, while I have also excluded any change in managers during the off-season.

A change is as good as a rest

Here’s the key takeaway: Changing managers is, generally speaking, a good move.

You can find the full list of sackings and appointments at the bottom of this article, including the points-per-game tallies both before and after the new boss. But, for now, here’s a nice graph illustrating the success of mid-season management swaps.

Only four of the analysed managerial changes – Southampton’s appointment of Nathan Jones, Everton’s move from Rafa Benitez to Duncan Ferguson, Sheffield United’s sacking of Chris Wilder, and Watford’s mid-Covid switch from Nigel Pearson to Hayden Mullins – have yielded a drop in immediate form.

22 of these 29 switches have seen an improvement in the five games following a new manager’s appointment, with the average improvement being to the tune of 0.7 points-per-game.

There are a few standout candidates, too:

  • Ralf Rangnick to Manchester United (2 points-per-game improvement)
  • Thomas Tuchel to Chelsea (1.8 points-per-game improvement)
  • Jose Mourinho to Tottenham (1.8 points-per-game improvement)
  • Steven Gerrard to Aston Villa (1.8 points-per-game improvement)
  • Mike Jackson to Burnley (1.4 points-per-game improvement)

Gary O’Neil’s appointment at Bournemouth earlier this season yielded a 1.8 points-per-game improvement, although that is omitted from the above list because poor Scott Parker was dismissed after just three matches and zero points despite leading the Cherries back to the top flight.

Interestingly, you may notice that none of the five short-term successes above translated to lasting success. Three of them have since been sacked, while Rangnick and Jackson, who were both caretaker managers, were not given the chance to take charge permanently.

Trigger-happy Hornets lead the way

In a revelation that will surprise nobody, Watford lead the way on the managerial merry-go-round despite being relegated from the top flight last season.

They have switched managers five times in their three Premier League campaigns analysed, and that’s ignoring the two new bosses that have been appointed since their drop to the Championship.

It has been a tumultuous time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, too, with the departure of Antonio Conte taking them to five managerial changes since the start of the 2019/20 season, while Sean Dyche’s recent appointment at Goodison Park is Everton’s fourth head coach in this period.

Sticking to the Everton theme, unlucky Frank Lampard is the only top-flight manager to be sacked twice in this four-year period.

What next?

For Crystal Palace and Spurs, the pathway for the remainder of the season is already laid, with Roy Hodgson and Cristian Stellini set to lead the clubs through until the current season ends.

Both have taken charge of a single game so far, with Hodgson leading the Eagles to a win over Leicester and Stellini playing out a draw at Everton.

The waters are a bit more murky for Leicester and Chelsea, though, which is no surprise considering the former managers were only put out to pasture at the weekend.

Adam Sadler and Mike Stowell took charge of the Foxes’ midweek defeat to Aston Villa and are expected to continue against Bournemouth, although the board are not against the idea of hiring a more experience interim boss should results not improve.

Bruno Saltor was in charge of Chelsea for the woeful meeting with Liverpool on Tuesday but Frank Lampard has since been appointed as interim manager, although both Luis Enrique and Julian Nagelsmann are favourites for the permanent role.

In the immediate short term, all four sides have winnable fixtures this weekend as Aston Villa and Leicester host the lowly Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth, while Tottenham have a home game against Brighton and Chelsea make the trip to Wolves. They can be backed in a new manager bounce four-fold at 13/1 below.

Every mid-season managerial change since 2019/20 Premier League season

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