Premier League Manager Sackings – For better or for worse?

October and November is a very common time for Managers to be given the axe. The Premier League clubs will have played enough games for the board to assess the performance the team and decide whether the manager has been underperforming or not. Also the 2 week gap in games gives the rare opportunity to find a replacement without too much disruption to the clubs order.

Before the end of 2017, there were 6 manager sackings in the Premier League. We will be analysing the performance of each of these teams before and after the changes to see if the board was justified in their decisions. Here is a table of the 6 managers and their departure dates.

Simply looking at the points of the teams would not be an adequate analysis of a teams true performance with only a handful of datapoints. For this created an alternative points system that distributes points based not only on the outcomes, but on the odds that the team had of winning the match. A team that defeats a stronger team would win more points than if they beat a weaker team and would also lose a certain amount of points depending on the strength of the opposition.


Frank de Boer – Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace manager had only been at the club for 77 days before he was given the axe after only four premier league games, all of them losses. His replacement, Roy Hodgson, has been manager for 26 gameweeks so far and has a Premier League record of 6 Wins, 9 Draws and 11 Losses.


Craig Shakespeare – Leicester City

Shakespeare was signed on as the Leicester manager on 12 March, and become the first English manager to their first 4 league matches. His Leicester career didn’t last long though as he was sacked after only winning only 1 match after 8 games. Michael Appleton was brought in as interim manager for one game before Claude Puel was hired for the permanent spot of manager. With Puel holding the reigns, the club has enjoyed a record of 7 Wins, 7 Draws, and 6 Losses; a vast improvement and taking the team out of the relegation zone.


Ronald Koeman – Everton

Koeman lasted only till gameweek 9 before being forced to leave after only securing 2 wins for Everton F.C. The search for a new manager last 4 weeks until Sam Allardyce was brought in on an 18 month contract. Since then Allardyce has enjoyed a record of 7 wins, 4 draws and 6 losses.


Slaven Bilic  – West Ham

After driving his team to the relegation zone after 11 games, West Ham decided to sack their manager of nearly 3 years after a poor performance. With only 2 wins under their belt, West Ham decided to hire David Moyes to lead the club. So far Moyes has got 5 wins under his belt out of 19 games, not a massive improvement on Bilic and still leaves West Ham in danger of being relegated.


Tony Pulis – West Brom

Without a win in 10 games, West Brom decided to ditch Tony Pulis after being manager for the past 3 seasons. Alan Pardew took up the mantle but so far the club has seen no improvement in their Premier League performance.


Paul Clement – Swansea

The Swansea Manager last the last to be given the axe before the end of the year. After only getting 3 wins in 18 weeks, Swansea decided it was time for Clement to leave and Carlos Carvalhal was brought in on time for gameweek 20. After only playing half the amount of games, Carvalhal has managed to secure 5 wins and 3 draws. Even though points are  tight at the bottom of the table, Swansea’s decision to sack Clement may have saved them from relegation.

Alternative Points

Below we present a table of the amount of points each team accumulated using our alternative point based system with their old and new managers. A score of 0 is defined as the club performing exactly as they would be expected to perform based on the odds that are given my betting websites such as William Hill.

Out of the 6 clubs that sacked managers in the first four month of the Premier League, only one of the teams, Swansea, started to perform worse according to the alternative league point system. This shows that club performance almost always increases after a manager swap. An ideal time to bet on the club while the odds are low.

Who Will Face Relegation?

Three teams will be relegated in only 8 games time. With a potential 24 points still to play for, the teams at the bottom of the table will have to make up as many points as they can to avoid missing out on being the Premier League next season. With West Brom at the very bottom with only 20 points and no signs of improvement from Alan Pardew, they will be the obvious choice for relegation. Everton and Leicester are safe and recovered from their struggles early in the season, but it is possibly too late for Swansea who waited too long before sacking Clement to repair the damage he had done. West Ham and Crystal Palace are also still not performing to their standards and will have to land some points in these last crucial games if they want to play in the Premier League next season.

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