A double update this week, broken down into each week.
A bumper number of overall points scored this week with 253 points, the highest tally for 8 weeks. Many of these points were awarded as a result of a couple of the big boys being turned over and some other surprising results.
Mark Hughes’ win over Chelsea at home earned him a huge 35 points this week, Hughtons away win at West Brom was worth 34 points and the manner of Pulis’ win at home against Cardiff saw him collect 28 points.
Alan Pardew may be a little disappointed that his 1-0 win at Old Trafford didn’t earn him more than the 24 points that were awarded, however wins at Old Trafford don’t seem so rare these days.
Pulis v Holloway
Hands up all those who wrote off Palaces chance of staying up this season (my hand is up).
Pulis has had a remarkable impact since joining Palace and is currently only second to Arsene Wenger (19.8) on impact points per game. With 23 games left (as of week 15), if Pulis continues in this vain he will end up with 450 points!
None of Pulis’ points so far have come from substitute impacts as yet. If he starts to add these points to his impacts he will climb the table rapidly.
The average Points Per Game is shown below:
The movement up and down the table for Week 15 is as follows:
Last weekends games saw some more surprising results and resulted in further “mutual decisions” being reached between clubs and managers (does nobody get sacked anymore?). We’ll look at those later.
The big winner for the week was Brendan Rodgers, and deservedly so, gaining 39 points for the 5-0 win at Spurs. This puts Rodgers as the joint highest ever weekly points scorer, tying with Steve Bruce.
Arsene Wenger scored zero points for the first time and Villas Boas scored -2 points, his lowest ever and his first time in negative figures.
The weekends results appeared to be the final straw for 2 Chairmen with both Steve Clarke and Andre Villas Boas paying the price for poor performances.
I thought it might be an idea to see how they have moved in the Manager Impact Index table over the last 16 games.
Both managers have been in a recent decline, however I still believe that Steve Clarke was actually doing a decent job as manager of a poor team, whereas Villas Boas was doing an average job as the manager of what could be a very good team.
There has been a lot of discussion over whether AVB chose the players that Spurs signed in the summer or whether they were ‘gifted’ to him. Either way, there has appeared to be a huge imbalance in the style of players and the style of play, one that will need addressing very quickly.
I like to think that if a manager is higher in the Impact Index than his team are in the table, he is over-performing in his managerial duties, whereas if the team is higher in the Premier League table than the manager is in the Index, the team are performing better than the manager. I just need to work out a rationale for this.
My point being, West Brom sit 16th in the EPL, whereas Steve Clarke has been in the top half of the index since week 4. Surely he’s doing his part in respect of impacts?
Just for fun, lets throw Allardyce, Bruce and Rodgers onto the same sort of chart:
How is Sam Allardyce still in a job??? West Ham sit 1 point above the relegation places and, of the managers that started the season, Allardyce is firmly rooted to the bottom, 57 points behind Paul Lambert.
Steve Bruce is performing 2 places worse than Hull City are in the Premier League table, suggesting that the team would be doing as well without his impacts and Rodgers is on the rise, climbing 8 places in the past 3 weeks. In reality, Bruce is having a very up and down season, when he gets it wrong its awful, when he gets it right its heavenly.
Simon Kuper (@KuperSimon), author of Soccernomics (an excellent read if you’re looking for a last minute Christmas present) recently suggested on Channel 4 News (http://www.channel4.com/news/the-fickle-world-of-a-football-manager-two-leave-jobs) that managers are increasingly becoming human sacrifices for when the pressure is on.
I think he’s right, but the whole situation is wrong.
New managers rarely bring a magic wand with them (Tony Pulis excepted) and clubs know this. So what other reason can they have for the short-termism that many have if not fan appeasement? Do Spurs expect their new manager to get them a Champions League place? Do WBA expect their manager to finish mid table? Whoever they may be are under crazy pressure before they’ve even started!
The chart below is the table at week 16. Click it to be taken to a tableau chart with further detail, including the last 6 weeks places.
Wengers week 15 lead of 42 points is now cut to just 8 points and Gus Poyet is one decent week away from overtaking Sam Allardyce. That said, Tony Pulis is one decent week away from overtaking Poyet.
I’ll be updating over Christmas so make sure you come back!