Feature

Has record high of manager changes brought success?

By Daniel Sandford 4 Apr 2023
GRAHAM-POTTER-BRENDAN-RODGERS

After the exits of Brendan Rodgers and Graham Potter, we look at how clubs fare with a new boss

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The departures of Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City and Graham Potter at Chelsea, both on Sunday, brought the number of managerial changes at Premier League clubs this season to a record high of 13.  

This is three more than the next-highest number of changes in a Premier League season, when 10 managers lost their jobs in 2013/14, 2017/18 and 2021/22.

In the last seven days alone, three managers have left their clubs: Antonio Conte at Tottenham Hotspur, Rodgers and Potter.  

Seven of the bottom nine teams have decided a change of manager was required this season, with only West Ham United’s David Moyes and Nottingham Forest’s Steve Cooper staying from the start. 

We have looked at all the 2022/23 managerial changes and whether they had the desired impact of improving results.

Manager changes 22/23
Club Manager Exit date Matches Pts/match
AVL Gerrard
Emery
21/10/22
-
11
15
0.82
1.93
BOU Parker
O'Neil
30/08/22
-
4
24
0.75
1.00
BHA Potter
De Zerbi
07/09/22
-
6
20
2.17
1.5
CHE Tuchel
Potter
07/09/22
02/04/23
6
22
1.67
1.27
CRY Vieira
Hodgson
17/03/23
-
27
1
1.00
3.00
EVE Lampard
Dyche
24/01/23
-
20
8
0.75
1.38
LEE Marsch
Gracia
06/02/23
-
20
5
0.90
1.40
LEI Rodgers 02/04/23 28 0.89
SOU Hasenhuttl
Jones
Selles
07/11/22
12/02/23
-
14
8
7
0.86
0.38
1.14
TOT Conte
Stellini
26/03/23
-
28
1
1.75
1.00
WOL Lage
Lopetegui
04/10/22
-
8
14
0.75
1.29

As the table above shows, the decision to change manager has largely paid off. Of the eight clubs who have played at least five times under a new manager this season, six teams are getting more points per match than under their former boss.

In addition to that number, Roy Hodgson has won his first match after returning to Crystal Palace.

AFC Bournemouth made an early change, dismissing Scott Parker after four matches, and his replacement Gary O’Neil immediately oversaw a six-match unbeaten run, taking the Cherries as high as eighth.

Despite subsequent struggles for form, they currently sit 16th, with O'Neil's average return 33 per cent better than Parker's.

Steven Gerrard was relieved of his duties by Aston Villa in October and the club have looked significantly better under Unai Emery, currently residing in the top half of the table for the first time since August.

Wolverhampton Wanderers were struggling for points and goals before Julen Lopetegui was appointed in place of Bruno Lage, and Lopetegui has since taken Wolves out of the bottom three up to 13th.

Sean Dyche and Javi Gracia have also improved the form of Everton and Leeds United respectively.

Success not a given

But the experience of Chelsea and Southampton show that a new face in the dugout should not be taken as guaranteed.

Potter was unable to improve on Thomas Tuchel's average of 1.67 points per match, regressing to 1.27 and paying the price. 

Saints fared worse under Nathan Jones than his predecessor Ralph Hasenhuttl this season, which is why they decided the former should join the latter through the exit door.

They did better with their second attempt, with Ruben Selles performing better than both Jones and Hassenhuttl despite Saints being bottom of the table.

And with the points gap at the bottom so tight this season, such marginal improvements might be the difference between Premier League safety and relegation.  

The relegation fight

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
12 Chelsea CHE 38 -9 44
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers WOL 38 -27 41
14 West Ham United WHU 38 -13 40
15 Bournemouth BOU 38 -34 39
16 Nottingham Forest NFO 38 -30 38
17 Everton EVE 38 -23 36
18 Leicester City LEI 38 -17 34
19 Leeds United LEE 38 -30 31
20 Southampton SOU 38 -37 25
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