FEATURE | Is the ‘New Manager Bounce’ a myth?

The ‘new manager bounce’ is a phenomenon in football where a team drastically improves shortly after hiring a new boss.

Factors that can cause this spike in form: bringing a fresh perspective, increased motivation, tactical changes and psychological impact.

However, this bounce is not always guaranteed, and its duration can vary from team to team.

While some teams experience a sustained improvement under their new manager, others may see their initial boost in form taper off over time.

Additionally, the success of a new manager often depends on various factors, including the quality of the squad, the level of competition, and the financial state of the club.

Obviously, there has to be a lot of consideration when talking about a new manager bounce as it is all relative to the club and the difficulty of upcoming fixtures. But is this a real thing in the world of football?

In Europe’s top five leagues this season there have been 30 managerial changes.

In 25 out of 30 instances, you can analyse the team’s performance by comparing their form in the five matches preceding the managerial change with their form in the five matches following the appointment of a new boss.

When 18 teams changed managers, they got more points in their initial five games compared to the last five games under their predecessors.

This indicates that 72% of the clubs that replaced their manager this season experienced the ‘new manager bounce’.

To add to that, clubs average 5.92 points in the first five games of a new manager’s reign – which equates to nearly two wins in 5.

Whereas in the previous five matches they only averaged 3.18 points.

The club that has most benefited from this phenomenon is Empoli in the Serie A.

Empoli have sacked two managers this season, and in both cases their form improved immensely.

They got an extra 15 points combined from their two appointments in the first five games in charge.

To conclude, if a club was to sack a manager it would be worth nearly an extra three points on average this season. 

Get Football | Ewan Minns

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