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English Premier League: What Difference Has Changing Managers Had This Season?

English Premier League: Claudio Ranieri sacked by Leicester City after winning Premier League Photo credit to Alex Hannam via Flickr


Who has changed managers in 2016/17?

With just a third of the 2016/17 English Premier League season remaining, there have been a total of six managerial changes made so far. Five clubs have made the changes. Crystal Palace, Hull City, Leicester City and Middlesbrough have all dispensed with a manger each. While Swansea City have replaced two managers.

English Premier League manager changes before Christmas?

The first manager to lose his job was Francesco Guidolin in late October. The Welsh club gave the Italian a new two-year deal in the summer after keeping them up last season. However after winning 1-0 at Burnley on the opening day of the season, the Swans lost five out of six games picking up just a single.

There were no other changes until late December when Crystal Palace sacked Alan Pardew, just eight months after taking the Eagles to the FA Cup final. But Palace picked up the fewest points in 2016 and this was ultimately the reason for the change.

Swansea made their second change of the season five days later, sacking American Bob Bradley. Bradley was in charge for just 85 days and won only twice in twelve matches. The main reason for his departure was his failing to address Swansea’s porous defense. They conceded a staggering 34 goals in his short tenure.

English Premier League manager changes after Christmas?

Hull City sacked Mike Phelan in early January with the Tigers bottom of the table. They started the season with two straight wins, in Phelan’s first managerial job. However they won just one more league game between September and January.

The fifth casualty of the season was by far the most shocking. Leicester City parted company with Cladio Ranieri after they slipped into the relegation zone. The Italian led the Foxes to an odds defying title win last season. The main reason for his surprising sacking was that he had reportedly lost the dressing room. Also Leicester’s failure to win away from home in the league all season was a contributing factor.

Middlesbrough are the latest club to make a change, having replaced Aitor Karanka over a week ago. The Spaniard led Borough to promotion from the Championship last season. This season however they have recorded a league low tally of just four wins. They were also the lowest scorers with just 19 goals before Karanka’s departure. This was enough to persuade chairman Steve Gibson to make a change.

Have the changes worked?

It is too early to tell if Middlesbrough’s change has worked, although they started life without Karanka with a 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

For Swansea the first change proved unsuccessful, and they were deep in relegation trouble when they made their second change. However the appointment of Paul Clement to replace Bob Bradley, has provided an upturn in form. They have won four out of his first nine league games to lift themselves out of the bottom three.

There have also been an improvement in league position for Crystal Palace and Hull following their managerial changes. Sam Allardyce has lifted Palace four points above the drop zone, and his team are starting to achieve the amount of clean sheets he is synonymous for. While Hull City have gone from 20th to 18th under Marco Silva, but are still relegation zone.

Four wins in a row for new Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare has proved that a change can bring an upturn in fortune straight away. However all the clubs that have changed manager are still in the battle to survive. Whether or not the changes in manager have worked, will depend on if they manage to stay in the English Premier League at the end of the season.