Do football managers matter in the Premier League?

The role of football managers in the Barclays Premier League, and how clubs and fans measure their success, is changing.

At the top of league, many now contest that the money at the disposal of clubs and the depth of quality squads possess are the real driving forces behind team performance. Have these conditions in place, the argument goes, and almost anyone should be able to successfully manage a big team to success.

At the other end of the table, this same influx of money to the top flight means the financial costs of failure have never been greater. Yet the average tenure of a Premier League manager has never been shorter.

This new series of articles aims to explore these issues by interrogating the range of myths surrounding the role and true value of the modern football manager.


Alex_FergusonPart one: Finances drive success, but can a top manager can make a big difference?

Last summer, Sir Alex Ferguson drew to a close the most successful football management career in British football history.

As a result of his record, he is held as the greatest of his, and possibly any, generation, and is surely living proof that the role of football manager continues to dominate top flight British football. But should the accomplishments of all managers, even the of the great Sir Alex Ferguson, be treated with a degree of scepticism?

Read the full article here.


Andre+Villas+Boas+Suits+Men+Suit+uvAKbe19G39lPart two: Changing manager offers no guarantee of improvement

We are not halfway through the current season, and yet a quarter of Premier League teams have decided the only way to save their campaign is to change their manager.

Poyet, Pulis and Muelensteen may all go on to improve their sides. West Brom and Spurs may yet have successful seasons. But historical evidence indicates that a new man in the dugout brings absolutely no guarantee of an improvement on the pitch.

Read the full article here.


pardew creative commonsPart three: The pressure facing Premier League bosses

Despite the limitations they face, expectations on football managers in all parts of the Premier League have now reached unprecedented levels of intensity.

This is reflected in the high turnover rates of Premier League bosses. Across each of the last five years, at least 20% of managers that started the season have left their club before its conclusion, and already this season, five have occured. What are the big factors causing this pressure, and what does it mean for the future of the Premier League?

Read the full article here.


  1. Stephen says:

    As a United fan I am going to have to say a good manager really does matter. I don’t think Moyes has been a flop this year, just SAF worked wonders with the team last year and was fortunate that Van Persie was on fire.
    I also think Moyes (poor) short run is actually relevant when looking over the last decade, much of the success Chelsea achieved was with “short term” managers whose trophies are included when judging their success. Chelsea could probably have dominated the last decade if the relationship between Mourinho and Abramovic hadn’t gone wrong and ultimately they have underachieved. Without his money Chelsea wouldn’t have a single title but without his egotistical personality they could have won so much more. I think City will go in the same direction and they too will underachieve for the money they invest, and on the other hand I think Moyes will be given time to remodel the squad and achieve his own level of success (albeit not on SAF’s level)


  1. […] data suggests that these instances may actually be the exception to the rule, rather than the norm. Analysis in the first part of this series indicated that the biggest factor by far in determining team performance is the amount a club […]

  2. […] Do managers matter in the Premier League? […]

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