Guest post by Paul Micelli
The concept of Honeymoon periods and trapdoor dismissals doesn’t just appear to be validated in the case of Tottenham Hotspur. A quick study of statistics relating to the Premier League since it’s inauguration until the end of 2008 would indicate that the vast majority of clubs who employed a new manager experienced improved form during the seventh to twelfth games. In a large number of cases, a marked dip in form followed before continuity was established. In many cases the trapdoor inevitably opened again and further managerial casualties followed.
In terms of sports betting, there are several issues to look at when gambling on the results of sides that have newly-appointed managers. The first has to be instant impact and there are several key questions that must be asked before a bet can be wagered:
- Does the manager have a record of providing instant impact at previous clubs?
- Does the manager have a reputation for using strong motivational tactics, even if the players under his charge may not be in the same class of opponents in the same league?
- Is the side that the manager is taking over saddled with a record of underachievement?
Unless a positive answer can be given to the above questions, it would be more cautious to allow for a period of settlement before betting considerations were made. Indeed, the more sensible option would only be to consider bets in favour of the new manager and his charges during the peak honeymoon period of the seventh to twelfth games. On a positive aspect, the sports betting enthusiast will have a chance to back a side at higher prices in the first few weeks of a management regime if a motivational manager and an underachieving side are part of the equation. However, there are increased chances of a return if the side is backed at a later stage. Unfortunately, odds will drop if the side has already begun to show a period of continuity prior to the magical figure of seven games.
While the introduction of a new manager can by no means guarantee success, it is fair to expect a series of changes in the psyche of a side. In particular, caution should be administered if a side have been on a downward slide for an extensive period of time. The appointment of Gianfranco Zola at West Ham United showed all of the classic traits associated with a managerial change including a rise in the performance of players, an improved league position and a noticeable rise in form during the peak honeymoon period. However, the side eventually began to struggle once the initial impact of a new appointment subsided and during last season West Ham were extremely fortunate to retain Premier League status and the riches associated with playing in the top flight of English football.
As soon as the 2009/2010 ended, Zola was immediately relieved of his duties. Unsurprisingly, his statistical record indicated classic trapdoor form. The studious sports betting enthusiast will already have one side to keep a close eye on during the early stages of the next Premier League campaign.