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Expectations table: managers under pressure?

5 January 2012

Wigan are eight points off predicted - should Martinez be under more pressure? (Image: Flickr/illarterate)

A break from league action after a busy period of games presents a good time to assess how the twenty Premier League clubs are progressing this season.

At the start of the season, the Euro Club Index predicted what the league table would look like before the FA Cup weekend break. The methodology is explained here. The table takes into account the postponement of Tottenham v Everton in August.

We can then compare this to the current league table to give us the expectations-adjusted standings. Positive deviations from expected points indicate teams are doing better than predicted, and vice versa for negative deviations.

In hindsight it’s easy to see why Man City are top of the league, but few predicted them to be this dominant – or free-scoring – in August, and that is reflected by their sizable improvement on expectations. Rivals Man United can be satisfied that they’re right where they’d expect to be points-wise, despite disappointing results around the New Year period.

Spurs and Newcastle continue to outperform themselves, and the ECI now predicts them to finish third and seventh respectively. Meanwhile, Martin O’Neill has saved Sunderland from their struggles, and the club are now marginally overachieving.

But what I find most striking is that of the eight clubs with negative deviations, only two possess managers distinctly under media or fan pressure: Chelsea’s Andre Villas Boas and Blackburn’s Steve Kean. Roberto Martinez, David Moyes, Martin Jol and to a slightly lesser extent Owen Coyle, Alex McLeish and Mick McCarthy all appear relatively safe despite underperformance.

Circumstances may differ from club to club, but it is inevitable results will catch up on one of these eight men before May.

Previous analyses from November (one and two) and October are also available. Data provided by Infostrada Sports from the Euro Club Index (powered by Hypercube). You can follow both Infostrada Sports accounts on Twitter: @InfostradaLive, @EuroClubIndex.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 5 January 2012 8:25 pm

    It’s interesting to note Chelsea has only under-performed by 3 points. Then what’s all the Chelsea fuss about? Chelsea has steadily been fading, as evidenced by the ECI. They are no longer a part of the top 3-4 clubs in Europe. The distance to Barcelona and Real Madrid is massive. One has to wonder if Chelsea will ever regain past glory. Just looking at the squad I can’t help but think they must invest huge if they are to be truly competitive again. AVB has a very difficult job.

    • 5 January 2012 9:37 pm

      Very true. They can’t even sell for large amounts of money given the age of the vast majority of their players, who all seemed to peak in 2009-10. I would hope Abramovich brought in AVB with a view to invest long-term, but I really can’t tell if that will bear true.

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