The impact of League Two managerial appointments during the 2017/18 season

by Mike Holden / 16 May 2018, 14:03

Martin Allen's reputation as one of the EFL's great firefighters remains firmly intact, despite Barnet's relegation to the National League. Realistically, he couldn't have done any more to drag them out of trouble.

The Bees had no right to expect survival when they appointed Mad Dog for the fifth time in late March, sitting seven points adrift of safety with just eight games remaining. Yet they came mighty close, levelling up on points with Morecambe on the final day, who only kept their heads above water due to a convenient 0-0 draw with Coventry.

Allen had started his tenure with a routine 2-0 defeat at promotion-chasing Luton that surprised nobody but then mounted an admirable late charge with five wins from the final seven matches, including a gutsy 1-0 win at the Globe Arena when relegation would have been confirmed by anything less.

Michael Jolley was the biggest success story. The picture was looking extremely ominous for Grimsby when he was named as a surprising but imaginative successor to Russell Slade and it took a monumental effort on behalf of the 41-year-old former AFC Eskilstuna boss to turn the tide.

The Mariners were winless in 15 matches when Jolley arrived, having picked up only four points from the last available 45, a sequence that stretched by another five matches - yielding just two points - under his tutelage.

However, the breakthrough came with a late penalty in a nerve-shredding six-point with Chesterfield that Mitch Rose duly dispatched. Defeat in that game would have seen the Spireites close to within a point of Grimsby with three games in hand. Instead, it triggered a flourish of four wins and a draw from the last five matches.

Meanwhile, there were no winners from Steve Evans' shock departure to Peterborough as both Mansfield and Swindon fell apart from that point onwards.

The Stags, of course, poached David Flitcroft from the Robins, believing he was the man to keep their promotion charge on track while simultaneously doing untold damage to a direct rival. And Swindon responded by turning two Phil Brown.

As it turned out, both teams tailed off and missed out on the play-offs altogether.

Premier League Manager Impacts

Championship Manager Impacts

League One Manager Impacts

What is PPG?

The PPG differential is a way comparing club's performance before and after the appointment of a manager based on points-per-game averages. From this, we might conclude that the bigger the differential for each manager, the more valid his appointment was - although sample sizes obviously have to be taken into account. The more games measured before the appointment and the more games measured after, the more reliable the result.

The impact of League Two managerial appointments during the 2017/18 season

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