The impact of each mid-season managerial appointment during the 2017/18 Championship campaignby Mike Holden / 18 May 2018, 10:52Tweet
It was mostly a season to forget for big-spending Birmingham, failing to turn last summer's recruitment drive under Harry Redknapp into any sort of tangible success on the pitch.
But performances following the arrival of Garry Monk in early March have improved drastically, hinting that an altogether different story could be on the cards next term.
The former Swansea, Leeds and Middlesbrough boss has had a mixed start to life in management but few doubt his credentials to be successful somewhere and Blues will hope to be the long-term beneficiaries of his meticulous approach, now that he has been reunited with his more intuitive but less pragmatic assistant Pep Clotet.
Monk averaged a solid 1.45 points per game over the course of 11 matches, making him a full win every five games better than the combined efforts of Redknapp and Steve Cotterill. And that improvement is even more impressive when you consider he was hovering precariously above the drop zone for the most part, with time running out.
The only other extreme swing in the division arrived at Monk's former club Leeds where standards plummeted following the dismissal of Thomas Christiansen, ensuring that former Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom will start next season under big pressure at Elland Road - if he even lasts that long.
Heckingbottom's sorry record of one point per game over the last 16 matches wasn't entirely his fault, though. It was arguably the natural consequence of a flawed recruitment strategy last summer, as a legion of foreign imports ran out of steam towards the end of their first taste of a gruelling English campaign.
Hull and Sheffield Wednesday will expect big improvements next term under Nigel Adkins and Jos Luhukay having improved over half a season under their tutelage in testing conditions, while Tony Pulis has probably done enough to make Middlesbrough favourites for promotion next term should they fail to get up through the play-offs this time around.
The same cannot be said for Nottingham Forest, though. They will demand more than a 17th place finish under Aitor Karanka but haven't quite seen enough from the Basque coach to believe that a genuine play-off charge is imminent. The Reds don't have much of an identity at present and Karanka's results have noticeably dipped in comparison to the combined efforts of Mark Warburton and Gary Brazil.
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 Championship managerial appointments during the 2017/18 season