Which Championship manager is most likely to choke at odds-on?by Mike Holden / 02 December 2016, 09:57Tweet
Next up in Mike Holden's (@Ratings_Mike) four-part series on managerial shortcomings when trading under evens is the Championship:
If Rafa Benitez is going to end his 12-year drought without a league title in the Championship this season, much will depend on his ability to mend a poor record when his teams are trading shorter than even money. Previously, the Spaniard has failed to deliver the goods when most expected at Liverpool, Inter Milan and Napoli, all of which has contributed to losses of more than five per cent across 132 matches.
But this season is meant to be different. Newcastle fans widely embraced their relegation from the Premier League last season, once it became apparent that Benitez was prepared to stay. Not only is it a chance for the club to reboot itself and blow away the negativity of the past few seasons, it’s a similar story for the Spaniard who is relishing the opportunity to build his own team from scratch.
Nobody is any doubt that Newcastle are the strongest team in the division - you only have to look at their bench on any given weekend for evidence of that - but last weekend’s shock defeat at home to struggling Blackburn is a prime example of the problem that could prevent the Magpies from fulfilling what really ought to be their destiny.
Unlike last season, Brighton are now in a position where their all-round superiority over the rank and file of the division will see them trading at odds-on most weekends and, in Chris Hughton, they have a manager who seldom fails to deliver in such scenarios. The Seagulls boss boasts profits of nine per cent over 67 matches.
Indeed, Newcastle have conceded the first goal only four times this season - always when they were odds-on to win - and they’ve lost every time. While it was happening against Owen Coyle’s men on Saturday, Brighton were coming from behind to beat Fulham to make nine odds-on victories out of 11 this season.
When it comes to choking at short odds, Neil Warnock is the biggest culprit, although it tells you plenty about the sort of teams he has managed that he has only been chalked-up shorter than evens 39 times (out of 255 games) since August 2008, a sample, this being his seventh different managerial tenure during that period.
Dean Smith and Lee Johnson are both relatively new to the level but both bring disappointing odds-on records with them, stemming from their time in League One at Walsall (in Smith’s case) and Oldham and Barnsley (in Johnson’s). Beyond that, the losses are too small to raise any genuine concerns.
In fact, the division as a whole is notable for the number of managers who can be relied upon to stay on top of business in odds-on territory. Mick McCarthy, Steve Bruce, Paul Lambert, Nigel Clough and Simon Grayson have all stayed in profit over big samples spread out across several clubs.
- Pld = the number of matches each manager has started with his team priced up at a best price of shorter than evens (digital odds 2.0).
- P/L = the overall profit/loss figure for each manager had you placed a £10 stake on each of those matches started as odds-on favourites.
- % = the percentage of profit/loss when divided by the overall stake for the number of games played.
- The tables include all matches played since the start of the 2008/09 season across the four English leagues, La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue U.