Few things are surprising in football. Speculation surrounding the futures of David Moyes and Pepe Mel is now rife. The latter has been in charge for just 45 days!
That said, the sacking of René Meulensteen last week did catch me by surprise. The renowned and respected coach was given just thirteen games in charge of Fulham before it was decided to let him go.
Fulham no doubt will argue they had little choice given that the Dutchman failed to arrest the London club's slump which started under former manager Martin Jol. With relegation looking more likely by the week, Fulham’s new owners must fear becoming the next Bolton, Blackburn or even Portsmouth.
Meulensteen has become the eighth manager to leave his post since the season started in August. This logic appears quite convoluted. If the players play badly sack the manager. If the players continue to underperform under the new managers, sack the new manager.
Maybe it's the players are the problem, not the manager? What do the stats suggest? The table below presents data on the points per game for ‘old’ and ‘new’ managers for the eight teams that have parted company with their manager this season.
The two harshest sacking (in my opinion), that of Malky Mackay and Steve Clarke, appear to have backfired. Cardiff are now second from the bottom and West Brom are in a fight for survival. Sometime, it would seem, change doesn’t work.