Statistical Analysis

Inspirational Pochettino the Premier League’s team-talk king

Thu, 28 September 2017, 12:28

The cult of the manager is not a new phenomenon in the Premier League – Sir Alex Ferguson was said to be worth around 20 points to his all-conquering Manchester United sides at the height of his powers, while plenty of fans have bemoaned an out-of-his-depth boss costing them dear.

But how do the current crop of managers stack up? Whose inspirational team talks are leading their sides to success, and whose are sending their players to sleep?

Well, looking at the data since the start of 2015/16, and Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is clearly the Premier League’s half-time team-talk king.

Pochettino has fired his team up from nine losing positions over the past two-and-a-bit campaigns, picking up five draws and four victories from the jaws of defeat – adding up to 17 points.

Tottenham’s never-say-die attitude embodies their passionate manager, who is obviously using the 15 minute interval to inspire his team, as well as making key tactical switches.

In second place is another charismatic coach clearly using his team-talks to motivate his charges – Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp.

Klopp has managed to pick up 13 points from seven matches the Reds were trailing at half-time – the same as West Ham boss Slaven Bilic.

Looking at some of the other big hitters, it’s interesting to note that Jose Mourinho hasn’t managed to record a victory in a match he’s trailed at half-time – and has only salvaged four draws in the time-frame.

His record is only slightly bettered by Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola, who have both used their half-time words of wisdom to gain six points each – three draws and a victory.

The lowest of the big-name managers on the list is Antonio Conte, who has only turned around one match that Chelsea have been behind in at half-time; a 3-1 victory against this weekend’s opponents, Manchester City.

However, Conte can probably argue that appearing so low in the list is a good thing – his Chelsea side rarely trail at the interval and aren’t in need of any managerial second-half miracles.

That argument is backed up by looking at the individual goal differences compared to the first-halves and second-halves of matches.

Conte’s Chelsea have a goal difference of +21 in the first half, and a whopping +38 in the second – showing how the Blues come on strong to finish sides off.

Interestingly, Conte nearly always makes all three of his allocated substitutes – he’s made 131 out of a possible 132 switches since taking the Chelsea job.

Either using fresh legs to help break a team down, or a couple of tactical tweaks to unlock the door, the +17 goal difference swing between the second-half and first shows Conte is a manager capable of making a great impact on the game.

He doesn’t quite take top spot in the Premier League table, however, with Everton’s Ronald Koeman’s +19 swing from first half to second the best in the league since the start of the 2015/16 season.

His side have a goal difference of +24 in the second-half, compared to just +5 in the first, which both shows he’s using his half-time teamtalks effectively – and that he’s probably not using his pre-match ones all that well.

At the other end of the scale, Stoke boss Mark Hughes might be the least effective in-game Premier League boss.

Hughes has only used 86.6% of his allocated subs over the time period – comfortably the lowest of any manager currently plying their trade in the league, and his second-half swing of -14 is also the worst of the current bosses.

Hughes was well renowned in his playing days as a bustling striker who could change any match in an instant, he seems to lack that ability to turn a game on its head as a manager.

With Stoke currently sitting in 16th position, Potters fans will hope Hughes can find his spark soon, to avoid being dragged into trouble as the season draws on.

Statistical Analysis discovers hidden trends and values in major gambling events by deciphering both contemporary stats and historical data. We derive our probabilities from history, not just betting odds, so you don't have to.

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