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[Blog] The Manager of the Month Curse - Myth or Reality?
Written by Guthrum on Saturday, 4th Sep 2010 22:05

Following Roy Keane's nomination for August 2010's Championship Manager of the Month and some posters' alarmed reaction: "The curse! The curse! We're doomed if he wins! Give it to someone else!!!", I decided to see whether winning the accolade did have an adverse effect on the team's performance in the next couple of games.

I looked at the results of the two League games played by each club following the date of the announcement of their Manager as MotM, going right back to 2004-05, when the awards began. The statistics show very little evidence of a MotM 'curse'.

On 14 occasions (25.9%), the teams scooped all six points for two wins. six made a win and a draw (11.1%). 14 won one and lost one (25.9%). 2 got two draws (3.7%), nine got one draw only (16.7%) and finally only nine lost both of the games following their Manager's award (16.7%). The average points haul for a MotM winner in the following two games was 3.02, or just over one win. Nearly 63% of MotM winners' teams managed at least one win from the next two games, against just 37% who did not even manage that. Hardly disastrous performances!

Interestingly, every team whose manager has been awarded Championship MotM since 2004-05 is in the Championship or Premier League (though some have dipped lower and come back up again).

The myth of the MotM 'curse' probably comes from Dave Jones record at Cardiff City. He's won the award four times, but from the following two games on each occasion, he managed just one win and one draw in total - plus six losses. Also Tony Mowbray at West Brom won MotM twice, but recorded only losses in the next two games on both occasions.

Ipswich's only MotM to date, Joe Royle, who won the November 2004 award, followed that with a draw at Crewe and then beat QPR, both away.

The top performers include Billy Davies, who has won five times at three different clubs, managing an average of 3.6 points from the two games, including double wins on two occasions. The top double-win MotM is Neil Warnock, who has performed this feat three times out of the four he's won the award (though he recorded a double-loss on the other occasion). Other multiple double-win Managers include Mick McCarthy (two from three) and Steve Coppell (two from four).

And the only man to win Manager of the Month more than once but still achieve a 100% record of wins in the next two games each time he's won? Our very own Roy Keane!

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SurreyITFC added 09:15 - Sep 5
Nice one, Vey well reasearched blog Guthrum.


Back_The_Boss added 17:20 - Sep 6
Good facts there, how I just hope for another 3 points at Pompey on saturday. I'll be there, COYB!

BlueToad added 10:27 - Sep 8
Interesting article but gets me thinking.

Surely a manager who wins MoM would be averaging at least a 75% points return from the month (e.g. Roy in August - 9 from 12 or 2.25 pts per game) so given that the avergage points haul for a manager post-MoM is 1.51 per game that would illustrate a significant drop in form wouldn't it ?


Guthrum added 18:30 - Sep 8

That would represent a return from 'outstanding' to 'average' performance, rather than a dip to below average, as implied by the 'curse'. If they kept up an 'outstanding' performance (e.g. 75% points haul), then they'd surely end up winning MotM again - as Keane did with Sunderland in February and March 2007.

terry added 19:26 - Sep 8
Good blog post.

For a control, should you not have looked at performance after winning say four games (or whatever the trigger is for MoTM awards) where they are not nominated for MoTM? In other words, look at winning runs. My guess is this would invalidate BlueToad's point, because the more straight wins a team achieves the more likely the run will end, though that doesnt necessarily signify a drop in form - the team might go on a series of four game winning runs. After all, winning runs are likely to be bell shaped but heavily skewed towards zero or one wins. In other words, a five game winning run is a less frequent occurance than a four game winning run, regardless of the issuance of an award.


BlueToad added 08:36 - Sep 9

That's probably why it feels like a "curse" to many supporters then - the return to "reality"


Help added 12:10 - Sep 14
But for town the biggest curse was the Manager of the year award to a Mr Burley. I rest my case.

TractorRoyNo1 added 14:23 - Sep 15
Didn't seem to do Warnock any harm!
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