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Sacking Roberto Martinez Will Not Save Everton's Season

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It hasn't been a fun season at Goodison. Despite the recent improvement to Everton's play, the results are still the same. Disappointing losses and upsetting draws have seen Everton fail to get a win in their past 13 fixtures. With the Toffees closer to relegation than a top 7 finish there has been even more talk about Roberto Martinez being removed from his job as Everton manager.

While we do not know if these thoughts are just the idle musings of angry fans or something Bill Kenwright is seriously considering, it is worth examining what type of improvement Everton might see with a managerial change.

Club Season Position when Sacked Final Position Table Change
Fulham 2013-2014 18th 20th -3
West Brom 2013-2014 16th 17th -1
Tottenham 2013-2014 7th 6th 1
Cardiff City 2013-2014 16th 20th -4
Swansea City 2013-2014 12th 12th 0
Fulham 2013-2014 20th 19th 1
Norwich 2013-2014 17th 18th -1
Manchester United 2013-2014 7th 7th 0
Southampton 2012-2013 15th 14th 1
Reading 2012-2013 19th 19th 0
Sunderland 2012-2013 16th 17th -1
QPR 2011-2012 17th 17th 1
Wolverhampton 2011-2012 18th 20th 2
Chelsea 2011-2012 5th 6th -1
Blackburn 2010-2011 13th 15th -2
Liverpool 2010-2011 12th 6th 6
West Brom 2010-2011 16th 11th 5
Newcastle 2010-2011 11th 12th -1
Manchester City 2009-2010 6th 5th 1
Bolton 2009-2010 18th 14th 4
Hull City 2009-2010 19th 19th 0

Above is a table of every managerial change that happened during the season. The one limit I added to this was to only look at sackings that occurred after December 1st. The reason I did this is because sackings earlier in the year give a new manager a better chance to improve and change the squad. It is also more relevant for us to look at sackings that occur with one half to one third of the season still remaining.

So the biggest thing to note is that over the past 5 years changing a manager does not improve the average teams final table position. From these 21 sackings, the average position change is slightly above .3 positions. That means Everton would go from 12th in the table to 12th in the table. Nine of the sackings resulted in an improvement in table position while 8 resulted in the table position getting worse. The final four sackings did not result in any change of position.

There is a higher chance that Everton would end up in the same position or an even worse position than they are now if Martinez was sacked. That is a rather risky proposition considering the Toffees are only 4 points above the relegation zone right now. It isn't hard to see a caretaker manager being appointed and the club sliding to the bottom of the table.

It is also interesting how a sacking rarely results in a large change in fortune in a positive or negative light. On the positive end Liverpool managed to improve 6 places , Bolton 4 places, and West Brom 5 places. Other than that it is all a small improvement of 1 or two places. On the negative side no club has fallen more than 4 places with one side falling 3 places as well.

This helps lend credence to the oft repeated mantra that sacking a manager does not change a clubs fortune. If a club is going to be relegated, changing a manager is extremely unlikely to affect that problem. Yes, the occasional team might experience success, but a few examples does nothing to override the dozens of other clubs that have not found success with a mid-campaign managerial change.

All of this seems to point to a Martinez sacking as a rather pointless affair. Yes, it will make fans feel better, as though a fresh breeze has swept through Goodison, but it isn't likely to do much to help Everton's season. Instead, if Kenwright is interested in making a change, it would be better for the club to keep Martinez and begin the process of looking for a replacement. Then when the season is done Martinez could be removed from his position.