Betting analysis is basically reading numbers, right? That’s what the vast majority of punters do. A large cluster of wins, draws, goals, corners, shots on goal that help us get a clear view about a squad’s potential. Experienced bettors look for injuries and suspensions, that are turned into numbers once again: How many matches has an injury recover striker played, how many goals has he scored etc. All the stats in the world are easily found, be they player transfers, goals, cards and whatnot. But what about managers? Don’t they deserve a detailed analysis on their mentality, style of play, past results against specific teams or coaches? After all, a team's stats are in most cases a direct result of a manager's tactical approach.
Football manager stats: Useful or useless?
This is one of the hottest topics between advanced football bettors. Why isn’t the manager into the foreground of betting analysis? Isn’t he in charge of picking who will play, in which position he starts and what his role will be in a football match?
Of course the above claim is always followed by this contradiction: The manager doesn’t impose his philosophy to a team. He rather adapts his ideas according to the available players and the opponent. That’s why his stats are not so useful. You can’t judge a manager by his numbers, as there are numerous parameters he has to cope with.
This might be true, but it can easily be applied to the whole squad as well. Why is it useless to pay heed to a manager’s stats, but it's logical to take into account a striker’s number of goals? Weren’t his performances affected by an uncountable number of parameters, such as the style of play his manager chose along with the quality of his teammates, opponents and pitch condition? What about a player who performs differently under two different managers during a single season? Is it safe to estimate his performances on an average basis?
What we're trying to explain is that as insignificant as manager stats may seem, they can offer some really useful conclusions: The manager’s total numbers and general attitude should be monitored, the same way it happens with players and teams.
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Changing the game plan
The truth is that coaches usually become part of the analysis only if they’re blessed with exceptional personalities such as Jose Mourinho or Jurgen Klopp. Also it's easier to earn a place on the spotlight if they manage a top squad or when they’re well known advocates of a specific playstyle i.e. they’re too defence-minded or offensive-oriented. A manager comes to the foreground of a media analysis if he confronts an ex-team, especially if he’d left them in a tantrum, or is crossing swords with a rival manager.
Whoever claims that a manager will adjust his playing mentality depending on the club he’s facing and his available squad, is absolutely right. However, every head coach has some specific characteristics, that are clearly visible when we take his stats and match results into account.
What to keep in mind
The following statistics can help you better understand what to expect from most managers. However, like we mentioned before, these stats should be used in conjunction with other bits of information and not be the sole defining factor on your predictions.
- Total number of scored and conceded goals. They’re two crucial numbers, revealing if he chooses to defend or attack. The more data we have available, the more credible the conclusion.
- Home and away results. These numbers show if he’s affected by the home fans atmosphere or if his style of play (counterattacks, ball possession etc.) is more fitting to away ties.
- Percentage of draws. This is quite tricky, as a large number of draws could disclose a pragmatist attitude, especially when it comes to away matches.
- Winning margin. Does he pressure his players to secure wins by more than one goal or is he content even with a minimum margin of one goal?
- Percentage of upsets. If he’s capable of getting comeback wins regularly, this means he’s analyzing the play during the match and knows how to turn a match around.
- Minutes of scored goals. Do his teams score in the first minutes of a tie? This is a clear showing of an offensive attitude. If his teams score many goals in the dying moments of a match, that’s not only a matter of luck, but also a result of motivation and patience.
- Half-time results. Many managers follow a passive attitude during the first half, focusing on not conceding instead of scoring. This allows them to bide their time and put pressure on their opponents.
- Goals/assist/performance of substitute players. How do benched players perform when they enter the fray? How many times have substitutes influenced the outcome of a match through a goal or assist? This is a crucial factor about a manager's ability of utilizing his bench.
You can also note another crucial manager stat: The winning odds of his matches. Is he a grand-master of upsets or does he only win against inferior sides? Make sure to check this out as it is possible you'll find some valuable odds.