Watford sacking Javi Gracia could be bad news for Arsenal statistically speaking

There seems to be a body of opinion that when a manager is sacked there is an immediate improvement in results, well Watford has fired Javi Gracia and their next match is against Arsenal.

The truth is I have no idea whether that viewpoint is factual or just a myth, so I did a little research.

I typed into Google “do teams do better when a manager is sacked?” and I opened up three articles, one from SkySports and two from the BBC.

The Skysports analysis seems to confirm the theory that clubs do see an immediate improvement in results for roughly six games but then drop back to their previous state.

To quote them

On average results improve for the first six games after dismissing a manager, after which, results taper off and return to levels recorded nine games before the sacking.

The BBC had two articles, one from 2013 and one from 2017 and basically both came up with the same sort of analysis.

This is a snippet from their 2013 research on the subject

“Changing a manager during a crisis in the season does improve the results in the short term,” he says. “But this is a misleading statistic because not changing the manager would have had the same result.”

In better words, yes there is an improvement but not just because they sacked the manager, yeah, I know, confusing.

The 2017 BBC article is a little different because it focusses on October and November but the reason I included it was because it is based on sackings in the international break, which is relevant now.

They do not analyse immediate results but more overall results claiming

We’ve looked back at the past 10 Premier League seasons and, remarkably, in all but one instance where a club sacked a manager (or he resigned after poor performance) during October and November, their average points-per-game return increased over the remainder of the season.

In conclusion, it does appear that for the most part there is an immediate improvement in results. This could be down to a variety of reasons and it is impossible to pinpoint if it will affect Watford’s performance against Arsenal next week.

But they could hardly play worse than what they have done so far this season and it would be naive not to expect an improvement against us next weekend.


  1. Innit says:

    Statistically speaking perhaps. United had a bit of a lift when Mourinho left for example. But even though we are playing Watford away, we should Hopefully Beat them as they are last place. It will be a tough match but if Emery puts out the right lineup and we play our best we should win. Actually we MUST win. We are already 5 points behind Liverpool after only 4 matches. We need to win away matches against teams lower in the league

    That said Watford could beat us if we aren’t up to snuff. So it will be almost suicidal to be too confident

    I am predicting another win by 1 goal
    1-2 Arsenal

    After a loss and a draw, we need a win before going into Eintracht. Then we have two home matches (PL and League cup). I can see us winning 4 in a row but they need to focus on one match at a time. Watford away again will be tough

    1. Agu Emen says:

      Good point.
      This becomes an incredibly crucial game for Arsenal.
      This also becomes an incredibly crucial game for Emery.

  2. Tam says:

    This post is simply a waste of energy. What will you gain?

    1. Agu Emen says:

      Posts are never a waste of energy.
      Some one always rises to the bait.
      Like you mate 🙂
      And me 🙂

  3. Georgement says:

    The best we can get is a draw at watford with negative emery in charge.

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Let’s hope his players don’t throw the game like they always do.

    2. gotanidea says:

      And let’s not be negative and pessimistic before Arsenal announce the starting line-up and formation

      I’m just worried about Deulofeu and Welbeck, which would most likely try their best to prove a point

      Watford also have Doucoure, a dominant midfielder that might be too difficult to be handled by Xhaka and Torreira. I’d prefer Guendouzi and Willock to start ahead of them

      1. ozziegunner says:


    3. Loose Cannon says:

      True, target / irritate Xhaka and Socrates / Luiz ( all three expected to start) and they will get a penalty or a free kick near the box. Expect a draw with Unai’s selection.A shock loss would not have surprised me with or without Garcia.

  4. Agu Emen says:

    @Callum McAlindon
    Good on Admin for keepin the pot simmering with articles.
    You could always add some of your own articles 🙂

  5. Georgement says:

    Our problem is not the players but the coaching system. Observe Arsenal football since last season has become bane,boring,confusing,patternless and nothing to write home about

  6. Sue says:

    Apparently Emery against Sanchez Flores… and SF has the most wins…

  7. sanmi.marvellous says:

    We always have a reason(s) to fear any team, anytime.

  8. IMO its zeros in to the lineup UE comes up with and the technical reading of the game.His team selection recently has been questionable recently..for example why he didnt play a creative midfielder in the liverpool match..Robertson and Arnold-Alexander were unmarked and had a field day crossing balls to the dangerous areas in the box at will..it was really disturbing.

  9. dudu says:

    Arsenal should stop going after players we should going after coach who is capable of coach and teaching like pep,klop and…
    Not mechanical Emery

  10. Clueless UE says:

    Even if arsenal fc is to play a third divion team in my village, some fans will still have reasons to think arsenal will lose.

    Alot of pessimists here…

    We were so optimistic that arsenal will beat chelsea and lift the europa cup but we lost. We also thought arsenal will beat the spurds last week, but we only managed to snatch a point.

    Most times when people say we will lose a game, we usually get results. I wish our game against watford ends in our favour.

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