Which Coaches in the JPL Had the Biggest Impact When Taking Over During the 19/20 Season?


Football clubs which experience negative results on the pitch often see changing the coach or manager as a way to turn things around. In this post, we assess which coaches did remarkably better than their predecessor, by looking at the difference of points per game (PPG) they acquired compared to the points per game of their predecessor, the so-called manager impact.

Looking at the graph, Bernd Storck stands out as a coach who made a signficant impact, bringing Cercle Brugge from almost a hopeless situation to a safe haven in the relegation battle, doing 0,75 points per game better than his predecessor Fabien Mercadal. Arnauld Mercier from Waasland Beveren who was fired before the last three games in the season after a difficult run, still did remarkably better than Adnan Custovic who was coach in the first 5 games of the season. What speaks in Mercier's favor is that his successor interim manager Dirk Geeraerd also didn't succeed in turning things around, losing his only two games before the corona crisis, which suspended the league.

W.r.t. the top teams who changed their manager, RSC Anderlecht and KRC Genk did somewhat better with their new managers Frank Vercauteren (RSC Anderlecht) and Hannes Wolf (KRC Genk) compared tot heir earlier coaches Simon Davies (RSC Anderlecht) and Felice Mazzu (KRC Genk). Although, we would never know which of these two teams would have qualified for the play-offs, as only one spot was left for three teams (KRC Genk, RSC Anderlecht and KV Mechelen) before the last game of the regular league.