The right head coach
Barely two months into the season, and ten men have already lost their jobs as head coach or manager of clubs in England, Spain, Germany and Italy’s top divisions. This level of turnover is now an accepted part of the game, despite it being a clear inefficiency.
Recruiting a head coach is a tougher task than recruiting a player, because a coach’s skills are less explicit and measurable. However, when we work with clubs we try to mitigate risk by first finding managers in our database who have a track record in improving the teams they have led. This is looking beyond win percentage and results and understanding the impact they had on underlying performance. Then, we can try and understand if their historical playing style suits the profile of the players in our squad. Ideally, we can find managers who fulfil both criteria – as Ralph Hasenhüttl clearly did for RB Leipzig, below.
Finally, smart clubs will do their due diligence on other factors they feel are important too; perhaps they want a manager who is used to managing international dressing rooms, or a coach who has maximised playing time of his new (and often costly) recruits. Better still, they will try and understand what factors really matter for success.
This process is merely the starting point before softer considerations come into play, but at the very least it will produce a list of people that are more likely to replicate the success they had at previous clubs. We know the best managers can be worth 10 points per season; it’s time we implement the processes to reflect this.