Soccernomics: Does sacking the manager actually make a difference?

Chelsea are now out of Europe, but Guus Hiddink is still being credited with the team’s almost inevitable bounce after the sacking of Jose Mourinho. The Dutchman is undefeated in his first 12 league games, and the Daily Mail is hailing him for having ‘steered’ the team from 15th place when he took over to tenth now. This is only the latest retelling of an ancient football myth: the new manager as Messiah.

Sacking the manager is a ritual, football’s version of the Aztecan human sacrifice. When the team does badly, he goes.

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