Wednesday, February 15, 2012

All-Time Best Managers Versus Transfer Expenditures

My latest post at the Transfer Price Index blog was posted yesterday.  It takes a look at the top managers in the English Premier League when their transfer resources are accounted for.  It's a comprehensive study that will be used for several smaller posts at this blog, so if you have 10-15 minutes to spare I would suggest having a read of the post at the TPI.

The results at the top did produce a few surprises along with the usual suspects.  The top five overall managers are:

  1. Alex Ferguson
  2. Arsene Wenger
  3. Jose Mourinho
  4. Rafael Benitez
  5. Gianluca Vialli
More recent converts to the Premier League may not recognize the manager in position 5.  The post at the TPI spends some time explaining how Vialli overachieved versus transfer expectations, but readers can certainly find other resources on the web to learn more about this Pre-Abramovich Chelsea success story.

Readers will note that only two of the top five managers are still active (and after today's 0-4 thrashing of Arsenal at the hands of AC Milan, it may be narrowed down to only one).  Of active managers, the following are the top five.
  1. Alex Ferguson
  2. Arsene Wenger
  3. Kenny Dalglish
  4. Roberto Mancini
  5. David Moyes
David Moyes also occupies a key spot in the list, being the first manager of the three most commonly listed over performers - him, Sam Allardyce, and Martin O'Neill.  I've already written plenty about Moyes and O'Neill, so I gave Allardyce the majority of the space reserved for the three men.  Such respect for Allardyce is well deserved given what he's done at West Ham this season.

Finally, Harry Redknapp gets a brief profile in the post that I may expand upon once this season wraps up.  After writing my comprehensive piece on Arsene Wenger's performance versus the model I swore I wouldn't do such a profile again.  To do such a long career justice requires dozens of hours of research and writing, all uncompensated (as of now).  At the time of the Wenger writing, the next obvious candidate was Alex Ferguson given his success at Manchester United.  I may do such a profile of Ferguson some day, although I think there is less of a question about his success versus transfer expectations.  It's been so consistent and steady that I question how much we'd learn from such an analysis.  Redknapp is the opposite situation - he's managed the third most matches in Premier League history, and has what I would call a "parabolic" record at each club he's managed. He starts with a deficit to the model, by the middle of his tenure he's well to the good side of the model, but then his clubs regress back towards expectations by the time he's exiting them.  Such a track record seems more worthy of a study of his transfers to understand why his clubs perform in such a manner over time.

A complete list of manager rankings is available in the post, so be sure to check it out and let me know what you think.


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