Panacea for clubs in crisis, or not? The effect of coaching changes during the season | Jupiler Pro League

Panacea for clubs in crisis, or not? The effect of coaching changes during the season | Jupiler Pro League
Panacea for clubs in crisis, or not? The effect of coaching changes during the season | Jupiler Pro League

Always the first victim of disappointing results. KV Mechelen, dangling at the bottom of the rankings, is choosing a new trainer with Besnik Hasi. After KV Kortrijk and OH Leuven, it is the third club to make the switch. But what is the impact of such a coaching change during the season? Sporza Daily investigates.

What does it bring?

A change of coach has been seen for years as the solution for a club crisis. A kick start, a new beginning. The figures are often not as rosy as they are presented at the press conferences.

A touch of statistics for beginners, then. We analyzed the 22 coaching changes from the 2021-22 season to that of Glen De Boeck.

What seems? You often don’t notice really big differences in performance between the old and new trainer. In general, the replacements only score 5.86% more points than their predecessor.

Or to put it with a concrete example: if the predecessor scored 5 out of 20, then his successor will – according to that average – score 6 out of 20.

effect of trainer change in figures
average increase in points number of positions increased points at start
+5.86% +1 3.77 out of 9

The influence is also limited according to the average in the rankings at the end of the regular season.

With 22 coaching changes spread over 2.5 years, the clubs rise 1 position compared to the moment the previous coach was fired.

The hoped-for “shock effect” is a rarity rather than the rule. Only 7 coaches failed to score in their 3 opening matches. The average score of the 22 choice gentlemen: 3.77 out of 9.

Oh well, numbers are only half the picture. Over to experts in the field: (ex-)trainers Francky Dury, Edward Still and ex-player Kilian Overmeire.

“As a new wind, you must above all appeal to the collective,” the former, who was at the helm of Zulte Waregem for many years, tells Sporza Daily.

Old problems with the ex-trainer no longer count: the past is the past.

Francky Dury

During the winter internship in 2012, Dury made it a point to “be top physically”. Because a coach with a plan must also let his players implement it.

There was no longer room for old disputes. “Habibou had problems with the ex-trainer and was normally not allowed to travel. I did take him with me: the past is the past. I talked him into it and made him believe in his qualities.”

This fresh perspective allows a team to sometimes do stunts, as Glen De Boeck saw Kortrijk triumph against Club Brugge.

“Maybe that was a factor,” says ex-KVK coach Still, not convinced. “There was also some luck involved. I am convinced that stability is more important than an emotional reaction.”

“Only then can the quality in a group grow and performance follow. Although I understand that a board has to change at a time if it is not good enough.”

When choosing whether or not to act, directors often choose the former. Even though recent figures do not support that decision in most cases.

Parker, De Boeck and Riemer.

Cercle Brugge the big exception

Because there are no rules without exceptions, of course.

Cercle Brugge has been the purveyor of successful coaching changes over the past two seasons.

First, Dominik Thalhammer performed a small miracle when he took over from Yves Vanderhaeghe. The Austrian scored 32 out of 54 in the remaining matches of the regular competition, good for a score of 60%.

Thalhammer also guided Cercle from 17th to 10th place, a gain of 7 places. And he didn’t miss his start at all with 9 out of 9.

Dominik Thalhammer and Miron Muslic could do magic.

When his beautiful song came to an end last season, Miron Muslic immediately provided the positive note again.

Again a report of around 6 out of 10 in the competition. Even better than its predecessor and compatriot: Cercle shot like an arrow from a bow from place 17 to 9.

“A shock effect? ​​That can work, but trainers know that you will have to work on the team for months. So that is not enough,” says Edward Still.

No, according to Kilian Overmeire there is only one golden piece of advice: “You just have to be honest, because players quickly notice when you are not. Both positive and negative. Include everyone in your story.”

A story of hard work and hope for numerical success.

coaching changes at Cercle Brugge
Season trainer points Start
2021/22 Dominik Thalhammer 32 out of 54 9 out of 9
2022/23 Miron Muslic 44 out of 75 6 out of 9

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