There’s nothing like a birthday or the turn of the year to get us into gear. It’s the newness that comes with such an event that gives us hope. For a fleeting moment, we catch a glimpse of a bright new future. Anything is possible.
The same is true of football players and new managerial appointments. The turning over of a new leaf can bring that sense of freshness on the field and in the stands. Nothing revolutionary might have happened from one day to the next but the newness is meant to help.
Another thing to consider is that the only reason that you would change a manager mid-season is because of dire circumstances. Maybe the fit was good but the tactics had grown stale and the contempt that is often bred by familiarity was starting to affect motivation on the field and the results. Or maybe it was time for a change and everyone involved knew it.
In total, there have been 12 managerial changes in LaLiga this season along with a couple of interim coaches thrown in while the directors at the club gathered their thoughts. It started with Luis Zubeldia, who barely had the chance to decorate his office before he was sacked - after just four games - by Alaves. They failed to hit the back of the net in any of them while conceding seven but they played Celta Vigo away and Barcelona at home amongst those. The latest parting of ways was Quique Sanchez Flores’ departure from Espanyol.
The 14 “fresh starts”: there have been six wins, six losses and two draws.
A good start is half the work it seems too because of the sides that changed their managers and won, a decent number went on to continue in their success and improve the team. Paco Lopez at Levante for example. He looks to have helped Levante to safety with his influence. They have won four, lost one and drawn one of their six with him in charge. He started off with a win against Getafe away from home.
Meanwhile, Abelardo has performed a miracle despite Alavés looking like certainties for the drop at several points in the season. He won against Girona away from home in his first game after going 2-0 down. Goals in the 72nd, 87th and 90th minute sealed the win for the team that was rooted to the bottom of the table looking up when he was appointed. They have won 10, lost seven and drawn two across their 19 with him on the touchline and sit 15th in the table.
David Gallego travelled to Girona on Sunday as the boss of Espanyol for the first time and turned over a very organised and exciting side under Pablo Machin. Definitely a good start seeing as the team hadn’t scored in five games before he took over.
So, whether there is a new manager bounce or not is debatable and it depends on how good the manager is of course. If you are able to win that first game, however - and even more so in trying circumstances - you could set yourself on the path to success.