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Ranked managerial success: Dougie 78th, Coyle 87th, but there's more to the story

Charlie Crowhurst

The BBC have published an interesting study on their football page that involves nothing more than some simple math and ranking the numbers. The survey covers all 92 Football League and Premier League teams and the 122 managers that have led those clubs. Multiple clubs like Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, and so on are listed multiple times due to managerial changes. There are some surprising results but with major caveats across the board.

Unsurprisingly, Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson is the first name on the list with his 62 points from 25 matches for an average of 2.48 points per game. League One's AFC Bournemouth, led by former Burnley manager Eddie Howe (and earlier advised by Harry Redknapp) sit second place with Howe's 41 points from 18 games, averaging 2.27 points per game. Rounding out the top three is Malky Mackay, who has led Cardiff City to 63 points from 29 games this season for 2.17 points per game.

Bolton Wanderers, with current manager Dougie Freedman and former manager Owen Coyle, are nowhere near those figures. Dougie sits in 78th with 19 points from 16 games (1.19 average) while Owen Coyle is 10 spots below that with 11 points from 10 games (1.10 average). They're not very good figures and it's easy to see why Bolton have struggled to climb the table.

While it doesn't look very good for Dougie, you do have to consider a few things. First off, there is no accounting for leagues and relative difficulty of competition.

Then there is the fact that the numbers can fluctuate quickly. For example: Should Bolton Wanderers beat Burnley on Saturday (without calculating what could happen in the other matches), Dougie Freedman will have gained 22 points from 17 games, bumping his average to 1.29 points per game and moving ten spots up the table. If the Trotters manage to win two in a row, that's 25 points from 18 games and a 1.39 average, moving up to 56th in the table.

Finally, you have to look at the name directly underneath Dougie. In 79th place is Stale Solbakken. The now-former Wolves manager lasted 26 games at Wolverhampton, racking up 31 points in that process. That average is roughly the same as Dougie's 1.19. Wolves are currently 21st in the Championship table (one spot below Bolton) and have had nearly twice as long to get there with one manager.

The point is that while it looks like Dougie Freedman is the 78th-worst manager in the whole of the Football League, you should probably have a little think about that table and not take it at face value.