Premier League Betting: Do City need a sugar hit?
Frank Gregan explains a managerial phenomenon and wonders how Mark Hughes is managing to keep the Abu Dhabi group sweet.
Mark Hughes was probably not the only manager left scratching his head after his team of perennial under-achievers were battered by Nottingham Forest last week.
Spare a thought for Colin Calderwood who was removed from his post as manager of the Championship side after a poor start to the season and a home defeat against fellow strugglers Doncaster on Boxing Day. He must have been watching the goals go in and wondering why his former side couldn't have performed like that for him.
It was a huge shock, not many pundits gave Forest a sniff prior to the game but they were worthy winners. One explanation for their up turn in form has no name but the most apt description is a "sugar hit." A sugar hit is: "the phenomenon that occurs when a managerial change takes place and causes the incumbent players to reach standards above their average performance levels."
It is normally unsustainable but is a key factor when Chairmen decide to replace the manager at a critical time, usually when relegation is looming and results are needed pronto! That is why the most amazing Championship appointment of recent times occurred when Charlton Athletic Chairman Richard Murray handed the reins over to Phil Parkinson on a full time basis.
Parkinson had been assistant manager to previous Addicks boss Alan Pardew for almost two years and as such had been a senior counsellor who would have had a tremendous amount of influence at the Valley. It is possible that his advice was not always heeded and perfectly fair that he should be given a brief opportunity to see if he could implement his own ideas and get the team playing and getting results.
He had eight games in charge as caretaker manager and unfortunately for him the "sugar hit phenomenon" did not occur. Charlton managed a measly three points out of 24 during that time, a run of form that would have managers sitting on a three year contract looking over their shoulder awaiting the axe, let alone a caretaker!
But that is not what happened. Richard Murray made Phil Parkinson manager on a full time basis and give him the go ahead to make three or four signings in the hope of turning things around in the 20 games that remain this season. The reasoning behind the decision appears to be that the club had enough money to sign new players or a new management team, but not both. It must have been a very difficult decision and time will tell whether it is the act of a genius or a madman!
Meanwhile Manchester City's Arab owners continue to be more relaxed than demonstrators "legalise cannabis" rally! I know in some languages, Portuguese and Spanish for example, the noun comes first followed by the adjective. For example, a blue car is a coche azul (car blue).
That got me thinking that perhaps in Arabic they read the scores the other way around and are under the misconception that City are flying! If that is the case then Mr Hughes had better hope they read the table upside down as well! City are currently [22.0] to be relegated.
Could it happen? It really is unthinkable that a team as talented as the men from Eastlands could drop when there are so many poor teams this year but many Betfairians will be backing at those odds. History is full of teams that were too good to go down!