Super Sam to the Rescue at Elland Road?

Sam Allardyce New Leeds boss

Leeds United have been one of the more active clubs on the Premier League managerial merry-go-round this season. The sacking of Jesse Marsch back in February didn’t go to plan, with his successor Javi Gracia having now been dismissed following only 12 games in charge.

Life under Gracia began pretty well, with wins over Southampton, Wolves, and Nottingham Forest in the space of his first six games, seeing the club heading in the right direction. However, when the wheels came off, they did so in spectacular style. Losing 5-1 and 6-1 at home to Crystal Palace and Liverpool in successive matches set alarm bells ringing, before the recent 4-1 thrashing at Bournemouth proved to be the nail in the coffin.

Now sitting 17th in the table, and only outside the relegation zone on goal difference, those in charge have deemed that now is the time to act - out goes Gracia, and in comes the vastly experienced Sam Allardyce. But can the former Bolton and Everton boss revive the club's fortunes in time? Here we take a look at what might lie ahead, using data presented by

A Record Which Speaks For Itself

One of the most informative measures of a manager's performance is often to compare the position of the club at the time of his arrival with the position in the standings at the time of his departure. 

Sam Allardyce records as manager

When looking at the above table, it’s not hard to see why the Leeds board called upon Big Sam. Leading Bolton Wanderers from the wilderness of the second tier to European Football remains his crowning achievement, but - barring a relegation with West Brom - he has performed consistently well wherever he has been. Of the eight clubs he has managed, seven have sat at least two positions higher in the table at the time of his departure compared to the time of his arrival. A repeat of that effort would be more than enough to satisfy the Elland Road faithful – and reportedly earn Allardyce a bonus of a cool £2.5m!

The major negative is the fact that the only blip on his record came in his most recent job. Having failed to improve the fortunes of West Brom in the 2020/21 campaign, does Allardyce still have what it takes only three years on?

How Many Points Can Leeds Expect?

The big difference between this job and Allardyce’s previous assignments is the limited number of games remaining. Whereas, in the past, Big Sam has had a little time to work his magic, at Leeds he must attempt to save their season in the space of just four games.

How Many Points Can Leeds Expect?

With such a body of work behind him, we have a reasonable sample of games to consult in an effort to predict how many points Allardyce could amass over those final four fixtures. The below table shows the average points per game Allardyce has achieved in the Premier League at each of his eight previous clubs. The final column then uses this average to predict how many points Leeds will finish on in the current season.

Will It Be Enough?

The good news for Leeds fans is that Allardyce’s average points per game of 1.26 is a significant upgrade on the 0.88 points per game the club has achieved so far this season. The question is, will 35 points be enough to survive? Of course, we won’t know the answer until the curtain comes down on the final day, but the below table details the points required to stay up in each of the past 10 Premier League seasons.

On this basis, a final total of 35 points would have seen Leeds survive in six of the past ten seasons (highlighted in green) and suffer relegation in the other four (highlighted in red). That suggests a 60% chance of survival, whereas the current relegation odds of a general 4/7, imply that Leeds have a 63.63% chance of going down. It's set to be tight but, with Allardyce at the helm, Leeds chances of beating the drop may just be a little better than the odds suggest.

Predicted Leeds Points Total

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