The Stats That Damn Warnock

“I think I’m doing a great job if I’m honest…”

The words spoken by Neil Warnock in the wake of Leeds United’s sorry performance at Barnsley not only caused mass incredulity amongst Whites’ followers, but also prompted me to look into Warnock’s record as Leeds Manager.

Now I think we’ll all agree that the word “great” can only comfortably be applied to the likes of Don Revie and Howard Wilkinson when we are talking about Leeds Managers. So taking Warnock out of that bracket, just how do his stats stack up against the likes of Kevin Blackwell, Dennis Wise and Gary McAllister? The answer, as you’ll see, is not well.

Since taking charge against Portsmouth in February 2012, Neil Warnock has Managed Leeds United for 47 games. Of those 47 games, Leeds have won 18, drawn 10 and lost 19. That gives Neil Warnock a win ratio of 38%. Bear in mind also that these stats include cup games, so take out this seasons Carling Cup successes and things would look even worse…

I think a fair comparison for circumstances would be with Gary McAllister. Macca was in charge for 50 games, lasting just under a year in the job. He was derided for the 5 match losing run that ended his reign, culminating in defeat at Histon Macca’s win ratio? 50%. Looking at other Managers from Leeds United’s recent history doesn’t do Warnock any favours either. Simon Grayson had a win ratio of 50% too. Dennis Wise won 44% of his games in charge. You have to go back to Kevin Blackwell, Peter Reid and Terry Venables before you start to find comparable records to our current Manager. Blackwell matched Warnock’s record of 38% (well he did used to be his assistant manager, he must have learned a few things !), whilst Peter Reid has the worst record of modern times, only managing a 27% ratio. Venables also matches Warnock and Blackwell, not a good omen for Leeds Managers with a 38% win ratio!

Look further back, and the European nights that the O’Leary reign brought us showed a 50% win ratio. George Graham just pipped the magic 38%, managing 39% instead. I’ve not checked, but I bet there were a lot of 0-0 draws in there…Howard Wilkinson, surprisingly, only had a win ratio of 43%, just 2% better than Billy Bremner. The great Don Revie had a 53% win ratio. Now I’m not suggesting Warnock should be hitting those heights, but as the stats above show, from the last 20 years or so, there is only one Leeds United Manager with a worse record of winning games than him.

Warnock will probably blame the takeover uncertainty, the “dead wood” he was left with from the previous Manager, and various referees for his poor record. Yet look at some of the names above. Kevin Blackwell took over a team that had just been relegated from the Premier League (famously with only him and Gary Kelly left). Dennis Wise was in charge when we came out of administration with -15 points and about half a team just weeks before the season started. Yet both of these Managers, who most supporters would probably class as failures, have at least the same, if not better, records than our current Boss.

The last thing I’ll look at is the amount of time previous Managers were given. I think the comparison with Gary McAllister is a fair one. Macca had roughly 11 months in charge, almost exactly where Warnock sits right now. We played far more attractive football under Macca, and won more games. Kevin Blackwell lasted just over 2 years, and Simon Grayson just over 3. Blackwell took us to a play-off final, and Grayson got us promoted. They were the last 3 Managers to be sacked by Leeds United.

Whichever way you dress it up, Neil Warnock is not “doing a great job”. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Should he be allowed to continue? Managers with better records were not, and that’s not even taking into consideration his planned retirement at the end of this season. GFH have a decision to make, and it’s one that needs to be made soon. Either back Warnock with cash right now, or replace him. One thing is for sure, when only Peter Reid has a worse win ratio than you in recent Leeds United history, you might want to save the self publicising sound

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[info]Reporter – Ian Wylie[/info]
  • http://www.thescratchingshed.com TSS

    “Howard Wilkinson, surprisingly, only had a win ratio of 43%,” Not really all that surprising when you consider the 1992-93 season.

    Trouble with comparing win percentages is they’re not like-for-like, there’s too many variables such as available cash and the climate at the time these managers were in charge.

    Warnock hasn’t had it easy under Bates, but considering he’s signed 16 players and spent more money this summer than Simon Grayson was given during his entire reign at the club, Neil Warnock must accept he’s failed miserably.

    He said he was happy with the squad in the summer and the simple fact is, it hasn’t performed all season. Recent calls for his head aren’t a knee-jerk reaction to the Barnsley defeat, that was merely the tipping point. There is simply no point investing more time and money in a manager who is only committed for 5 months, has one eye on retirement and insists upon playing a style of football so painfully outdated and dull it should only be shown in black and white.

  • Vic Flange

    Sometimes in life you make a mistake. It is how you react to that mistake that is important.
    Many thought that Neil Warnock was the right man for the job, me included. He isn’t the right man for the job at all, that much is obvious.
    GFH need to realise this NOW and sack him immediately before his terrible tactics and personal attacks on players leads us to our better players wanting out.

  • SLG

    Stats aside, on the quality of ottball alone, I am ready to brand the Neil Warnock era a failure. Amidst the embarrasing 3-7, 1-6 and 1-5 home reverses since he took over, he’s built his own team for this season of which you can count the decent performances on the fingers of one hand. I am mystified as to what the teams tactics are supposed to be and I cannot see what is going to change over the next 4 months from what we have seen over the last 11.

    All in all, it is only worth sacking him if the new board are prepared to back a new manager with the funds to make a push for the play-offs otherwise we will just have to tolerate this inept football until his contract expires and we can let him retire to Cornwall. In the meantime we can just hope and prey Leeds do enough to avoid having to play in the League Cup 1st round again next season.

  • Si.D

    Colin has no affiliation, no love, no passion for Leeds United. The man
    is barely there to see what’s going on.. Leaving it to his team of lesser zombies! The man has records away from Leeds United. Given the stats of previous managers, NW should be sacked in Mondays emergency meeting, with immediate effect. Taking with him the men he brought in! While he is packing, Williams, Harvey and pains me to say it Peter Lorimer need to pack theirs also. As for Bates.. Nothing can be said with our legal difficulties.

    GFHC have to, NEED to act on Monday to engage and show us they are here for the right reasons, the success and fluid football a club of Leeds United stature requires! Get in a complete new team.. Defend the season and use summer to rebuild and begin the Revolution!

    • SLG

      Is there an emergency meeting on Monday?

  • Keith

    Get him out ! He will retire in June having blown any finance we may have.He is a Bates man and friend.Why cannot people see this ? He has played us and not the team.

  • http://gravatar.com/louthwhite louthwhite

    Another super article. If I remember correctly George Graham of the 0-0 variety presided over Leeds sides that won 5-0 at Derby (Hasselbaink was no boring striker for £2M) 4-3 at Blackburn and 4-3 at home to Derby when we were 3-0 down. So you could actually watch his teams unlike our current side. There is no doubting Warnock’s integrity, but he has presided over some woeful performances and has done exacty what it dosn’t say on the tin…win ugly. We just play ugly. Football has moved on and he has become a bit of a dinasour. Maybe Keith Curle was a bigger loss as coach than we think. NW has signed circa 15 players and there is no doubt that its his side now. Grayson’s side back in the Championsjip the first year should have been invested in. It wasn’t and we all know what happened with the loan rangers. If Leeds suffer a similar fate to yesterday at Birmingham, he should do the decent thing and fall on his sword. If not it’s going to get ugly. I hope GFH have the bottle to take him to one side and say, “Neil, I’m sorry it’s not working out, and it’s better you go now”. The season is all but shot. We need to average two points per game to have any chance now. Personally, I’d like O’Driscoll to have a shot for the rest of the season with the same players whilst we get our house in order.

    • SLG

      Neil Warnock promised us a team we could rely on to give us 100% every game … I have to say if this is the evidence of them giving 100% every game I am shocked. Personally I think he’s failed but I suspect he will be given until the end of the season as that will mean little or no pay off is required. If it were my business or football club he would have been sacked this morning. One disappointment too many.

      At the very least I’d like an explanation as to why the team plays so badly so often?

  • Jimbo

    The longer Warnick’s tenure continues, the greater the association with hoofball and poor excuses. Remember the Watford drubbing and Colin’s refusal to comment on the performance but feign concern over Austins injury (which didn’t turn out that bad after all). I would love to see Gary Mac back, yes things went a little sour but we havent played more attractive football ever since. Great spotter of talent, Leeds through and through and well respected on the circuit – was genuinely gutted when Bates sacked him. Being back Gary Mac and give him some time.

    • Mip

      My sentiments exactly about Gary Macca. It is well known that Bates gave him no money and look how he did under the circumstances. Had he been backed in the same manner as Warnock then who knows. I agree he had a great eye for a player, Becchio & Snodgrass and all the managers after him are reaping the rewards or should I say were, Grayson now sacked and Snodgrass left.

  • Original MG

    Is that a Clarkeonenil echo I can hear? He never was right for the job and it will take someone 3 years to sort the car crash of a squad he will leave behind out. He loses over 43% of his LUFC league games, damning indeed!

  • ray collins

    Warnock has to go. Get a proper manager in and break the bank to do it. Leeds is wasted on the type of managers who are average at best. Big club needs a big manager. If we had done this from the start it would have been repaid several times over by now. Time to move on Mr Warnock.

  • enginer

    I really thought Warnock was a great apointment in Feb last year. Even up to November I still had faith in him. However I think we got him too late in his career. He is a manager with one foot in retirement. He’s already made himself in football and left his mark. It was only the lure of our (once) great club that (I think) half heartedly convinced him he could do it again. I wrongly thought he still had the people management and team building skills to get us back in the prem but I was wrong. I used to find his post match interviews entertaining with many a home truth spoken but yesterday was a disgrace (blaming the ref et at). I’m not one to call for anyone to loose their job but I think he should resign now with dignity and leave the door open for a young manager with balls, ambition and a burning desire to keep the round thing on the ground.

  • Mattbb2

    I tend to agree with TSS the stats alone don’t always tell the full story. That being that warnocks hand was forced due to bates tight fist into signing players he might not have otherwise. But it is neils choice to freeze out Drury, Poleon to play McCormack out of position and to choose a long ball game.

  • Mattbb2

    My main problem with Neil is that you can’t use the old axiom, think long term… He is by definition a short term dix. But it hasn’t worked, not all down to him, but hr hasn’t helped himself recently, he has to accept some responsibility for the performances that’s what good managers do, great ones then go and fix the mess.

  • MP

    Well, I certainly remember the “inexplicable” way that our supporters turned on Wilko in 1996, I clearly recall, Wilko out chants and leaving Wembley after the League Cup Final arguing with ‘fans’ who were calling him a bastard and saying he has to go…oh for a Wilko now.

    Fans do not always know what is best. I never really wanted Warnock but don’t imagine that many others could have done much better in a summer like 2012, very little money to spend and a will it won’t it takeover. But, my main point is that only11,447 of us have a right to an opinion, the rest of you should carry on staying at home, you fucking part timers

    • chelpa

      MP your out of order with your comments, i make it to games when i can afford to take me and my son as i only earn minimum wage and times are hard, i buy both me and my son the new home kit every season and i listen religously every week to the game on the radio. If you think for one second that makes my opinion about the team i love and support null and void than you are a very small minded individual indeed, your ramblings have insulted thousands of fellow leeds fans including myself, cock! rant over!

    • ellamforengland

      I live in Australia, part of the world wide fan base we are all proud of. Don’t give me that part timer shit, that kind of nonsense has divided the fan base for the last seven years when we should have been as one. We are all entitled to an opinion. Keep the faith.

    • Si_D

      MP : You sir are one if those fools think think you are the only ones to make opinion on things because you can afford to go to games. You TIT, insulting fellow fans of LEEDS UNITED.

  • Ian Wylie

    MP, are you claiming that only season ticket holders have a right to an opinion on Leeds United? How about those of us who go when we can afford to, do our opinions not count? As for the summer of 2012, we spent 800k on Lee Peltier. It’s hardly like we didn’t have two pennies to rub together!

  • Mattbb2

    Well said Ian, plenty of fans don’t have season tickets, it doesn’t invalidate opinions.

  • MP

    Not season ticket holders, just those who could be arsed coming to the non season ticket FA Cup tie.

  • Max

    Well, firstly, if given a choice from Warnock, Wise, Reid and Blackwell, I’d pick Warnock. Wise may have had the 15 point/administration issue over him, but we went into administration having collapsed into the relegation zone of the Championship, under Wise. And it was quite obvious how much management talent he had after Poyet left. Reid and Blackwell were just hopeless, despite the difficult circumstances. If you take career stats,

    Also I think if Warnock had thought he’d have no money after buying Peltier, he wouldn’t have bought Peltier. The squad we have is the best he could do after Bates once again did his “pull the rug from under the manager” act in the summer. Had he been given the support then, I think we’d be doing OK right now.

    Having said that, and as I said in comments on the previous post, I think Warnock is shot for this season and won’t be around next. Better to get someone in for the medium term (never the long term with Leeds, not since Revie left) who can build some momentum and develop a squad and a style to go forward. And someone who can bring the fans back into the ground, since we seem to be dependent on ticket money for our future.

    Also, it’s an opportunity to get rid of the remaining Bates no-hopers who are still clinging on to the club.

    Oh and if GFH want to score some points with the fans, get Radebe onto the coaching staff.

    • ellamforengland

      Radebe should have been defensive coach for Grayson in my opinion. We may have won games 4-1 instead of 4-5!

  • marty66

    Time to go Neil, simple as that!
    We need a new young manager now Poyet, Di Cannio etc to take on this mess and try to save this season and build towards next term. Half a season to bed in and change the squad, mighjt be the way to go.

    • MP

      Marty66 Take away the ‘young’ bit and is that not what happened last year?

  • bateshater

    oh MP I intend to stay away until the cancer that is bates is out of our club altogether period. my last game was 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers to get promoted!

    remember these calls get rid of McAllister he’s shit he’s clueless-
    Bates Harvey and Williams remain
    Grayson sacked
    Bates Harvey and Williams remain

    fans calling for Warnock to go he’s shit he’s clueless – long ball etc etc
    most probably Bates Harvey and Williams will remain

    it does not take an educated person to spot the pattern and work out where the issue is with our club, take away the money that feeds the cancer and it will go.

  • Lufc1979ish

    Some fans still haven’t made the connection yet that if we had the arsenal team warnock would still play hoofball and we would still struggle.

  • Mattbb2

    But Warnock did play some decent football at palace, you cut your cloth don’t you? Perhaps he doesn’t trust the quality of his own squad… Yikes