Just when Rafa Benitez thought things couldn’t get any worse, a study published by Foster’s today reveals the Liverpool manager is officially one of the most worried managers in the Premiership.
The leading Aussie beer brand analysed the interviews and statements from every Premiership manager since the beginning of the season using its Ozometer, an algorithm developed specifically to analyse language and word sequences to determine how worried or carefree a person is. More than a thousand different quotes were assessed enabling Foster’s to create a league table of the most and least worried football managers in the top flight.
Villa’s Martin O’Neill ranked as the least worried of manager in the Premiership, topping Fosters’ league table. The research found that, over the course of the season so far, he has been almost one quarter (24.7%) No Worries. He was at his least worried during weeks four and eight of the season, when he was 56% and 53% worry free, coinciding with wins against Birmingham City and Chelsea. He is currently enjoying another stress free week with the Ozometer showing him to be 48% no worries, despite the fact his side only managed a draw against Everton at the weekend.
Hull City manager Phil Brown ranked as the most worried. Analysis of his interviews shows that he is 30% more worried than Martin O’Neill, with a no worries percentage of minus nine. He was at his most anxious after losing at Burnley in week 5, with his score plummeting to minus 53%. Bolton Wanderers’ Gary Megson, Birmingham City’s Alex McLeish and Blackburn Rovers’ Sam Allardyce join Brown in propping up the table with scores of minus 8%, minus 5% and minus 3%respectively.
However, this trio was only marginally more worried than Benitez who scored minus 2%, making the Liverpool boss the 6th most worried gaffer in the Premiership. Rafa’s outlook improved visibly after his team’s recent win against Manchester United, but dropped to minus 14% after the dramatic loss to Fulham last Saturday when the referee’s red cards reduced his team to nine men. His score is likely to drop further this week as Liverpool’s Champion League dreams hang in the balance.
Alongside Martin O’Neill at the top of the table are Chelsea’s Carlo Ancelotti and Arsene Wenger closely followed by Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.
Despite being second in the Premier League, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson sits just mid-table in the league table of worriers, weighed down perhaps by the loss of Ronaldo and his obsession with referees. Fergie can muster no more than a disappointing 11th place in Foster’s No Worries league and has even displayed negative scores after winning games.
Sports psychologist and ex-Sporting Partnerships presenter Dr David Lewis comments: “Psychologically, worries are most likely to rise in situations where there is high pressure of us to succeed but uncertainty about whether we will do so. Therefore it is hardly surprising that managers like Benitez have been plagued by worries throughout the season. He should be careful not to fall into the common trap of Denial – refusing to accept any problems exist when it is obvious to fans that they do. An optimistic approach to life would help him see opportunities where others see only setbacks, and to look forward with confidence.”
Foster’s brand manager Natalie Clearie said: “It’s good to see Martin O’Neill setting an example to his Premiership peers. No Worries is an attitude. It’s about having a positive, Aussie-like spirit no matter what life throws at you, not just when you’re doing well. It seems most of the managers in the Premiership need to ‘get some Australian in them’.”
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