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An absolute certainty for the rest of Arsène’s career

By Billy McGraw

With Arsène Wenger approaching 1000 games as manager, as I write this piece, I wondered what the odds might have been if one had predicted that he would reach that amazing number when he first signed up for the club as manager, and the press wrote their infamous Arsène Who? commentaries, (and Tony Adams put his foot in it with his, “He’s French! What does he know about English football?” faux-pas).

Probably astronomic odds, given that none of the previous 18 permanent managers in the history of the club had lasted anything like that long.

Arsène’s nearest rival in terms of Arsenal management was Bertie Mee who managed 539 games, followed by George Graham on 460 games.  Tom Whittaker, Terry Neil and Herbert Chapman make up the rest of the pack who managed over 400 Arsenal games.  Tom and Herbert died in office, Terry and George were sacked.

But if you are into gambling and looking for a flutter at this time, maybe a better bet – and I would call this as near an absolute certainty as you can get – would be for Arsenal to win most of their games.  Arsène has a win record of 57.26% – a win record which has improved this year.  (At the start of the season it was a mere 56.92%!)

As such he is one of only two Arsenal managers who have managed over 100 games at the club and who have a win rate percentage of over 50%.  So a bet placed on Arsenal to win is going to get you a return more often than not.  Not a bad investment.  (The other was Harry Bradshaw who managed 189 games from August 1899 to May 1904, and in his final season got us promoted from the second division).

Herbert Chapman, in case you are interested, comes in third with a win percentage of 49.88%.   And if you really are concerned by all this, the worst manager we had who lasted over 100 games was our first at Highbury, Leslie Knighton, on whom you would have made more money by gambling that Arsenal most certainly would not win.  His win record was 34.33%.

As we showed in the last article on this site, Arsenal until 20 March 2014 has done considerably better in terms of points accrued than Arsenal to the same point in 2013, and so unless you think that we are about to fall apart then you could place an even safer bet on the fact that we are going to carry on winning more than we lose through the rest of this season and end up with more points than we had then.

Or in case you fancy a flutter on the FA Cup here’s a thought.  Only one Arsenal manager has won the FA Cup more than once – Arsène Wenger.  Neill, Mee, Alison, Whittaker, Graham and Chapman each won it just the once.  Wenger has won it four times.

But here’s another thought, under Wenger if Arsenal get to the semi-final in the FA Cup the most common outcome is that they go on to win it.  That might be worth a punt.

Still if none of that tickles the fancy one could always bet on Tottenham not to win the Europa League.  If they don’t win it you make some money, and if they do you can have a laugh since they are then forced to play in the League next season as well.

(Incidentally I have always hoped that should Arsenal be so unfortunate as to slip out of the top four – which of course I profoundly hope they don’t – they would treat the Europa League like the League Cup and play the up and coming players in the games.   The competition used in that way could have a real benefit in helping some of the fringe and younger players come through.)

Overall my preference is always to take a look at the safe odds, as you will have probably realised from this.  But if you want really to go for an outside chance you could try for England to withdraw from the world cup in recognition of the corruption of Fifa, and the deaths of workers in Brazil and Qatar.  About 1,000,000 to 1 would be offered on that I suspect.

Trouble is that is the moral high ground, and it rarely happens so you are not likely to win.  But I bet you could get good odds.

Of course, I’ll let you decide.  In the lead up to this article I’ve been casting my eyes over and having a little natter with Betbright.com   I still can’t decide what to go for, for the rest of the season.  I know where my heart leads me, but will it come true?  Oh, how much I would love it.

23 comments to An absolute certainty for the rest of Arsène’s career

  • Jax

    If I could get a million to one on anything I’d take it. Even first encounter (this year), return of God (next five years) or the even more unlikely event of England pulling out of World Cup this year. Bring it on!

  • Arsenal1Again

    Freemasonry and a backhander got us promoted from the Second Division. It was a vote, not promotion. Spurs finished that season above us. 😉

  • para

    I do worry what manager can replace AW, but we do know that the club
    will look for the same type, one who can share and shape the club vision.
    Hope the lads are fired up to party AW’s 1000 game by beating Chelsea.

  • Jerry

    @Arsenal1Again,
    correction in regards to your comment. Tottenham actually finished last in division 1 (relegated) while Arsenal finished 5th in Division II as the league was expanding to 22 teams from 20. Tottenham really had no right to complain as they were relegated! Arsenal just strong armed their way in with a better Chairman!
    The source is Tony:
    http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/archives/314

  • Mandy Dodd

    Spuds in the Europa cup, the headlines are primed for tomorrow, plucky spurs give it all but go out with their heads held high
    City lose twice to Barca, plucky, heroic
    Spuds pretty soundly beaten by Benfica, plucky,,heroic, unbowed
    Arsenal draw away to the best team in the world….disaster, humiliation.
    As for wenger, what he has done has been incredible, and thanks to his class, we will never know the true extent of the finance constraints. I just wish the great man would sign up, common sense tells us he will sign, but this is getting very late. Let’s hope for a couple of good days at wembley to help him make his mind up, 1000 games, many in adversity, up against what we all know on here what he faces, the man is special.

  • Mick

    Apologies for off topic but some of you may be interested in the following link re FIFA and modern day slavery in Qatar….
    http://www.walkfree.org/fifa-play-ball/?utm_source=Subscribers&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fifa-chaser20march

  • Va Cong

    I think wenger has gone all in. If he doesn’t win anything he’s not gonna sign. I think he’s reached his thresh hold maybe of taking so much pure filth around him!

  • Micheal Ram

    Mourinho is not stupid. As always he is gonna wound up his players before playing us. He knows emotions and stakes are high, its 1000th game for Wenger and a game directly for the EPL title. I just hope we stay professional and dont retaliate unfootballingly. Looking forward to the clash between Flamini and David Luiz though. Hope Giroud run rings around Terry and Cahill. Any strikers they put out, will be in PerKos pocket. Watch out for Hazard!

  • Mandy Dodd

    With Marriner as ref at Chelsea, not sure I am looking forward to Flam vs anyone……stand to be corrected, but I have Marriner down as second only to Stkinson when it comes to favouring Chelsea these days…..but guess we will just have to wait and see!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Above….Atkinson

  • Gord

    I am horrible at predicting game outcomes. Va Cong, maybe you will enjoy this.

    I think you have a point there Jax. If you could afford to put down 1000 (and probably lose it), could the betting company ever afford to pay it?

    —-

    A slightly biased outlook for the rest of the season. I hope we (Arsenal) come close.

    —-

    FA Cup final is after end of EPL season. So the only excess game for us is the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan.

    How is ManU going to finish? Are they going to show up? In what is left they have ManCity, Newcastle, Everton, Southampton and Champion’s League.

    I think Southampton could be determining. They have yet to play Tottenham, Newcastle, ManCity, Everton and ManU.

    Newcastle potentially could turn as many points as Southampton, I just wonder if they will. They have Everton, Southampton, ManU, us and Liverpool to play.

    Tottenham only have 1 for sure difficult game left against Liverpool, and a maybe difficult against Southampton. As far as spoilers goes, they can only spoil things for Liverpool. If their players gel a bit more, I like them for 21 points and beating Liverpool, to finish at 74 points. Which means anything beyond 4 wins left for us, is St.Totteringham’s Day. Lost points to those 11 teams fighting relegation could bring celebrations forward.

    Liverpool have Tottenham, ManCity, Chelsea and Newcastle to face. 27 points possible, how many of the difficult 12 do they get? How many lost points to the teams battling relegation? I’ll guess they get 17, for a total of 79.

    Chelsea have us and Liverpool for difficult games, and 6 games against those struggling against relegation, plus Champion’s League. I’ll guess they get 17 to finish at 83.

    ManCity have 11 games left, with us, Liverpool, Everton, ManU and Southampton. I’ll guess they take 11 points off the relegation group and 9 off the top, for 20 to finish at 80.

    I’ll guess we take 23 of 27 remaining points, to finish at 85.
    Possible double.

    —-

    No guarantees, just hopes. And I support Arsenal and Wenger, regardless of how close or far this comes to what actually happens.

  • Florian

    Thank you Gord for the analysis. I do hope that football will keep us guessing though – who would have thought that Cheatski would drop all the 3 points at Villa? I could bet there are more surprises awaiting.

    And, does that winning clause make Europa League the competition that nobody wants to win? 😉

  • Gord

    @Florian

    Please don’t think of it as analysis. It is a guess, and is some aspects it is a biased guess.

    I think Southampton is likely to play a part in the final standings of the top-4. Newcastle could have as well, but from what I’ve read in the news I think Newcastle is more likely to just show up and play, whereas Southampton might actually want to win.

    But the real story for the top-4, is that 11 teams are fighting against relegation. And some top-4 teams will get surprised. I was biased in how well I guessed Arsenal would do against this lot. For more than a year, we have been playing good football and getting these ugly wins, and I am hoping that continues.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    What the hell happened to Billy McGraw ? This article doesn’t sound like him.
    All full of facts and all that politically correct stuff and shit !
    Next he’d be waxing lyrically about the Spuds ,Moanin’inho ,ManUre and ManShitty and praising the Liverpuddle .
    Could it be due to the lack of drink ? After all he has been known to have said, ” Reality is an illusion created by the lack of drink !” Give him the antidote – “Free drinks on the house !”
    Did the ‘man’ and the’ establishment ‘ get to him ? Has he been cloned ?
    I do hope that its only the medication he must surely be on .

    Or horror of horrors – did he have a pre-frontal lobotomy performed on him ?
    Dear god, NO !
    Chief , get the pillow !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLWzSGQAnSg

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Or maybe he’s just having a senior moment !An old gem !

    Get Out Of The Car!
    (This is supposedly a true account recorded in the Police Log of Sarasota, Florida)

    An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her lungs, “I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!” The four men didn’t wait for a second threat.

    They got out and ran like mad. The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the driver’s seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried, and then she realized why. It was for the same reason she had wondered why there was a football, a Frisbee, and two 12-packs of beer in the front seat.

    A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police station to report her mistake. The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn’t stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed.

    Moral of the story? If you’re going to have a senior moment…make it memorable!

  • elkieno

    All these articles celebrating the Great Mans career at Arsenal is a great thing I love it. I am all for praising him to high heaven but it all sounds ‘farewelly’ to me and I am worried he won’t sign on. I am hoping so much that he said ‘I will sign up but after our very testing and trying season is over’. After all he bought Ozil and our team is on the verge of greatness, it needs his leadership to continue for at least 3 more years. We have money now so he has to stay to use it, after all its wat he worked so hard for..
    This brings a lump to my throat just hearing him speak. There is no one in this world apart from loved ones, that i respect and love more!
    https://player.vimeo.com/video/69360936… Watch this and love him more..
    COYG and AW!!!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    To commemorate Arsene Wenger’s 1,000 match ,we the AKBs can take a moment or two to reflect upon the advancement that the club has made under him ,and give thanks that he has steered the good ship,Arsenal -through choppy and stormy waters ; through treachery and mutiny within our ranks ;through the unfair bombardment of the unbelievers (media , pundits and other shady pirates !); through the evil machination of bias and corrupt officials ; and through all the unfounded fears of those who just ‘don’t get it’.
    May she ever sail upright , proud and true for ever and ever ,and with our flapping flag’s proud motto ,” VICTORIA CONCORDIA CRESCIT “.

    We cannot direct the wind , but we can always adjust the sails .

  • Menace

    The truth of the EPL will be reflected in the colour of the cards & the interpretation of PGMOLs uniformed whistle blowing cheats. Arsenal have to succeed in spite of the antagonism and foul play as usual. Wenger with the trust of the board has transformed the club from 20th to 21st century without financial penalty. Most clubs would have been relegated or gone bust.

    Silverware will come when appropriate financial security has been established (something Mourinho will never understand).

    Mourinho is a cog. Wenger is intelligence. 😉 😉

  • Menace

    Wouldn’t that be a great banner at the 1000th match?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mandy,
    agree only Atkinson could have been a worse call from Riley from the PGMOL….

  • nicky

    @Brickfields G,
    Agree entirely with your 4.24. McGraw should concentrate on reporting on DB 10’s Enfield allotment and leave the serious stuff to his betters!

  • Va Cong

    Gord just thought about it if arsene goes what Are the newspapers going to write about? If the replacement is English? Will they restart it’s not 9 years anymore it’s a new start?

  • Va Cong

    I was looking forward to the Chelsea games until the mention of referees…