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Arsène Wenger nominated as September Premier League manager of the month

By Tony Attwood

Arsène Wenger is among four managers nominated for September’s Premier League Manager of the Month award. After a problematic August Arsenal’s September results were

Date Game Result Score Competition
09 Sep Arsenal v Bournemouth W 3-0 Premier League
14 Sep Arsenal v 1.FC Köln W 3-1 Europa League
17 Sep Chelsea v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
20 Sep Arsenal v Doncaster R W 1-0 League Cup
25 Sep Arsenal v West Brom W 2-0 Premier League
28 Sep BATE Borisov v Arsenal W 2-4 Europa League

Five wins and a draw.  Obviously this being a Prem League award we need to strip those out and just look at the league games and we get played three, won two, drawn one.  Goals for five, goals against none. Well done the much maligned defence.

Now that at least is how it seems to me.   But the Daily Telegraph reports “Wenger’s side picked up three wins and a draw last month without conceding a goal, including a creditable 0-0 draw at champions Chelsea where they had lost their previous five league visits.”  So I am wondering if the win over Brighton, technically in what us pedants call October was actually, for footballing purposes in September.

But Sky are with me on the date accounting bit.   Three games they make it.  Mind you if we also included the other games played we would have five wins and a draw.  Not too bad really, especially as we used the second team in far off Belarus and in League Cup which wasn’t so far off.

But of course this is a newspaper report so they say, “The Arsenal manager had to deal with protests at the tail end of last season, and the Emirates remains weighed-down by apathy despite the green shoots on show in September.”   Would anyone call the atmosphere against Cologne apathetic?  The only people who were apathetic were the police and stewards who refused to arrest people who held up flares.

One thought is that Mr Wenger has been included so that the League doesn’t have to keep giving the award to their favourite sons all the time resident in Manchester City’s dugout.

Then there is Mourinho who has apparently not won a Manager of the Month award since March 2007, and has only won the prize three times.  Funny how the League has its favourites.

Oh yes and they have also included Mauricio Pochettino in the short list presumably on the grounds of having to battle against the infamous Wembley pitch and surround, the amplified drum, the Untold prediction that they would be rubbish at home this season, and all the rest.

If we consider Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool! to be a sort of top seven gaggle of clubs then in every 7 games each of these clubs should play one of the others, obviously either at home or away.   It is actually one game in every 6.33 but we’ll call it one in seven for simplicity.

And the clubs have played seven games this season, but Arsenal have played two of the other top seven clubs, both away, meaning a harder than average schedule so far.

  • Chelsea have fared even worse: they have had three such games, at home to Man City and Arsenal and away to Tottenham.
  • Tottenham have had an easier task – one game at home, against Chelsea.
  • Manchester City have had two such games, one home and one away.
  • Manchester United have had by far the easiest run, playing none of the other clubs in this group.
  • Liverpool! have played two, one home, one away.

Now it is quite clear that this group of clubs has two tasks through the season: to keep on beating the clubs not in this group, and to do as well as possible against each other.  In terms of ease of the opening games we can see that Man U has the best opening run with no such games against the top clubs, Tottenham next, Man City and Liverpool next, then Arsenal with two games, but both away, and Chelsea with three such games – although two at home.

But who did best and who did badly.

  • Tottenham as we see had only one game against a top team and they lost it.
  • Liverpool won one and lost one.
  • Arsenal lost one and drew one of their two away games.
  • Manchester City played two and won two
  • Chelsea have won one, drawn one, and lost one.

On the basis that playing the other clubs in the top group is an indicator of what is going on, Manchester United have had a remarkably easy run thus far, Manchester City have had an average run for the group and done well, Chelsea have had an above average run for the group, and done ok, but not as well as they might have hoped given two of the three games were at home.

Does such an analysis of this group playing each other mean anything?  I don’t know.  Maybe as the season goes on, we’ll find out.   But it is interesting that Man U had such an easy start.

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8 comments to Arsène Wenger nominated as September Premier League manager of the month

  • Gord

    Congratulations to Arsene Wenger for getting nominated!

    Nitram and myself have a little blurb about this beginning to the premier league season starting at:

    http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/64653#comment-929262

  • Nitram

    Thanks Gordon I was just about to point
    That out myself.

    If I was being mischievous I may suggest that some folk don’t read there own blog, but as I’m not in the least bit mischievous I won’t. ☺

  • Jax

    I decided to leave it late to comment on this for fear of offending certain individuals.
    Being nominated is not winning and even winning manger of the month is no big deal, and neither are worthy of an article.
    I was wondering if it would go on the role of honours alongside the thirteen & a half Charity Shields.

  • momma

    With the present Arsenal slipping seamlessly into Europa contention and now hovering around top four but possibly no longer nailed on to be part of it, might not the above article become a norm as expectations are further lowered. Arsenal can indeed become like an Everton and perhaps as a financial model it is the requirement for ship steadying. Perhaps it is even the business goal. Caution is the buzzword.

  • Gord

    Is not the purpose of the award, to recognize excellence in a manager? Hence, just being nominated is still recognition for a job well done.

    If you spend time washing and waxing your car, do you not appreciate it when someone tells you that your car looks nice? Or do you feel that they are just trying to shit on you?

    I do wonder a little, that if there is a (negative) correlation between which managers get nominated (and especially win) this award, and which team wins the league.

  • Nitram

    Jax

    I agree manager of the month is a bit of something and nothing, but it’s a bit of a cheap shot to equate it to the charity shields, after all, the ‘Special One’ himself insists it goes down on his CV as a Trophy, so who are we mere mortals to argue with him?

  • Jax

    Nitram

    Let’s see him get manager of the year, then he would have won something major.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Manchester Utds start to the season, as ever, slightly suspicious

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