Arteta reaches the summit of Arsenal managers, and tonight’s team



By Bulldog Drummond

Of course we know that Mikel Arteta has won just one trophy – the FA Cup.   Arsene Wenger won that pot seven times and the league three times.  I also seem to recall something about an unbeaten season somewhere along the way as well.

And yet there is a reason to celebrate Areteta’s achievements, for he now has a win percentage rate of 59.5%.

Now there is an article in the Athletic (it’s behind a paywall so I can’t give you a link) which basically says that at 59.5% percentage wins from 168 games with 24 draws, 44 defeats and the rest wins.  These are not the numbers that we have, but the figures are close enough – we just seem to have lost ten matches along the way somehow – but we’ll get it checked.

And certainly, Arteta’s results have for a little while shown him to be winning at a rate above Arsene Wenger (57.25% wins) and Unai Emery (55.13%).  (If you want to know about Arsenal’s managers of the past in detail that’s here).  Details about the Arsenal revolution of 2020/21 that brought all this about and which the media chose to ignore are here.)

But really what the Athletic ought to be saying is that even if their 59.5% win rate is right, then although it is the best in modern times, it is not the all-time best.

Joe Shaw, the manager who took over the club after the death of Herbert Chapman had a win rate of 60.87% in winning the league, and there was a manager whose name we don’t know in 1898 who managed the club for nine games with a 66.87% win rate.   Pat Rice did even better in 1996 when waiting for Arsene Wenger, but I think he might have been getting instructions over the phone so maybe that doesn’t count.

Anyway, the fact is that Arteta is doing rather well, and this celebration of his achievements in the Athletic contrasts strongly with what was being said about him when the club sank to 15th under his management, and what was said generally when the club lost the first three games of last season, and indeed when the club missed out on a Premier League spot by coming 5th last time around.   

We can’t forgive the media for what they wrote then, but we can say Arteta really has pulled it all together.

Of course, what makes Arsenal’s victory in the league this season still uncertain is the fact that Manchester City are still there with their billions.   We know that there is an enquiry going on into the rules that the League claim they have broken in terms of their financial dealings, and one would imagine that even if only a few dozen out of the 100+ rule breaks alleged are proven, that would be enough to have some points deducted.  (Relegation to the Conference would be better, but I think that’s unlikely).

The issue is of course, are they deducted from the season in which the incident happened (in which case another club might win the title – although not Arsenal) – or would they be deducted next season?  We have to wait and see.

Meanwhile we have multiple suggestions of a team for today’s game. Quite often all we can do is print one line up and say that’s it – that is what everyone is saying.  But that is not the case today as you will see

The Standard goes with


Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Odegaard, Jorginho, Vieira;

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli


The Mirror, being on Christian name terms offers

Matt Turner;

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Rob Holding, Jakub Kiwior, Kieran Tierney;

Jorginho, Granit Xhaka, Fabio Vieira;

Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Emile Smith Rowe.


Sports Mole suggest that Saka needs a break and so offers


Tomiyasu,Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney;

Jorginho, Partey, Vieira;

Nelson, Trossard, Smith Rowe


Pain in the Arsenal


Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Jorignho, Smith Rowe, Xhaka;

Fabio Vieira, Trossard, Nelson


Just one more – 90 Min


Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Jorginho, Partey, Vieira;

Saka, Trossard, Smith Rowe

So there we are.   One of those might be right.  On the other hand…..

9 Replies to “Arteta reaches the summit of Arsenal managers, and tonight’s team”

  1. I think a very strong side will start, something like:
    Several reasons for picking Reiss:
    1) I really think a short rest is what Bukayo needs at the moment, and there’s no way he won’t be on deck sunday, so … 2) This is the fisrt game at the Grove since THAT goal against Bournemouth. When the names of the players are called up, it’d be nice to have the crowd give our boy the ovation he deserves 3) He’s been given little playing time so far, but every time he was excellent. He deserves a start.
    As for Jesus, he’s probably not fit enough to start right now, but having him brought on a liitle sooner than at the Cottage would be nice

  2. Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Xhaka, Vieira, Martinelli, Nelson, Jesus

    Subs: Turner, Hillson, Tierney, White, Partey, Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Kiwior, Holding, Trossard

    Official team news


  3. C’mon FFS! You’re #1 in the Premiership in England and they’re #2 in Portugal. Tighten up.

  4. Not why we went out but I thought the ref was terrible.

    Lets hope Tommy and Saliba are okay.

    If we beat Crystal Palace this will be instantly forgotten.

    Never easy, and I’m not saying I wanted it or that it doesn’t hurt, but taking the positives it does allow us to focus on the PL and as we have witnessed tonight these extra games can cause injuries, especially when you get a referee from school of PIGMOB.

    Last word for Sporting who over the 2 legs gave us more problems than just about anyone in the PL. Good luck to them.

  5. We now have 11 matches to play between now and the end of may. And only one midweek match of those 11. The match against City. By losing in the penalty shootout we got rid of 5 midweek matches over the next 2 months and a half.
    So from now on we will have a week time between the matches. Apart from the match on Sunday of course. But it will give the players more rest and hopefully we can get not too much injuries because of that.
    I fear for Tommi his season… looked to be his knee. Saliba didn’t look that bad and looked more muscular or back? Anyway this could have as a result that Saliba will not be able to play for France….

  6. @Walter,

    I fully agree with all your statements. I’m kind of relieved we’ve gotten rid of it. In this season, with what is on the line, the run-in is the most important thing. let other teams deplete their energy, ressources and players among them.

    The game was interesting and a good learning opportunity. European football definitely is different and not any easier then the PL as much as many boast about the PL being the best league in the world. Apart from that, the game has proven again, in my eyes :

    – Odegaard is the boss for now
    – Stability in the squad is a key to the success Arsenal have had and too many changes do have an impact – which is not surprising
    – The pressing and level of defending even out attackers are expected to do means the rythm of a 2 games a week makes it harder to maintain the overall quality level. Too many errors I think came from that.

    And if we play in the CL, Arsenal should re-hire Martinez for the penalty shoot-outs… ;=)

  7. Reflecting on our keepers’ track record of saving penalties, my memories are that as well as Seaman and Lehman, other less recognised players did well.

    I think that Almunia, Fabianski and Szczezny all saved a good number. More recent records not so good, especially as referees were always fond of awarding penalties against Arsenal. Cech saved one only, Ospina may have saved at least one (having faced fewer, including possibly a final penalty shoot-out against Chelsea) and Leno definitely saved at least one, near the end of a home match with Chelsea.

    I am sure that others will correct any memory lapses.

  8. I think Ramsdale was ok in the penalty shootout. He went the right way for all of the penalties, and got a hand to at least two of them.

    I thought the referee was terrible. Not only in some of his decisions, but also his positioning was very poor. On at least 3 occasions he caused Arsenal attacks to break down by impeding Arsenal players trying to get to the ball. I think he was unable to keep up with the pace of the Arsenal passing.

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