How Arteta has become so successful as a manager




By Tony Attwood

Arteta joined Arsenal as manager on 22 December 2019.   At that moment the league table showed that after 18 games Arsenal were eight points above Aston Villa in 18th – the upper relegation spot.  They were also nine points behind Chelsea in fourth.  (League tables verified with 11v11)

22 December 2019


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
4 Chelsea 18 10 2 6 33 25 8 32
11 Arsenal 18 5 8 5 24 27 -3 23
18 Aston Villa 18 4 3 11 24 33 -9 15


Arsenal finished that 2019/20 season in eighth, ten points off the Champions League place and 22 points away from relegation.  It seemed a bit of an improvement.

But that summer saw a total revolution at Arsenal and yet on the one-year anniversary of his arrival Arteta’s team were 15th, two places and four points above 18th placed Fulham and 12 points behind Everton (yes really Everton) in fourth.  Everton’s goal difference was also 12 better than Arsenal’s.  And the points total was way behind last season’s at this point.  Calls for “sack Arteta” rebounded from the walls.

Once again in 2020/21 Arsenal finished the season in eighth, this time six points off the Champions League place, and 33 points away from relegation.  Everton you might like to note, didn’t keep up the top four challenge but ended up in 10th.

In 2021/22 Arsenal got away from eighth, and on the two year anniversary of Arteta’s arrival, the club were sitting in fourth spot, four points above West Ham in fifth (honest, West Ham!) and 21 points above Burnley in 18th.

So it was real progress, emphasised by the 2022/23 showing in which by the anniversary of Arteta’s arrival Arsenal were five points clear at the top of the league, 11 points above fifth place Manchester United, and 24 points above Forest in 18th.

Thus whichever way you look at it, this has been progress.   And yet it nearly didn’t happen, as the media and certain fans rose up and took the one year anniversary of Arteta’s arrival to note that the experiment had been a total failure.

But as Arsenal rose up from the depths, Everton travelled in the opposite direction, and it makes an interesting comparison.  Here are the tables for 21 December year by year comparing Arsenal and Everton

21 December 2019: Arteta’s arrival


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
11 Arsenal 18 5 8 5 24 27 -3 23
15 Everton 18 5 4 9 20 29 -9 19


21 December 2020: One year on


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
4 Everton 14 8 2 4 25 19 6 26
15 Arsenal 14 4 2 8 12 18 -6 14


21 December 2021: Two year’s on


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
4 Arsenal 18 10 2 6 27 23 4 32
14 Everton 17 5 4 8 21 29 -8 19

21 December 2022: Three years on


2 Replies to “How Arteta has become so successful as a manager”

  1. Somewhat off topic but it’s half time in our Women’s WSL game against Everton. The first 20 minutes Arsenal were on top without seriously threatening to score. By half time We were ahead 4 – 0. Two for Caitlin Foord, a long range screamer from Katie Mc Cabe abd a bullet header from Lotte Wubben-Moy. Likely more to come in the second half but third place as a mimimum looks highly likely now.

    In Estonia, the U17 Women’s Euros are taking place. England have played 2 and won both with our youngster Michelle Agyemang in brilliant goalscoring form with a brace in each game.

  2. Lia Walti carried off on a stretcher following a horrible challenge by Agnes Beaver-Jones who was initially shown a yellow card, after discussions with the Assistant the card was correctly upgraded to a red. It looked like a broken ankle but could be ankle ligaments. Something like 7 minute delay. We wont see her in either of our remaining games.

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