Everton v Arsenal: a tale of two directions



By Bulldog Drummond

Today the comparative situation of the two clubs could not be more different with Arsenal an astonishing nine points and a ten-goal difference ahead of Everton after just four games.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
5 Arsenal  2023 4 3 1 0 8 4 4 10
18 Everton 2023 4 0 1 3 2 8 -6 1


One year ago

One year ago after four games the situation was almost  the same, with  last year Arsenal having a ten point difference and as now a ten goal better goal difference


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 2022 4 4 0 0 11 3 8 12
18 Everton 2022 4 0 2 2 3 5 -2 2


Two years ago

And yet just two years ago quite amazingly the position was reversed from that of today.  For two years ago after four games Everton had a seven point difference and a 12 goal, goal difference after the first four games.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
4 Everton 2021 4 3 1 0 10 4 6 10
16 Arsenal 2021 4 1 0 3 1 9 -8 3


And that was not just a one off for three years ago the clubs were quite a lot closer to being level at this stage of the season.  Everton had a perfect record and Arsenal had gained three wins out of four matches.

Three years ago


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Everton 2020 4 4 0 0 12 5 7 12
4 Arsenal 2020 4 3 0 1 8 5 3 9


Now I would hasten to add that there is a point to this little diversion into the relatvie positions of the two clubs after four games, but first I want to complete the tables to give us five years worth of the clubs at this point.

Four years ago

At this point the clubs were level…


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
5 Arsenal 2019 4 2 1 1 6 6 0 7
6 Everton 2018 4 2 1 1 4 4 0 7


Five years ago

And here, as with the situation four years ago, all was equal except for the goal difference where Everton were one goal better off.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
7 Everton 2017 4 1 3 0 7 6 1 6
9 Arsenal 2017 4 2 0 2 8 8 0 6


So here we have two clubs sitting in the same sort of position at the start of the season, starting with Everton on top, and then swinging violently in the opposite direction.  Why was that?

One possible reason comes with the issue of managers.   Since August 2017 when obviously that final snapshot league table was taken, Everton have had no less than ten managers.  And if we take out the managers from that list who managed under 10 games and were obviously caretakers, we still have a venerable list of seven head coaches: Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez, Frank Lampard and Sean Dyche.

Now if you know anything about Arsenal, as obviously you do since you are reading Untold, you’ll know that those are names among the managerial elite.  OK one might think of Sam Allardyce as a self-serving prat who seemingly was willing to take foreign cash while England manager, but of course that could have been a one off and is thus just a personal opinion.  Many others think he is a good bloke and worthy of a big salary for doing the managerial job.  Well, some must do.

But let us compare that Everton situation with Arsenal.  Since 2017 Arsenal have had four managers, Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery, Freddie Ljungberg and Mikel Arteta.  Take out Freddie who was obviously a stand-in and we are left with three for Arsenal against a whopping great seven for Everton.

And as we have seen over and over again, endlessly changing managers doesn’t work.  It is not a case of repetitive dismissals until one finds a guy who can actually take the club up the league, but rather repetitive dismissals which make the club weaker and weaker.

Of course ultimately there comes a time when a manager has to move on, but the way clubs like Everton behave is completely self-defeating.  Of course from our position supporting Arsenal, we’re happy for other clubs to carry on in this way, bringing in the likes of Allardyce (I mean, Allardyce!!!) but all that happens is that money flies out the door and there is little if any gain.

But of course if that is what they want to do, well, nothing is stopping them.  Except financial ruin.

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