How Arsenal stuck with Arteta, but other clubs won’t follow the example


By Tony Attwood

This season, six of the seven most highly funded clubs in the league will finish in the top seven places.  The interloper is Aston Villa who will probably finish fourth.  The club most likely to lose out on the top seven, and thus European football, is Manchester United.   They are on the same points as Chelsea and two behind Newcastle, but with a much lower goal difference.

They are also, other than Tottenham, the worst performing club out of the big seven, across the last six games in the league – and at this time of year with the final places in Europe being decided, every result can count.

But the table of the last six games showing the big seven clubs that we have been noting all season, reveals just how some have stood up to the continuing challenge to the last few games of the season, and others, such as Manchester United and most particularly Tottenham, have slipped away.

And I think this is worth noting as it offers an insight into the way clubs attempt to manipulate the media.  It is widely reported that Tottenham have lost their last four league games.  Less reported is the fact that Tottenham have won just two of their last eight league games.  More reported are the wonders of their new stadium.

And this sort of soft cover up is needed as Tottenham’s last eight league games have been against Fulham, Luton Town, West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.  Only in two of those games might a really big club struggle, and yet Tottenham have in those games scored 10 and conceded 20.

As a result the league table made up of the last six games for the seven big clubs that we have particularly kept a eye on this season reads…


Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester C 6 6 0 0 24 5 +19 18
2 Arsenal 6 5 0 1 16 4 +12 15
3 Newcastle U 6 4 1 1 15 5 +10 13
6 Chelsea 6 3 2 1 17 9 +8 11
8 Liverpool 6 2 2 2 11 10 +1 8
13 Manchester U 6 1 3 2 12 15 -3 6
17 Tottenham H 6 1 1 4 8 15 -7 4


Tottenham, we are told in correspondence, are now the richest club in the land, with a stadium bringing in more cash than any other.  (OK, we haven’t accepted such claims and have tried to show how false they are, but that is what some are saying).

So what’s wrong?

Manchester United have had eight managers in 11 years (although some were temporary), which means of course that a new man comes in, buys the players he wants, gets sacked or resigns and then a new man comes in, buys the… well you can see the pattern.

Since 2013 Tottenham have had Tim Sherwood, Mauricio Pochettino, José Mourinho, Ryan Mason, Nuno Espírito Santo, Antonio Conte, Cristian Stellini, Ryan Mason and Ange Postecoglou.

Now let’s compare this with Arsenal and Arteta.  His first two seasons saw Arsenal finish 8th each time, and although yes, he won the FA Cup, I suspect that had he been at Tottenham or Manchester United he might have been moved on after that second finish in eighth.  Certainly, the media, and those fans silly enough to believe anything football journalists say, were calling for Arteta to go.

Indeed, consider 19 December 2020.  Arsenal had just gone seven league games with no wins, two draws and five defeats.  The club was 15th in the league and four points above relegation.

“Arsenal manager now odds-on favourite to be next Prem boss axed” said Caught Offside at the time. It was one of many with such a report.

And yet in terms of win percentage (which is really the only serious statistical view of a manager that we have) Emery was not too far behind Wenger and he was certainly a major upgrade on Rioch..   But what he wasn’t, was better than Wenger.  And that is what the journalists and their fellow travellers in the fan base, demanded, because they had demanded that Wenger be sacked in the first place.

The table, never cited by any of the media shows exactly what has happened at Arsenal.

Manager Joined Left Win percentage
Bruce Rioch 15 June 1995 12 Aug 1996 46.81%
Arsène Wenger 1 October 1996 13 May 2018 57.25%
Unai Emery 23 May 2018 29 Nov 2019 55.13%
Mikel Arteta 22 Dec 2019 58.22%

Emery was doing better than most managers in terms of his overall win percentage since he started, but that win percentage was by November 2019 lower than that of Wenger – who the club had just removed.

And as the BBC said “Emirates Stadium had become a toxic arena with public displays of disaffection for the great manager as Arsenal languished in the shadow of Liverpool, Manchester City and others in the fight for domestic supremacy.”

Which explains exactly why Tottenham’s media department is doing so much to talk about the wonders of the stadium.  They desperately need to keep the fans from talking about their form, deflecting attention from a run of chronic results by talking about (or as it seems to me, “making up”) stories about the stadium, is one way to do it.

And as we have seen in comments here, to some extent it is working.

6 Replies to “How Arsenal stuck with Arteta, but other clubs won’t follow the example”

  1. Credit must go to both Arteta and Josh Kroenke. I was never one for calling on managers to be sacked even when I reluctantly felt that Arsene’s time should end. As for others I leave them to their own choices, Tottenham along with the majority of the press believe that they should win every year. Yet they never have and likely never will. Even the dominance of City will come to an end and I suspect that will happen within two years. The advantage we have is our manager is young and fresh with a highly intelligent approach to every aspect of our game. He had, in his first 2 years here enormous problems to overcome with Aubamayang and Ozil amongst others. He has slowly grown the team to what it is today and that is the equal of any previous teams. I hope rather than expect City will slip up and we win it this year but if not I’m sure next year it will happen. Unless of course Spurs win it!

  2. I don’t understand Sp*rs problem. They got rid of the guy who stops any team winning a trophy – Bayern are yet another proof of it – for a huge amount of money and yet…. nothing better this season really.

    Guess some clubs are better run the others. And some do find a manager right for the times and are smart enough to let time tell that story.

  3. Stability first and foremost : Jorginho has re-signed. It says short term deal, so I guess one season.
    Fits the strategy we have been seeing since Mr Arteta took over.

  4. Jorginho has re-signed

    Great news. His attitude has been exemplory, and his performances haven’t been too shabby either.

    It appears that not only has Arteta moved the club forward in terms of performance, he has fostered a team spirit and togetherness that all the players seem to want to be a part of. Long may it continue.

    I was also optimistic he had destroyed the AAA mindset completely, but given the ‘walk out’ during the Villa game, and the subsequent defence of that by some, including a couple of visitors here abouts, I fear that is going to be a long job.

  5. Nitram

    ‘I was also optimistic he had destroyed the AAA mindset completely’

    The AAA is alive and kicking and even some of our ex players are fully paid up members.
    I never had David Seaman down as a member of the AAA but after his comments yesterday criticising Saka for going down too easily when fouled and then exaggerating the severity of his injury I reluctantly have come to the conclusion that he is not the loyal ex gunner I always assumed him to be. I now have to align him alongside Alan Smith, another staunch AAA sympathiser I am afraid.
    Very sad that the current squad have to put up with this s**t from some of our ex players.

  6. @mick,

    I think this is due to the ‘before-it-was-harder-and-so-much-better’ syndrome. These guys cannot admit a better Arsenal is emerging and that maybe they’ll be old legends but there will be young legends.
    For them, players today are weak because they could not play an FA cup with overtime and no changes as it used to be, don’t drink beer and don’t smoke.

    And the so-called press just laps it up because it fits its agenda. It enables it to criticise Arsenal. Interestingly they have to go way back in time to find arguments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *