Who will Arsenal’s next manager be and what we can learn from Moyes?

By Tony Attwood

The time will come when Arsenal need a new manager.  I don’t know when, but it will happen.

Three options are available: a promotion from within, bringing in a famous managerial name from elsewhere, or finding a person who (like Mr Wenger when he joined) will be unknown to most supporters, unless they avidly follow world football.

But let us not forget that before Mr Wenger, Arsenal appointed managers from within the British game.  Post war the list excluding temporary managers reads

Four of these marked with an asterisk won the league.  All of them were British except Mr Wenger.

So what will the club do when the present incumbent leaves?   Presumably they will search around looking for the right man for the job and I am not sure that will mean returning to appointing British men.   So perhaps at this point we might hope that they don’t do what West Ham have just done and appoint a manager who has not had the most shining record in football management: a Mr D Moyes.

Interestingly the Guardian tells us that Moyes is only West Ham’s 16th manager in their history.  That is counting only from 1902, and ignoring the Thames Ironworks phase.  Count Arsenal’s permanent managers since 1902 and you get… 16.  That “only” word is a trifle misleading, suggesting as it does that WHU are a rarity, a club that doesn’t move managers around much.  Or maybe it is just a sloppy lack of doing any homework.  Funny how the Guardian does this sort of thing.

Moyes has just left Sunderland after his team came bottom of the league.  But in his long career he has won one trophy, the Community Shield.  Arsenal win that so often we hardly mention it.  And Moyes is a man with a growing reputation of being lazy.  When he joined Sunderland he forgot to do any due diligence and so didn’t know that the owner wanted to sell and the club was £110m in debt.  He only found out after he signed up!

And in April he defended himself with his now infamous phrase, “A lot of good managers have been relegated.”

Moyes is also a man who doesn’t seem to know much of the transfer market.  While Mr Wenger has famously often pulled unknown names out of hats Moyes has regularly bought players he has managed before, in Sunderland’s case including Anichebe, Januzaj, McNair, Love, Pienaar, Lescott, Gibson, and Oviedo.

So if we don’t want a Moyesian character with Moyesian footballers what about one of the other type – one who spends money.

Here are some options showing who has spent the most money and how much they spend per player, with Mr Wenger included by way of comparison.  Raw data is from Football365.com

Pos Manager Clubs Players Cost Avg. cost per player
1 Mourinho 8 90 £1090m £12.11m
2 Ancelotti 8 74 £876m £11.83m
3 Pellegrini 13 72 £794m £11.02m
4 Wenger 4 98 £687m £7.01m
5 Ranieri 15 88 £657m £7.46m
6 Guardiola 3 40 £644m £16.1m
7 Mancini 6 66 £579m £8.77m
8 Benitez 10 80 £567m £7.08m
9 van Gaal 6 64 £542m £8.46m
10 Allegri 7 67 £493m £7.36m

What we can see is that the notion that Mr Wenger doesn’t spend money is completely false – he is the fourth highest spending manager on the list.  But he has the lowest cost per player on the list – something achieved both because of the years of austerity at Arsenal following the building of the new stadium, and his ability to spot youngsters who can come through to the first team.

In this regard we might note at present the likes of Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Iwobi, Bellerin, Maitland Niles, Nelson, Willock, Coquelin, and Holding all of whom came through to the youth team or were bought very early in their careers for modest fees.  I am not trying to suggest that each one of these is, or will be, an star player, but modern squads need 20+ players in them and not all of them can be top stars (as they obviously can’t all play in the first team every week).

So what Mr Wenger does is mix a high level of expenditure (the fourth highest on our list) with an ability to buy players at a lower cost.  Of course many of them don’t work out – and that is common to all clubs, but overall the price per player is kept down.

My thinking is that the owner of the club will look for another man who has the same approach.  Of course he could go for someone who spends far more per player – Guardiola spends £16.1m per player on average – more than twice Mr Wenger’s expenditure per player, or maybe Mourinho, Ancelotti or Pellegrino, but I really think this is unlikely.

I think the next manager will be told to deliver more of the same – which means players at modest prices.  Which could make it tough to see off the “spend anything no matter what” clubs like Man City.



18 Replies to “Who will Arsenal’s next manager be and what we can learn from Moyes?”

  1. A Wenger clone is all we need !………………………..interesting that Wenger`s average spend is lower than his annual salary !………….what am I insinuating who know`s ?


  2. average spend per season might also be an interesting statistic – when managers move they do tend to bring players from their old club unless they have considerable spending power

    watching replay of man city penalty hardly any force in the monreal challenge- he did catch
    back of sterling’s leg but he seemed to be already on the way down

  3. It was a shame about the way Moyes was promoted above the level of his competance (to Man U), when he was in fact doing so well at Everton. I doubt that he will make much difference at West Ham as they are a Championship team in waiting and a complete mess, which is a shame as I have a very high regard for their vice chair.
    You seem to have a historical dislike of the word ‘only’ when used by the Guardian Tony. C’mon now get over it.

  4. There is a new Arsenal manager – following the departure of Pedro Martinez Losa it has been announced on the .com that Joseph Montemurro joins us from Melbourne City FC to take over as Manager of Arsenal Women.
    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/montemurro-joins-arsenal#HrwRkrCzE8YALGz3.99

    He led Melbourne to back to back Championships in his two seasons in charge. Here’s hoping he can get our misfiring team back to running smoothly on all cylinders again.

  5. Tony

    It would be interesting to make an analysis of players bought by these managers.

    For instance, Jose Mourinho seems to have a special feeling for Mino Raiola’s players as well as for those of Jorge Mendes.

    When it comes to signing players previously managed, Arsene got us Emmanuel Petit, Gilles Grimandi and Thierry Henry who he had previously managed at Monaco. He has made a few re-signings (Henry again on a short-term loan, Sol Campbell, Mathieu Flamini, Jens Lehmann) as well.

  6. Six of the managers on that list have won the Premier League, rising to seven if Pep makes good this season. I don’t see how it’s relevant but just thought I’d mention it.

  7. Following up on Andrew’s post, there are 2 articles about the new manager on Arsenal.com. There is also a note there, that military personnel can get in for free to the Ladies game versus Sunderland at Meadow Park on Sunday.

  8. Nice writeup at Melbourne City


    Melbourne City is associated with Man$, so there is the odd bit of Man$ related stuff on their website.

    Sydney Morning Herald also has a nice writeup on this well accomplished manager. He has an undefeated season!


  9. Tony, don’t you and UA often declare that winning the PL ahead of big spending clubs like City, United and Chelsea is not easy? I’ve seen so many articles here mentioning how Arsenal simply can’t compete against the spending of mega rich clubs. Blimey, you even pointed it out here using your table. Guardiola, Mou spent so much! Wenger spent much less. I get the point. So here is a fact for you.

    David Moyes has bought 70 players with a fee during his managerial career at Preston, Everton, Man utd, Sociedad and Sunderland. His average spend per player is 4.537 million pounds (Source: Transfermarkt). So I really don’t see the point in having a go at a manager for not winning trophies and comparing him to a manager who has spent 2.5 million per player higher.

    When you isolate Moyes’s record at Everton, the only club where he was given enough time, he spent 182.3 million on 49 players. That is a net spend of 3.72 million pounds per player. which is 3.3 million per player lower than Wenger. So if you are going to criticise Moyes for not winning trophies when he is spending so much less money compared to Wenger, it is only fair others criticise Wenger for not winning as much as others on that list. BTW, Pellegrini and Pellegrino are two different people.

    As for your other criticisms of Moyes. You mentioned some of the transfers he made in Sunderland as a sign of being out of touch with the transfer market. Care to list some of the players Wenger signed who weren’t up to Arsenal’s level? And he was at a seriously mismanaged club, who had spent quite a few seasons escaping relegation narrowly and not making the right changes. It’s hardly Moyes’s fault Sunderland got relegated. It was the result of years of mismanagement. And he got 10 months at United. That’s not enough time to rebuild an ageing squad or deliver results.

    This isn’t about defending Moyes’s record. He shouldn’t be given any job in football just for his comments to the female reporter last season. But about how you and UA, who regularly give stats about spending to defend Wenger and ask people to use facts and not their uninformed opinions, should be objective with Moyes’s record. Especially the one where you talk about spending.

  10. I just thank the heavens that we may not have to worry about a new man in for quite some time yet. AW is going not leaving just quite yet.
    But it would be real eye opener and interesting if Sir Hardly Anyone could relieve the boredom of the international break by listing all those managers who were supposed to have succeeded AW as Arsenal manager . As well as a ‘ where are they now?’ addendum .

    In the meantime , lets see how the regular bunch of morons squirm when the are commentating and giving their expert opinions on this game.Ought to be funny as there try to enlighten us !

  11. Vivek I think the problem is that Moyes transfer record is not of late with clubs seeking to get near the top or to the top of the PL. And because transfer fees have escalated in the past five years so much, that period needs to be represented. At Sunderland he had a restricted budget, which means that from 2014 onwards when the fees have really escalated he has no purchases in the PL, and that influences the figures.

  12. If you are acknowledging the fact that Moyes had limited spending capacity, why make the comment about winning trophies and comparing that with Arsenal? In what way is that an objective assessment of his record? Except for the 10 months at United where he made two successful signings, he’s always operated at clubs with limited spending. In no way can he be judged on the trophies he has or hasn’t won.

  13. “But in his long career he has won one trophy, the Community Shield. Arsenal win that so often we hardly mention it.”

    Aren’t you not telling here that Moyes hasn’t won much silverware and the fact that you mentioned Arsenal winning it so many times in the same sentence is like comparing the two. Which isn’t a fair comparison.

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