After 33 games, how is Emery doing compared with Wenger? And a media meltdown

By Tony Attwood

Last night was a moment when anyone listening to BBC Radio 5 would have heard them go apoplectically berserk about Arsenal.  Before the game they were saying Arsenal were awful.   Terrible.  Shocking.   After the game by way of variation Arsenal were shocking.  Terrible  Awful.

Oh yes but Emery had made great strides with the team compared to Wenger.   They said that.  Which suggested that under Wenger we were doubleplus awful.

Basically we won away from home last night and we are now fourth in the league one point behind Tottenham who are sensational, a breath of fresh air, magnificent, incredible.   I know that because I heard it on the radio.  So a win for us and a draw for Tottenham would presumably mean we would be as brilliant as them.  Except it doesn’t work like that.

Comparisons between Emery and Wenger are of course worthwhile, I think, because the people who made life uncomfortable for Mr Wenger last year did so on the simple message “Wenger Out”.  It wasn’t “Wenger out and Kroenke out” or “Wenger out and let’s have loads more transfer more” it was the simple notion that Wenger could not do the job, and whoever was chosen would do it better.  Resources never featured on any banner I saw, nor in any chant.

Hence the comparisons that I run from time to time.   So after 33 games how were we doing in 2017/18?

At that point we had 16 wins, 6 draws, 11 defeats.  The goals were 62 for and 45 against, making a difference of 17.   We had 54 points and were sixth, and were 33 points behind the leaders, and 14 points behind the team in fourth place.

Here’s today’s table…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 34 26 7 1 77 20 57 85
2 Manchester City 33 27 2 4 86 22 64 83
3 Tottenham Hotspur 33 22 1 10 64 34 30 67
4 Arsenal 33 20 6 7 66 40 26 66

So yes a real improvement.  Four fewer defeats which have been turned into four more wins.   Just four matches with a changed result, but enough to reduce us to 19 points behind the leaders, and to be in fourth place.

We are helped a little by the fact that last season there was one team way ahead of everyone else and this year there are two, but yes there is an improvement.

In terms of the still troubling away form at the moment we have played 16 game and won 6, drawn 4, and lost six.   The goals are 27 for and 28 against.

One year ago the situation after 16 games was won three, drawn four, lost nine.  17 goals scored, 26 against.  Again a real improvement.

Going back one year before that to April 2017 after 16 away games we had won seven, drawn three, lost six, with the goals being 32 for and 25 against.  That year over all we came 5th – Mr Wenger’s first drop out of the top four places.    Ultimately we missed out on the top four finish by one point, and were finally 18 points behind the winners Chelsea.

So just from that snapshot we are back to the away form of two years ago.

And to look at what a top four finish was like under Mr Wenger we need to go back to April 2016 and see how things were going away from home after 16 games.

In the season 2015/16 – the last time we ended up in the top four – after 16 away games we had won eight, drawn four and lost four, having scored 29 and conceded 20 away from home.  A total of 28 away points.  At the moment we have 22 points away.  Not so good but getting there.

The last two seasons under Mr Wenger were abberations – the two seasons we did not get into the top four, but prior to that as you will recall we had season after season in the top four, the last as noted in the previous paragraph being 2015/16.

In 2015/16 we ended up second, and after 33 games here is where we were, showing both home and away games.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Leicester City 34 21 10 3 59 33 26 73
2 Tottenham Hotspur 33 18 11 4 60 25 35 65
3 Manchester City 33 18 6 9 61 33 28 60
4 Arsenal 33 17 9 7 56 34 22 60

So we are now six points better off than the last time we end up in the top four.   That’s good, and well done Mr Emery for that.   But now we are described by the media as a terrible team playing awful football.  But then, that’s how it was back in 2016.   Yep, we really are getting back to the old ways.

35 Replies to “After 33 games, how is Emery doing compared with Wenger? And a media meltdown”

  1. Well, you have to say that we earn the press we get, and right now, even though we’re well placed in the PL, our football isn’t of the quality normally associated with Arsenal.
    A win on Thursday and we’ll be the media darlings one again (as we were last week).

  2. It all comes back to expectations. Everyone has high expectations of Arsenal, and hence nothing is good enough. Spurs have always been a second tier team, and hence their current state of affairs is seen as over achievement. It’s all about managing expectations.

    Thank you for acknowledging UE’s role in Arsenal’s improvement. He could have been a David Moyes, but turned out like a younger Spanish AW! I’m impressed whenever I hear him speak, learning English so quickly, and always talking sense. Also, he seems very polite, he always starts his interviews with “good evening”!

  3. Tony,

    We know the media’s narrative and agenda. Again, who listens to it? Impressionable youth?
    I appreciate your fact-based analysis showing real improvement by the team. Emery certainly has no fear of criticism by the media or any other entity as he changes formations and tactics to suit the situation. I’m enjoying it and the football that it produces. Watford are a decent side as shown by their position in the table. The side created numerous chances, 13 shots if I recall and just missed a few. That happens in football; sometimes they don’t go in. Yesterday was one of those days. But the chances were created, the game won and the 3 points in the bank. Good day for this supporter.

  4. @Tony, I’m glad Wenger is out. He wasn’t doing a good job. Emery is currently doing average, I’ll judge him better this summer &the next season. For me, it’s okay to not be good enough, but it isn’t okay to not be aware and to not try hard enough to do better. I would like to see how Emery analyzes his first season, I hope he comes to the conclusion that there’s much room for improvement and works towards achieving that, however if he pats himself on the back (especially after making 4th place) and starts bigging up the season, I would be disappointed.

  5. I dig Emery as well, imo he’s a fine coach, a nice mix of attacking panache when needed, with a more streetwise dig in and retaliate to make a statement against cojones kind a teams and players. Also he s very diplomatic about the refs, which is very smart I think, I hope he reaps succes, but if not he certainly deserves some slack and our respect

  6. Well, another game day is finished, and here’s some updates on my simple model
    Arsenal 66 plus rounded up to 11 = 77
    Chel$ea 66 plus rounded up to 8 = 74
    ManU 64 plus rounded down to 9 = 73
    Spuds 67 plus rounded down to 10 = 77

  7. TomP

    Re Emery; you’ll “judge him better this summer & the next season.” Let me understand. You know the club parameters and budget he’ll be working with to make your judgement? I thought not.

  8. @TomP, imagine if Guardiola was the manager: do you think he would do a better job with the players Arsenal have? Do you remember how much money Wenger spent during his tenure compared to other teams? How many bad years these teams have had and how bad were they? You know that, because it’s the way the owner wants it, Arsenal can’t afford to keep big salaries players. Take all that into account!

  9. Tony,
    It’s not only the media. I was just on the Premier League website and there’s no mention of Arsenal winning away at Watford. Not even in the ‘Latest News’ section. However, if you click on the Watford Club News link there’s an article by Javi Gracia titled “With 10 Players We Dominated The Game”. He goes on to praise his side and misstate the number of chances they had and not a word about Arsenal’s chances or misses. And of course Deeney and the club were hard done by! You can’t make this up.

  10. Sammy The Snake
    16/04/2019 at 12:49 pm Excellent comment.

    16/04/2019 at 2:10 pm HaHaHaHa!! You are a dildo stirring champagne!!

    16/04/2019 at 4:18 pm It’s probably the ilk of TomP working with the Premier League. Javi Garcia needs to be taken to task for bringing disrepute to the game for absolving Deeney of all fault.

    Deeney used his elbow on Torreira with absolutely one intention. He wanted to show his ‘cohones’. Good thing he now knows that can be accompanied with a red card. The officials should also be brought before the FA to explain why deliberate studs up tackles were not red carded. Arsenal were fortunate to walk away from Watford without any broken legs. The pull on Mikis arm was so blatant (and must have been seen by both the Referee and his assistant) and should have been called foul with a yellow card.

  11. @gs72, I’m sorry I didn’t know we are only allowed to judge when we have 100% of the facts. I’d always assumed we were allowed to judge after analyzing the facts made available to us. If judgements were to be made only after only after getting 100% of the facts, I doubt any judgements would be made at all. Anyway like Gazidis said, the management is ultimately answerable to the fans, so I’d rather judge him based on fans parameters rather than the club’s. As for budget, in the January transfer window he came out plainly to say he wasn’t given money to sign players, that was taken into consideration in my analysis of his work this season. If he’s not given the required support financially, I don’t see any reason why he can’t say so again. It will definitely be taken into consideration when judging his work.

  12. I see that Messi just scored for Barcelona. I was hoping Luke Shaw got the assist. But it doesn’t look like he started, or even made the bench.

    Cardiff is leading Brighton. Getting close to half time, and only 1-3 on the foul tracker. No treatments that I can see.

  13. TomP

    I’m sure Emery is anxiously awaiting your judgement of him. As we all are. I know you’re just trying to wind people up but it does get tedious.

  14. Does this story sound familiar ? Not sure who the author is , but many thanks to him.

    The lousy hunter .

    Cletus , the slack-jawed redneck goes up the mountain for a spot of bear hunting. On his first day , he spots a mighty grizzly , takes aim with his rifle and fires – and misses. A few seconds later the bear comes up behind him and taps him on the shoulder. “You’re trying to kill me. aren’t you ?” he says to Cletus, and Cletus nods , terrified . ” Well ,” says the bear , ” it’s your choice -either I bugger you , or I kill you !”

    That evening , with a sore arse , Cletus heads into town and buys a bigger rifle . The next day , he returns to the woods and spots his grizzly . He aims , fires and misses again. The bear offers him the same choice , and the redneck is once again shafted by the beast.

    Back in town , Cletus buys an even bigger rifle and returns once more to kill his quarry. Suddenly he spots the bear and shoots. But a few seconds later , he feels a heavy claw tapping him on the shoulder .

    ” You ‘re not really for the hunting, are you ?” asks the bear .

  15. @gs72, if you get wound up about people expressing opinion different from yours, that’s your problem not mine. I don’t find it distressing.
    As for Emery eagerly awaiting my judgement, I won’t be holding my breadth. However I think its good for a manager to be interested in the fans assessment of his work. Tony was belittling the impact of the Wenger out movement (with articles saying less than 300showed up for a protest march, less than 0.00000000001% of the fans supported the stadium protest etc), then Wenger got sacked and he blamed us for it. But whether or not Emery is interested, I’ll be going ahead. Walter wrote some articles a while back judging Emery’s work, you didn’t protest then, so I’m believing your current protest has little to do with Emery, but more to do Akb vs WOB antagonism.

  16. Yes but tomp your opinion is that of a deliberate troll. Kindly go to somewhere where your so called opinion is prevalent

  17. TomP, your recent posts suggest to me you have not read the terms and conditions of posting comments on this site. I would be grateful if you would do so and then ensure you follow those rules. If you don’t want to, that is of course a matter for you, and I am sure you will find many other sites with quite different rules which will happily accommodate you. Thanks

  18. @tony, wow! I normally just read the articles and comments, no need to post, because someone always says what’s on my mind before I do. But I find your last comment incredible. TomP gets abused, he doesn’t return it. Says his opinion which is not even always contrary, yet he’s the one who has flouted the comments rule. I had to go and read the rules on commenting and I must say I’m at a loss to find the one he has broken. Its definitely not the one on abuse. I can’t even say its the one on supporting the manager, because his opinions on Emery is tame compared to those expressed by yourself and Walter during the slump we had. I didn’t see any rules against making menace, markyB or goonersince72 pissed, so I’d really like to know the comments rule he’s broken, thanks.

  19. Just ban him. Nobody likes him. He doesn’t substantiate anything he says. He deliberately goes out of his way to contradict and upset people. I, for one, used to love reading the comments but TomP just winds me up with his inane nonsense. It really is beginning to severely grate.

    I’m not into censorship but this bloke really is taking the enjoyment out of UA.

  20. I don’t agree with most of TomP’s opinions on Emery but he doesn’t appear to have engaged in obnoxious behaviour or irrational abuse. He is entitled to his opinion IF he can substantiate it with reasonably solid facts and arguments, otherwise it is just hearsay. That said, he does not have the right to judge Emery, as he well knows, and since nobody listens to such unfounded judgements, it is all a bit of harmless fun. Wenger was not a saint but he was head and shoulders above 99% of the managers in the EPL during his tenure. His failure to keep us in the top 4 against teams that 2-3 times his financial clout is unsurprising and understandable. We will never know if his poorer results were due to him losing the dressing-room or conflicts with the Board or because of the abuse a small minority of fans hurled at him, or all of the above but noone can claim he was a poor manager at anytime during his career.

  21. The BBC organised a contest where contestants were challenged to write something such that feelings of suspense , curiosity, apprehension , peace , tranquility, anger , violence , anxiety, pleasantness and happiness , are expressed in one sentence .

    The winning entry : MY WIFE IS NOT TALKING TO ME .

  22. The donkey said to the tiger, ‘The grass is blue.’ Tiger said, ‘No grass is green.’

    And then the discussion between the two became intense. Both of them are firm in their own words. To end this controversy, they went to the Lion – King of Jungle.

    There in the middle of the animal kingdom, sitting on the throne was a lion. The donkey started yelling before the tiger could say anything. “Your Highness, the grass is blue, isn’t it?”
    The lion said, ‘Yes! The grass is blue.’

    Donkey : ” This tiger does not believe. He annoys me He should be punished properly. ”

    The king declared : ” The tiger will be jailed for a year.”

    The king’s verdict was heard by donkey and he was jumping with joy in the jungle. The tiger was sentenced to one year in jail.

    The Tiger went to the Lion and asked, ” Why ,
    Your Highness ? The grass is green, isn’t it? ”

    The lion said, ” Yes! The grass is green.’”

    The tiger said, ” … then why am I sentenced to jail? ”

    The wise lion said, “You were not get punished for the grass being blue or green.
    You have been punished for debating with that stupid donkey.
    Brave and intelligent creatures like you should have know better to have argued with a stupid donkey and have come here to get a wise decision.”

    Moral of the story :
    Always choose , back or give your vote to the right candidate. Just don’t debate or argue with the donkeys or you will be punished for the next 5 years , or maybe for eternity.

  23. @Tony, it is your blog and you can do as you please with it. If you’re going to ban me, you can do it without having to label me falsely. I’ve had a look at the comments rule, please can you tell me the one I have broken? I didn’t see the one that said being a WOB is an offence. I have presented my opinions politely and where evidence is needed I have provided. You cannot even accuse me of not supporting the manager because even when you and Walter wrote articles about ceasing to support the club and Emery during the slump, I continued to support. I do not agree with the ref bashing on the site, is that an offence? You can do as you please with your blog, but you don’t have to cook up false charges against me. Just like markyB says, you can just say you’re banning me because you don’t like that I don’t agree with your views.

  24. Wow, I saw an opinion that wasn’t insulting, angry or come across as a troll but because the opinion wasn’t liked by tromp then he is treated like a Spurs fan just saying Arsenal are crap. Broke commenting rules, wow once again. What about the insult from Menace, nothing said about that.


  25. I don’t consider that reading a person’s comment and then simply writing “Yawn” as a reply to be polite. Obviously we have different views on what politeness is.

  26. It is a commentary that one often hears, both in adults and children, that because person a said or did something and didn’t get noticed, it is unfair if person b does get noticed. In the end, blogs are run by the individuals or companies that set them up, and I’ve tried to set out my logic and rationale in the comments notes. There are many blogs I don’t like because of they way they treat readers – I just try and do it in a way that seems right to me. I’m really not trying to force my views on anyone – not least because anyone can set up their own blog if they wish.

  27. @Tony, wow! Just wow! Someone wrote a comment calling tomP a “dildo stirring champagne”, he replies “yawn”, yet he’s the one who has broken the comments rule? Wow!

  28. Funny how being critical of a manager who didn’t use two important players (Ramsey and Özil) and that in a period where we got beaten a few times is something that didn’t go down well by some. But constant moaning about a manager who even his worst season managed to get to a domestic cup final and to the semi final of a European cup was something we should have joined in for around 10 years before that one under performing season.
    Mind you I have never insulted Unai Emery in that period. I only said that he was doing it wrong. Since he brought Ramsey and Özil back to the team things have improved a bit over the last weeks (apart from a few bad away results). And I didn’t ask Emery to be sacked. I urged him to change things. Don’t know if he reads Untold to be honest. But he brought Ramsey and Özil back. :-p

  29. @Tony, are you serious? Someone called me a dildo what what in his comment and I was supposed to debate that? You would have preferred I also called him abusive names? Calling someone “dildo stirring champagne” doesn’t break the comments rule, but yawning in reply does? I’m flabbergasted.

  30. And to think that all those 10 years of writing on Untold I have been told that I should be more critical…. LOL Well by some…. 🙂

  31. Well Tom I think this is because you don’t seem to be seeing the context. A huge number of posts are removed each day but some slip through. I don’t manage to stay on top of the site all the time because I have other things to do in life, so I am dependent on other people alerting me. Quite why such a situation leaves you flabergasted is interesting.
    Obviously I don’t know what you are doing but I suspect you have not read the Comments page, and my view is that everyone posting here should do that as a courtesy. Of course many don’t but then they do leave themselves open to problems.
    But there is another thing here which I do find disturbing – the view that because someone else has erred that entitles you to do the same. The equivalent I suppose is that because another car is speeding on the motorway I can do so with impunity. Or because someone attacks me in the street, I can then attack others. This is not a view I support, although I know because of the number of times it comes up here, it is one that some subscribe to.
    The fact is that Untold is run basically by one person – me – and I choose also to have life doing other things as well as this, so it is a far from perfect place. I do my best but as that is not good enough for you, perhaps you might wish to use other websites where the owners are more adept at running the show in a style that suits you.

  32. Hugo
    Menace doesnt have to abide by the same set of rules as everyone else on here.Everyone knows that.Where else could he spout absolute claptrap and get away with it for years.Hes also the biggest bully on this site but hes special and thats probably why he gets away with it.

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