Upsetting the Arsenal cart: seeing just who has been Arsenal’s most effective manager

By Sir Hardly Anyone

The Daily Mirror has run an article with the headline “Every Arsenal manager candidate rated and slated as Unai Emery’s job remains under threat.”

As usual the headline doesn’t have much to do with the article for as it gets going the article says, “Here we look at the managers Emery fended off in the first place.”

Of course we don’t actually know who Emergy “fended off” – only the people that the Daily Mirror said might be the targets.   They were…

Mikel Arteta (who they noted “has no experiencing in football management, let alone the team the size of Arsenal”),

Patrick Vieira (“Hasn’t pulled up any trees at Nice. Before overseeing victory over Reims last Sunday the Ligue 1 club lost three matches on the trot,”

Thierry Henry, (“Has had just one stint in management at Monaco, and things didn’t work out for him. Danger of an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer situation occurring at Arsenal with his appointment”).

Massimiliano Allegri (“Dominated with the best team in the league – not unlike Emery at PSG – but, unlike Emery, failed to achieve much in European competitions”).

Julen Lopetegui (“Showed disloyalty to his country ahead of the World Cup and failed when in charge of a big club like Real Madrid”).

Ralf Rangnick (“Is yet to test himself at a big club, which comes with the added responsibility and pressure.”)

Jorge Sampaoli.  (” Struggled managing the superstars of his national team and eventually left by mutual consent following a poor 2018 World Cup run.”)

There were some positive words as well, but in essence this article set out to show that Arsenal could struggle with their next manager as they have with this one.

But the media in general is pushing the theme that this is a club in crisis.   Aubameyang can leave, Emery could be sacked at any moment, “former Arsenal stars” are saying he has to go, “Emery is too blind to see”, and then back with the Mirror…

Brendan Rodgers told he’s the “obvious” candidate to replace Unai Emery at Arsenal

But the question then becomes this: is there any more sensible way of discussing Arsenal and its management that this shouting out of names and then talking about their past failures?  (Apart from doing a statistical analysis as we did yesterday).

And yes, it does strike me that this could be done.   Because apart from the previous analysis we have published, what no one has done is considered the record of the current and last managers against earlier managers at Arsenal.  And this is interesting because it allows us to see what might be achieved.

So let’s be a bit more sensible and look at the long term (ie one season or more) managers that Arsenal have had from Herbert Chapman and what their win percentage and trophy record was like.  Trophies exclude the Charity Shield…

Jun 1925 Jan 1934 411 204 97 110 879 616 49.64 League (2), FA Cup (1)
May 1934 May 1947 279 129 74 76 534 327 46.24 League (2), FA Cup (1)
Jun 1947 Oct 1956 430 203 106 121 802 568 47.21 League (2), FA Cup (1)
Oct 1956 May 1958 81 34 17 30 148 151 41.98
Jun1958 May 1962 186 76 43 67 336 330 40.86
May 1962 Jun 1966 182 70 43 69 336 330 38.46
Jun1966 May 1976 539 241 148 150 739 542 44.71 League (1), FA Cup (1) Fairs Cup (1)
Jul 1976 Dec 1983 416 187 117 112 601 446 44.95 FA Cup (1)
Dec 1983 Mar 1986 117 54 32 31 187 142 46.15
May 1986 Feb 1995 460 225 133 102 711 403 48.91 League (2), FA Cup (1) Lge Cup (2) Cup Winners Cup (1)
Jun 1995 Aug 1996 47 22 15 10 67 37 46.81
Oct 1996 May 2018 1,235 707 280 248 2,156 1,147 57.25 League (3)  FA Cup (7)
May 2018 73 43 13 17 147 92 58.90

Now two managers stand out above the rest in terms of win percentages: Wenger and Emery.  Emery is of course helped by the fact that his European trophy throughout has been the Europa League, in which he is undefeated this season and got to the final last.

And it is interesting that Wenger managed around three times as many games as Graham and got a much higher win percentage.

So on the basis of win percentages getting rid of Emery looks rather silly.

But despite the success in terms of win percentage of the current manager the demands for him to removed continue.  Indeed it is hard to imagine more negativity than Arsenal is currently getting.  Here are yesterday’s most popular stories according to one news accumulator service…

  • ‘Come back home’, ‘We need you’ – These Arsenal fans beg former player to ‘rescue’ their club (This Is Futbol)
  • Arsenal fans rage at Raul Sanllehi and Josh Kroenke after Aubameyang’s message on Instagram (Football.London)
  • ‘Looks like he’s lost 5 yards, ‘Been terrible’ – Some Arsenal fans slam £36m-rated player (This Is Futbol)
  • Deposed captain Granit Xhaka in angry Arsenal training ground bust-up with team-mate Daily Star10:04‘Get out of my club’ – Some Arsenal fans blast £36m-rated man after reports of divide (The Transfer Tavern)
  • Jamie Redknapp thinks Arsenal are ‘crying out’ for £15m Leicester City man (HITC)

PS: In case you are interested, the two least effective managers we had in terms of win percentages were George Morrell (36.57%) and Leslie Knighton (36.71%).  Knighton was appointed by Henry Norris – the man who also persuaded Herbert Chapman to come to Arsenal.

But despite the success

7 Replies to “Upsetting the Arsenal cart: seeing just who has been Arsenal’s most effective manager”

  1. The current stats for Emery are

    Played W. D. L. F. A.

    76. 43. 15. 18. 149. 96. 56.6%

    In effect the last 3 games saw him drop behind AW in terms of % wins.

    What is more telling is this seasons

    18. 8. 7. 3. 37. 25. 44.4%

  2. Mike T

    I haven’t checked any of your figures so have no intention of disputing them. Just a quick point though. Just one absurd decision i.e Chambers’ supposed foul against Palace which cost us a win and the win percentage for this season would go up to 50% and brings him within one win of his overall percentage at 56%. When one analyses as few as 18 games a number either way makes a huge difference. Hence why any meaningful statistical analysis is never based on a very small sample.

    A further example of this is that if you analyse Emery’s percentage of losses prior to this season, it is 25.9% where as this season it is only 16.7%. That’s an improvement, is it not?

  3. Btw a quick claculation shows Wenger’s loss rate was 22.7% over his entire Arsenal career. So shouldn’t Emery should be applauded for reduce the number of defeats we endure.

  4. If you keep this us Mikey, pretty soon you’ll be doing quack-ulations.

    I better duck, before I get hit with a bill.

  5. @ Gord


    Which reminds me of a vaguely amusing joke for us old ‘uns.

    Q. How do you turn a duck into a soul singer?
    A. Put it in the microwave until its Bill Withers.

    Groanworthy I concede!

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