By Tony Attwood
For reasons which have never quite become clear to me I receive notifications from an app known as AFC live on my phone. And being the sort of service it is, immediately upon the conclusion of the Brighton v Arsenal game the arguing started among other subscribers about what should be done.
Much was made of Arteta’s player selection for the game, with multiple complaints concerning the use of young players and the omission of Ozil.
Thinking back to the recent removals of two managers, it seemed to me the same sort of issues were now being raised with the third manager we’ve had in two years, although no one seemed to be worrying too much about how much it has cost to get rid of our past two managers – or the disruption that has resulted from those moves.
The Times estimated that it cost £17m to get rid of Mr Wenger and his team one year before the end of his contract. Getting rid of Mr Emery cost £4m according to articles in both the Mail and the Express, although neither put a figure on the cost of getting rid of his support staff. That could be another £3m. So the club has probably got through around £24m in getting rid of managers before the end of their contract. I am sure they don’t want to do that again.
But then they probably don’t want Arteta to be allowed to spend a fortune on players, and then have to sack him, because the next manager will again have his own idea as to who will make the grade and who not. That in turn means selling off players, normally at a reduced price, and with further losses.
So really it must now be about time to stop moving managers on and deal with what we have. Which raises the question just how good or bad is Arteta The Manager.
The worst win percentage of any of our long term managers since the first world war was Billy Wright, who amazingly was allowed to stay in charge for four years with a win percentage of 38.46% and not the slightest sign of a trophy. Worse, under him the crowds shrank often to below 20,000.
Bertie Mee stayed at the club for ten years in deference to getting the first double and first European trophy. But in his latter years his results were awful, and in two seasons it looked like Arsenal could go down. He won 44.71% of the games.
But of course winning trophies is what it is all about. We don’t remember Neill or Howe with much affection even though they got a higher win rate than Mee, because between they just won one FA Cup with over 500 games managed.
However in terms of a high win percentage it is the modern managers who outdo the old timers including such league title winners as Chapman, Allison, and Whittaker.
So far Arteta has won 50% of the games he has managed at Arsenal. Almost as good as the 55.13% for Emery and 57.25% for Wenger. Only Joe Shaw, who took over the team after Chapman’s death beat them all winning 60.87% of the 23 league games he managed, continuing with Chapman’s team to win the title.
Thus when we come to look at it, the men we have been sacking of late (Wenger and Emery) and the man people are now talking about sacking (Arteta) are all among the best we’ve had. But it seems they are no longer good enough to win the league.
Now I know some would argue that win percentage doesn’t tell us much, but I think it does, because it shows that our recent managers combine two contradictory statistics. They are winning more games than their predecessors but clearly this is not enough to win the league.
What is interesting is the way the number of points achieved by the League winner’s each season has increased. Looking at the winners of the Premier League right the way back to when it started in 1992/3 when Manchester United won it with 84 points – nowhere near enough to win the league now.
|Liverpool||2019/20||82 -107 points|
|Manchester City||2017/18||100 points|
|Manchester City||2018/19||95 points|
So leaving aside this season three of the all time top four seasons for points have come in the last three seasons. In short the bar is being raised higher and higher. Every year clubs have to get better and better to win the Premier League.
Interestingly Chelsea and Man City are clubs owned by oil billionaires. More interestingly Chelsea and Man City are the two clubs in the Premier League who have been recently banned from making transfers for a season or two because of breach of financial fair play rules in one case and rules pertaining to the transfer of young players in another.
Which probably tells us a bit about what is going on.
If you want to win the League, break the European financial fair play rules.
So where does that take us? More on this anon.
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP