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October 2020
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If Arsenal want to win the League they should break the financial fair play rules

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.

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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.

Team Season Points
Liverpool 2019/20 82 -107 points
Manchester City 2017/18 100 points
Chelsea 2004/05 95 points
Manchester City 2018/19 95 points
Chelsea 2016/17 93 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.

13 comments to If Arsenal want to win the League they should break the financial fair play rules

  • Nitram

    Chelsea commit 17 fouls and get their one and only card for the 17th foul in the 95th minute.

    Nothing changes.

  • Chris

    FYI, Attwood has refereed Arsenal for the 6th time this season…out of 30 games that is one in 5
    Add to that 2 appearances as 4th official, the second time was against City a few days ago
    And he did VAR once.

    Tell me this is NOT STRANGE !

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think there will be bargains to be had this summer , and fair play rules apparently suspended, so a good opportunity, will Stan take it?remains to be seen

  • Re referees we are working on a brand new approach to analysing the work of referees in the PRemier League which we hope will revolutionise what we know about their behaviour and attitude. It’s getting close.

  • Uwot

    Until the club or Arsenal manager calls out these “ Anomalies “in public either pre or post match,nothing will happen.It has to be done in the public glare.press conference or Tv live.Arsenal have to threaten with the stats & demand the pgmol (or whatever you call them )& the corrupt FA to answer the allegations.Get it out there.The media hate us anyway & will call it whinging but so what.weve lived with this for what seems like an eternity( decade or more) .I know untold have the stats to raise sufficient doubts as to the Anti Arsenal bias led by Mike Riley(who else) but a single football blog,no matter how popular needs the Tv & other Media to seriously raise the issue.Why does the Arsenal PR machine sit on their hands & do nothing with the mounting evidence.A disgrace.

  • Nitram

    Uwot

    What chance is there of the manager ‘calling them out’ when he actively defends them ?

    Arteta has said “I don’t believe any player goes out to injure another player. It was just unfortunate”

    Sorry Arteta that’s bollocks.

    The guy doing 50mph in a 30mph high street hasn’t ‘gone out to injure’ anyone, but if he does I doubt anyone would say ‘it was just unfortunate”.

    If he is doing 30 and a bloke steps out in front of him and breaks his leg, that’s unfortunate.

    If he’s doing 50 and mounts the pavement and breaks his leg, that’s reckless and ends up with a hefty ban and a fine, at least.

    This character didn’t even get spoken to, and what’s more he is mouthing off in the media.

    Arteta, grow some and tell it how it is or expect this shite to just get worse, if that’s even possible.

  • Nitram

    Like my analogy I doubt this Moupay prat did intend to hurt Leno, but what he did WAS RECKLESS, and is simply in defendable, and for him not to be booked at the very least, and then excused is a f***ing disgrace.

    If it isn’t Arteta then somebody at our club better grow some or we’ll have nobody left. Our players deserve better from these guys.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Nitram, in that the club should be taking this on, but I suspect Arteta has been silenced by them, as Wenger eventually was
    I don’t know what moupay intended, but that was reckless, and unnecessary, like a lot of things Brighton did that went unpunished yesterday ,
    Opponents know they can dish out the rough treatment to our players, unpunished.
    The club should not be silent on this

  • Nitram

    Mandy Dodd

    Silenced I can at least understand.

    Making excuses for him ! That’s a whole different kettle of fish and to me Arteta is out of line.

    There should be a duty of care for our players and if it doesn’t come from our club who will it come from because it sure as hell ain’t coming from the referees.

  • James Gunner

    The days of winning the epl on the cheap are over.The US owner is the problem.
    I cant see Arsenal winning the epl for another 10 years until they become like Chelsea and MC.
    Where were these 2 ten years ago?

  • Nitram

    James Gunner

    “The days of winning the epl on the cheap are over.”

    Sorry James but have I missed something? When has the EPL EVER been won on the cheap? Even before the arrival of the oil money it was by and large the traditional big clubs, and therefore the bigger spenders, that won the PL. As I have pointed out on here many many times, since Arsenals last title, every title bar one has been won by either Man City, Chelsea or Man Utd. The 3 biggest Nett spenders since RA’s arrival, with an average Nett spend per season of £80 Million, £50 Million and £30 Million each respectively, over their successful periods. The exception of course is Liecster City who can not of course be put in that class of spending, but even their success was down to a respectively massive injection of money.

    Over 20 years between season 93’/94 and 13/14 Leicester’s entire Nett spend was £7 Million. Then in 14/15 they had their biggest ever Nett spend of £20 Million, then in 2015/16 they beat that with £29 Million Nett and won the League. So from spending less than half a million per season for 20years they went to £50 Million in 2 years, or £25 Million per season. So not in the same league as those other 3, but it can hardly be said they did it ‘on the cheap’.

    So yes you are right, but they were over even before the EPL came in to existence.

    So yes, I agree with you, and have said so again many times, if we want to win the PL we are going to have to spend money, and lots of it, but as has been shown on here many times, we have in fact already been doing that, so to say:

    “The US owner is the problem”.

    Doesn’t really stack up, at least not on the financial front. The fact of the matter is we have been one of the biggest Nett spenders in the PL over the last 5 years or so, certainly spending more than Leicester City did, although that is a bit of a freak, and certainly more Nett than Liverpool, although again as I have said, they are hardly paupers as they have an enormous Gross spend, but it has to be conceded they have traded brilliantly in the transfer market.

    So blaming the owners for not spending, which is what you have inferred, cannot be the reason. But somethings gone wrong. Not only with us but with man Utd Also. Because they too have spent enormous amounts of money and haven’t really looked genuine title contenders either.

    So ask yourself what have those 2 Clubs got in common?

    Yep they both either lost, or got rid of their most successful managers ever, after extraordinary long periods of success..

    So if the amount of money we’ve spent isn’t the issue what is? And that is the Million Dollar question.

    Well I’m sure I don’t know, because if I did I’d be a manger or owner, but for my part I would suggest it is much more likely to have something to do with the enormous changes, within both clubs, than it is to do with money.

  • mick shelley

    My feeling is Maupay was attempting to make Leno land outside the penalty area by purposely barging into him in mid air, thus conceding a free kick to Brighton and probable yellow card for leno. In that respect it was a deliberate foul and so he should have been red carded. Maupay had plenty of time to check his run but chose not to.
    By the way Maupay has previous. He has twice been found to have deliberately stamped on a grounded player, one of which against McGinn of Villa resulted in a suspension. He also upset Chelsea by trying to score from a dropped ball instead of returning it to Chelsea. He sounds like a nasty piece of work.

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