*excluding Pat Rice who only managed four games.
By Tony Attwood
When a manager leaves a club, normally all his team leave at the same time. This certainly happened with Mr Wenger and Mr Emery. Which meant that Mr Arteta needed to recruit his own staff, rather than have a team ready to move with him.
That was a problem of course because Arteta had not managed before and so did not have a ready made team.
Arsène Wenger had previously offered Arteta the chance to lead the Arsenal Academy but he turned that down and instead he took up the post of being part of the coaching team at Manchester City working along with Brian Kidd and Domènec Torrent, the deputies of Pep Guardiola.
It was Guardiola in particular who thought Arteta would make a coach, and Guardiola used Arteta as a way to get information on Chelsea when Barcelona were drawn against them in the Champions League. Arteta also worked as stand-in manager when Guardiola was banned from the touchline.
However although the media talked up the chance of Arteta being the new Arsenal manager after the club decided to cancel Arsène Wenger’s contract a year early as we all know it was Unai Emery who was appointed instead.
As we also know Mr Wenger left Arsenal with a win percentage of 57.25%. the highest win percentage of any long term manager at the time. Although Unai Emery did not meet that level, and of course managed for a much shorter time, he did have a win percentage of 55.13%, the second highest of any permanent manager with the club.
As for Mr Arteta he became the first manager since George Graham to pick up a trophy in his first season.
The first warning however that something might go amiss was when he announced that, “I want people to take responsibility for their jobs and I want people who deliver passion and energy in the football club. Anyone who doesn’t buy into this, or that has a negative effect or whatever, is not good enough for this environment or this culture.”
To say that on entering a club the size of Arsenal, having never managed before seemed like giving a hostage to fortune especially when he had no team of assistants he could call upon, who had worked under his as manager before. And indeed it led to the departure of Guendouzi and the non-use of Ozil.
Nevertheless in his first season in management at Arsenal, to 20 December 2019, it all looked to be going quite well.
- Wins 16
- Draws 7
- Defeats 6
- Winning Percentage 55% out of 29 games
and this this season…
- Wins: 13
- Draws: 2
- Defeats: 8
- Win percentage: 56% out of 23 games.
Overall 29 wins out of 52 games which is a win percentage of 55.77% which puts him above all his predecessors except Wenger in the modern era.
But of course there is a problem here and that is the Europa games – that is where six of his victories have come. True they are still victories and they had to be won, and true the manager used the youth team extensively so they are real victories but they are making the figures look a bit lopsided.
Mr Emery’s figures without the Europa League read
- Won: 22
- Drawn: 9
- Defeats: 13
- Win percentage: 50%
So we might ask, why are we getting so worked up with a manager who has a 50% win record – or 56% if the Europa League is included… Let’s compare his record with the rest…
|Herbert Chapman||11 June 1925||6 January 1934||411||49.64|
|Joe Shaw||6 January 1934||28 May 1934||23||60.87|
|George Allison||28 May 1934||31 May 1947||279||46.24|
|Tom Whittaker||2 June 1947||24 October 1956||430||47.21|
|Jack Crayston||24 October 1956||19 May 1958||81||41.98|
|George Swindin||21 June 1958||1 May 1962||186||40.86|
|Billy Wright||1 May 1962||13 June 1966||182||38.46|
|Bertie Mee||20 June 1966||4 May 1976||539||44.71|
|Terry Neill||9 July 1976||16 December 1983||416||44.95|
|Don Howe||16 December 1983||22 March 1986||117||46.15|
|Steve Burtenshaw||23 March 1986||14 May 1986||11||27.27|
|George Graham||14 May 1986||21 February 1995||460||48.91|
|Stewart Houston||21 February 1995||15 June 1995||19||36.84|
|Bruce Rioch||15 June 1995||12 August 1996||47||46.81|
|Stewart Houston||12 August 1996||13 September 1996||6||33.33|
|Pat Rice||13 September 1996||30 September 1996||4||75.00|
|Arsène Wenger||1 October 1996||13 May 2018||1,235||57.25|
|Unai Emery||23 May 2018||29 November 2019||78||55.13|
|Freddie Ljungberg||29 November 2019||21 December 2019||6||16.67|
|Mikel Arteta||22 December 2019||Present||52||55.77|
The problem is that all those defeats have come at once in the League, which gives us a bad position. But looked at this way, Mr Arteta happens to be one of our most successful managers. Indeed one of an elite group of managers who have achieved a win rate of over 50%: Here they all are
|Joe Shaw||6 January 1934||28 May 1934||23||60.87 %|
|Pat Rice||13 September 1996||30 September 1996||4||75.00 %|
|Arsène Wenger||1 October 1996||13 May 2018||1,235||57.25 %|
|Unai Emery||23 May 2018||29 November 2019||78||55.13 %|
|Mikel Arteta||22 December 2019||Present||52||55.77 %|
Joe Shaw, in case you don’t know the name, was the reserve team coach who took over Arsenal upon the death of Herbert Chapman mid-season. He carried on the work and won the title, before stepping back down to the reserves the following season.
Pat Rice’s run came while we were all waiting for Arsene Wenger to arrive in 1996.
So, maybe with a win rate of 55.77%, which is 0.64% better than Unai Emery, we should keep him with us. Although we might ask, was it worth all the cost of getting rid of Mr Wenger one year early, and Mr Emery half a season early, in order to stay pretty much where we were, in terms of wins. (We might also note that most of the time Mr Wenger managed us in the Champions League, where things were a bit tougher. But maybe that’s a different matter).
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