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WBA v Arsenal: The ups and downs of the Larger Sam

by Bulldog Drummond

Three teams have let in three or more goals in four consecutive home fixtures.  West Brom are on the edge of this, and of course it will be very much to Arsenal’s benefit if that can be achieved.

Date Game Res Score Competition
06 Dec 2020 West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace L 1-5 Premier League
20 Dec 2020 West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa L 0-3 Premier League
29 Dec 2020 West Bromwich Albion v Leeds United L 0-5 Premier League

As for Arsenal, a win won’t take us that far up the table, but it will help

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
10 West Ham United 16 6 5 5 23 21 2 23
11 Leeds United 16 7 2 7 30 30 0 23
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 16 6 3 7 15 21 -6 21
13 Arsenal 16 6 2 8 16 19 -3 20

although of course it depends on what the other teams do.  But the only way out of the mire is a step by step approach and that is what we are looking for.

We are of course not going to catch Leeds in terms of goal scoring (15 would be nice but seems unlikely with the Larger Sam in charge of WBA); they have scored twice as many goals as we have but a 3-0 win for us and a 1-0 defeat for Leeds will take us above them – and the same applies to the other two teams above us.

Meanwhile, the ex-England manager with a penchant for ‘inappropriate behaviour’ (although I might be tempted to indulge in inappropriate behaviour to lay my hands on a million quid, so I can’t complain), can repeat the achievement of the Mark Hughes by winning a Premier League match as a manager against Arsenal with four different clubs.

“But what of this Larger Sam?” I hear you cry. What has he been a-doing of in his career?  Basically, managing the likes of Limerick, Preston, Blackpool, Notts County, Notlob, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham, Sunderland, England, Crystal Palace, Everton and Western Bromwich.  You might have thought that people would have realised by now, but no, they keep giving him a job.

Still he is a record breaker, what with being the only football manager with three corruption charges against him – first the 2006 Panorama investigation, second when Ravel Morrison said he had come under considerable pressure from ever larger Sam to sign up with football agent Mark Curtis, who represented Allardyce and some West Ham players, and as England manager  offering to give advice on how to get around those pesky FA rules on player third party ownership.

But well, these people will keep employing him, and these allegations keep being made, but of course we have no evidence whatsoever that the larger Sam has ever done anything wrong.  Not a thing.  Not a sausage.  Not even a large sausage.

But the real problem for the larger Sam is that he actually isn’t very good as a manager.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv

Team From To Games Win %
Preston North End (caretaker) 30 September 1992 30 November 1992 12 25.0
Blackpool 19 July 1994 29 May 1996 102 43.1
Notts County 16 January 1997 14 October 1999 145 38.6
Bolton Wanderers 19 October 1999 29 April 2007 371 41.2
Newcastle United 15 May 2007 9 January 2008 24 33.3
Blackburn Rovers 17 December 2008 13 December 2010 90 35.6
West Ham United 1 June 2011 24 May 2015 181 37.6
Sunderland 9 October 2015 22 July 2016 31 29.0
England 22 July 2016 27 September 2016 1 100.0
Crystal Palace 23 December 2016 23 May 2017 24 37.5
Everton 30 November 2017 16 May 2018 26 38.5
West Bromwich Albion 16 December 2020 Present 3 0.0
Total 1,037 39.2

We might perchance compare him with Arsenal’s managers over the same era

Manager From To Games Win %
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
Arsene 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 51.92

We shall see.

 

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