Villareal v Arsenal; Emery v Arteta. How do they compare. Plus the teams

By Bulldog Drummond

The videos of the highlights of all four previous matches between Arsenal and Villareal are now available on the Arsenal History Society website.

Arsenal against Villarreal. Videos from all the past matches

Meanwhile as we approach the match against our previous manager we can ask, how do our managers compare?

The way we have chosen to do it over the years is through win percentage on first team matches.  Not a perfect measure – but then no measure is.  In the list below we’ve included managers with over 50 games in charge – although there is one exception.

That exception is Joe Shaw, the manager who took over from Herbert Chapman when he suddenly passed away.  He’s included not only because of his life-long devotion to the club but also because in suddenly being promoted from reserve team coach to manager, he went on and won the league.

Manager From To P W D L F A % Win Trophies
Herbert Chapman June 1925 Jan 1934 411 204 97 110 879 616 49.64% 2 League, 1 FA Cup
Harry Bradshaw June 1899 April 1904 235 118 44 73 403 237 50.21%
Mikel Arteta Dec 2019 Present 77 40 16 21 110 66 51.95% FA Cup
Unai Emery May 2018 Nov 2019 78 43 16 19 152 100 55.13%
Arsène Wenger Oct 1996 May 2018 1,235 707 280 248 2,156 1,147 57.25% 3 League, 7 FA Cup
Joe Shaw Jan 1934 May 1934 23 14 3 6 44 29 60.87% 1 League

Of the long term managers Mr Wenger is out in front.  Some people expect Chapman’s figure to be higher, but the fact is that after his first season in which Arsenal came runners up, Arsenal then had a series of seasons in which they came 11th, 10th, 9th and 14th before winning the league.

As we can see, at present Mr Arteta is some way behind Mr Emery, although we are at the moment when both have managed virtually the same number of Arsenal games.  In those 77 / 78 games Mr Emery won 43, while Mr Arteta won 40.

The big difference of course is goals.  Under Mr Emery Arsenal scored 38% more goals (an extra 42 in fact), but also let in and extra 34.

So what of the teams?

Sportmole suggest it will be a 1-1 draw, which of course would be ok.  They give us 


Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Xhaka;

Partey, Ceballos;

Saka, Odegaard, Pepe;



The Express go for


Chambers, Gabriel, Holding, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka Odegaard

Saka, Pepe;



The Hard Tackle offer


Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Xhaka;

Partey, Ceballos;

Saka, Odegaard, Pepe;



That looks less likely to me.  I am not sure Eddie Nketiah looked at ease in the last match and if Lacazette and/or Aubameyang are fit, as we have been told, then I’d play one of them and replace him on the hour with the other.

Certainly also if Tierney can come back in that releases Xhaka into midfield where he has been incredibly effective not just in his work on the ball, but his direction of the team, which of course can be done more readily from the middle.

And no Smith Rowe in the above – when he has been so good.  Maybe I’ve missed the fact that he is injured… it wouldn’t be the first time.

But the Standard come to my rescue (now there’s a sentence you won’t ever have seen on Untold before).


Chambers, Holding, Mari, Xhaka;

Partey, Ceballos;

Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;



The Daily Mail have a huge headline saying “Everything to know ahead of kick-off” and then have such questions as 

  • When is Villarreal vs Arsenal? 
  • How to watch the Europa League semi-final?

but they won’t dirty their hands with a team prediction.

But if you want something good to watch, the videos of all four matches between the two teams is on the Arsenal History Society site.


13 Replies to “Villareal v Arsenal; Emery v Arteta. How do they compare. Plus the teams”

  1. In tonight’s Europa League Cup match encounter between Villarreal and Arsenal, I want to say in the affirmative that things in the game will not get worse for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal team in the match as being purported it could by a media house outfit.

    But I believe things in the game will get better better and better in the match for Arsenal as the game pans on. To thus leav Unai Emery’s Villarreal team not getting any redemption for him in the match over Arsenal by his Yellow Submarine team.

    For, surely and certainly, the Gunners will not give nor leave any chance in the game to or for the Yellow Submarine to execute their game plan successfully in the match against Arsenal. As the Gunners will make sure they disable the Yellow Submarine to leave them stationary and stranded under the sea beds. Thus, making them unable to make any tangible move in the game that will threaten Arsenal from winning the match.

    The Gunners should watch out in the game to not fall victims to any offside traps and rotational fouling which could be employed against them in the match by the Yellow Submarine. With the intention to slow them down in their game and stop them from scoring in the match. But nullify such defensive strategy tactics as seen been employed by Bayern Munchen and Man City against PSG as Mbappe and Neymar were stopped from scoring.

    The Gunners must therefore stop the Yellow Submarines from carrying out such game playing defensive tactics against them in the match. But spank them heavily with the kinds of goals scoring in the match which they won’t be able to stop from hitting the back of the net for Arsenal to leave Villarreal come out of the match with nothing to show for their playing in it.

  2. Team

    Chambers, Holding, Mari, Xhaka
    Partey, Ceballos,
    Saka, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe

    Ryan, Okonkwo, Bellerin, Gabriel, Cedric, Luik, Elneny, Willian, Nelson, Nketiah, Martinelli, Aubameyang

  3. I cannot cope with a keeper that does not take the high ball in the 6yd box. It is open invitation for the flicked on header.

    Once again the official looks at the handball but ignores the pull on Pepes right arm which is the primary foul.

  4. We were better in some bits and unfortunate in some, fortunate in others. But the result is not bad considering the state we were in. Officiating is different in that European officials do not book contact tackles like PGMOL do. Our game changed once we started physical tackles and not just interceptions.

    Too much media BS is not helping our club.

  5. I used to really like Keown and thought he was one of the less unintelligent pundits. I don’t know how much Sky are paying him but he doesn’t have a good word to say about Arsenal nowadays.

  6. A strange match. We went swaths of time without touching the ball… Yet, we are still in the tie…and could have won the game at the death.

  7. Keown knows he is not a manager and admits it while criticising Arteta for not being aggressive. I understand his thinking but knowing Arteta’s ways it is wasted time assuming what one would do with the squad.

    Arteta has been consistent in his thinking and has used his players as he wants. My view is different in some aspects, especially in the Goalkeeping and the playing from the back. My Goalkeeper would always go for high balls in the 6yd box when defenders are not controlling it. Corners would always have a man on each post. The ball will always be cleared into the opponents half. Goal kicks played short are not aggressive but risk giving opponents the benefit of chances to exploit errors.
    The team must have good speedy forwards to exploit the opponents defence and the goal kick must be long enough to force the opponent to have to work their way into our half if they win the ball.

    Tonights game had our defence moving backwards rather than tackling before the final quarter. This is how we have to play in the EPL because of officiating but not in Europe where only severe contact is punished. Defenders allowing opponents space in the goal area by not pushing up with the ball avoid offside probability.

  8. Menace,

    I agree that our defending improved towards the end of the game and that the referee was generally fairly tolerant of strong tackling.

    However, that makes the second yellow to Ceballos even more inexplicable

  9. John L – the flea in the ear of the ref is unknown so Ceballos step on the opponents foot was sufficient for the second yellow. There are several areas of officiating that are not by the book but transparency is not something that is in the offing.

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