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Arsenal v Tottenham: what stats could make people think Arteta is a bad manager?

By Bulldog Drummond

We might still be languishing more than half way down the Premier League table six places below Tottenham Hotspur having had the worst start in Arsenal’s history since the birth of the Messiah…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
7 Tottenham Hotspur 5 3 0 2 3 6 -3 9
13 Arsenal 5 2 0 3 2 9 -7 6

... but in reality, we are just a whacking, overwhelming, terrifying… err… three points and one goal scored fewer than the Tiny Totts.  Meanwhile we are actually not doing too badly on the injury front – something that tends to say more about the future than the past.

But let us move aside from such detail and instead do a comparison of the managers – simply because I have not seen anyone else do this.  As you will probably have seen, having watched Arsenal slide out of the European places through adopting a process of regularly changing managers, there are quite a few fans who, following the lead of the media, are demanding that we repeat the process yet again and get rid of our current manager, and so, do what we were always told Wenger so stupidly did.  Do something, see if fail, and then do the same thing over and over again.

The media obviously want this because they love to see Arsenal in crisis, as it means they have the story written for them and have to do even less work than usual.  But why Arsenal fans want to see a repeat of a process that has (in their eyes) failed twice in recent years, is beyond me.  For the simple truth is that changing managers normally results in decline not improvement.

But then I wondered how previous Arsenal managers compared to the most recent group.

To look at this further here is a list of Arsenal managers showing games and honours won.  Of course each honour is not of the same difficulty – and in this regard I’ve taken out the Charity / Community Shield in calculating the final column: games per honour.  The table covers the period from the start of the Chapman era (during which the club won its first trophies) onward.

Manager From To M Win % Honours Games per honour
Chapman 1925 1934 411* 49.64* 2 League titles, 1 FA Cup* 137*
Allison 1934 1947 279 46.24 2 League titles, 1 FA Cup 93
Whittaker 1947 1956 430 47.21 2 League titles, 1 FA Cup 143
Crayston 1956 1958 81 41.98
Swindin 1958 1962 186 40.86
Wright 1962 1966 182 38.46
Mee 1966 1976 539 44.71 1 League, 1 FA Cup, 1 Europe 180
Neill 1976 1983 416 44.95 1 FA Cup 416
Howe 1983  1986 117 46.15
Graham 1986 1995 460 48.91 2 League, 1 FA Cup, 2 League Cup, 1 Europe 77
Rioch 1995 1996 47 46.81
Wenger 1996 2018 1,235 57.25 3 League 7 FA Cup 123
Emery 2018 2019 78 55.13
Arteta 2019 Present 88 51.14 1 FA Cup 88

*The Chapman figure is slightly unfair as he died part way through the 1933/34 season.  Joe Shaw took over for the last 23 games and got a win rate of 60.87%.  If we included that season among Chapman’s list he would have a win percentage of 50% and a games per honour rate of 108.

But if you are still with me, look at the win percentage of Wenger, Emery and Arteta – way above anything in the past!

So in terms of games per honour at the moment the list runs

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  1. Graham (77 games per honour)
  2. Arteta (88 games per honour)
  3. Allison (93 games per honour)
  4. Wenger (123 games per honour)
  5. Chapman (137 games per honour or 108 if 1933/4 is included)
  6. Whittaker (143 games per honour)
  7. Mee (180 games per honour)
  8. Neill (416 games per honour)

When asked what guarantee there is that the process of bringing in yet another new manager will bring, those who favour another change generally seem just to talk about how bad Mr Arteta is.

So I thought it might be interesting to carry on with the stats and compare Arsenal in recent years with Nuno Herlander Simões Espírito Santo.

So first the details of Mr Simões Espírito Santo’s career

Simões Espírito Santo
Team From To G W D L F A Win %
Rio Ave May 2012 May 2014 80 32 17 31 87 97 40.00
Valencia July 2014 November 2015 62 32 16 14 104 60 51.61
Porto June 2016 May 2017 49 27 16 6 88 28 55.10
Wolverhampton Wands May 2017 May 2021 199 95 49 55 277 209 47.74
Tottenham Hotspur June 2021 9 4 2 3 10 11 44.44

Arsenal considered by manager across the same period

Manager From To G W D L F A Win%
Wenger October 1996 May 2018 1,235 707 280 248 2,156 1,147 57.25
Emery May 2018 November 2019 78 43 16 19 152 100 55.13
Ljungberg November 2019 December 2019 6 1 3 2 8 10 16.67
Arteta December 2019 Present 88 45 18 25 123 76 51.14

Thus in terms of comparative win percentages among Arsenal managers we have

  • Wenger: 57.25%
  • Emery: 55.13%
  • Nuno at Porto: 55.10%
  • Nuno at Valencia: 51.61%
  • Arteta: 51.14%
  • Nuno: at Wolverhampton: 47.74%
  • Freddie at Arsenal: 16.67%

Mr Wenger’s win ratio had declined in the last couple of seasons he was at the club and so in terms of simply winning games we might have been better off with keeping Unai Emery, and letting him see through his bad run of form.

But to be fair to Mikel Arteta he has introduced a radical new approach to football – an approach that the media in England won’t mention because it has been created in order to overcome the curse of PGMO with their habit of giving Arsenal referees known heavily to punish tackles with yellow cards.

But overall the question arises: what statistics are making anyone think Arteta is a bad manager?

1 comment to Arsenal v Tottenham: what stats could make people think Arteta is a bad manager?

  • Chris

    Well, so far Chesky is being kicked out of the unbeaten season race…. 10 minutes or so to go.

    But then, it is no trophy, right ?!?

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