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The effect on Arsenal of changing managers

Although measuring the results of games from the start of the season is ultimately what matters – obviously at the end of the season – measuring the last ten games as well as all the games so far this season, can give a better vision of where the team is vis a vis the rest of the league. 

And when we do look we can see we stand fifth on the basis of the last ten, on the same number of points as Manchester City and Chelsea and rather surprisingly above Manchester United, as well as somewhat less surprisingly above the pretenders of West Ham United.  We are as you might expect rather a goodly distance above Tottenham.

So here is the table of the last ten games, this time not worked out by me, but taken from the excellent thefishy site

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 10 8 2 0 26 7 19 26
2 Brentford 10 6 3 1 15 6 9 21
3 Manchester City 10 6 1 3 24 9 15 19
4 Chelsea 10 6 1 3 18 7 11 19
5 Arsenal 10 6 1 3 11 11 0 19
6 West Ham United 10 5 3 2 20 11 9 18
7 Manchester U 10 5 3 2 19 12 7 18
8 Brighton and H 10 5 3 2 12 10 2 18
9 Aston Villa 10 5 2 3 15 12 3 17
10 Everton 10 5 2 3 14 14 0 17
11 Leeds United 10 4 3 3 16 15 1 15
12 Tottenham Hots 10 5 0 5 12 16 -4 15

Considering this it is interesting to see a headline in the Guardian today which reads “United potential not realised as Everton do more with less”, which doesn’t really hold water in terms of “more” either in the current season’s league table or over the last ten games.  But Manchester U are certainly showing how it is possible to spend a lot of money and not make that much progress.  Their last trophy was the league cup in 1995 and their last league title in 1987.

Ten games of course makes it easy to measure points per game and then compare that with what we have been doing this season alone, and with last season – we are running at 1.9 points per game.  Last season through the whole of last season we ran at 1.6 points per game – so a clear improvement although we’ll still hope for better as the defence continues to settle.

But the one thing that is clear, even without all the charts and lists, is that our goalscoring needs to pick up.  Our defence at the moment is the sixth best in the league across the last ten games whereas for the whole of last season it was the third best.  But once again this is undoubtedly because of the number of new players we have brought into the team.

However we have already had a large level of demand for yet another change of manager, generated I suppose in the rather weird belief that changing managers improves the club.    So it is not a bad idea to see if this really happens.

The next table looks at how we have done in the first seven games of recent seasons.

Lge Pos Year/Manager W D L F A GD Pts
9 2021 – Arteta 3 1 3 5 10 -5 10
9 2020 – Arteta 4 0 3 9 7 2 12
4 2019 – Emery 3 3 1 12 11 1 12
5 2018 – Emery 5 0 2 14 9 5 15
5 2017 – Wenger 4 1 2 11 8 3 13
3 2016 – Wenger 5 1 1 16 7 9 16
4 2015 – Wenger 4 1 2 10 7 3 13

This shows again the clear problems we have.  We are in need of more goals and the defence is still getting itself together, and yes of course when one says we have issues in defence and attack, that is pretty much most of the team.  And when put that way it is remarkable that we are only two points adrift of last year.

But this does show that simply changing managers over and over again on the basis that no one else can be quite as bad as the current incumbent is not a very good policy.  The best starts to the season in terms of the first seven games in the last seven years came from Mr Wenger, the second-best from Mr Emery, both of whom were removed.

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The third and fourth-best were from Mr Wenger.

Our problem can therefore be put down to changing managers.  Yes, it has to be done occasionally, but as the glorious Tottenham Hots show us, only too clearly, most of the time, it doesn’t.  They have managed to get through 15 managers (including temporary managers) this century alone, during which time they have won the league cup once and … well, actually nothing else..

And yet despite all these lessons from history the “Anyone but Wenger” campaign achieved considerably momentum (constantly supported by the media of course, who love managerial changes since they mean that the journalist doesn’t have to do any work) – the story is simply there.

3 comments to The effect on Arsenal of changing managers

  • Zedsaunt

    Society in England still runs on you finding your place, your niche in the fortress wall, and sticking there, raising your kids there, raising your hand in the air and thanking the authority for giving you the niche.You nod to let everyone know you know the rules of the game.

    Managers, like umpires in cricket, like the PGMO, are stand-ins for the Voice Of God.

    You learn it very fast. Go down on your knees to those above you, kick those below you. Language is automatic in its definition of hierarchy.

    Consequently ”generated I suppose in the rather weird belief that changing managers improves the club” is exactly what could be foreseen. Managers control your life, I want to be a manager and control your life. I want my club to be just like me. i want my son to be the club captain.

    As a grand theatrical enterprise with the ability to corrupt reality the EPL works fertile ground.

    Thankfully there are people around who recognise evidence can be questioned.

  • Zedsaunt

    Work abroad for a couple of decades in a variety of different jobs the only managers you meet are the people in suits who sit in the office and do office work. On the shop floor workers teach you how to do the job. Raise a family you learn about conditions.

    Come back to Blighty work in different jobs you have managers all over you. Raise a family you learn about conditions. This is England.

    Mr Wenger challenged the authority of the Premier League because he spoke different languages, encouraged his players to make decisions, mixed blacks and foreigners, knew the difference between a Fellini film and a Fassbinder film.

    On one occasion I had to meet a delegation from the London NUJ, National Union Of Journalists, in Bradford, the UK curry capital year after year. We were in the Sweet Centre, the second oldest curry house in Bradford. The Sweet Centre started in the late 1950s, the Asian shift workers from the textile mills sharing their beds in shared rooms. They obviously couldn’t cook so the Sweet Centre started providing a permanent breakfast menu served shift after shift. Over decades the menu became greatly amplified. We sat and ordered. The Father of The Chapel, the most senior journalist there, at a table in this place of history, in the curry capital of the UK, only had the imagination to choose egg and chips.

  • Zedsaunt

    At some point in the chronology of the development of the EPL the four elements of the English Premier League – the EPL business model, the PGMO, the club fan loyalty base, the English media – coalesced into a permanent square, each element a wall in the square, each wall in play.

    An electronic super-square changing and stabilising with each transaction.

    A permanent, never-ending, process of changing managers keeps the square in place. A proper, thorough, investigation of the make-up of the PGMO and why certain clubs continue to get the same officials officiating would disrupt all four walls of the square. So no investigation takes place.

    The EPL is constructed upon the fertile soil of England.

    A beautiful moment of play takes the breath away, it cannot be allowed to change society inside-out. Therefore how do we have the beauty and the control with the most imaginative team sport on the planet?

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