By Tony Attwood
On Untold Arsenal, we’ve often talked about often Tottenham love changing managers, as an alternative to winning trophies.
But I wondered what lies beneath Tottenham’s desire to sack their managers quite so often. So I went a-looking.
Certainly sacking managers doesn’t normally bring more success. True, Tottenham have outdone us in terms of winning Division Two and the league cup, but in some other perhaps more prestigious areas of endeavour, we’ve outdone them.
|Competition||Club||Number of wins|
|Football League Division One||Arsenal||10|
|Cup Winners Cup||Arsenal||1|
So could the number of managers explain the difference between us?
Arsenal have had nine managers in the Premier League era; five were permanent and four were temporary. Tottenham have had 24 of whom 15 were permanent and nine were temporary. And indeed during the period in which I have been writing up this little article it seems there is another incoming, so make that 25 managers compared to our nine.
Now the general feeling is that changing managers at lot is not normally a good idea, and that could well be part of their problem.
And yet, over the years some Arsenal supporters emanating from the AAA, have pushed for managerial change, and indeed have spent demanding Arteta be replaced.
But results show changing managers generally doesn’t help. The clubs with the most titles, with one exception, have the fewest managers.
The figures below on managers, only include PL managers, but they do also include temporary managers – for indeed with Tottenham it is hard to decide who is or was temporary, and who isn’t. Or wasn’t.
Here is the Arsenal list during the Premier League era – four of these have been temporary () managers. George Graham‘s numbers* include time in League Division One.
(days) inc Div 1
|George Graham||14 May 1986||21 February 1995||3205*||1992–1995|
|Stewart Houston||22 February 1995||8 June 1995||106||1995|
|Bruce Rioch||8 June 1995||12 August 1996||431||1995–1996|
|Stewart Houston||12 August 1996||13 September 1996||32||1996|
|Pat Rice||13 September 1996||30 September 1996||17||1996|
|Arsène Wenger||1 October 1996||13 May 2018||7894||1996–2018|
|Unai Emery||23 May 2018||29 November 2019||555||2018–2019|
|Freddie Ljungberg||29 November 2019||21 December 2019||22||2019|
|Mikel Arteta||22 December 2019||681||2019–|
But does having lots of managers bring lots of trophies?
This chart is ordered by the number of managers, starting with the smallest. And I think it tells you all you need to know about the benefits of sacking managers. By and large there aren’t any.
|Club||Total number of managers||Titles||Titles per manager|
|West Ham United||16||0||0|
But perhaps the problem is not with Tottenham H but with the managers that Premier League clubs choose. After all the Larger Allardyce, an entity who was eradicated from the England managerial position after one game, has managed more teams in the Premier League than anyone else. Such beings exist.
Certainly, one thing is clear. Constantly changing managers has only ever worked for one club – and that is a club with inordinate amounts of cash: Chelsea. For the rest, it is not a good idea.
And so to the question: if sacking managers has only ever worked for one club, and that club has inordinate amounts of money, why does Tottenham Hotspur keep doing it?
a) because the owners are morons and don’t realise that manager sacking only makes things worse?
b) because they think that if they do it enough, they must get it right in the end?
c) because they listen to the journalists?
d) because they listen to the fans?
e) because they can’t think of anything else to do?
f) because the owners love the sense of power that sacking people gives them?
g) because the owners believe that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about?
Your answer would be welcome below.
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