Newcastle in for Unai Emery, media going round in circles.

By Tony Attwood

Inevitably Unai Emery has said that he “doesn’t know anything about rumoured interest from Newcastle” and that’s probably true, because the whole thing about Mr Emery heading to Newcastle is quite likely to be a load of old cobblers.

But it remains a fact that Mr Emery has a poor reputation among many Arsenal fans, largely I guess because of the final run of matches that he had.

However this table below gives a bit of perspective on these things by looking at our most successful managers in terms of the percentage of games won.  Only managers with over 50 games in charge of  Arsenal are included and I have taken Graham’s win percentage of 48.91% as the base point.

Manager From To Games Won Drawn Lost % win
George Graham May 1986 Feb 1995 460 225 133 102 48.91
Herbert Chapman June 1925 Jan 1934 411 204 97 110 49.64
Harry Bradshaw June 1899 April 1904 235 118 44 73 50.21
Mikel Arteta Dec 2019 Present 99 53 20 26 53.54
Unai Emery May 2018 Nov 2019 78 43 16 19 55.13
Arsene Wenger Oct 1996 May 2018 1,235 707 280 248 57.25

So the three most successful managers we have ever had who have managed over 50 games, in terms of win percentage, are the last three men who have held the post!   And the fact that Unai Emery is the second most successful manager we have had within these parameters (over 50 games and measured by win percentage) shows why Newcastle wanting him might not be as unlikely as some are suggesting.

Indeed, looking at our three most successful managers it is interesting that Pep Guardiola has long been an advocate of the managerial skills of Mikel Arteta, and when (in the first third of last season, and the first three matches of this season) the knives were out for him, Guardiola made a passionate defence of Arteta, insisting that with time his assistant would indeed come good – as he did in the last two thirds of last season.

Guardiola also pointed out what the media studiously ignored then and since, that Arsenal had to play those early games without a number of players who would normally expect to play.  He stated that judging Arsenal on those first three games was “improper”, adding “I am a big fan of him [Arteta] and if they trust him they will do a good job in Arsenal.”

These days the Mirror calls Arteta “ruthless” rather than endlessly noting Mikel Arteta’s “failure to address growing Arsenal problem” which they claimed was the situation in the past concerning the forward line.  They’ve also stopped calling out Edu, as the Express did with their headline Arsenal chief Edu has nowhere to hide with monumental transfer mistake now clear.  Indeed the Mirror now notes, “Edu’s forward-thinking transfer policy”.

The Mirror also states that “Arsenal have been accused of having a soft underbelly for years,”  another accusation with no merit.  Last season Arsenal had the third best defence in the league which hardly seems to qualify as a “soft underbelly for years”.   

Indeed t there has been a knock on effect from this solidity, for a more solid defence allows Bukayo Saka to push forward, which gets the whole forward line moving more effectively.

But there is still an oddity to be resolved in terms of last summer’s transfer business at Arsenal   If we look at the league table for the last two thirds of last season we find that Arsenal were not just the second best team in the league, but also the second best in defence, conceding only one goal more than Manchester.

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts PPG
1 Manchester City 24 20 0 4 62 20 42 60 2.50
2 Arsenal 24 14 5 5 43 21 22 47 1.96
3 Manchester United 24 13 8 3 43 21 22 47 1.96
4 West Ham United 24 13 5 6 41 28 13 44 1.83
5 Chelsea 24 12 6 6 29 22 7 42 1.75

But if we were lacking somewhere it could have been said that we were lacking in attack, scoring 19 fewer goals across those 24 games than Manchester City.

So why has the attack not been improved, while the defence was ripped apart thus causing us to lose our first three games?

If we look at just the last six games – which is a period by which the team has settled down somewhat, we can see that the action in creating a new defence has worked – we have the second best defence in the league once again.

And when we look at the attack, we do indeed have the third best attack in the league.   But… and there is quite a big “but” here… Liverpool on 20 goals and Chelsea on 17 are a long way ahead of us.  11 goals scored is the third best across these last six games, but we are still a long way behind those front runners.

Premier League Form (Last 6)
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 6 5 0 1 17 2 15 15
2 Arsenal 6 4 2 0 11 4 7 14
3 Wolverhampton 6 4 1 1 9 7 2 13
4 Liverpool 6 3 3 0 20 7 13 12
5 West Ham 6 4 0 2 10 6 4 12
6 Man City 6 3 2 1 9 5 4 11
7 Leicester 6 2 2 2 11 11 0 8
8 Leeds 6 2 2 2 6 6 0 8
9 Southampton 6 2 2 2 5 6 -1 8
10 Brentford 6 2 1 3 9 10 -1 7

Another attacker in the January window perhaps?  Or will Martinelli and Balogun start to deliver?

6 Replies to “Newcastle in for Unai Emery, media going round in circles.”

  1. None of Nketiah, Martinelli or Balogun will ever score goals when sat on the subs bench. They need much more time on the pitch to develop the understanding necessarywith our midfielders and wing backs and really show what they arecapable of producing. All have different strengths and all will score goals given the minutes on the pitch.

  2. You have to laugh don’t you when the Mirror comes out with “Arsenal have been accused of having a soft underbelly for years,” as if it was always other media outlets saying it, never them!
    Most of these experts are the same when proved wrong, it was always someone else, never me. They never want to own the shit they previously came out with.

  3. Tony

    “…. Liverpool on 20 goals and Chelsea on 17 are a long way ahead of us”.

    Personally I think you have to take Chelseas goal scoring, and position in the table actually, with a pinch of salt. I’m not saying they are not a good team but I think the last 6 games are actually quite revealing. Take a look at this.

    Newcastle (19th) 0 – 3 Chelsea

    Chelsea 7 – 0 Norwich (20th)

    Chelsea 3 – 1 Southampton (14th)

    So that’s 13 of those 17 scored against the bottom 2 clubs and the 14th placed club.

    Spurs 0 – 3 Chelsea

    Okay, a good result on the face of it but as we have now seen everybody scores 3 against Spurs, even Arsenal and Man Utd, 2 teams who are constantly derided, so not much to brag about there either.

    Now look what happens when they play decent teams.

    Brentford 0 – 1 Chelsea

    Chelsea 0 – 1 Man City

    Even Brentford are now 12th, so hardly one of the ‘big boys’, but at the time they were higher so okay on the face of it a good win. But here’s the point. Chelsea managed one shot on target in that match and were extremely fortunate to win. ONE shot on target,

    Against Manchester City, the only ‘big’ team they played in that 6 match run, they didn’t muster a single shot on target. Not ONE.

    Yes Chelsea are putting goals past poor teams with consummate ease it would seem, but against a decent side they struggle, not only that but they really struggle.

  4. Yes, the attack …
    We’ve improved a lot on set pieces – which is great – but we’ve also scored only 7 open-play-goals in 10 games, which isn’t sustainable if we want to end up 4th (which we can, I agreed with your article on this)
    There’s still a few things I don’t quite get about our attack:
    Laca was given a start, last Saturday, but in that bizarre “false 10” position where MA has used him so (much too, imo) often. What I don’t get is why Laca is not asked to play as our spearhead, our true number 9, in an actual 4-4-2: he should be the one wrestling with the CBs in their box, and/or holding the ball and creating spaces in their backs for Auba to dart into and wreak havoc. He’ll score goals too then, we know he will, while as a “false 10” he doesn’t have the engine (THAT’s his only weakness – if he’d had it he’d have been one of the very best CFs of his time) to both run/pass and still be fresh enough to score.
    Then I’d like our Viking to be given a start in Granit’s position – I actually think that’s where his future lies; Sambi and Thomas are too similar, Martin would make our first pass when in possession tear apart the opponents’ setup.
    Lastly, I was disappointed when I saw that neither Eddie, nor Folarin were sat on the bench against the Foxes. I think they’d have deserved it more than Pépé and Marti. Eddie, in particular, should be rewarded for what he delivers each time he gets a callup, but Folarin is also doing really great with the U23, not complaining, but wrestling, scoring, assisting – a genuine captain.
    The results are great, some of the recruits are outstanding, there’s an amazing connection between the team and the fans, the away fans in particular, the reaction of the bench when Calum scored against Leeds told a very nice story about the atmosphere at Colney, but … we need to create more, score more, even a MotM performance of our keeper won’t save us every time.

  5. Another example of the Mirrors idiotic double talk:

    You point out that “Last season Arsenal had the third best defense in the league which hardly seems to qualify as a “soft underbelly for years”.

    Yet in an article in The Mirror today about Saliba’s successful loan spell in France we have the following:

    “Eyebrows were raised when the centre-half was sent out on loan in the summer, his third in total, with the Gunners in desperate need of defensive reinforcements”.

    So the 3rd best defense in the league was in ‘desperate need’ of reinforcements was it ?

    These people get paid to spout this garbage.

  6. Danny Cowley has today refuted claims by that Arsenal are unhappy with Miguel Azeez’ loan spell at Portsmouth.

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