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By Bulldog Drummond
There’s widespread reporting of the notion that Arsenal ‘agree £30m transfer’ for Man City star Oleksandr Zinchenko (Football London). The Guardian’s headline is Arsenal reach verbal agreement to sign Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko
So that means if the club and the player can agree terms (which normally they can, once matters have got to this stage) the deal will be done.
There is an interesting contrast with the fact that Manchester City have put the blocks on the transfer of Nathan Aké to Chelsea. It might be a bit early to say that through the Arteta connection Arsenal and Manchester City have a special relationship, but it could well be that things are smoothed by the links at management level.
Zinchenko is a left back, or, as he is often described, a left wing back, and I guess the idea is that we have two such players for that position, given that one can get injured. Plus of course, apart from 38 league games there are at the very least eight cup games this season, and quite possibly getting on for 20 cup games across the Europa, League Cup and FA Cup. So plenty of games for two left backs.
Moving on, Arsenal play their second pre-season match kicking off at midnight tonight UK time. It can be watched through arsenal.com,
In addition to all the players that we had available for the lats game, we now have (at least according to Football.London, Aaron Ramsdale, William Saliba, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Granit Xhaka, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka all available for this game. Lucas Torreira is also included in the squad, and some journalists have suggested that he is there because he is staying at Arsenal, although others suggest he is going to be on show for prospective buyers.
Also in the touring party is Leno, Bellerin, Pepe, Maitland-Niles, Mari, and Nelson. Football.London are predicting a first half team of
Cedric, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney;
Elneny, Odegaard, Vieira;
Saka, Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus
And then for the second half
Tomiyasu, White, Holding, Tavares;
Partey, Lokonga, Xhaka;
Pepe, Smith Rowe, Nketiah.
Unlike Arsenal, and as far as I know, Everton have not played a friendly yet this pre-season, and they have not been that active in terms of transfers either, bringing in just the Burnley defender James Tarkowski on a free. On the other hand, they sold Richarlison to Tottenham for £50m.
What was particularly notable for Everton in last season’s performance was their away form, for if one puts together a league table just based on away matches then they come one step off the bottom.
In the table below I have just included the top six and bottom six for away games.
Away matches only 2021/22
|5||Brighton and Hove Albion||19||7||8||4||23||21||2||29|
What is interesting is that in the previous season (2020/21) Leicester and Everton (both in the bottom five of the away table this last season) were right near the top of that table. And in fact were above Arsenal…
Away matches only 2020/21
What happened to Everton was that Carlo Ancelotti left the club owith Everton in 10th and with just the home form needing to be sorted out. Since then they have had Rafa Benitez, of whom it has been said, Duncan Ferguson (of whom not much was said as he oversaw one match which was a defeat), and then Frank Lampard since 31 January this year.
A comparison of management between the two clubs is also interesting, especially when done through win percentages.
This is a list of Arsenal’s managers across the club’s entire history, organised by win percentages showing those with the most win percentages
|Mikel Arteta||22 Dec 2019||Present||131||71||22||38||54.20%|
|Unai Emery||23 May 2018||29 Nov 2019||78||43||16||19||55.13%|
|Arsène Wenger||1 Oct 1996||13 May 2018||1,235||707||280||248||57.25%|
Yes our three most successful managers, excluding the very short-term interim managers are our three most recent managers.
And here is Everton’s table based on the same notion: managers organised by win percentages. As we can see, far from their most successful managers in terms of win percentages being 21st-century managers, one began in the 19th century and another picked up a lot of his wins in the first world war.
I’ve added Ancelotti, who only managed 67 games, just to contrast what he was able to achieve…
|Carlo Ancelotti||21 December 2019||1 June 2021||67||31||14||22||46.27%|
|Harry Catterick||22 April 1961||7 April 1973||594||276||157||161||46.46%|
|Will Cuff||August 1901||May 1918||577||275||110||192||47.66%|
|Dick Molyneux||August 1889||May 1901||386||194||64||128||50.26%|
|Howard Kendall||May 1981||11 May 1987||338||183||78||77||54.14%|
It may not have been Everton’s fault that Ancelotti left – he was offered the post of managing Real Madrid and dutifully won the league by 13 points, but it was their fault that they appointed Frank Lampard, whose win percentage thus far is a rather sad 38.10%.
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