Arteta has recently come under a lot of scrutiny, some justified, but a lot has been completely over the top. I just want us to take a quick overview of his Arsenal managerial career so far. Obviously results only tell half the story. Performances is where we can really see what’s working or not. Put simply, our defence is now the best it’s been in well over a decade, but our attack is the worst it’s been in well over two decades.
Despite our poor attack though, we have seen a monumental improvement against top opponents, not just in terms of results, but the collective performances as well. Looking ahead, this bodes well for Arteta, because he’s pretty much solved the toughest area first, which is competing and beating the big boys, and winning trophies. Gone are the days of us getting regularly torn to shreds against a decent team. Even in defeat, we are now competing. Imagine what more Arteta can do once he has more of his own signings? He just needs to solve the issue of our attacking when the onus is on us against the so called “lesser teams”.
So, let’s take a quick look at Arteta’s record so far:
Arteta total games played – P42 W24 D8 L10 F56 A39
FA Cup Winners
Europa League Qualification
20/21 (So far)
FA Community Shield Winners
Against the big six
Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal (4-5 pens) Carabao Cup, Round of 16
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (5-4 pens) FA Community Shield, Wembley
Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
Man Utd 0-1 Arsenal
Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd
Man City 1-0 Arsenal
Arsenal 2-0 Man City FA Cup Semi-final, Wembley
Man City 3-0 Arsenal
Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea FA Cup Final, Wembley
Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
Spurs 2-1 Arsenal
Total games against the top six – P13 W7 D1 L5 F15 A16
Those are some excellent statistics for someone who only took over halfway through last season, with the club in absolute turmoil, and a dreadful, unbalanced, and lazy squad! Add to that, the brilliant performance against Man Utd, which was our first away win against one of the big six in 5 years, and first win at Old Trafford in a whopping 14 years! That victory alone could act as a springboard to further victories away from home.
As I said earlier, positive results don’t necessarily mean we’re heading in the right direction. Emery went on a fantastic unbeaten run early on, yet it all fell apart. But the difference between him and Arteta, is that with Arteta’s Arsenal, we can see there is a plan. We have an identity, and a manager who is consistent with his decisions. Emery struggled to put his imprint on the club, even in victory, it didn’t always seem right, but Arteta seems to be instilling a new culture. As with any cultural changes, this will take time, especially given the state the club has been in.