Arteta has more clean sheets than Mourinho in fewer games.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta really doesn’t get enough credit for the work he’s done with our defence since replacing Unai Emery.
It was widely expected that the Spaniard, formerly of Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City, would improve the quality of our football in terms of possession play and attack, but it’s quite remarkable what he’s done to help us tighten up at the back given the quality of players available to him.
So far, Arteta has helped Arsenal to seven clean sheets in 15 games, despite his options being David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi, the latter of whom being a particular surprise player to make huge strides under the new manager, with his Arsenal career looking dead and buried for some time prior to his arrival.
By contrast, Jose Mourinho – who, let’s not forget, was tentatively linked with Arsenal by the Times before he wound up at Tottenham – inherited Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen as his central defenders at Spurs, with the Belgian pair up there with the finest pairings in Europe for much of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign.
And yet, so far the Special One has just three clean sheets from 26 games at Spurs, with his side exiting the FA Cup and Champions League in quick succession and with a top four spot looking increasingly unlikely with every passing game.
It truly is a huge relief that those Mourinho links didn’t amount to something. A bullet dodged by Arsenal.