How has Arteta really done in his first 100 League games in charge at Arsenal?

How has Arteta really done in his first 100 games in charge? by AndersS

Two thirds of the goals scored against us this season are caused by huge individual blunders by our defenders!

Isolated this actual fact could well lead someone to conclude our defence has been a collection of error prone players. Only it is fairly obvious it would be far from the truth. So far, our defence has overall been extremely solid and in unison with the rest of the team understanding to defend as a team, very few chances have been created by our opponents. But it is true, Saliba’s horrible own goal against Leicester and Gabriel’s huge blunder against Fulham are the reasons, we have let in 2 goals so far this season, and as there is only one more goal against us, statistics will tell you 2/3 of our opponents’ goals are caused by individual blunders.

And where am I going with this? Well, earlier today I accidentally stumbled on an online article from the Daily Mail comparing Arteta’s first 100 games in charge with Wenger’s first 100. It mentions 3 statistical facts, which I haven’t fact checked, but which I choose to believe as correct:

In his first 100 games in charge Arteta has 53 victories. Wenger had 54.

Arteta has a point average per game of 1.75 and Wenger had 1.83.

In Arteta’s first 100 games Arsenal have scored 162 goals versus 156 in Wenger’s first 100 games.

What surprises me is how close the numbers are. I was under the impression; Arteta’s numbers would be quite a bit inferior to Wenger’s. For two reasons, I think. One being the well-known phenomenon that your memory sometimes only remembers what you like to remember. For instance, in my memory all my childhood summers were filled with sunny days and trips to the beach, but looking at the historical facts about temperatures, hours of sunshine and amounts of rain, it clearly wasn’t so. Similarly, Wenger is known as our greatest manager, and the prime exponent for attacking football, and in our memory matches with him in charge were filled with victories and goals like no other manager. True, but not quite to the extent, memory might tell us. At least not in his first 100 games

The other reason my initial impression of Arteta’s first 100 games being inferior to Wenger’s are the different debates here on JA. Although far from dominating these days, I have seen a lot of comments about how bad Arteta was doing and how boring his type of football is. The numbers seem to suggest a different story.

Now, before anyone’s head blows off, I would like to state, I am in no way trying give the impression that Arteta is as good as Wenger once was. Wenger’s record especially in the first half of his tenure speaks for itself, and there is such a long way to go before Arteta can come anywhere near.

I am sure we can dig a lot deeper into whether it was more difficult or less difficult in Wenger’s era to win matches and whether their starting point makes a comparison fair. But what use would it be?

Unless, I have missed something, surprisingly little has been mentioned on JA about the fact that the Fulham game was Arteta’s 100th in charge.

So, what has he actually achieved? Only little in terms of the final table in the PL. An 8th and a 5th in the 2 seasons he can actually be held accountable for. In his first half season, he took over, when we were around 11th and we finished 8th. If you want to include that half season, you can in principle say, he has taken us from 11th to 5th in two and a half seasons, and you can make your own mind up as to whether that is satisfactory or not. As you can see, I have disregarded the fact that we first in the table at the moment. Although it is a wonderful thing, the 4 wins are too little to take into account in the bigger picture, I think.

For me Arteta’s main achievements so far aren’t improvements in the league. They are:

He is an important part of a plan, which actually give me hope, we can win the league again in a foreseeable future. I haven’t believed that for at least 10 years.

The plan is a courageous focus on an exciting young team, which potentially can compete for a number of years.

His passion and ambition is clearly also visible in the players.

He is creating a team of players, who seem willing to fight 100%

Arsenal is now a very enjoyable team to watch – how we have missed that!

There is unity between players, management and owners – and most fans 😉. No mean feat.

In the end it is all about actually winning the league, and he has not achieved this yet. The plan seems to be to do it within a few years. He must of course deliver, as he is being backed not only financially but also in his decisions.

The team that is taking shape, can soon be said to bear only his mark.

Arteta’s 100th game in charge is on the back of a bit of a roller coaster ride, but he does deserve credit, as we hopefully continue our general upward trend.

Congratulations to him.



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  1. Nice info. I just feel Arsenal’s playing style under Arteta is the most entertaining I’ve ever seen, especially when Jesus, Martinelli, Partey and Zinchenko are playing together

    1. Thank you gai.
      I think we have many players, who already are a joy to watch, and potentially, they can improve a lot.

  2. “Arsenal is now a very enjoyable team to watch – how we have missed that!”

    No, not all of us missed that.
    Some of us saw it from the start, how we were trying to play. How the layers struggled at first, when they got it right, how entertaining it was, and we got told we’re supporting Arteta FC not Arsenal FC because they chose to discredit what he was doing.
    To the ones just seeing it and just started enjoying it, welcome to the party.
    Some of us have been here from the start enjoying it

    1. Eddie, I am sorry my opinion doesn’t come across clearly in that quote.
      It is the energy and joy from our young team, which I am hinting at, and we didn’t have that in the last few years under Wenger, nor under Emery. IMO

  3. Nice article Anders , I think we “over celebrated” and forgot it was the gaffers 100 game. Jokes aside, stats however close they are , disparity in the way we played in the Wenger / Arteta 100 games. Well at least except the last 4 which have been quite sensational to watch . But as you summed up winning the league is all that matters and I hope we do it and if it happens this season I’ll just be ecstatic!

  4. You are spot on with all you stated and all you mentioned are quite achievement to be honest. But what I am impressed with the most is the part you mentioned no matter the improvement is being made, it’s only a matter of time before the fans would want a trophy to be won to justify it. The more we improve, the more the requirements and the standard get high. To be honest I am not expecting arteta to win the league just yet that would be too much to ask. I think the first one is getting us into top4 again and maybe a cup win. That should be the minimum.
    The likes of ole and lampard achieved this but they had no trophy to back it up and they got sacked for that despite finishing in top 4 respectfully.
    However we must give credit for the wonderful job being done so far. Yeah it wasn’t all rosy and it isn’t faultless but we have all the reason to be excited again I believe.
    Secondly it would be unfair to compare wenger 100 games and Arteta without having to bring in the amount spent. How much did wenger spent to achieve that and how much is being spent to achieve this.
    Like you said, it’s not to make Arteta as good as Wenger but to show his improvement. But we all know what money can do if being spent well.

    1. Kaay you say we compare money spent, in all respect to that, do you think it will be fair to consider that putting into perspective the transfer market then and the absurd transfer market now? I do agree with most of your insight, but my old fork once told me you are as good as what you believe in! If you believe you are good enough to be successful that’s what you get same way to failure.

      1. @kenya there was a reason why I made it my second opinion and not the first.
        You were completely right about the market then and now. But that being said it can’t be overlooked. There’s a reason why Chelsea and City have been the most successful English team in the last 10years and more in terms of achievement. That’s the money factor I am talking about. More so I did mentioned the part of spending wise which is more important than just spending as we can see that if not done wisely there won’t be any positive results.
        Look at lampard at chealse and look at lampard at Everton.
        Look at ancelotti at Everton look at the same ancelotti at real Madrid. The common factor is one is richer than the other and both managers did well at the richer clubs, so does every other managers could do.
        Tuchel has been to 2 Ucl final in 5 years, he couldn’t manage that Dortmund. Why?? he managed a psg team and Chelsea that are known for spending.
        This is not to discredit the improvement that has been made by Arteta and the team so far. They deserve all credit and I think the backroom improvement has been the most impressive out of all. But again not all managers are tasked to do that as some team are only interested in getting results on field.

    2. In terms of money spent, Arsenal was one of the richest clubs in England when Wenger came in. He was the one that started the influx of the the best players from all over the world into England. The value of players then cannot be compared to now

  5. Why are we benchmarking Mikel against Mr. Wenger when the sport is more competitive, you have 6 teams vying for the UCL slots, almost 17 teams are very very competitive, and the proof is that Liverpool lost to Man Utd and were held by Palace, and Man Utd themselves lost to BHA & Brentford! Could you have thought of such results in the Wenger early years? Benchmark Mikel against great managers like Klopp or Pep, that would be an interesting read.
    Regarding the teams they inherited, one inherited a golden cup of honey while he left with a clay cup of venomous players who had to be booted out for the club to survive, hence you cannot compare the spend then and now and that too we are living in modern era where any of the top 10-12 teams invest in continental talent.
    And to add, Klopp or Pep or Tuchel did not inherit dross and vipers, but solid players to build on that foundation, Mikel himself has done the excavation, foundation, pillars and laid the walls brick by brick and deserves credit for his work. Comparing his 100 games to those of Mr. Wenger is such an insult to the personality of Mikel.
    We need to give him a standing ovation as he embarks on a journey for the next 100 games. Wish him all success and luck.

      1. Did he?
        A team that had a drinking culture second to none.
        Read Tony Adams book about what was going on before and after Wenger arrived.
        Check where the team finished in the last four season before he arrived and, before you tell me about the legendary defence, check how many goals they let in during those four seasons.

        AW gave those players he inherited extra years to play in the PL, because of his innovative approach and ideas, culminating in the Invincibles… with every one of the defence his signings.

        1. @Ken ,just another misconception that many fans have like AW “inherited”a great defense or couldn’t built one.i remember a recent comment from Jon Fox calling MA a visionary.sadly I disagree! Arsène Wenger was one,a pioneer,he did things that no one else had done or thought in football back then,he was the first to implement many things,as for MA he is a good,very good coach but a visionary or pioneer that he is not, I’m sorry and it doesn’t mean that I do not give him credit for what he’s been building so far.

          1. Exactly Siamois ,Arteta as just copied peps blueprint ,nothing visionary about that .
            Saw someone post about Wenger inheriting an amazing team ,we hadn’t won the league for 6 seasons before hand not sure how amazing that team was ,also his invincible team had 2 players from the previous regime ,Martin ,k and ray parlour ,so he had completely rebuilt that team which some fans hate to admit ,they always do their best to knock his achievements , which always seems strange to me .

            1. Dan you just brought up a good you rightly pointed out,some fans like to knock AW achievements but big them up when it suits their narrative,like in this article.because MA 100 first games % ,numbers are very closed to those of AW,suddenly he didn’t do too bad.

    1. I’m sure you are aware not forget Edu’s role in rebuilding the squad as well, it’s not like Arteta did it all alone, or Edu either for that matter. Great credit to Edu for Martinelli, Marquinhos, and the other players he helped convince to join Arsenal.

      It’s a team effort responsible for our current rebuild, and the successes and disasters are shared as a team as well.

    2. @loosecannon
      Thank you for commenting.
      It wasn’t my choice to compare Wenger and Arteta. I just picked up on the article elsewhere and was surprised to see how close/similar the stats are.

  6. I think we should compare Arteta and Wenger ‘s first 50 games and their second 50 games separately…..I noticed Arteta did much better in his second 50 games…21 wins to 32 wins….I’m sure his next 50 will be better

  7. @Durand
    I agree with you. I thought, I had that included, by writing Arteta has a part in the overall plan.
    Either way, the whole management, including Edu and the owner deserves credit IMO.

  8. Arteta is doing a great work with the team nobody has to deny that but with the great work he just needs to add some trophies to his name to top it all

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