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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