How is Arteta really performing compared to the last ten years?

How is Arteta really doing? by AndersS

As I write this, Arsenal is sitting 5th in the table with 45 point from 24 games.

We all know, the difference in games played makes it a bit difficult to determine our exact position in the table, but the fact is, this season only 3 teams have had more than 45 points after 24 games played. Man C, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Many discussions on Just Arsenal seem to revolve around how Arteta is doing as our manager, and whether he is the right one for us.

Personally, I have certainly expressed my doubts, and I am still not convinced he was the best choice when he was appointed. Also, I have been surprised by the reports that we are already preparing to extend his contract.

Every so often I see the point being made, that we are only being a very serious contender for the top 3 or 4 because other teams are struggling. Presumably this argument is implying the situation is only temporary until teams like Man Utd and Spurs get their acts together and restore things to where they ought to be.

The point certainly looks to have some validity, as we nearly every week see teams around us dropping points.

But is it really abnormal?

If you look at our 45 points for 24 games, we have only had more points in 3 of the 10 preceding seasons (since the 11/12 season):

In 13/14 we had a staggering 55 points for 24 games, and we were in fact leading the league. Unfortunately, we finished the season “only” in 4th with 79 points.

In 16/17 we had 47 points after 24 games and lying 4th, and we finished 5th.

In 18/19 we also had 47 points, were lying 4th and finished 5th.

Looking at these stats, it would be fair to conclude, at this stage our season is really comparable to our very best seasons in the past 10-11 years, and it really has nothing to do with any abnormal lack of points to our rivals.

We have won more points than we have had on average at this stage. A somewhat surprising fact, I think.

If you want to make a case against Arteta, it would be natural to point out that we only had 34 points at this stage last season, and we finished a disappointing 8th. Maybe this season is an overachievement?

I think, history shows, that we have to wait and see how we finish in the end. Things change quickly in football and in just 2-3 weeks or at the end of the season, it could all look very bleak indeed.

But at the moment things do look good, and despite my own surprise at the talk of extending Arteta’s contract, I would have to say, the Arsenal ownership/leadership would not be doing their job properly if they weren’t preparing to keep hold of Arteta. Because just like things can turn very bleak, it could also be that we are on track to achieving one of the very best results in the league for 10-11 years. If we do, we will be achieving this with a very young and talented team. Not bad for a “rookie manager”, if it happens, and I just may have to admit that it is a great luck the club is run by people with a real strategy and the ability to follow it, and not run by people like myself.

kind regards

Anders S

Tags Arteta League table points


  1. The truth of the matter is in the league you need your opponents to not win so you can rise above them. There is no problem being where we are because our opponents are dropping points as long as we take advantage of it. The same thing happened in 15/16. We haven’t been great this season but we have been more consistent than those going for 4th. We could’ve even been higher but for several poor decisions. Its in the past and now we must do egetything we can secure it. Overrating or underrating the season, coach or players means a departure from reality which I refuse to indulge in I see us finishing 4th and there could even be a gap between us and 5th.

  2. This is actually a great article giving context to ourn season in comparison to our past ten seasons.

    However those seasons also included trophies in four years. This season there will be no trophy. This is a failure for Arsenal football club.

    Furthermore with no other competitions than the PL our actual football we are playing is turgid and still without a clear attacking pattern and philosophy.

    I am impressed with our defensive organisation and our ability to battle.

    However why after 2.5 years in charge do we still struggle to impose ourselves on teams and also create very little for our centre forwards. It’s a damning scenario.

    It’s the reason why Auba left because he knew this was the case and he was being unfairly blamed. It’s no coincidence he has started two games for Barca , with two sub appearances and already has four goals.

    Arteta game management seems to be improving and his motivational skills are obviously working on the younger players.

    For this season top four, if not third are the bare minimum. If he cannot achieve this he should be sacked.

    He has only the league to worry about and has all the players he wants at the club having got rid of very talented players such as Saliba and Auba and Gwendouzi all of whom we could have used right now.

    The fact is we are struggling to score and create and have been since he has taken over.

    It’s not a long term sustainable way to play and will catch up to him eventually unless he can improve this dynamic in the final third for the central striker and central attacking midfielder.

    Odegaard is not going to score you many goals. Madison on the other hand has 11 goals and seven assists despite having an average season by his standards. Teilemens has 7 goals and three assists despite playing much deeper than Odegaard. They are playing in a Leicester team having a poor season yet their output is still way higher than Odegaard.

    If you look at goals scored ours is one of the lowest in the league for top half teams. It’s simply NOT good enough.

    Sorry if it seems like I am Arteta bashing but I prefer to look deeper at what is actually happening rather than simply take face level results.

    We had a similar run with Emery to when we went 22 games unbeaten but the underlying football was not good and there were many flaws in our play.

    For me this lack of creation and flow in our final third through the centre is a massive massive flaw under Arteta, it has never been rectified or fixed or improved upon and this after 2.5 years in charge. Eventually if this is not fixed we will he massively exposed and our results will fall away.

    The players cannot be expected to go to the well every week, it’s exhausting. If we had a clear pattern of attacking play they wouldn’t have to do this in the first place. I am yet to see from our manager and until he does I will remain skeptical about his long term credentials to make us challenge for the PL and CL.

    1. Apart from Arteta’s faults one important context is that the team is in transition compared to the past seasons and some of the small clubs have massively improved player wise and tactically. This is the reason why every single player we sign this window is so critical because it can set us back against or elevate us. Auba never fit his style as a CF. He should’ve been played on the wings but he is a limited player so he had to go. I can’t believe he was once compared to Kane. There is no excuse for Arteta to not finish in top 4 which for me I believe he will. Time will tell but its looking likely right now.`

    2. @free you are missing a point concerning our ability to score goals. I think it’s lack of conversion, and not lock of creation. If you really watch our games keenly you will see that we have created tons of chances and not converted into goals. We’re locking a lethal striker who can at least convert one out of three chances. Auba became unproductive before his disciplinary problem. Laca, we know very industrious, but also lack end product. You compare Martin Odegard with Madison in terms of scoring goals. Did you also consider their age difference? Did you consider how many years Madison has played first team football as compared to Odegard’s?This his first season as a first team player or starter. Can you see his rapid improvement? I promise you a year from now you will put Martin in higher class than Madison. And one question. Why when teams like man city, Chelsea ,even liverpool grind result no seed any wrong with that but when arsenal does people bash them?

      1. Soccer boy, its our lack of real quality opportunities we are poor at. More doesn’t mean good, our opportunities are hard to convert because they are badly contrived. 26 attempts against wolves and only 2 statistically were classed as goalscoring opportunities, says a lot.

      2. Soccer boy
        There is little point arguing with many of this lot.
        They rarely have anything positive to say about the team. The site’s comments section has largely become an echo chamber for those who have an agenda against Arteta and/or the owners.
        As usual there is a lot of strongly held negative opinion with very little consideration of context and dubious premises.

        1. David, we are not arguing, we are having a difference of opinions and everyone is having their opinion. Thats not arguing, thats discussing. Everyone wants Arsenal to be the best we should and everyone should have an opinion of how we get there. Opinion is opinion and fact is fact. You may not like what someone says but as long as he doesn’t shove personal insults at that person, there is no problem in what people think, positive, negative, neutral or bollox.

          1. Well said Reggie
            Once again we get a poster who starts with the Arteta agenda talk SMH
            Free gave his opinion and o thought it was very well layed out .

            1. it should come as no surprise to anyone that I’m strong proponent of the “eye test” when it comes to the managerial evaluation process…after all, results and/or stats don’t always tell the full story

              on numerous occasions this season the stat line suggests one thing, whereas the eye test suggests something completely different; much like the other evening, in that if you didn’t watch the entire affair and simply focused on the total amount of shots and the last 10+ minutes you might falsely believe that this was a one-sided affair…of course, this certainly wasn’t the case

              so far during MA’s tenure, minus a rather fortuitous FA run in his first half season, 3 games last season and 4 this year, there has been no definitive visceral signs of improvement, at least not from an offensive capacity…in the early days of this “rebuild” or “process” we relied too heavily on low percentage crosses, sideways football and a largely static approach in the final third that subjected our best and brightest to a constant barrage of double-teams and, regardless of what the results might seem to suggest, nothing we’ve actually SEEN since then should convince a discriminating observer that this overly negative brand of football will be changing anytime soon

              after our latest window inactivity, I was exceedingly worried that MA would sacrifice any possible tactical development for the eking out of “ugly” victories, if it provided him with some sense of occupational security, much like he did we he revisited the whole “rebuild” narrative once his “retool on the go” initiative went tits up, which has proven to be the case thus far

              now the only saving grace might be that if we’re somehow able to get a European invite, we might be able to secure the kind of creative players up top and through the middle of the pitch who might enable us to take the next logical steps in spite of our rather naïve and oft-times timid manager

              btw Anders, stop pretending that you’re some sort of an objective observer simply because you dipped your toes into the oft-used realms of self-deprecation

          2. Reggie, there’s little point arguing with many of that lot. They rarely have anything of substance to say about the team. This site’s comments section has largely become an echo chamber for those who have a pro-Arteta agenda. As usual there a lot of strongly held unsubstantiated opinions with very little consideration for context or objectivity

              1. in what capacity AdPat? is it because I held a mirror up to David’s nonsensical remark or that you believe that this site has exceedingly more anti than pro Arteta rhetoric on offer?

                1. I liked the mirror point, but we all know the perception of comments on JA is that they are definitely anti. Helped by your contributions of course.

                  1. I’ll concede that things are far more rambunctious on here during and/or following a losing effort than when a positive result is in the offing, but let’s not forget what the “survey” numbers suggested…as such, it appears as if it’s an uphill battle for those of us whom are very desirous for a return to a time when standards were exceedingly higher

                    1. “When standards were exceedingly higher”, that is a long time ago. Probably Before FA’s multi billion media deals and definitely before the new wealthy club owners from the oil industry.

                      The competition is totally changed and have probably never been more challenging. To win the league now we will need to exceed almost everything we have done before, and we will have to do it with our own methods. Therefore, do I believe building a team with young quality players, that could stay with us for several years is an interesting approach.

                      We might even need to do like Liverpool and sell a few of our most attractive players to build for the next level. From my point of view we are in a much better position now than we have been for several years. It’s absolutely not perfect but I’m convinced that we are getting better, and next summer we are going to strengthen our squad even more.

          3. 👍 Reggie, it’s unfortunate that people fail to remember Voltaire’s famous words.

    3. This line of thought isn’t just brilliant but a breath of fresh air for realism. If only this can be somehow developed into an article. I completely agree with everything you’ve said down to a Tee. Spot on

  3. Good article, but I’d prefer to compare the club ownership with the best two EPL teams, because a club’s employees can only be as good as their ultimate decision maker

    Man City’s takeover by Sheikh Mansour was in 2008, then they won EPL in 2012 after making extravagant investment and replacing Hughes with Mancini. Liverpool was sold to Fenway Sports Group in 2010, then they won UCL in 2019 after sacking three managers

    Whereas Kroenke bought out Usmanov’s shares to own Arsenal more than 90% in 2018 and he’s sacked two managers. If we use FSG’s achievement at Liverpool as a barometer, Kroenke needs five more years and another management regime before winning his first major trophy at Arsenal

    1. Interesting point.
      I agree, Liverpool is a good example to look at.
      But not so much in terms of number of managers. More because they have had a long process, which have included selling arguably their 2 best players at the time; Coutinho and Suarez, in order to build a team according to their manager’s philosophy.

      1. Yeah, unfortunately we haven’t been able to sell a 100+ M player like Coutinho. Our biggest sales since 2018 are just Iwobi and Willock, which aren’t comparable to the amount of money we’ve spent on Lacazette, Aubameyang and Pepe

        The only player who could break the 100 M valuation is Saka

        1. True. Not being able to manage players and contracts well in order to reinvest in the players we need, has been a problem for such a long time.
          To this day, Overmars is one of the most expensive player sales, we have done, and that is almost a joke.

          1. 👍 AndersS, Arsenal’s financial and player asset management has been abysmal for many years. Worse than a joke in my view!

  4. Need to take into account if the other teams are having a good season or not in their own opinion firstly.

    Spurs, Man U, Leicester and even Chelsea would say they are underperforming and would usually be doing better. At least 2 of them are likely to do better next season.

    Then you have also left out that all of our rivals have been playing more games than us which is an advantage we won’t have next season, it makes a huge difference.

    Contract management has been a shambles and we have lost a lot of potential revenue under MA. Whether he likes a player or not is irrelevant, if a player is on our books their contract/extension/loan/sale should be managed properly and this has not been the case.

    Lastly I didn’t see any mention of our embarrassingly early exits from the cups.

    Now looking at the actual full picture we aren’t doing badly but we certainly aren’t having a cracker of a season either. If we wete just looking at the EPL and had a short term mindset then yes the season is going very well

    1. Correct PJ, looking at the whole picture gives you the best perspective as to how well we are really doing.

      1. The level of this league have never been better. There will always be some teams to deliver worse than expected and some better. At the moment there’s no league close to the level of the Premier League. Between 2010 and 2017 only two English teams played in the Champions League final. Between 2018 and 2021 five English teams have played in the CL finals, and I do expect an English team to win this season as well.

        1. Didrik and unfortunately even with VAR, Mike Riley and his referees have not improved officiating in the EPL.

          1. I agree, they are making too many mistakes. They have definitely not made it easy for us.

    2. @PJ-SA
      Funny how we can have different perspectives.
      I would say, at the moment it looks like a short term mindset to say, we are doing badly 😉
      The fact is, looking at the points, we are 4’th in the EPL, only 3 times in 11 seasons, have we had more points, and whether the fact we have played more or less games than our opponents is then somewhat irrelevant.
      True, we had an embarrasingly early exit in the FA-Cup, but our semifinal in the Carabao can hardly be called a failure, can it?

      1. Spot Anders, we have obviously different perspective and understanding. Can’t use too much time in this negative environment 😉

      2. I didn’t read PJ s post like that, it wasn’t negative, it was saying, that everything has to be seen how it is or was. Most, if not all of it was factual and he probably is saying not to get too far ahead of ourselves until we actually do something. We can all see that the situation is improving for us all the time and if we can be wise to the fact, we have made mistakes, we can learn from them and actually take us forward to get 4th place, which is becoming more of a probability every week. Teams are dropping points right left and center, if we can improve, we are nailed on to get it. If over positive people cant accept it then thats their problem. Let keep it all in perspective.

    3. To your first point, “Need to take into account if the other teams are having a good season or not in their own opinion firstly.” it would seem that we are then in the same position. I.e. Spurs, Man U, Leicester, and Chelsea fans all believe they are underperforming – just like most Arsenal fans on this site believe we are underperforming. If therefore the expectation is that those other teams will do better next season it seems at least reasonable to say that Arsenal will also.

  5. Thank you @Dan Kit for your positive response.

    The fact is we are far too lenient on Arteta in oart because he was a former player and captain and in part because our ownership has been a lesson in abject failure and total lack of expertise.

    The fact is Stan had been here as majority owner since 2011 , refused to put Usmano on the board despite his large % ownership, refused several cash injections from Usmanov ranging from 70 to 150m at various times.

    All of which ultimately led to the decline of Wenger because they simpky did not invest in the team until it was way to late by which point they were over paying for panic buy players such as Mustaphi, Lucas Perez, Andre Santos.

    Even Mertesacker was a panic but.

    The point is there was no strategy under current ownership.

    The fact KSE want to say they now have this great strategy because all of a sudden they now own Arsenal is another blatant lie by Josh.

    They hired Mislintat, when Monchi was available.
    The owners if Arsenal when Emery was appointed gave him a paltry 70m and didn’t buy him a single player he wanted, this despite our worst league finish since 1996.

    He wanted Steven NZonzi, who had previous PL experience and had improved massively at Sevilla (a player bought by Monchi should never be underestimated) who was 6ft4.
    They gave Emery Torreira who was 5ft3 and never played PL
    This baring in mind at the time our biggest weakness was through the middle defensively protecting the back four.
    He wanted Zaha, they gave him Pepe, who whilst I still a terrific player being chronically wasted by Arteta, was not Prem ready and needed a lot of time to adapt.

    They would have known that Emery wanted to okay out from the back and they gave him Leno, a goal keeper who whilst having good shot stopping abilities could not play a violin from the back out, takes about five.minutea to play a pass and basically killed Emery style that he wanted to implement and almost killed Arteta as well.

    All of this is firmly on KSE.

    Now with Arteta and Edu they have a plan. However it has almost gone too far the other way , rather than the manager having no say, Arteta basically kills players when his failing system doenst work.

    Gwendouzi and Auba are the most prominent examples of this.
    Elneny whilst reliable is not better than Gwendouzi.
    As far Auba well it is patently clear that Arteta has miserably failed him.
    I fully expect Auba t win the Spanish league with Barca in the ekxt tow years and he there too.scorer.
    Hence the problem is with Arteta not the players yet a world class goal scorer was jettisoned for free because of Arteta’s failing system.

    It’s simple not good enough management.

    Then ridiculously both Arteta and Edu went after a racist Serb for the entire January window who had no intention to join Arsenal probably because.ue.knows just how diverse Arsenal fan base is and had no intention to be part of our culture. After Edu and Arteta had both throufhly embarrassed Arsenal with this futile chase, lost us millions. With their shortsighted gift of a free Auba to Barca they they chased the just above average Morata (a proven OL flop) and the hugely overated Isak who has 4 goals in 22 games for Rela Soceiedad.

    It’s just embarrassing management from Arteta and amateur from Edu.
    The clear and obvious choice is Osimheim at 23years old, already proven in two top (France and Italy) leagues and consistently improving.
    He is better than David, Isak, DCL (who I don’t want anywhere near Arsenal as he is vastly overated).
    Then we have to improve upon Odegaard who can be back up AM. Possibly a Madison or Rodrigo de Paul.
    We need a Telimans to improve upon Xhaka who should fight for his place.
    Anyway if you have Odegaard why not try for Haaland

    The reason is our owners have no ambition and never have. Now Arteta it appears they have placed all faith in him and Edu.

    But based on what I am not really sure at this time because they are both hugely underwhelming.
    Arteta has only brought us back to where.he found us. It’s not our fault he tanked his first two season in charge.

    There has been no overall improvement yet. If we found no ah third this year I will acknowledge progress, fourth he can keep his job. Anything less.ue should go immediately.

    1. Wow – there’s a man with a chip on his shoulder. Is there anybody at Arsenal past or present (excluding Auba) that you DON’T hate?

        1. Honestly, that write-up is so flawed and one-sided. Well, we are humans and tend to side with what we have affection for. So don’t blame him. Says Odegaard should be backup sums up all his alleged brilliance 😂😂😂. Also says Arteta returned the club to where he found it, has he forgotten Arteta joined when Arsenal was in 10th or 11th? Or had been out of the UCL for 2 years or so? Some people really need orientation 😂😂😂

          1. Joined when arsenal were 10th or 11th even before mid season.. So that’s not considered.. He took over a top 5 side

    2. Free, a lot of truth regarding the treatment of Unai Emery. There is no doubt he was brought in to fail.
      Yet he has bounced back with his management of Villarreal, on a comparatively limited budget.

  6. Arsenal aren’t great but there’s alot of chopping and changing going about that in a honest view shouldn’t allow the club to be stable…

    We are changing directors, board, scouts almost on a yearly basis…
    we are changing captains too on a seasonal basis
    The manager too is still raw
    We are making signings upon signings who surprisingly we do not care if they bed in or not… e.g Pepe, Odegaard, Partey, Lokonga.. everyone expects our signings to just come in and perform…
    Only two player presently at the club who has played for more than 4years…

    Truth is we do not have the stability and consistency required to be at the level we all dream of…
    I agree with the post we are going to need time to win our first major trophy whether with MA or not

  7. People will believe what they want to believe, see what they want to see.

    Those who love Arteta tend to be blind to his faults and man management.

    Those who dislike Arteta rarely give him credit, but always assign blame.

    My stance is Arsenal first, and where we finish in the table, and the eye test.

    I put Arsenal above any manager or player, even Wenger when they seemed inseparable.

    Are we challenging the top 4, playing European football of some sort at least?
    Where are we finishing in the table standings?

    How do we play football? Is it exciting, direct, do we attack and take it to opponents?

    Or are we negative, timid, more fearful and play not to lose rather than playing to win?

    My opinions are based on these, what I personally enjoy as a fan. I applied these equally to Wenger, Emery, and Arteta.

    I don’t expect to win every game, just more than losing. I want to see fight and spirit, play that gets me out of my seat, passion on the pitch.

    I’m a fan/supporter of Arsenal, not scout, coach, investor, or advisor. Arsenal is my passion, but not my life. My love for Arsenal is only superceded by my love of family and friends.

  8. I wonder if we were in tenth position how you would comment it is like you are forgetting that in the premier League you can lose points from any team since we are in a process of building a team let’s trust the process

  9. From the above accurate information on all points I learn that in the league of
    Arsenal are FIRST PLACE and not just first place miles and miles above the club in second place.
    And yet Arsenal are 5th with every possibility of being fourth in the world’s greatest league: the English Premier League.
    Who would believe this impossibility?
    Good old Arsenal. I am proud to say the name. The world’s worst organised club and yet fifth in the world’s most difficult league.

    1. We have two strikers Lacca and Nketiah, we had another before he was paid to leave. Arteta and Edu have decided that the strikers we have are enough. Dont try and say we have no strikers.

  10. First time I’ve visited
    Since November and the same old people making same old comments going round& round like a noisy symbol micro analysing every detail
    That is so so sad.

    1. I guess a hi and bye are in order then Laurie…one can only wonder why you would enter the fray simply to further pile-on to an already overtly “negative” environment…now that’s terribly sad

  11. No offence Mr Free but how do you feel when you watch arsenal now. Is it with the same disappointment and annoyance. Get off your high horse, arsenal aren’t the same giants we were years ago. You want a haaland? Or even a vlahovic? Be realistic these players wouldn’t come here even if we could afford them. To be honest why would they? We have degraded as a football club over the years, bad decisions or not, the truth is we have to rebuild not the type of rebuild Giants like Barca or Madrid do . No we have to start from ground zero, they were and are too many problems with this club both squad-wise and mentality-wise.

    So we brought in Arteta, young manager with a history in the club and has he failed? If you’re basing it on the Top six ‘Giants’ of football that we are then probably yes. But from the perspective of a team going through a major rebuild then I daresay that he’s not doing a bad job.

    As I asked Mr Free how do you feel when you watch arsenal nowadays. The difference is clear, mentality, hunger, passion and drive , all things that previously arsenal were deficient of then is in surplus now and how do most fans feel about this?

    I’ll answer on their behalf, we feel great.

    Top four or not, wasted money or not. The question is what I see when I watch an arsenal match and from there I judge cause what you see now is a reflection of what could and would happen in the future, i.e ‘Success’

    1. Wow….never thought I’d see comments such as this on this website anymore… Bless you bro… True and knowledgeable fan💪💪💪💪

  12. I must have been too focused on responding to Adpat’s replies to my earlier post and simply failed to notice what was transpiring elsewhere in that regards….Cheers

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