WAS MIKEL ARTETA REALLY USED TO BATTERINGS AND HUMILIATIONS FAIRLY OFTEN WHILE PLAYING FOR ARSENE WENGER? – THIS CLAIM LOOKED AT CLOSELY FOR VERIFICATION: by Ken1945
In a recent article, the claim was made that, under Arsene Wenger, “MA played in teams that were battered and humiliated fairly often”.
This experience, it was claimed, would help MA in his position as our manager, to be aware of these experiences and help ensure they would not to be part of his managerial CV.
I was puzzled by this, seemingly, re-writing of our history, so I went on to Wikipedia and our own official website to check this out, looking at each season he was at the club and what the review of said seasons actually recalled regarding “humiliating defeats and battering” per se.
Let’s just recap where we finished in each of those seasons in the PL, FA cup and CL…
1. 11/12 season 3rd – 5th round – K/O stages
2. 12/13 season 4th – 5th round – K/O stages
3. 13/14 season 4th _ Winners – K/O stages
4. 14/15 season 3rd – Winners – K/O stages
5. 15/16 season 2nd – 6th round – K/O stages
Now, let’s fill in those facts, with a little more detail, season by season:
1. The 11/12 season, we were definitely humiliated 8-2 at Old Trafford, BUT MIKEL WASN’T EVEN IN THE SQUAD THAT DAY!! In fact, he wasn’t even signed by Arsenal until three days AFTER the game! Nevertheless a bad, bad day for the club, but it wouldn’t affect Mikel’s CV would it?
These facts would though, during that season we beat Chelsea away 5-3, Blackburn at home 7-1, Spuds at home 5-2, Wolves away 3-0 and ended up with a +25-goal average (with Arteta in the squad)
We were knocked out of the CL 4-3 on aggregate by AC Milan, after losing 4-0 in Italy and nearly staging an incredible comeback in the second leg.
2. The 12/13 season, where we had the second-best defensive record in the PL (compared to 8th the season before) and conceded just 14 goals in the away games – our best away defensive record since the 2003/04 season. We kept 14 clean sheets during the campaign, nine away from home and yet we are told that Arsene never had a proper defence since the Invincibles!!!!
PLEASE read and digest these facts, and we also beat Newcastle 7-3, Reading 5-2, the spuds 5-2 once again, and The Saints 6-1… there were no “humiliating defeats”, rather humiliating victories by us and defensive brilliance… supposedly with “dross” defenders I might add!!!!
However, there was an upset as we lost 0-1 to Blackburn in the FA cup, considering the defence we had.
We played and lost to Bayern Munich, a 3-1 defeat at home, but a 2-0 win at their ground, becoming the first team to beat them there that season. Bayern went on to win the CL this season.
3. The 13/14 season did see some “humiliating” defeats in the PL, 6-3 to City, 6-0 to Chelsea and 5-1 to Pool. No arguments from me, as I remember them well and still squirm with embarrassment!!
The remarkable thing is though, we still ended up with 68 goals for and 41 against, while finishing fourth in the PL and qualifying for the CL once again. Mental strength there I suggest?
We did beat Liverpool in the FA cup 2-1 and the Spuds 2-0, while lifting the FA cup, so our blushes were hidden as we all celebrated our Final win against Hull City.
The CL once again saw us playing Bayern Munich, where we lost 2-0 at home and drew 1-1 away.
4. The 14/15 season saw us beat Man City 2-0 away, beat Villa 4-0 at home and Pool at home 4-1.
We beat Manure away in the 6th round of the FA cup as we retained the trophy with a humiliating defeat of Aston Villa by 4-0 and Mikel lifted the famous trophy as our captain, how he must have had THAT in his mind when beating Chelsea in the same competition recently.
The CL saw us, surprisingly lose to AS Monaco on away goals 3-3. A humiliating defeat? Maybe, but not according to Wikipedia or our website.
5. The 15/16 season, where we finished 2nd to Leicester and we beat City 2-0 away, Villa 5-0 at home and 3-0 away and Pool at home 4-1.
In the FA cup, we lost to Watford in the game renowned for us not having any cojones!!!
The CL saw us win 2-0 at home, but 5-1 away to Bayern Munich (humiliation) in the group stages. Nevertheless, we progressed to the K/O stages and met Barcelona, losing both legs 0-2 and 1-3.
So, in summary, during the time that Mikel Arteta played under Arsene Wenger, the “batterings and humiliations” were very far between in his 110 games for the Gunners, and not as claimed a “fairly regular” occurrence.
Why did I find this important to follow up?
Simple really, it’s all about getting the factual history of our club correct in my humble opinion.
Be as kind or unkind as you want in your comments.
N.B. Something else that came out of this exercise, was the false claim that AW never had a defence after the Invincibles – but as this claim has been made so many times, it has become folklore in the minds of many!!! Another fact over fiction that needs to be recognised.
In actual fact, in the PL, Wenger’s average “goals against” over the 22 years, works out at 37.2 goals a season – GG, the master of defensive tactics averaged 36.3 a season over his 9-year stay. FACT!