Mikel Arteta will manage his 100th game as manager this Sunday. For a large portion of them it seemed that if he would reach that number, it would with a different club.
Other owners would have sacked the coach for two consecutive 8th place finishes and no European football for the first time in 25 years.
Mr Wenger and Unai Emery were forced out after finishing in the top 6.
Yet it’s long been decided within the club that the action plan is to give the youngest manager in the Premiere League time.
The main highlight of course is lifting the FA Cup, a moment that will live forever in our hearts and history.
He’s only the 15th manager to reach this milestone at Arsenal.
Here are Arteta’s Top Ten Wins as Manager
15-7-20 Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
Liverpool had already won the title so they might argue their intensity had dropped.
VVD for example made an uncharacteristic mistake as we scored two goals from forcing errors thanks to our pressing.
It would turn out crucial as this would be the template we would use in the FA Cup Semi Final later that week, soaking up pressure but taking the few chances we made on the break
29-8-20 Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (community shield)
Arsenal wins on pens.
While I wasn’t one of those Gooners who counted this as a trophy at the time, frustrating Jürgen Klopp seemed relevant.
Not even manager for a year, Arteta had tactically gotten the better of Guardiola, Lampard and now Klopp at Wembley.
In all three he had allowed the opposition to dominate the ball, waiting to hit them on the break.
Gooners were not used to this, but we had become hard to beat (kind of).
15-4-21 Slavia Prague 0-4 Arsenal – Europa League
The two teams had drawn 1-1 at the Emirates, increasing the pressure on Arsenal who knew they had to win the competition to be in Europe the following campaign.
Despite what was at stake the Gunners were 3-0 up by half time as their youngster’s showed courage.
It was performances like this that are so frustrating though. That’s what Arsenal can do just not on a consistent basis.
1-1-20 Arsenal 2-0 Man United
His third game and 1st win as manager.
Arteta had been critical of the conditioning of the squad he inherited.
It was noticeable from his first game that he was ordering his attackers to press more.
Taking over during Christmas though meant a hectic schedule, and it was apparent that the players tired in the second half at Bournemouth then Chelsea.
That would happen here which is why it was crucial to have a half time lead to protect.
The player who did the most running? A certain Ozil…
30-10-21 Leicester 0-2 Arsenal
We continued our recent pattern of getting ourselves into a healthy lead before protecting what we had.
While Ramsdale had to make some saves, one being save of the season, it shouldn’t be mistaken that Arteta tactically chose to let Leicester have the ball.
If that was a Rafa Benitez or Jose Mourinho it would be described as good game management. So many of us grew up with Mr Wenger who would chase a third or fourth goal but clearly our manager has worked on his defence and trusts them to close out games.
22-10-21 Arsenal 3-1 Villa
While I maintain some of our fanbase overreacted to this win it was a performance that was more Arsenal-like.
Perhaps after trying to defend a 1-0 lead at home to Palace, our manager felt under pressure to take the initiative against Villa?
Be great to see more attacking performances like this.
1-11-20 Man United 0-1 Arsenal
Our first Prem win at Old Trafford since 2006 and a win at a big 6 ground after 29 attempts.
1-0 flattered the home side who looked short of an identity, while it seemed Arsenal had a clear idea (not that the season turned out that way).
Our work rate was superb, and it was like the longer the game went the more we believed.
26-9-21 Arsenal 3-1 Spurs
For 35 min period the best football we have played under Arteta. For most of his 99 games he’s been conservative, but he chose to take off the handbrake in the NLD.
Helped by Spurs’ bizarre tactics of having two DM’s ahead of their strikers, we had so much space every time we attacked.
1-8-20. Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea – FA Cup Final
Arsenal could no longer rely on the element of surprise as Chelsea had seen their tactics in the semi-Final.
It was strange to watch this fixture and see Arsenal being the one happy to soak up pressure and hit on the break.
Very un-Arsenal like but credit to Arteta for creating an identity so quickly.
David Luiz’s best two displays as a Gunner came both in the FA Cup at Wembley.
Aubameyang got both goals in arguably the last time he was truly world class for us.
18-7-20 Arsenal 2-0 Man City – FA Cup Semi Final
Arteta tactically got one over his mentor at Wembley.
He set the team up in a defensive performance few thought this group of players could produce.
It showed great man management because to do this you need every player on the same page.
Our boss was smart enough to accept we couldn’t go toe toe with Man City.
Instead, we let them have the ball but restricted them to long range efforts
When we had possession, we were clinical on the counter with Aubameyang getting both goals.
This was David Luiz’s best display as a Gunner. Which was ironic given he had a nightmare at the Etihad.
Let me know which was your favourite or any other games you would put in Arteta’s top Ten wins…