The end of Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign at Arsenal was pretty bad, right? We all remember being confident things couldn’t get any worse, yeah?
Well, as it turns out, it could get worse.
Unai Emery was drafted in to save the day in 2018, but in his 51 games in charge, only succeeded in making things worse. It was then decided that rookie boss Mikel Arteta was the right man to get things back on track to being back on track.
50 games into his reign, and the ship is wobblier than ever.
Arteta’s 50th Premier League game, a crushing 3-0 loss to Liverpool, was the Spaniard’s 17th defeat at the helm of Arsenal. Wenger only lost 16 in his final 50 games, while Emery managed just 13 losses in his 51.
The current boss’ win percentage of 42% is lower than both Emery (49%) and Wenger (54%), while the 72 goals scored is significantly lower than the 91 and 96 managed by Emery and Wenger respectively.
Since 2003, Arsenal have managed three or fewer shots in just five Premier League matches, and four of those have come under Arteta, whose side look to be starved of creativity more than ever before.
That’s bad. That’s very, very bad.
Sure, there have been some improvements under Arteta. His return of 56 goals conceded is the lowest of the three (Emery had 70 and Wenger managed 64), but it’s probably not worth arranging a parade for. There won’t be any DVDs about that.
At the end of the day, Arsenal are winning fewer games than they have ever done in the last three years, and they’re actually playing some of the most boring football from that period as well. Does that sound like progress?
If you look at the trophy cabinet and see Arteta’s return of one FA Cup and one Community Shield, you’d be forgiven for thinking things are trending in the right direction, but apart from goals conceded, that’s the only other metric in which Arteta’s Arsenal are succeeding in.
Arteta has been billed as the man to get Arsenal back to where they were under prime Wenger, but he needs to focus on matching Wenger at his worst before he can get carried away.