Does Arteta Have An Expiration Date?
Midweek, or hump day. Reserved to Champs League nights or Premier league fixture relocation. As the season enters into its home stretch, I thought it may be an interesting time to have a peek at managers and why we should be giving Mikel his due.
Football is a funny old industry, it can be progressive, yet regressive, alert, yet stubborn. It’s like that friend of yours who has an online audience painting ceramic mugs on TikTok, but spouts on about weaponizing 5G masts.
In a lot of industry, high performance culture is often linked to stability, turnover is cheddar cheese, peas, smackeroos, and in real terms costing the US workforce over $1 trillion annually.
So why in football is the idea of a managerial reign so bizarre? After one dip in performance, it is common to see #Artetaout, but why? Surely stability brings cohesion, that brings confidence through players buying into ideas? Or maybe that’s just some old HR nonsense that can slip into the employee survey results recycling bin.
In a league table of turnover the results read as follows:
|Premier League Manager Count since 2000|
Now whilst this is typically associated with Chelsea, it seems a few other rascals lead the managerial merry go round (I still haven’t forgiven Leicester for sacking Ranieri).
But if you compare this table to major honours, it stacks heavily towards the bottom end, with Chelsea uniquely skewing the results.
So it seems clear that turnover doesn’t necessarily lead to achievement, it could be argued that managerial bung funds could be better allocated (Chelsea have spent over £110 million on gaffers including £12 million to Andre Villas-Boas).
Considering we’ve had to borrow money off the Bank of England to snip our ex-Bundesliga crew, it seems fairly unlikely that Arsenal under Kroenke would ever have the significant funding for a ruthless Marie Antoinette approach to managers.
Why then have we had a call for the sweet lego haired head of our gaffer? Well certainly there was uncertainty about Mikel.
|Mikel Arteta||Unai Emery|
|Games: 52||Games: 78|
|Won: 27||Won: 43|
|Drawn: 10||Drawn: 16|
|Lost: 15||Lost: 19|
|Goals for: 81||Goals for: 152|
|Goals against: 53||Goals against: 100|
|Clean sheets: 17||Clean sheets: 23|
|Points per game: 1.75||Points per game: 1.85|
|Win rate: 51.92%||Win rate: 55.1%|
|Loss rate: 28.84%||Loss rate: 24.35%|
|Goals per game: 1.55||Goals per game: 1.94|
|Goals against per game: 1.01||Goals against per game: 1.28|
|Comparison of Arsenal managers on the anniversary of Arteta’s appointment (26/12/2020)|
For again, football is a strange and powerful place. Metaphor and cliché still hold value above data, yet data sometimes can’t tell you the full picture (classic metaphorical oxymoron).
Those of us hitting up socials probably would have noticed a growing number of outspoken sections of the fanbase. This is understandable as people have been holed up and denied the opportunity to vent over a pie and pint. On the back of a fairly poor run, #ARTETAOUT reached its peak of Twitter trending in mid to late December, and certainly with only the above to hand, you could argue the case.
Ethos and Equilibrium
After our yule period of joy and Arteta’s festive anniversary Arsenal have started to tick. Fifth in the table for accumulated points per game, for the entire season, Arsenal rank 19th out of 20 for least time on the injury table!
Saka is setting all sorts of standards for teenagers across the Premier League, Xhaka is playing marathon stretches of full 90 minutes, Willian is even back assisting.
The injury data is important, as it shows Arteta’s trust in his team. We have already mentioned the ruthless clearout of January, but now moving forwards, players who want to play for the club will be given minutes. Surely that will continue. Momentum will breed confidence, and all the other goodness that follows
It feels rare on the back of a heavily rotated squad, to come away with 3 points. Especially considering Arsenal where without an away win to a top 4 team since 2015.
Gallup and 12 magical questions win the Premier League
Gallup defines these 12 simple questions as key metrics to winning the Prem.
Well not quite, these are more related to HR and how the beloved workplace politicians can best tweak your performance to keep you happy and productive. So lets pretend we are Arteta and or Arsenal.
I know what is expected of me at work.
Management on a shoestring, Champions League qualification.
I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
Potentially, the spine is shaping, financial power is always a plus
At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
A promotion within a short space of time allowed autonomy for management
In the past seven days, I have received recognition or praise for good work
#Artetaout is not currently trending
My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
Board backing with bank loans, seems to speak of confidence
There is someone at work who encourages my development.
Afore mentioned promotion
At work, my opinions seem to count.
Team has been reshaped and a few signings made
The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
New manager with high expectations, club floundering and looking to progress, both can benefit
My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
The players are delivering, quality is sometimes questionable
I have a best friend at work.
Edu and the ‘beautiful future’
In the past six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
Pep ‘I know Mikel, how good he is and how well his team plays.’
In the past year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
It’s not been without its challenges.
Towards the end of Wenger’s reign, people were frustrated that the club was stagnant or in regression. Too predictable, too much power with one person etc.
Emery was never the fan favourite, and started on the backfoot as a result, many factors played into his demise.
Arteta this summer will have been in charge for a full season and his impact will be apparent. With Pep praise and Barca links, it’s hard to imagine there are those who fail to see what’s been happening at Arsenal.
The season is a Europa run away from being a success or failure, with the competition proving elusive thus far. But hopefully Arteta will be judged on more than that, and in fact more than just win/loss ratio.
For the first time in a while Arsenal have a defensive structure, a squad that can be rotated, attacking potential, and a ruthless edge behind the scenes.
Social media is often a useful tool, but Twitter tends to exacerbate the most minor of details, add that the passionate nature of football and you have a bundle of laughs. The process is in place and Arsenal have one of football’s managerial prospects.
But don’t listen to Pep, trust @dave10791235 when he says Arteta needs to go.