For a while, it didn’t seem like much had changed since Mikel Arteta took over but with Arsenal’s fourth win in a row, including an away win above a side above us and two back-to-back cleansheets, things seem to be slowly heading in the right direction.
Arsenal were in a lot of trouble when Unai Emery was shown the door. It’s not clear anyone paying less attention to the team who wasn’t an Arsenal fan truly understood just how bad we were.
Forget Europe, Arsenal were looking down at the sides beneath them rather than above.
But since Arteta started his Arsenal reign, they have been the fourth best team in the Premier League.
Not bad for a side who were on that fabled downward spiral.
When you look at the matches he’s taken charge of compared to those of Emery, you can see where the improvement has taken place quite clearly:
- Emery P17 W5 D7 L5 F24 A28 GD -4
- Arteta P16 W7 D6 L3 F25 A13 GD +12
Of course, a few of Freddie’s games are lumped in with Emery’s this season in those stats but I’m going to leave them there as I hold him responsible for what followed.
Emery, who is still without a club, managed 78 Arsenal matches in total, averaging 1.85 points per game.
While it is still early in his reign, Arteta is averaging 1.95 while dealing with the mess Emery left and a worldwide pandemic. Not much of an improvement, but still an improvement nonetheless.
When I made a few of these points on Twitter, some said it wasn’t fair to compare. The odds were stacked against Emery from the start of this season with the bad atmosphere around the club, but that was mostly of his own making.
When he first arrived, there was an air of excitement but over the next 18 months he managed to take what was already a bad situation and make it much, much worse.
Yes, Arteta was welcomed with open arms, but a lot of that had to do with how bad watching Arsenal under Emery had become.
Otherwise, many more questions would have been asked about his lack of experience.