100 games in charge: How has Mikel Arteta done?
- Credit: PA
Mikel Arteta won his 100th game in charge of Arsenal last weekend, beating Watford 1-0 at the Emirates.
The win gives the Spaniard a record of 56 wins, 18 draws and 26 losses through his opening 100 games, with his side scoring 173 goals and conceding 105.
In comparison, Arsène Wenger won 53, drew 28 and lost 19 of his first century at Arsenal.
When Arteta took over in December 2019, the club was in disarray.
Arsenal were 11th in the table with a squad of underperforming players who had lost their identity, an enormous wage bill, and volatile backroom who seemed to be on a revolving door in and out of the club.
Arsenal’s situation was bleak, and the Covid-19 pandemic 15 games into Arteta’s reign did not help matters.
Arsenal ended the 2019/20 season in eighth, but beating Manchester City and Chelsea en route to lifting the FA Cup was a real high point in a period of struggles.
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After a season of two halves in 2020/21, Arsenal’s standing was in the balance this past summer.
Now sat 11 games into the 2021/22 season, something feels different about Arsenal. There is an air of progress.
Summer recruitment was focussed on youth and has been proven successful with each new recruit showing flashes of why they were signed.
The team on the pitch look increasingly more comfortable applying Arteta’s principles.
It feels like the team have bought into the manager’s vision and that vision is being realised.
Arteta spoke at length about “unity” in a recent interview, citing the entire club’s togetherness as a key aspect of being successful.
There have been points where Arteta has been doubted, and rightfully so, but something exciting is building at Arsenal.
How far Arteta and Arsenal can go remains an unknown, the journey has not always been enjoyable and there will undoubtedly be further struggles to come, but given where Arsenal were when Arteta took over, and where they sit today, it seems like Arsenal are in a better position now they have Mikel Arteta as their manager.
Arsenal return from the international break with a trip away to Anfield to face Liverpool on Saturday (5.30pm).