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  • Squeaky bum time is when it matters.

    Key to below – These are the points total for the last ten matches under Arteta per year and the results for Arsene Wenger over the last ten matches for his era. The stars denote title wins.

    Mikel Arteta

    2023 12 -18 points

    2022 15 points

    2021 20 points

    2020 16 points


    Arsene Wenger

    2018 18 points

    2017 24 points

    2016 20 points

    2015 21 points

    2014 20 points

    2013 26 points

    2012 18 points

    2011 14 points

    2010 17 points

    2009 23 points

    2008 18 points

    2007 13 points

    2006 23 points

    2005 28 points

    2004 23 points *

    2003 18 points

    2002 30 points * Max

    2001 20 points

    2000 25 points

    1999 25 points

    1998 24 points *

    1997 20 points




    We must never finish Spursy again

    We have gone all Spursy, falling apart at the end. As you can see from the table above we have never had a strong last 10 games under Arteta. In all seriousness, it is a fault that we need to correct. The maximum we can now get from our last 10 games is 18 points. The minimum is 12. Last season we had 15 and we might be worse this season. If it continues then we will never win the league. You cannot win the league by losing games. For our 3 title wins under Wenger we had 24, 30 and 23. As 30 is the maximum and City has a tendency to get close to that in recent seasons, you can see the necessity to address this issue.


    We need to change our state of mind

    We are never likely to be so far ahead at squeaky bum time that we can afford to lose even the 10 points that has been Arteta’s best finish to a season so far. We will definitely lose at least 12 this season. It is the most pressing problem facing Arteta for certain.

    We cannot drop points against lesser teams

    I think we can fairly say that last season we were good enough to get points from Spurs, Newcastle Brighton and Southampton but we didn’t and fell out of the Champions league spot. This year we should have beaten Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton and, yes, Brighton which would have given us 9 points more and we would have been looking forward to beating Forest and claiming the title. This year we have been better than all those teams but failed to be clinical when it mattered.


    No more looking like this at the end of the season, Mikel

    One point to keep in mind is that Man City would still be regarded as better than us even if we had managed to get those extra points and won the league. I could live with that, Arsenal the under-dogs punching above their weight to snatch the title from City. They could do the double over us and lose the league just as we did over Leicester when they had their win.

    Next year we may be at the business end in Europe, the FA cup and League cup. That will bring extra pressure.

    Address this problem and all will be well

    But I really do believe that our biggest problem is having a Spursy end to the season. And, like I have said, it is not getting better and this season may be the worst under Arteta. So, what can be done about it? To talk about this, I would like to explain why I came up with this as a topic. My memory was that under Arsene Wenger, we normally finished strongly and so I took a look. The figures above show that I was right for most of the time. We finished with 20 points or above lots of times and for sure did on our 3 title wins. Arsene Wenger knew how to finish strongly.


    Bring on the evil flying monkeys

    Arsene knows and he is the answer

    And this is what I would offer. For Arteta to talk to the maestro and ask him what he did to produce such strong finishes. Because this is not about tactics, it is about man-management, and Arsene Wenger was maybe the greatest ever at that. As I have said above, we are better than the sides who took points off us but we allowed them to beat us when it mattered. Wenger normally didn’t when it got to squeaky bum time. As you can see above, even in the lean times as Arsenal were trying to pay for the Emirates, he regularly got 20 or above.


    Call on our greatest for help, Mikel

    Man management was Arsene’s forte

    I have alluded to before in this column about how very few players ever complained about him and also that quite often, once players left Arsenal, they didn’t perform to the heights that they did under Wenger. Most players say that he improved them enormously in their effectiveness. This is Arteta’s first job in the hotseat. He is doing great. But he must ensure that we finish strongly or his good work will be compromised. And who better than our greatest? Well, possibly Guardiola but I doubt if Arteta could ring him up and ask him to help him to win at the business end of the season. Of course, he would have seen what Guardiola does to make sure they have a strong finish when he was there. And Guardiola can rotate seamlessly, which we can’t. Arteta has been using his first choice players whenever he could as he doesn’t seem to have the same belief in his second string.


    Guardiola is happy at the end of the season but he won't help us

    Of course, I do accept that a lot of players are young. They probably need to get more football wise and yes, improve their consistency. And injuries haven’t helped. But that is the pressure point Arteta has to address with urgency if we are to make the jump up into champions. And my strongest recommendation is to ask Arsene for help.  Arsene knows, we all know that. He can help you, Mikel, so that next year City and any other challengers see Arsenal as the juggernauts who keep winning and sicken them all, that despite their best efforts, Arsenal will be champions.


    At the end we need to be juggernauts

    Listen to this Irishman, Mikel, there is an answer out there. Use it. We are all Arsenal, we are behind you. We have your back.


    P.s I would just like to say thank you to the Arsenal Supporters Club Bulgaria for letting me write this column, and for putting up with my sometimes strange mode of thoughts which I fashion into a blog. It is refreshing to be allowed to write what I like, and I truly appreciate the support I get. I have brought in George Orwell, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and even Abba and crafted my story around them. Probably few football writers do but the Arsenal Supporters Club here have never complained about me when I drift off into the matrix. Thank you very much!



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    Gus, congratulations on another great article. Lately, I've been thinking the exact same thing. Now, seeing the statistics you've presented, I realize that this is shaping up to be a really big problem for us, one that Arteta should focus on and work on. I remember during Arsene Wenger's time, there were moments when Arsenal would come out on the field and play football that could beat anyone, and in the next match, they would embarrassingly lose to the bottom team in the table. I used to wonder how it was possible for the same team, under the same coach, to have two completely different matches within a week. I still vividly remember with pain, for example, a match against the Magpies, where we had arguably  the best opening 30 minutes as an away team (at least since I've been following Arsenal since 1998) and were leading 4-0 in the 26th minute. Then, an absurd (undeserved in my opinion) red card for the otherwise well-performing Diaby completely ruined us, and we all know how that match ended. So, in short, if I can make a comparison between the Professor and Arteta, the Arsenal of that time was much more unpredictable in both good and bad ways, while under the Spaniard, there remains the bitterness of expectations ending in inevitable failure at the end of the season.


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    Yes it is worrying. Now maybe we will win our last two for 18 points but that is still not good enough. Next year if we are playing for a Champions league spot rather than the title, then we won't make it with such finishes. Wenger, particularly from 1998 when you first took an interest, was regularly having a strong finish, and any four in a row of his is better than Arteta's four. Most of the time it was a lot better. And yes that Newcastle draw was a bitter pill. We will always have bad results, every team does, but we need to minimise them and we badly need a strong finish as it puts the pressure on the teams around us. Lose matches towards the end and we make it easy for our opponents.  Just like we did for City this season. We have made it easier for them to win the Champions league as well as they can rest players in their last two games if they beat Chelsea. We must fix our mentality and who better than the Professor to help? Thanks for the nice comments.

    p.s I don't actually know your first name and it would be nice to be able to use it in my replies. 

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    My name is Pavel Panayotoff. Let's hope that he finds a way to solve this problem. The idea of discussing it with Wenger seems quite good. Perhaps he has already done so, who knows. Additionally, Arteta played under Wenger's coaching  for 5 years, so he should remember this and apply what he learned. I am surprised why he is not implementing the lessons learned.

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