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Wenger Will be The Manager Indefinitely – As Predicted By The Data

This is my 50th or so blog for Positively Arsenal. Less than 2 years ago I accepted the challenge by the Boss to contribute something to this community and  decided, since I was not as erudite as Steww and Andy Nic, to concentrate on providing  analysis of long-term data trends affecting the club rather than pre-game or post game developments. The unbiased data has been a revelation; one of which is the importance of Arsene Wenger to Arsenal Football Club. On Friday John Cross of The Mirror, whom one must admit is well connected to the club, did a piece  headlined Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is making plans for the next TEN years at the Emirates and his readers were in an uproar. Hopefully nobody who reads and is educated by the various bloggers at PA is surprised by this development. On October 4, 2016 I published the data demonstrating Arsene will be the manager indefinitely. Despite all the sound and fury in the mainstream media, blogs, podcasts and on twitter, sensationalizing Arsene’s future, we at PA would have remained calm and serene, trusting the data. Here is what I wrote.

Unlike my more erudite colleagues at PA, my role is to inform and explain the sometimes boring but always unbiased data that serve as predictors of the competitive future of our club.

Due to the longevity of our great manager, we have 20 years of data covering 760 Premier League games that allow us to identify certain long term trends which are repetitive and predictable. Unlike the mainstream media and most of our colleagues who blog, podcast or tweet we do not have to resort to cheap sensationalism to make our point. A review of two very important developments will illustrate my point.

Wenger20

The celebration of Wenger’s 20 years as manager of the club was marked by a massive orgy of hyperbole and bogus platitudes by the mainstream media that must have left the manager bemused. After all, less than six months ago the self-same media, led by serial phone-hacker Piers Morgan, were eagerly fanning the flames of discontent and provoking demonstrations by fans to drive Wenger Out.

I therefore feel great empathy for our own Pedantic George when he vented in the Comments section of the blog last Saturday:

“Seeing a shower of absolute bastards, currying favour on the back of Arsene’s 20th anniversary, is turning my stomach.”

Unfortunately there is nothing that either George, I, or you the reader can do that will change the behavior of these “bastards”. It is totally consistent with my “greed and despair” paradigm to which I frequently refer. (More details here.) They are simply “sensationalizing,” preying on emotions. Notice that every member of the commercial media in England and on this side of the pond (i.e. NBC which has the Premier league broadcast rights) is doing a special on Wenger proclaiming how great he is. It makes commercial sense. Arsenal fans in particular are drawn to it in droves and those eyeballs online mean money especially for those newspapers who are bleeding readership, because the public has increasingly lost faith in them thanks to their mendacity and bias.

Yet six weeks ago, in mid-August, I did a blog showing that in the collective wisdom of nearly 40 pundits from both ESPN and BBC, Arsenal under Arsene was predicted to come 3rd in the league, in direct contradiction to the historical data. It defies reason that most journalists, pundits or bloggers within weeks, sometimes days, of declaring Wenger no longer fit for purpose, write such voluminous paeans and odes of praise to his greatness.

Unlike the mainstream media and the majority of vacillating, wavering Arsenal bloggers, we have cold hard data to justify our firmly held conviction that Arsene is not only the greatest manager this club has ever had but he is set to continue indefinitely. A contract is already in his hands and I am sure the board will be anxious as kittens until he signs. Like the bankers who demanded he agree to remain as manager for five years after moving into the new stadium, we rely on past performance, not sentiment.

“Consistency, thou art a jewel” – Shakespeare

png-avg-points

What is undeniable, from the graphic above, is that under 20 years of Arsene’s management the club has recorded the joint second highest average points per season (74) among all clubs, despite being massively outspent by United, Chelsea and City and at times, Liverpool. Despite the over one billion pounds invested in Chelsea by Abramovich in the past 12 years, the gap between them and Arsenal is negligible. (Note the graphic is generous to City whose average is calculated over 16 years by excluding the four seasons they were in the 2nd and 3rd flight of English football.) Also observable is the considerable gulf between between the Gunners and its North London rivals, in the order of 20 points.  Of all his rivals Arsene is yet to overhaul or match Manchester United, a realistic prospect in the first ten years until the club decided to focus its resources on building a new and bigger stadium.This is a handy segue to doing what is now standard in my analyses which is measure Wenger’s consistency in the pre-Emirates versus the Post-Emirate years.

Pre-Emirates

png-avg-points-pre

The graphic and figures are crystal clear. Even though Wenger did not have the capacity to make record transfers in the magnitude of Ferguson at United, he had sufficient resources and the managerial nous to be on average only three (3) points inferior to the biggest and most successful club in England (80 vs 77 points). Despite inferior finances Arsene/Arsenal was able to capture three EPL titles including the singular honor of an Invincible, two doubles including the Invincible year and four FA cups.  In contrast, Manchester City, without the financial resources of the Abu Dhabi group, had in the same ten-year span spent four years outside of the top flight generating a piddling season average of 23 points, less than one-third of Arsenal’s.

Post Emirates

post-avg-points

With the austerity brought on by the stadium move, as well as  Chelsea and City becoming the unprecedented beneficiaries of deep-pocketed sugar-daddies, Wenger was simply unable to compete in the transfer market. Nonetheless Arsenal remained consistently among the top-three clubs in points earned with the season average dropping by six (6) to 71 points. It is notable that despite the hundreds of millions spent by Chelsea, their season average is no better than Wenger’s 77 points during his first ten years. Similarly, a big spender like City, with ten years to get a run at a financially crippled Wenger, is still three (3) points behind in current season average. Liverpool, despite the constant churn of managers, players and owners remain in-situ. That is not a comforting statistic if the scousers ever hope to catch and surpass Arsenal.

Now that Arsene/Arsenal is able to consistently spend on top-top quality players as well as patiently develop those coming through the academy, only the rabid anti-Wenger WOBs and weak-willed fans who allow themselves to become victims of groundless doom-mongering by the media, would bet against Wenger at least regaining the ground lost over the past ten-years.  If he is as competitive as his brother Guy disclosed in that recent newspaper interview, Arsene will be dying to prove he has the same, if not more longevity, than his older sibling who retired at 70. How many of you, dear reader, are willing to put up a wager?

Will the haters put up or shut up?

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79 comments on “Wenger Will be The Manager Indefinitely – As Predicted By The Data

  1. Very unfortunate for Zlatan, that photo was telling

    Like

  2. HenryB
    If only The Zen one could work out a deal to get LeBron and Patrick Ewing, fix the madness around Charles Oakley(He should have courtside for life) that would be a start.
    Dreams eh!

    Like

  3. I wonder how much if Zlatan’s agent is going over in his mind the Swede’s decision not to sign the one year £250k (reportedly) per week extension he was offered last month?

    Timing is the thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When we were Boring,

    You certainly would be dreaming! lol

    The Oakley thing with Dolan is weird – but as usual with these things there is probably a lot more going on behind the scenes.

    As I said yesterday, I am not really into Basketball, but it certainly grabs the attention with some of the great players like LeBron – even his retirement was big news!

    Like

  5. Hector Bellerin had his hair done in corn-rows, with pictures making the rounds on twitter, causing a typical burst of false outrage. I couldn’t help but notice the vituperations came from those who supported the booers after he had a bad game vs Crystal Palace. Knowing how great is my following (less than 500) I had to tweet:
    ” So Arsenal twitter is upset with @HectorBellerin ‘s corn rows? Jaysus Christ. What is wrong with these people? This is so fake. Twats.”
    I can hardly contain myself at how phony it is and and how Hector is being set up for the “Ramsay” treatment if he should have another bad game.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Let’s face it Shotta – the AFC social media shoal are there to be trawled by anyone. Any bizarre rumour, any weird (alleged) statistic, and context free series of words “quoted” ensures thousands of hits.

    As I have said many, many times any Arsenal ‘fan’ should be required to pass a number of rigorous tests concerning their character, cognitive function and psychological robustness. The current shower emphasise my point.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Hector is fine — he is mature enough to ignore the boo-ing. I do not often get cross, but regardless of whether people want AW out or in, supporting the club, supporting the team must be the crux of what a fan is about, surely???

    Boo-ing? That is truly disgusting, and there can be no respect for those morons who childishly do that!! Makes my blood boil! Bastards!

    As for Hector’s new hairstyle it looks great to me — who are they annoyed about these people? Baldy bastards?? See, I told you – they have finally gotten under my skin!

    Liked by 5 people

  8. ‘who = what’

    Like

  9. I thought Spurs were dominating Chavski and looked the better team in all departments. Then Hazard and Fabregas came on to give the Chavs creativity in the middle of the park. That’s the difference. I think.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I’m a Hornsey lad. A slight majority of my school friends were spuds. A few are life long friends. I still can’t stand Spurs. It can only be explain by some “epigenetic” mechanism. An environmental influence that has modified my genome. However, I utterly detest Chavski and their repulsive fans. Somehow, I have settled for a Chavski win over the spuds. What a dilemma…..

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Perhaps Spuds’ pluckiest effort in their serial semi final defeat sequence.

    A defeat nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Seven straight semi-final defeats in the FA cup for Spurs. Power shift in North London boys and girls.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. George: You are a tactical genius. The enemy of my enemy and all that.

    Like

  14. All’s quiet over at the Coop, – the Chickens went home early to roost.
    Perhaps St.Totteringham was at hand to sway the game?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a mind bender that was — I cannot stomach either team — so it was better to leave it to fate — OK, I had no influence over events anyway — and oddly enough I thought the better team lost — but conversely the Chavs could have won by 5 goals — football is totally unpredictable.

    Anyway, my rugby team, Saracens (Sarries) won a hugely entertaining game against the Irish club, Munster, in their European semi-final — so all in all — a satisfactory day’s sport.
    All I now need is for the gunners to follow them!! lol

    Liked by 1 person

  16. AndyNic -well you were right the Os couldn’t sustain a run to stay up,they got the old Crewe cut today.Will be tough for them to survive-who knows? 112 years in league football.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What have I done now Shotta?

    Like

  18. It makes me laugh when teams that get dominated and somehow manage to win, claim they were “happy to let them have the ball” No, you couldn’t get it or keep it when you did. Stop talking bollocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m confused now – nothing new there I hear you say – all week long in the build up to the chelsea v spurs fa cup game today, pundit after pundit, journo after journo, all sang off the same hymn sheet, it was all about how Chelsea could crumble in the title race if this great spurs team beat them today in the cup semi.

    FT: Chelsea 4-2 spurs

    so what had the expert pundits and expert journos have to say about the effect of this result on the title race. Surely it would be – spurs could crumble in the title race, chelsea now have the upper hand, this will inspire chelsea to go on and win the title and go for the double.
    No, not one bit of it, it was all, this defeat will inspire spurs to go on and double their efforts to win the title, spurs will surely up their effort to win the title as they are too good a team to not win silver ware this season, and my favorite, chelsea making the cup final could see them take their eye of the league race and it could make spurs the title favorites.

    you know if I did not know better, I would almost think that many of the pundits and in the journo ranks are a teeny weeny bit bias towards spurs and it might even explain why they are a teeny weeny bit bias against Arsenal.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. so tomorrow if arsenal have 63% possession but only have 4 shots on target will we get the media backing that spurs are getting today – did not deserve to lose, dominated the game, best semi final in years, etc etc etc.
    not a bloody chance

    Liked by 4 people

  21. The Football Pools‏ @footballpools 2h2 hours ago

    Spurs have now lost 7 FA Cup semi finals in a row:

    ❌ Chelsea
    ❌ Chelsea
    ❌ P’mouth
    ❌ Arsenal
    ❌ Newcastle
    ❌ Everton
    ❌ Arsenal

    Like

  22. HenryB Saracens (Sarries) , Big Blue,Arsenal we have a lot in common.
    Lets say Yankees too?

    Like

  23. Mauricio Pochettino

    managerial career
    2009–2012 Espanyol
    2013–2014 Southampton
    2014– Tottenham Hotspur

    honors won
    Premier League Manager of the Month: October 2013, September 2015, February 2016

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Arsenal u23’s lost away to Sunderland u23’s today, Jenkinson, Debuchy and Sanogo were not involved, probably needed for first team training yesterday and today. Malen gave AFC the lead but sunderland fought back to win with a late winner. The Willock brothers, Chris and Joe played together at this level for the first time.

    1 Keto
    2 Johnson
    3 Olowu
    4 Sheaf (C)
    5 Bramall
    6 Maitland-Niles
    7 McGuane Yellow Card
    8 Dasilva
    9 C Willock
    10 J Willock 81
    11 Malen 81 Goal!

    Substitutes
    12 Dragomir 81
    13 Virginia
    14 Fortune 81
    15 Medley

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/match/report/1617/post/under-21/u-23s-sunderland-2-1-arsenal-report#d31W8EJO4rquu4B5.99

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  25. Arsenal u18’s 4-1 Liverpool U18’s

    Charlie Gilmour with a hattrick of penalties, and Tyreece John-Jules with the other goal(his first at u18 level). Several of our schoolboys were in the squad today, including Amaechi, Balagun and Okonkwo

    Arsenal U18 v Liverpool: Crean; Osei-Tutu, Ballard, Omole, T. Bola; Gilmour, Benson; Smith-Rowe, Burton, Amaechi; John-Jules.
    Subs: Okonkwo, Thompson, Pileas, Beckford, Balogun (first U18 call-up for the latter).

    Liked by 1 person

  26. James Howley‏ @Howley_ 3h3 hours ago

    Spurs have now gone longer without a trophy than Arsenal ever did in the infamous 2005-2014 period. Not so much as a word said by the media.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Wenger: “A lot is said but my future is more important in the value and spirit of what we have built in 20 years than my own person.”

    Wenger: “For Aaron it is a very frustrating season. I looked the other day, he started his eighth game in the PL. That it was unbelievable. Injuries, injuries, injuries and not big ones. Every time boom, a little calf, boom, a little hamstring”

    Wenger: “Local players have been educated in Arsenal. Players like Ramsey, Chamberlain. They have to take charge of the future of the club. These guys have to take charge of what we have built and the values. We are a club that are admired for that”

    Wenger on Oxlade-Chamberlain: “He looks like he is on an upward curve. Now he’s getting a little stability and more freedom to play. I want him to be part of Arsenal Football Club for the next 10 years. He is a big player.”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. afcstuff‏ @afcstuff 28m28 minutes ago

    Wenger: “You count your important players. You come to the end of the season – no Cazorla since October & Ramsey played less than 10 games.”

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Wenger – Ramsey has it all in his locker

    As we return to Emirates FA Cup action at Wembley this weekend, memories inevitably flood back of Aaron Ramsey’s extra-time heroics in the 2014 final.

    The Wales international had capped off a superb individual campaign by poking Olivier Giroud’s backheel past Hull City’s Allan McGregor to secure our first trophy in nine years.

    Injuries have hampered Ramsey’s progress since that unforgettable afternoon, but Arsène Wenger is confident the 26-year-old still has a big role to play.

    “In my head Ramsey was going to be a player between 10 and 15 goals a year,” the manager said. “He is a Frank Lampard type. He is [about] getting in the box and he has a huge capacity to run. Physically, he has a combination of stamina, power and his capacity to repeat high intensity is certainly the best in the league.

    “This season has been very frustrating for Aaron. I looked the other day, he has started seven games in the Premier League. When I realised that, it was unbelievable, but it’s because of injuries – and not big ones. Every time it’s a niggling one and when he came back from those – boom – a little calf – boom – a little hamstring.

    “He looked fit on Monday but I hope he will have a strong end to the season because he is an important player for me. He has it all in the locker to be defensive and offensive. So that is for me a vital part of the game we want to play. We do not only want to defend, we want to defend and attack.

    “These kind of players are very important. I also think he is at his best age as a midfielder when you look at it at the start of the season. He is a player who can take the role of Mesut Ozil. When Ozil needs a breather you can play Aaron there, but he was not there earlier this season.”

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170421/wenger-ramsey-has-it-all-in-his-locker#7dRLxD1wo5qEVbjS.99

    Like

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