My last post has generated lively debate on Twitter, as supporters of Arsene defend him against any suggestion he’s not achieved absolutely everything he should have achieved. (He built a stadium, you know. So did Herbert Chapman as it happens, and it didn’t stop him and his successors winning the League, but anyway…)
If you go to statto.com you can look at league performance aggregated from the beginning of the Football League in 1888 up to any season you like. So here’s an alternative way of looking at managers’ performances:
When Herbert Chapman took over in 1925, Arsenal were scraping into the top 20 ahead of little Leicester City (what happened to them? Probably folded by now, I expect):
Even Herb’s efforts only moved Arsenal up to sixth by the time his dynasty of Allison and Whittaker came to an end:
But constant presence in the top flight meant that by the time George Graham took the hotseat in 1986, Arsenal were in the top five! Just.
Unfortunately all those still above tended to be in the top flight too. But in his time George managed to keep the rise going, so by 1995 we were up to third! Bruce Rioch kept things steady enough to still be third when Arsene arrived a year later.
And if we look right up to date, we can see that Arsene has now achieved the giddy heights of… also third.
Which is disappointing. I thought we might at least have overtaken the Scouse by now. Ah well. Feel free to use any of this to prove whatever you want about Arsene, George Graham or Herbert Chapman.
You can also put a range into statto.com that doesn’t start in 1888. I was going to compare the start and end of managers’ reigns, but if you do that it seems to throw in lower division teams to confuse things. But maybe you can make it work better than me. Don’t ask me how Preston have managed to climb to fourth since 1996 either, I haven’t noticed them finishing above Everton lately.