Xavi as Barcelona manager: Influences, what to intend tactically, his biggest difficulties at the club


Rewind come Aug. 28, when Manchester City inflicted a humiliating 5-0 loss on Arsenal, their 3rd Premier organization loss in a row complying with miserable outings versus Brentford and Chelsea. It to be the very first time in 67 years the Gunners had lost their opened three gamings in a campaign and the ongoing presence of manager Mikel Arteta ~ above the sidelines was dividing the fanbase.

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The Gunners were bottom of the table ~ an inauspicious start -- hampered additionally by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the cancellation of their preseason tour and the absence of a number of star players due to positive test -- in which they conceded nine goals and also scored none.

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Yet Arteta to be backed through his bosses and also urged the fans, through a phrase borrowed from NBA team Philadelphia 76ers, to "trust the process." It was a rallying cry asking them to believe in the occupational he is doing alongside the Gunners" hierarchy. After ~ spending around £150m in the summer ~ above reinforcements -- much more than any type of other Premier league team, v defenders Ben White (£50m), Takehiro Tomiyasu (£16m) and Nuno Tavares (£8m), goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (£25m), midfielders martin Odegaard (£35m) and Albert Sambi Lokonga (£15m) getting here at the Emirates -- the north London club still wasn"t precisely where it want to be, however the previous club captain knew far better things were coming.

Fast forward 3 months and also Arsenal sit 5th in the table, enjoying the league"s longest unbeaten operation -- eight games, including six wins -- through a clear feeling of direction. The fans are earlier on board and also Arteta is happy.

In their last Premier organization outing against Watford on Nov. 7, Arteta celebrated his 100th video game as Arsenal manager and his numbers are surprisingly impressive: 54 wins, 20 draws, 26 losses. If you think about games won after a penalty shootout (which is officially a attract for stats), Arteta is actually on 56 victories.

That is just two fewer than George Graham (1986-1995), but three more than the legendary Arsene Wenger at the same stage of their coaching careers in ~ Arsenal. Arteta"s win rate is 54%, contrasted to Wenger"s 51%, when he additionally holds a reduced loss proportion (18% vs. 26%) after ~ a century that appearances in the Gunners" dugout.

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The other an essential areas of comparison through Wenger"s early days appear very similar, too. Arteta has actually 163 purposes for, 97 against and 38 clean sheets in one arguably an ext competitive Premier league for his an initial 100 games. Once Wenger arrived in 1996, his team boasted 157 objectives for, 84 versus and 42 clean sheets over the exact same span.

In distinguishable contrast, however, Arteta"s very first 100 gamings have to be a rollercoaster, with highs and also lows practically every week. To win an FA Cup and also a neighborhood Shield in his very first six months together a manager to be great, yet it perhaps raised expectation of more short-term success when he to be still learning. He"s tho learning, that course, and still grappling v an imbalanced and also aging Arsenal squad, doing not have in specific positions and also unable to discover consistency. But now there is an ext hope for the future.


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The influence and management of goalkeeper Ramsdale, the centre-back partnership of White and Gabriel, the attack talent the Tierney under the left and solidity the Tomiyasu at right-back has made the Arsenal defence yes, really strong. If anything, it"s the strongest and most disciplined it has actually even been in Arteta"s 100 games in charge.

On top of that, the manager has been a crucial part in the introduction of smith Rowe and also Saka, the two prodigies from the Arsenal Academy in Hale End.

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Saka has been Arsenal"s best player since Arteta"s arrival and the player the most used through the Spaniard, featuring in 82 games. While, provided Smith Rowe went on a six-month loan come Huddersfield in January 2020, the influence of the 21-year-old has actually been exceptional and also rarely viewed in the Premier organization at his age. Arsenal have a 58% win percentage with him together a starter, contrasted to 33% without. Every time blacksmith Rowe scores -- he"s uncovered the net in 12 various games because making his Premier league debut -- Arsenal have won.

Emile blacksmith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have displayed a great understanding.Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

The turning point?