Mikel Arteta brings up a major milestone this weekend – his 100th Premier League game in charge of the club.
The boss first took the helm on Boxing Day 2019 when we played out a 1-1 draw away to Bournemouth, and this Saturday he’ll become our third manager to reach a century in the Premier League
Both George Graham and Arsène Wenger celebrated their landmark games with victories, and if Mikel can follow suit against Fulham, he’ll make it 53 wins from his first 100 games.
That’s 15 more than George managed, and just one fewer than Arsène. In his 99 games so far, we have scored 157 goals and taken 172 points.
Speaking about the achievement in his pre-match press conference, Mikel said: “I’ve just found out about it - time flies!
“It is such a privilege to be in this football club and reach that number, and hopefully we can extend that for a long period and bring joy and a lot of wins.”
There have been plenty of ups and downs already in those 99 games. Mikel has taken on 23 different teams (beating each of them at least once except for Manchester City) and he’s used no fewer than 43 players.
Bukayo Saka has appeared in more games than any other player under the boss (90) while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains the leading scorer with 25.
The biggest win came on his second anniversary as manager – a 5-0 away thumping of Norwich City on December 26, 2021.
Asked what he had learnt from his 99 games so far, the boss replied: “How difficult and how beautiful life is when you win or lose! Especially that. And then looking back, analysing the journey and how many things that have happened, the way that every decision counts. Consistency is so important and just stick to what you believe in because in the end things will happen.”
And has the boss ever doubted himself during the journey?
“We are human beings, we doubt,” he admitted. “Especially when you lose football matches. When the environment turns around and you don’t find a real way to win matches, even though you deserve to, you have to find other ways to adapt.
“Sometimes you have to do that, but at the end you have to really feel what you do because it’s the best way to transmit it, especially to your players and then to your supporters and everyone around the club, and that’s what we have tried to do at all times.”
Mikel will become the 14th manager overall in our history to take charge of 100 league games, but here’s how his record compares to the two that have done so in the Premier League so far:
- George Graham: P100, W38, D33, L29, F111, A82, Pts 147
- Arsenal Wenger: P100, W54, D30, L16, F156, A70, Pts 192
- Mikel Arteta: P99, W52, D16, L31, F157, A110, Pts 172
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