How Unai Emery’s first 43 PL games at Arsenal compares to Wenger’s last 43

Quick Reads

Unai Emery was expected to bring a refreshing change at Arsenal after Arsene Wenger’s departure – but how do the two managers compare?

Arsenal fans had become very critical of Wenger during his last few years at the club and the Frenchman resigned at the end of the 2017-18 season.

However, Emery is now coming under increasing pressure at the Emirates after a difficult start to the season, but how does his first 43 Premier League games match up to Wenger’s last 43?


Emery inherited a fragile defence from Wenger and the 47-year-old later admitted that the team lacked “defensive structure” under the Frenchman.

It’s hard to argue with that because during the final 43 matches of Wenger’s reign at Arsenal, his side conceded 1.23 goals per game. However, their defence has actually got even worse under Emery and that figure has risen to 1.37.

Wenger’s side also faced 11.3 shots and 3.9 shots on target per match, while the current regime have faced 13.8 shots and 5.0 shots on target.

Arsenal even won 11.1 tackles per game under their old boss but that has dropped to 9.5 under Emery. We’re guessing that playing Granit Xhaka has something to do with that.


When Emery replaced Wenger, he said: “I prefer to win 5-4 than 1-0. Why? Because I think football is spectacular, the best form is when you score.”

That statement thrilled a lot of Arsenal fans who wanted to see exciting football at the Emirates again, but he has failed to deliver on that promise.

Despite having Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe at his disposal, Arsenal’s attacking stats have declined under Emery.

In Wenger’s last 43 league games, the club scored 2.02 goals and had 15.7 shots per game while Emery’s side have scored 1.88 goals per game and they only register 12.4 shots every 90 minutes.

READ: Arsène Wenger: ‘I’ll return to football, but in what position I don’t know’


Wenger’s Arsenal became synonymous with possession based football and they loved to dominate the ball, but Emery has started to move away from that style of play.

During the Frenchman’s final year at the club, the Gunners had an average possession of 61.8%, but the first 43 matches of Emery’s reign has seen that drop to 57.9%.

The present day Arsenal also have an average passing accuracy of 83.4%, which is 1% lower than it was under Wenger.

More Arsenal

Can you name every player signed by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

‘I want us to be a chameleon team’ – 13 of Unai Emery’s best quotes at Arsenal

Nine players who did nothing at Arsenal but shone after leaving

Comparing Nicolas Pepe’s 2018-19 stats to Arsenal’s existing attacking options