Mikel Arteta’s ‘data attack’ has been questioned by Adrian Durham, who says the under-fire Arsenal boss is acting as though he’s playing a computer game.
Arteta’s side are currently languishing in 15th place in the Premier League having won just four games all season – their worst start to a campaign since 1974.
They’re also not fairing much better in the Carabao Cup, with Manchester City dumping them out of the competition as they ran out 4-1 winners at the Emirates Stadium.
He said: “Last year against Everton we won the game with 25 per cent chance of winning, supported by the stats. We won 3-2.
“Last weekend it was 67 per cent chance of winning any Premier League in history, and nine percent of losing – and you lose. You lose.
“Three per cent against Burnley and you lose, seven per cent against Spurs and you lose. There is something else apart from that that has to go our way and at the moment it doesn’t.
“Saying that it doesn’t care because you lose and the only thing that cares and you lose the match and that’s why we’re here.”
Speaking on Monday’s Drivetime on talkSPORT, Durham expressed his bewilderment at the Spaniard for using a percentage stat argument in defence of the club’s woeful run of form and says he must take responsibility.
“With these percentages that he’s coming out with and this ‘data attack’, as I call it, it’s like he thinks it’s FIFA,” he explained.
“It’s like he thinks it’s a computer game… ‘if I can come out with these stats and percentages then those will turn magically into points that will send Arsenal rocketing up the table’.
“It’s just simply not going to happen. 100 per cent of people know Arsenal lost at Everton!
“He’s not a stupid man, Mikel Arteta; he’s been in football a long time.
“What on earth makes him think that coming out with all this now is actually going to make people think, ‘oh actually hold on a second no he is the man, he is the right man going forward’. This is going to do the exact opposite.
“People aren’t going to listen to it and say he’s got a point: ‘Actually I know where he’s coming from. Arsenal are on the right track because the percentages and everything point towards them winning the games so they just need a little bit of luck or they need to sign another finisher in case [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang isn’t playing’.”
Durham continued: “I don’t know what he’s trying to say with all these stats percentages – I don’t know. I don’t get it. So if someone wants to explain it then please do.
“I think there’s a lot wrong with Arsenal, but maybe part of the problem is the manager himself. He’s been trusted with a massive Premier League job.
“It’s not looking good for him at the moment, it makes you question why he was given the job.
“His playing career wasn’t filled with massive glory. He was a good player, but he wasn’t a great player. Steven Gerrard has to go to the Scottish Premiership [Rangers] to get a job.
“Frank Lampard had to go in the Championship [Derby] to get a job. Arteta’s trusted at Arsenal based on what? That he was Pep’s [Guardiola] mate for a while and dressed like Pep? I think it’s a little bit odd.
“Yes, he was working at Man City with Guardiola, but what was he doing? Was he setting out the cones? Was he sorting out the slides for the briefing room? What was he doing there?
“Or was he really contributing some incredible ideas that made Man City the side they were when they won a couple of titles?
“This is a guy who never played for Spain. Now you don’t always have to have had a brilliant playing career to be a really good manager, but I’m trying to find out what made the people running Arsenal Football Club think Arteta was the right man to rescue them from what [Arsene] Wenger had left, what [Unai] Emery had failed to rectify and take them to where they wanted to be.
“And that’s challenging for and winning a Premier League title and getting back in the Champions League and challenging deep into that competition. I don’t get it!”
Durham identified Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers as the tailor-made replacement for Arteta and believes the Northern Irishman is capable of going on and becoming Arsenal’s best manager of all time.
He concluded: “Arsenal are still a much, much bigger club than Leicester whether you like it or not and regardless of how recently Leicester won the title.
“I also think arguably there’s a chance to be the greatest manager in Arsenal’s history – that’s still up for grabs.
“Wenger won three [league] titles, so in the space of five years Rodgers could actually overhaul that.
“If he wins one Champions League he’s done better in Europe than Arsene Wenger. If Arsene Wenger’s the greatest it isn’t going to be too difficult for a top manager to get in there and topple his record.
“There’s an opportunity there. If he wants to be seen as a legend at a massive club and maybe even put right the wrongs at Liverpool and the mistakes he made.
“I think Brendan Rodgers would go there, but we shall see.”
We shall indeed Adrian… let’s not forget that Mr Durham predicted Arsenal would be in this exact scenario if they appointed Arteta this time last year!