Unai Emery’s time in the red half of North London will be remembered for his feud with Mesut Özil, a humbling Europa League final defeat to London rivals Chelsea and confusing, if polite, press conferences.
Yet, the Spaniard will not be remembered for instilling an even remotely acceptable away record.
Since Emery’s departure in November 2019, the Arsenal dugout has played host to both Freddie Ljungberg and the current incumbent, Mikel Arteta. Both men have maintained a surprisingly impressive record on the road, with the FA Cup victory against Portsmouth their 11th away game undefeated, as highlighted by Opta on Twitter.
11 – Arsenal have gone 11 games without defeat away from home in all competitions (W4 D7), since a 0-2 loss at Leicester in Unai Emery’s final away game in charge of the club – the Gunners longest unbeaten run on the road since March-December 2016 (a run of 15). Adapting. pic.twitter.com/DdbxgJ9H8e
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 2, 2020
During Emery’s time at the helm, the former Sevilla and PSG boss oversaw just five home defeats across all competitions across his 15-month spell. However, the Spaniard lost more than 40% of his games away from the Emirates, with only one win from his final eight fixtures on the road whilst Arsenal manager.
While this 11-game unbeaten streak is a welcome, if unexpected, response to the turgid away affairs endured under Emery, it’s perhaps less impressive than it initially appears, with the seven draws somewhat inflating the figure.
In fact, this season has been a campaign of ties for the Gunners during the reign of all three managers. With the goalless stalemate against Burnley at the start of February, Arsenal recorded their 13th draw of the Premier League season.
This equalled the club’s record tally for drawn matches in a 20-team league. However, the last time they reached this figure, Arsenal only lost once that season (1990/91) and claimed the title. Yet, that particular aspect of the campaign will certainly not be repeated this year, given the Gunners are already 42 points behind leaders Liverpool.
Arsenal would again amass a large number of draws (12) on their way to the title in 2004 as they went the entire league campaign undefeated home or away. However, this was not the first time Arsène Wenger had gone unbeaten away from home, as two seasons earlier, his side of 2001/02 would win the double without a defeat on opposition soil.
Arteta was actually still an Arsenal player the last time the Gunners embarked upon a longer unbeaten away run than the streak they’re currently on, despite the Spaniard being unavailable to feature in those particular fixtures.
Following their bitter, last-minute exit from the Europa League against Olympiacos, Arsenal’s only chance of European football next season relies upon their league performances.
And while Arteta’s side are showing some signs of improvement, they will need to transfer this away form to games at any venue if they want to entertain any hopes of Champions League football returning to the Emirates any time soon.