Arsene Wenger will claim another slice of Premier League history when he takes charge of Arsenal against West Brom on Sunday.
The 68-year-old has already matched Manchester United great Alex Ferguson on 810 matches as a manager in England’s top flight and will break that record at the Hawthorns – interestingly, the very ground at which his old nemesis oversaw the final game of his career, a thrilling 5-5 draw with West Brom in May 2013.
Wenger has not exactly enjoyed unwavering support during his 20-year spell in north London but, with three league titles to his name, he is showing few signs of giving up hope of a fourth before he finishes his Gunners career.
Ahead of his latest milestone, we take a look at the Opta stats behind his remarkable time in England.
MORE GAMES, MORE WINS THAN MOST
Wenger will move beyond Ferguson’s record when he manages his 811th game on Sunday and it looks like his will be a tally that will take some time to surpass.
The nearest manager to these two in terms of games in charge in the top flight is Harry Redknapp on 641. Some way further back are David Moyes (508), Sam Allardyce (494) and Mark Hughes (442).
Ferguson still has the highest number of victories (528), giving him a win percentage of 65.2, above Wenger’s 57.8. Indeed, Jose Mourinho, with a 63.3 per cent win rate from 270 games, has a more clinical record than the Frenchman.
Wenger’s Arsenal have also managed fewer goals than Ferguson’s United (1524 compared to 1627) in 810 matches.
FAVOURITE MANAGERS AND THE ONES HE’D RATHER AVOID
There are some managers down the years who Wenger has loved facing. Of those Wenger has met on 10 occasions or more in the Premier League, he has enjoyed win rates of at least 50 per cent against 18 of them.
Steve McClaren is probably his favourite: Wenger has beaten the ex-England boss in 11 games out of 12. However, when it comes to the stats, his easiest opponents are Sean Dyche, Jean Tigana, Joe Royle and Dave Bassett, all of whom managed teams at least three times against Wenger and lost every one of those games.
Of course, it hasn’t all gone his way. Wenger only managed 10 wins in 34 meetings with Ferguson and has famously won only once in 14 attempts against Jose Mourinho teams. He has never beaten Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Roy Evans or Roberto Di Matteo, to name a few.
HAPPY HUNTING GROUNDS
Arsenal have won 145 of 219 games at the Emirates Stadium, giving them a 66.2 per cent win ratio. That’s worse than they managed at Highbury under Wenger, where they won 134 out of 186 matches.
On the road, Goodison Park is probably Wenger’s favourite, where he has managed a commendable 11 wins and five draws from 22 visits. Villa Park (10 wins from 19 and only two defeats) and The Valley (six wins from eight) are also enjoyable trips.
Games at Anfield, Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane have yielded only 18 wins from a possible 85, while he has managed six wins at the Etihad Stadium. His worst days out have come at Hillsborough, Valley Parade, Bramall Lane and Sunderland’s old Roker Park: he has never won at any of them in the league.
FAVOURITE OPPONENTS AND A SHOCK BOGEY TEAM
Unsurprisingly, given his Goodison Park record, Everton are Wenger’s favourite opponents. He has beaten them 28 times and lost only six of their 43 meetings, with a goal difference of +50.
Leicester City (14 wins and no defeats from 20 games), Charlton Athletic (12 wins and two draws from 16 games) and Portsmouth (eight wins and six draws from 14 games) have also dreaded the visit of Wenger down the years, while Reading have lost all six of their meetings with his team.
His worst records against teams he has faced at least five times yield a surprise, though: Liverpool (13 wins from 43) and Manchester United (12 wins from 43) have proved tough nuts to crack, but it is Sheffield Wednesday who hold the anti-Wenger formula, having lost just twice to his team in seven meetings.
A TASTE FOR THE TOFFEES, BUT LET’S FORGET OLD TRAFFORD
Sorry, Everton: when it comes to Wenger’s record wins, once more, you’re top of the pile.
A 7-0 thrashing of the Toffees in May 2005 remains his joint-biggest Premier League victory, alongside a demolition of Middlesbrough in January 2006 by the same scoreline.
In more recent years, a 6-0 win over Blackpool in August 2010 and a 7-1 triumph over Blackburn Rovers in February 2012 are the most impressive.
For many years, Wenger’s worst defeat was a 6-1 loss to Manchester United in February 2001. That was until August 28, 2011, when they suffered a humiliating 8-2 reversal at Old Trafford.
Wenger has only ever endured a six-goal defeat once since then: a 6-0 loss to Chelsea in March three years ago.
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