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Arsenal have won 14 of their 17 Premier League games this season while there opponents this weekend Tottenham have dropped points in eight games out of a possible 18. On paper the favourites to win the latest North London Derby and scoop a league double are Arsenal, but there may be one reason why Antonio Conte and Spurs hold an advantage.
Mikel Arteta was crowned as the Premier League manager of the month on Friday, for the combined fixtures in November and December. Since his move into full-time Premier League management, Arteta has won the award four times scooping up the prize for Arsenal’s results in September 2021, March 2022 and August 2022.
Of course the award hands recognition to impressive four-five game spells for managers, however many hold the belief, while recognising great results in the past, it hinders the performances of that team in the coming weeks.
For Arsenal and Arteta, it can be looked at in two ways. Firstly, after five wins out five in August 2022 Arteta scooped the award with the announcement arriving on September 16, 2022, and the Gunners then proceeded to go on a seven-game winning streak.
However, in the first Premier League game out of the month, where Arteta was acknowledged for his success, against Manchester United, the Gunners suffered a 3-1 defeat, a result which is still their only Premier League loss of the season thus far.
Being named as manager of the month and then seeing a downward turn in form is of course just a hypothetical curse, but it also severely hit Spurs at the start of last season.
Nuno Espirito Santo won the award after his side won three games out of three in August 2021, yet no less than two months later, after five defeats in their next seven games, he had been sacked by Spurs.
While Arteta did not suffer the same poor form in the following matches the last time he won the award, the same cannot be said for his success in March 2022. Despite a defeat to Liverpool, wins against Aston Villa, Watford and Leicester pushed the Gunners into the top four and thus saw Arteta win manager of the month.
However, what followed was a disaster for Arteta and his team. Arsenal lost their next three league games and although a four-match winning streak was achieved after those results, defeats to Spurs and Newcastle ultimately saw Arsenal lose out on a Champions League spot to their north London rivals.
Therefore, Arsenal will be hoping they are granted the same fate as earlier in the season and can go on another winning streak starting with a triumph at a ground they are yet to win at to boost their title credentials. While Spurs and Conte will likely be manifesting that the manager of the month award curse or boost works in a pattern, which would indicate the Gunners are about to enter a poor run of form.