Arsenal’s Best Ever Transfer Manager

We judge managers on many criteria, the most obvious of which is winning trophies.

But not far behind the acquiring of silverware comes the ability to find great players and bring them to The Arsenal.

In those stakes there are some interesting contenders for the crown of our club’s best ever “picker”.

Read on… then vote for the one you think has been the best in this regard.

Bertie Mee

Bertie’s appointment from physio to manager in 1966 was a big shock to most people (him included – he insisted on a clause in his contract that he could return to physiotherapy after 12 months if the management thingy didn’t work out). Bertie had a strong core of players to build on, but he brought in (or promoted from the youth team): George Graham (Chelsea), Bob McNab (Huddersfield), Pat Rice (youth), Charlie George (youth), Eddie Kelly (youth), Ray Kennedy (Port Vale), Sammy Nelson (youth), Liam Brady (youth), Frank Stapleton (youth) and David O’Leary (youth). Pick the legends out of that lot! However he also recruited Peter Marinello, Alan Ball and Bobby Gould, none of whom were great successes at Arsenal.

Arsène Wenger

Like Bertie Mee, Arsène was able to build on some great foundations when he got the best job in football in 1996. The George Graham back four was still in place and the club had also acquired a certain talismanic Dutchman. But our new French coach made signings that would really bring back the glory days: Vieira from Milan; Petit from Monaco; Anelka from PSG; Overmars from Ajax; Henry from Juventus; Ljungberg from Halmstad; Campbell from Hell; Toure from ASEC Mimosas and more. In 1998, 2002 and 2004 those players brought us huge success and some stunning football.  Since then we have seen many other fine players arrive under Arsene’s stewardship (Van Persie, Fabregas, Vermaelen, Sagna, Walcott, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain), but seven potless years have also led to questioning as to whether his “picking powers” are on the wane.

Terry Neill

Terry was at the helm from 1976 to 1983. During that time he took us to three FA Cup Finals (sadly we won only one of them), plus a Cup Winners Cup Final (lost) and a third place finish in the league in 1980-81.  His key signings were Malcolm MacDonald (from Newcastle), Alan Sunderland (Wolves) and Pat Jennings (the Swamp). Graham Rix was his most notable promotion from the youth team. Supermac, in particular, was a great signing who really lifted the club. He scored 42 goals in 84 appearances for us before injury brought an untimely end to his career.

Herbert Chapman

Chapman spent several years failing to achieve much success after joining Arsenal from Huddersfield Town in 1925, but after winning the FA Cup in 1930 he oversaw one of the most successful periods ever in our club’s history – an era of dominance that ended prematurely with Herbert’s sudden death from pneumonia. His most significant signings included such legendary Arsenal figures as Alex James (Preston NE), Cliff Bastin (Exeter), David Jack (Bolton), Eddie Hapgood (Kettering) and Herbie Roberts (Oswestry).

Billy Wright

Billy managed Arsenal from 1962 to 1966 and his reign brought no major trophies. However, he helped lay the foundations of the success that would follow a few years later. Billy’s transfers included Bob Wilson who arrived from Wolves and Frank McLintock, from Leicester. Both would go on to be vital members of the 1971 Double side, Frank as the captain. Billy also promoted several promising youngsters into the first team, including Peter Simpson, John Radford, Peter Storey and George Armstrong, so he could certainly spot a player.

George Graham

The “famous back four” will always constitute Gorgeous George’s most lasting legacy to Arsenal. When he took over as manager in 1986 he found Tony Adams, Paul Merson, Micky Thomas, Paul Davis and David Rocastle all waiting for him. Graham was quick to make Adams his captain and to put his faith in this outstanding crop of young players. But he had to transfer in the other components of the legendary defensive unit: Winterburn from Wimbledon; Dixon and Bould from Stoke and Keown from Everton.  When you consider that George also brought us the joy of watching the likes of Ian Wright, Alan Smith, Anders Limpar and David Seaman, you can see how effective his transfer instincts were. However, in his later years the signings (or promoting) of players like Kiwomya, Carter, Morrow, Hillier, Helder, Jensen and Selley provided a bit of a knock to his reputation.

So, who do you think has been our best picker of players ever?



138 Responses to Arsenal’s Best Ever Transfer Manager

  1. Scott says:

    I’m not going to pick this apart,but surely The budget a manager has to work with plays a major for in his signings.

  2. steve says:

    keown was let go to villa by graham cos he offered a shit pay rise & villa sold him to everton & graham paid 2 mill for a player who wanted £125 a week more mug

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Fine idea for a post.

    Scott. That is not true. Of course, buying very expensive players offers a wider choice but that does not always relate to success. Arshavin and Wiltord are our most expensive signings, would you say they were of the same standard as Freddie of Bobby? Both of whom cost much less.

    That said. Chapman broke the British (and probably World) transfer record on more than one occasion and he was considered a transfer Master.

    In my opinion, much of it is pure luck.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn that’s good Rocky, thank you.
    Bruce Rioch. Obviously 🙂
    Promted or not, he signed Dennis, and that was the biggest signing this club has ever made for many reasons.
    Right, where’s that “other” box to tick?

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There it is. One vote in the “someone else ” box.

  6. supamatt says:

    Graham also sold Keown after he arrived in 1986, before buying him back in 93.

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    O dear, prompted sp 😦

  8. Scott says:

    Big Raddy, I didn’t suggest it was he only factor,but a major one.
    Give me 200 million and I guarantee I’d put together a nice squad…Rioch on Bergkamp,genius move there.
    Wenger did bring in Henry….that’s right up there.
    The old time managers wouldn’t have brought in French,Dutch,Spanish players etc,etc,so wouldn’t have had to worry about players acclimatising,either.
    Lots of things to consider when voting.

  9. As usual says:

    Any of you seen the headlines recently? It seems Chelsea wants to buy walcott and mr. reliable sagna. If any of these deal go through (Honestly, I don’t know what to expect), this just shows that we’re a selling club in recent times. Doesn’t matter if Arsene is capable of getting decent players in atm (something he hasn’t done very often in the past few years as compared to before,yes, we know he is constrained with tight budgets), the more important thing right now is if he is capable of keeping our current crop of players and avoiding another transfer nightmare saga like last years.

  10. Scott says:

    As Usual,if a good offer came in for Theo,I’d hold the door open.
    We could easily replace him and upgrade for the money he’d bring in.

  11. evonne says:

    GM – where were you last night??
    Joey Barton was battered outside a night club in Liverpool yesterday

  12. Scott says:

    Must have been Stevie G.

  13. evonne says:

    Scott – I don’t know, GM said only yesterday that he hopes someone will beat the shit out of Barton. Coincidence??

  14. john from sydney says:

    Looking at the acquisitions from managers past I can’t but notice how many came from lower division clubs, Terry Neill probably the exception. Do we actually have scouts who review the Championship or League 1? I reckon a proven goalscorer can score whoever the opposition as they instinctively know where to position themselves. I bet that guy from Huddersfield would be a better bet than Park.
    The other extreme is also mentioned in the report. Twice since I have been supporting the Arse has our managers broken the transfer record.. Alan Ball and Supermac. I also have a feeling Herbert Chapman did as well.
    Wenger has rarely gone to lower divisions unless they are under 18 and has never gone anywhere near breaking a transfer record. Whilst the market has gone crazy and I don’t expect us to compete with the others for a $40m player we did go out and buy proven class thus showing intent, we no longer do… and thats the really sad thing that has cost us our best players over the last few years and is likely to do so again. If Wenger and/or the board were serious they wouldn’t let the Euros get in the way, they would make sure they had next seasons 25 man squad ready for day 1 training.

  15. evonne says:

    Rocky – superb! Thanx
    Campbell from Hell, classic

  16. The best manager is someone in the frame of Sir Alex, Guardiola or Mourinho. These managers don’t rely on lukewarm players in their fold. Emotional intelligence is reserved for the reserve team. We need to start putting money where our mouth is. Mancini did it in the second year of his appointment so Wenger needs to change his philosophy

  17. evonne says:

    Lanray – the question was who was the best Arsenal manager. I don’t think SAF, Guardiola, Marinho or Mancini ever managed Arsenal, correct me if I am wrong

  18. abunaheemah says:

    The great Arsene

  19. Gooner In Exile says:

    This fellow might be my new hero from the youth setup:

    Interesting post Rocky for me it’s a toss up between Arsene and Graham.

    Wright, Limpar, Seaman as well as Dixon, Winterburn, Bould. However he had his shockers buying and selling too. Andy Cole?

    Actually Graham and Wenger had similar tasks, lose the players who thought they were the bees knees and replacing them with players hungry for success and ability to mould.

    Both also have/had the ability to be ruthless when necessary or when they feel a players time has come. Although working in a different era Graham had similar problems with wage structure, apparently he told Perry Groves when selling him to Southampton :

    “You’ve won your trophies, now go make your money” ….. at Southampton!!!!

    As for the best surely you’ve missed him off the list.

    Bruce Rioch….for bringing DB10 😉

  20. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oh dear it appears I agree with the DidIt 😳

  21. Illybongani says:

    I voted for AW but on reflection they all have their merits. Chapman, I guess, turned us into the Bank of England club and really started off the legacy. We were pretty damn useless before he arrived- he also won multiple championships with Huddersfield previously so must have known what he was doing.

    Mee arrived at a time when our current barren spell looked momentary in comparison. Unfortunately that success wasn’t sustained.

    Graham achieved what I thought I would never see again in my lifetime – a team of Champions so I will always be grateful to him. The famous back 4/5 for about a mil??? Unquestionably one of the greatest management feats of the modern era.

    And then there’s Wenger. Took the club to a new level and pretty much has kept us there. For 15 years. Those younger supporters who never had to wait in excess of 20 years to win championships and are now clamouring for him to go will never fully appreciate not just what he has done – but what he is doing. We really are no better than Spurs in terms of financial muscle and fan base. So why do we assume we must do better than them every year? As well as competing with clubs who are now spending in excess of £1billion to achieve the same as Wenger has on a shoestring.

    Yep, Wenger for me.

  22. Gooner In Exile says:

    Scott as much as I’d like to agree with letting Theo go and replacing him with another this is the problem that I think Wenger has made for himself, the board look at it and say “we’ll take the £20+m as Arsene will find us someone for £4m just as good.

    In order to make a statement we need a summer of no leavers from the first team squad, and only signings to that squad. We need to build a squad now rather than continually losing players before they peak.

    That said I reckon Theo’s agent may be putting these rumours out there to get the desired contract offer. It just helps to stick Sagna in to the deal too. Altho Sagna has two years left and is 29, is anyone really thinking he will be offered vastly improved terms?

  23. Gooner In Exile says:

    Illy a fine comment.

  24. Scott says:

    Illybongani,superb post.
    You nailed it in the owner brigade.
    They blame Wenger when it was Wenger who raised everyone’s expectations.

  25. Scott says:

    The replacement would need to be better.
    I reckon we could get 15-20 million for him,and replace I’m with better for 10-15.
    Why not spend 25-30 million and get a superstar though???

  26. Gooner In Exile says:

    Because Scott the superstar would end up being paid twice as much as Theo, so if that’s currently £50k a week, the cost to sign a superstar would be £10m transfer plus wage increase £15.6m. So total cost £25.6m the superstar is not that happy as he probably hasn’t increased his earnings. (that total is ignoring £50k a week saving on wages)

    We managed to sign TV5 and it cost us £5m in signing on fee too (to the player).

    So we could give Theo £5m signing plus £80k a week (£12.8m) and it would cost us total £17.8m (again ignoring his current wages) and Theo himself is actually better off than he would be being sold and getting £100k a week at Chavs.

  27. Gooner In Exile says:

    My new favourite is at it again

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    The responses are bound to be among GG and AW as they are the two managers that folks are most familiar with.

    However; Herbert Chapman’s eye for the best players and Sir Jack’s slight of hand (back handers that is) were instrumental in the creation of Arsenal as a footballing force.

    This is a selection of the great players that he brought to the Arsenal – eight of whom ( marked with an *) played in the 1930 FA Cup Final bringing us our first trophy.

    Joe Hulme * 374 games played.
    Jack Lambert * 161
    Tom Parker * 394
    Herbie Roberts 335
    Eddie Hapgood * 440
    David Jack * 208
    Charlie Jones 195
    Cliff Bastin * 396
    Alex James * 261
    Charlie Preedy * 40
    Leslie Compton 273
    Denis Compton 60
    George Male 318
    Frank Moss 161
    Ray Bowden 138
    Wilf Copping 189
    Jack Crayston 187
    Ted Drake 184

    They played over 4,000 games for Arsenal and were the foundation on which we were built – to me there is no better testament for a manger.

  29. Scott says:

    N5, back then here wasn’t the money in football there is now obviously.
    Players were a hell of a lot more likely to be one club players for life than now,so I’m not sure you can old that against modern managers.

  30. Scott says:

    GIE,those are the signings people are calling for though.

  31. GunnerN5 says:


    All players were on a fixed wage (all the same) so money had nothing to do with the situation – other than illegal payments.

    Chapman knew as much about the available players as AW – that’s what set’s great managers apart from their peers.

  32. Patrick O'Neill says:

    GG for me. That back 4/5 will never be rivalled. Look at our back4/5 now, it is nowhere near GGs. I do not want AW to go, I just want him to change his way of doing things. It’s one thing to set your mind to things but quite another to be stubborn as a mule just because you think you know better than everyone else.

    I hope he doesn’t sell Theo to an English club. He will return to haunt us and rip us to shreds, all because he will be played in his natural position.

  33. Scott says:

    N5,money wasn’t an issue…thats my whole point.
    Players knew they’d be no better off elsewhere.
    If you looked at every club at the time,you’d find similar stats as to how long players stayed at a single club.

  34. Scott says:

    Also N5,how many imports were in that list???
    You reckon he really knew as much as Wenger about available players,seriously??

  35. GunnerN5 says:


    How does that affect a manager’s ability to spot and bring in the right players??

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    Scott – he probally knew far more as the player base was so much smaller.

  37. Slimgingergooner says:

    If it was just about buying players, then there’s an argument for a few on the list. But football is also about selling at the right time, and with the exception of maybe Fabregas and Nasri (other factors were to blame) there is no-one better than Wenger. His timing of players out the door is exeptional both in value of transfer, and remaining ability of player. That’s why he gets my vote.

  38. Scott says:

    N5,again I say players simply didn’t move around as much as they do now…..
    They didn’t have agents shopping them around.
    They didn’t have clubs from overseas coming in for them?
    They didn’t have other English clubs throwing cash at them to move.
    Arsenal was a dominant club then.
    There’s a lot of factors that your stats don’t take into account.

  39. Slimgingergooner says:

    It is true that Wenger inherited GG’s famous back 5, but don’t forget that arguably the greatest Arsenal team of all time (Invincibles) was built on a foundation of an Arsene Wenger defence. He can pick defenders and I think the current group could prove just as solid if Steve Bould is allowed to get his hands on them to sort out the tactical problems.

  40. GunnerN5 says:


    Your assumptions are not in touch with the facts.
    During Chapman’s tenure as manager Arsenal purchased 59 players and sold 61 – sounds like the same sort of turnover we experience today.

  41. ces1ne says:

    “Campbell from Hell”…..brilliant, off to read the rest

  42. Scott says:

    So Arsenal weren’t a dominant club then???????
    Sorry,but check that one again.

  43. Scott says:

    My point is if you have half he players in the country,it’s not hard to buy the best players,is it??
    If you are not a dominant club in our own league,let alone the world,and you must compete with clubs capable of offering much bigger wages,then it’s a much tougher gig.
    If you think these aren’t facts then Nothng else I say can help.
    I’m not downplaying Chapmans ability at all,I’m saying modern managers have different issues to deal with,so I don’t believe they can be compared to those from decades ago.

  44. Scott says:

    Sorry,that should read half the players in the country wanting to play for your club.

  45. GunnerN5 says:


    Where did I say they were not dominant?

    Just to be clear on the wages issue.
    They had in place a “maximum” wage which could not be exceeded legally. But the reality was that only an elite few got paid the maximum the majority of players were paid far less which made them just as prone to moving clubs for money as today’s players.

  46. GunnerN5 says:

    Scott how could Arsenal have had half of the players in the country?
    There were 22 teams in the first division alone equaling around one thousand players of which Arsenal had, maybe 20/25?

    Again, your assumptions don’t add up.

  47. Scott says:

    N5,you stated my assumptions weren’t in touch with the facts.
    One of my arguments was that being dominant helped attract players……
    This is getting too hard,as we seem to be speaking different languages.
    For the record,I don’t know any accurate method that can be used to compare managers from different eras fairly.
    I shall leave it at that.

  48. Scott says:

    Well done N5,you showed how attentive to detail you are.
    That’s brilliant.
    Did you even read the post of 30 seconds later,or did excitement get the better of you?

  49. Stephen waweru says:

    It’s arsene 4ever.

  50. LB says:

    My old man said be an Arsenal fan.
    I said thanks Dad.
    Your a brilliant bloke.

  51. jnyc says:

    Great post rocky. GIE , the annual costs you explained in response to scott are well thought out. But i dont think most replacements would cost quite so much in salary. And theo may never be worth more than now. ————-
    That all said, i almost completely agree. with SCOTT! Everything i see and feel tells me we could end up with a better player with HIGHER upside potential, for less. I know they say the grass is always greener onthe other side, but as it is, i think we need to find out, i feel like we have seen enough, and little upside left with theos skills. If podolski starts on left wing, i already prefer gervinho to walcott, much rather he gets playing time over walcott, not to mention ox, and lots of potential signings.

  52. LB says:

    Don’t you hate that song when it says:

    My old man said be a tottenam fan.

    I mean, whose Dad supported tottenam anyway?

    Stupid song, needs changing.

  53. LB says:



  54. LB says:

    I like the fact the GN5 voted for Chapman, I like the fact that we have someone on here that actually understands the difference.

  55. LB says:

    Good read as ever Rocky. That’s the best I can do, I have simply run out of superlatives.

  56. GunnerN5 says:


    Talking about attention to detail and rash assumptions.

    I, simply, and for the record, posted HC’s achievements on players purchases, you chose to turn it into a personalized debate.

    Also, and for the record, I believe that AW’s overall record, including transfers, is superior to HC’s.

    Most of us can only guess what the Chapman years were all about but I at least had the benefit of the opinions of my family ( who did get to see them in those years) personally I only got to see George Male and the Compton brothers play.


  57. RockyLives says:

    Hello All
    I was away last week and have enjoyed catching up with the Posts and comments. Some (ahem) ‘lively’ debate here and there.

    Like all such comparisons between people of different eras, today’s Post is essentially spurious.

    There’s no point trying to claim any scientific basis for selecting one manager over another, but hopefully it does allow us to discuss their relative merits and have a stroll back through our glorious history.

    For what it’s worth, I’m with Gn5. I believe Herbert shades it over Arsene because of the transformation he achieved from such unpromising beginnings.

    Chapman turned Arsenal from an unfashionable, unsuccessful team that had never won the league or the FA Cup into a byword for dominance and class.

    It would be the equivalent of a manager today turning a team like Swansea into the dominant force in the land without the help of a sugar daddy owner.

    Arsene has been a brilliant manager and brilliant selector of players – but he arrived at a club that already had a famous reputation (thanks, initially, to Chapman) and had solid foundations to build on. We had won the league only five years before Arsene arrived.

    Chapman did not achieve success with Arsenal overnight, but as a manager who had won two titles with Huddersfield he had the clout to persuade some great players to join us.

    In their day, the likes of Bastin, Drake, Compton, James and Jack were every bit as talented and important as Henry, Pires, Vieira and Fabregas.

  58. RockyLives says:

    Micky, GiE
    I was hoping someone would suggest Rioch for signing The Almighty. We played both of you.

    Regarding that song, I’m pretty sure we have at least one (maybe two) regulars here who had/have a Spud supporting Dad. Hopefully when he tried to persuade his offspring to follow him onto the Path of Tears they replied with the second line of the song 🙂

  59. RockyLives says:

    *well played

  60. GunnerN5 says:


    In the poll I did indeed vote for HC but on reflection I’m really split down the middle.

    In the 30’s and 40’s the predominant male conversation around our coal fires in Highbury was all about the Arsenal and Herbert Chapman. My family were at the first game played at Highbury and believe me they considered Chapman to be a miracle maker and as a kid I listened to every word and was totally awe struck.

  61. RockyLives says:

    Just checked the Poll results so far.

    Unsurprisingly, Arsene’s miles out in front (75%) with George second and Bertie third.

    Four people have voted for Terry Neill, which is interesting. I guess Terry and his family must read AA 🙂

  62. RockyLives says:

    Are you all wearing bunting in the UK?

  63. GunnerN5 says:


    The poll results (so far) prove beyond any doubt that one cannot make meaningful conclusions with nearly 90 years separating the managers.

  64. RockyLives says:

    Of course you’re right. As I mentioned at 2.59, it’s an essentially spurious exercise if you take it too seriously. But hopefully it has some merit as a debate starter. And, perhaps, also to remind some younger supporters about parts of our history with which they may not be familiar.

    These sort of polls always have a built-in contemporaneity bias, whether judging football, rock music, actors, movies or anything. The people who have been foremost in our minds in recent years are always more likely to be selected.

    Which is why I’m glad you are banging the drum for Herbert.

  65. LB says:

    Well, didn’t we all realise that from the outset but it just made for an interesting read?

  66. RockyLives says:

    One more question.

    I live the image conjured up by this sentence: “In the 30′s and 40′s the predominant male conversation around our coal fires in Highbury was all about the Arsenal and Herbert Chapman.”

    Was there unequivocal support for HC among the faithful? I ask because, although his era was well before my time, I gather his playing style was not universally popular and was seen as more pragmatic and result-orientated than the prevailing style. Perhaps a bit like the Chavs under Mourinho.

  67. RockyLives says:

    *love the image.

    Bananas for fingers today 😦

  68. evonne says:

    Rocky @ 3:20 second para. EXACTLY. How could I say that HC was a better manager than AW? I wasn’t even alive then, let alone supporting a football team. I have not seen Chapman in action, I have not seen him interview after games, I simply don’t know enough about him.

    But what I do know is that Wenger gave us TH14, DB and a new stadium.

    Wenger could not invent new training regimes, diets and all the other malarchy that Champan implemented, because it was already there! That doesn’t make HC better, just faster off his tracks

  69. GunnerN5 says:


    Both of my parents were from families of 14 children with 9 male siblings on both sides, my uncles along with multiple male cousins made up a formidable “gang” of Arsenal fanatics.

    My maternal grandfather was the “authority” on everything including Arsenal and at 6’5″ he dominated both the fireside and the conversation. Having watched every 1st team home game at Highbury he was truly an authority and would hear nothing negative about Chapman, he raved about him and Bastin, James and Jack could simply do no wrong. It was not dissimilar to our more recent past as HC brought a pride to Arsenal in a similar way to AW.

  70. evonne says:

    GN5 – bloody hell, xmas must have been expensive!

  71. Illybongani says:

    Interesting topic…changing the subject though, the list of players on the “free transfer” list has thrown up some interesting keepers; Jussi Jaaskelainen, Marcus Hahnemann, Stuart Taylor, Tomasz Kuszczak, Radek Cerny, Craig Gordon, Chris Kirkland…and Marton Fulop – but I guess we’ve already got as much from him as we’re gonna get! Jussi, Gordon or Kirkland would do as back up to Sczeszny if you ask me.

  72. GunnerN5 says:


    Not at all – we were way too poor to buy presents. In those days we even made our own Xmas decorations and if we were really lucky Xmas dinner was a roasted chicken.

  73. GunnerN5 says:


    Robert Green, West Ham, is also on a free and may be a better choice?


    Thanks Rocky, during my lifetime its gota be Arsene

    GN5, your recounting of family members first hand accounts of the Chapman era are spellbinding. I realy appreciate you sharing some of them with us. You get a big thank you from me.

  75. Red Arse says:


    I liked your take on the managers earlier today.

  76. evonne says:

    GN5 – we made xmas decorations too. Oranges, bananas and chocs were special treats reserved for such occassions. My brother and I would get one present each, usually a ball and a doll, book and pen when we were older. Horrible times, I am glad children get spoilt now

  77. Illybongani says:

    Hiya RA…. Thanks. Now the madness of the season has finished I feel I’m much more able to make an objective assessment of Arsene. I’ve got to be honest and say I really didn’t enjoy last season at all. There were a number of televised games that I couldn’t bring myself to watch, which was very strange for me. But again, on reflection, the man continues to produce teams that punch above their weight.

    There really isn’t anyone better out there who can do what he does on the budget that he has. it’s just everyone else has got better…

  78. Red Arse says:


    I think you said you like a Chinese take out, so here’s one for you.

    A young Chinese couple got married.

    They met in a chinese restauarant, where they were waiters.

    She is a virgin, and truth be told so is he, unknown to her.

    On their wedding night, she cowered naked under the sheets, as her husband undressesd in the dark.

    He then climbed into bed next to her and tried to be reassuring to ease her anxiety.

    “My darring,”, he whispered, “I know dis you firss time and you berry flighten but I pomise you, I give you anyting you want, I do anyting juss anyting you want. You juss ask. OK?

    “Whatchu want?” he said, trying to sound experienced and worldly, which he hoped would impress her.

    A thoughtful silence followed, and he waited patiently and eagerly for her request.

    She eventually shyly whispered back, “I want to try someting I have heard about from other girls ….. a 69”.

    More thoughtful silence followed, but this time, from him.

    Eventually, he said, in a puzzled tone, …. “You want to try …………. Garric Chicken with corrifrowa?”

  79. glic says:

    Arsene for me.

  80. Red Arse says:

    I can’t argue with that, Illy, altho’ I watched every game, there were not many I enjoyed for both entertainment and winning.

    You said, “My brother and I would get one present each, usually a ball and a doll”

    I can understand you being pleased to get a ball for Xmas, but what did your brother want with a doll? 🙂


    hahahahahha, like that one Redders. For some reason, ime sure that scenario of events has realy happened. hahahaha

  82. glic says:

    I liked your comment earlier Illy, apart from you suggesting the tiny totts are as big as us in fanbase, no way, we are MASSIVE, they are tiny totts and cant see how they are as rich as us either.
    Also , who is the oldest out of GN5 and Herb ?, there`s only one way to find out………..FIGHT !. 🙂

  83. Illybongani says:

    I went shopping in Harrow on Saturday. So much for Harrow being full of Chinese people…I didn’t see one.

  84. LB says:

    Those stories of Arsenal players of days gone by give me goose bumps GN5, as Terry says they are spellbinding .

  85. RockyLives says:

    Redders 🙂

    How you doing? Is all the pageantry surrounding the jubilee stirring your republican zeal (1776 and all that) 🙂

  86. Red Arse says:

    Hi Glicster,

    The Tots are ultimately owned by a guy called J. Lewis who is a billionaire (yep, I know 10 a penny) 🙂 and over the last 5 years they have outspent us substantially in the transfer market.

    The major difference is that we have a fabulous new stadium with a relatively small ‘mortgage’ outstanding on it. When they build their new one I bet their transfer cash dries up too. [OK, I am ignoring the potential ‘level playing field’ the FFP will bring] 🙂

  87. GunnerN5 says:


    Yea living in North London during and directly after WW11 was a pretty miserable existence – as a kid I used to play in a run down derelict area that is now known as – The Emirates.

    Like you one gift per child was our norm, as a treat we might get bread and jam but never bread butter and jam – only one or the other.

    I remember when food stamps and rationing finally ended and we could buy anything we wanted – if you had the money.

    A little more topical – a really great time was the coronation of Queen Elizabeth all of the streets in Highbury held their own street party with tables down the middle of the streets. It was a truly wonderful time for the kids – I was 15 at the time but still enjoyed the occasion as there had been little else to celebrate since the end of the war.

  88. Illybongani says:

    GN5…blimey, I bet you can even remember the last time the Spuds won the league. In black and white…

  89. glic says:

    Hi Redders
    Their two tiny Billionaires are well short of our two massive billionaire share holders , I feel another fight coming on , Levy and Lewis or Kroenke and Uzzy ?…………..FIGHT ! 🙂

  90. GunnerN5 says:


    I was born on Nov 25th 1937, I watched my first game at Highbury on Nov, 22nd 1947 – a birthday treat from my grandfather.

  91. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rock, 🙂

    Trying not to talk to you — too cliquey, and all that 🙂 — but that is an interesting Post and I have enjoyed the comments it has engendered.

    I am surprised our Herb has not been on to champion his man.

    Each manager in his era has had his own particular challenges [problems] to overcome, and you are right, of course, it is impossible to be objective about who is the best.

    Subjectively — I have voted for AW.
    He has been the right man for the times we live in.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the Royal pageant, yesterday, that flotilla was something to behold, and I am also full of admiration for the Queen. For an 86 year old she is an inspiration! 🙂

  92. Illybongani says:

    GLIC…the main difference is their billionaires don’t mind putting their hands in their pockets. I think I’ve contributed more cash into the coffers than our two rich boys over the years.

  93. evonne says:

    GN5 – write it ALL down, pleeeease! My grandma had so many fab stories to tell, but we didn’t want to listen. And finally when I wanted to listen, she couldn’t be trusted, the stories were definitely unbelievable, bless her 🙂

    RA – very funny indeed 🙂 And you are right, I never wanted to play with dolls.

  94. evonne says:

    Illy –
    For all the talk about Arsene Wenger being prudent with his spending during the transfer season, Arsenal have quite a bit of it. An increasing international fan base, and in particular its American fan base, has contributed to the club’s rise on both lists. An increase in broadcast revenue, according to the Forbes piece, came in part due to a key media deal with American sports channel the YES Network to show the Gunners’ league and European matches, as well as the Arsenal 360 and Arsenal World magazine shows

  95. glic says:

    Sorry great post Rockstar.
    Redders , It all went down down hill when Freddy passed away though, you dont hear much about Queen nowadays !.

  96. glic says:

    GN5, 75 years a gooner, Impressive, we should make you the PM or President of AA ! 🙂

  97. Illybongani says:

    Evonne…I think we’re in the ascendancy as a global brand for sure. But we’ll never compete with Man City or Chelsea for available expenditure even if we become as big as Real Madrid

  98. glic says:

    I`m taking my Pup for a walk, he`s giving me “the look” and I cant resist him, he`s so gorgeous !.

  99. RockyLives says:

    “For an 86 year old she is an inspiration! ” can be read one of two ways… but I don’t believe you’re an octogenarian 🙂

    Although I believe Terry may have octopus tendencies…

  100. Red Arse says:


    You certainly cannot be regarded as pusillanimous, given that you are comparing the Queen to a large ne’erdowell Yank! 🙂

    That aside, the hours she stood waving to and greeting her subjects and admirers was impressive, and although there are many decades between us, I would have to bow the metaphorical knee to her undoubted superior physical stamina when compared to my current weedy state! 🙂

  101. Red Arse says:


    I will swap some info with you! 🙂

    What is the ancestry of your pooch? Toy?, (hmm – nice), Gundog?, (butch), Liqourice Allsorts?, (salt of the earth).

    Did you know, that your special friend, Freddie, has a gi-normous celebratory statue, in bronze, on the banks of Lake Geneva at Montreux in Switzerland.

    The town has an impressive annual Jazz festival, but I cannot figure out what his connection with Montreux is/was.
    Did he live there? Did he have other special friends who lived there? Je ne sais quoi!! 🙂

  102. RockyLives says:

    Maybe Geneva just has a lot of fat bottomed girls?

  103. Red Arse says:

    Rasper, 🙂

    Before I go — can I compliment you on the headline strap showing Queenie wearing an Arsenal baseball cap! 🙂

    She would, perhaps, look even more esoteric wearing an Arsenal Crown Derby!!! 🙂

    Ta ra!

  104. glic says:

    I know your gone Redders, but to answer your question, Max is a working Cocker Spaniel, not a show one, he is the most gorgeous chocolate brown colour. He was bred to like picking up the pheasants for his master after they`ve been shot ( I must add, thats not what I do, I do not like all that hunting stuff, I`d like to chase the hunters with my own weapon and see how they like it ) but he jumps on my lap at the sound of anything loud, so he would have been hopeless as a gun dog. I treat him like he`s my son and to tell the truth , he gets more attention from me than anyone else gets, thats because like me , he is rediculously handsome !. 😆

  105. goonermichael says:

    Great post. i normalluy love voting but there is too much for my little brain to take in. I agree with Scott on Theo. If he went for good money I wouldn’t lose sleep over it if Wenger reinvested the money on someone more consistent.

    Did barton really get battered?

  106. RockyLives says:

    Just been doing some more reading back through the last week’s posts and comments and saw that the site has clocked up its two millionth hit.

    Congratulations Rasp and Peaches. I know how much blood, sweat and tears has gone into giving us all this forum to play on.

  107. RockyLives says:

    Evening GM
    My fear regarding Theo is that RvP clearly loves playing with him and if Theo goes…

    What a fine pair you and Max must make as you stride across the moors, chasing the piskies 🙂

  108. goonermichael says:

    I’m watching setanta Ireland. All the players are in the tunnel waiting for the rain to stop. If it doesn’t they are going to abandon.

  109. RockyLives says:

    He got punched in the head, but has been playing it down. He’s not going to press charges “because the police have more important things to do.”

  110. goonermichael says:

    I have the feeling Robin is going. I also think the manager should choose the players and not Robin. Robin said the other day that he has a great understaniding with affelay and also said this is something that happens 4 or 5 times in a career. He mentioned that he had it with cesc as well. He may well go to barca. I wonder if he wanted assurances about our ambitions for the 5 seasons he was injured?

    Just seen a picture of barton bleeding. shame it wasn’t serious

  111. goonermichael says:

    Not sure if this is true but I’d be suprised if we gave him a 4 year deal on the money mentioned

  112. Big Raddy says:

    GM. Not even RvP is worth that kind of contract – not that I believe the source.

  113. evonne says:

    GM – as if you didn’t know what happened to Barton, nice try 🙂

    I’m watching the Diamond Jubilee concert. Cliff Richards was amazing, he still remembers all the words of his songs!

  114. Scott says:

    N5 @3.11,exactly the basis of my argument and exactly why I didn’t vote.
    Glad you’ve come around to my way of thinking 🙂

  115. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    In 2004 we had maybe 6 or 7 world class players in our first 11.

    The rest of the squad was top top quality

    Take into account Arsene’s incredible ability to generate some quite remarkable fees for players he lets go.

    How do you buy a player for £3.5m, have him at your club for 9-10 seasons, then sell him for £14m…a 400% mark up AFTER TEN YEARS SERVICE.

    Truly astonishing.

    Too many great deals, in and out, to list

  116. Scott says:

    And in a much,much more competitive environment,Sharkey

  117. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Agreed Scott

    Its just so anoying now that our players can always be offered so much more money elsewhere because these clubs simply have no class.

    On the Theo to Chelski story. Its a tough one. I dont like us as a selling club, but I’m not sure that Theo deserves the sort of pay rise that he is rumoured to want. However his link up play with our Dutch Prince has been very effective this season.

    On balance I say ‘Keep’…for now.

  118. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Another cracking post Corky. (Y..a..w..n….??)

    I’m in the same boat as LB. It get’s harder and harder* to find words to express the quality of so many of your posts. Sterling work.

    * Note to Peaches Mum – purely unintentional that one


  119. goonermichael says:

    Barton has been arrested and bailed for affray. So much for playing it down and not pressing charges.

  120. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Lol GM.

    Mr Barton really is a national treasure.

    I think we should have Jubilee’s for him, or just make his birthday a public holiday.

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.
    Something here on Sky to kick the day off:
    Argentine midfielder Lucas Biglia claims to have held talks with Arsenal about a possible move to north London this summer.

    The 26-year-old has just captained Anderlecht to a second straight Belgian league title and is attracting interest from a host of top European sides

    Back in a while.

  122. Scott says:

    As I said,Barton should have a job in the media………presenting England’s hardest prisons!!!!!

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just been sniffing around the web, and Biglia is a silky passing defensive midfielder. More Alonso than M’Vila.

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The Theo stories are the clearest hint so far that Arsene is about to adopt my 3-5-2, and who could fault the great man 🙂

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Agent, and journo’s with nothing to write about, at work.

    Nonetheless the 3-5-2 is surely on AW’s agenda

  126. evonne says:

    Morning all, going back to yesterday’s post. I seem to remember someone saying that Chapman used to get players drunk so they would sign for us.

    So yes, Wenger has a much harder job.

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You are so unromantic!
    If that is true, then HC has just shot above Rioch in my standings 🙂

  128. evonne says:

    Micky you rascal! No idea if that’s true, who knows what was really happening 80 years ago? We cannot be sure what’s going on now, let alone yonks ago.

    Anyway, it was a good Diamond Jubilee concert last night. However, it was a living proof that money cannot buy you youth. I will no longer spend lots on face creams. They clearly don’t work for the millionaires, they won’t work for me

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Didn’t watch it, but I find it very hard to imagine two more pathetic “men” than Cliff Richards and Paul MacCartney.

  130. Rasp says:

    Morning all, I don’t know about face creams but apart from Tom Jones who was great, Macca and Elton have been reduced to a range of about 1 octave. It was embarrassing listenening to them struggle to hit some of the higher notes. Kylie on the otyher hand was exceptional and Grace Jones has outdone Cowell in the super-white teeth department.

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Spare a thought for “camping Chas” in this weather.
    Now I really am off.

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Grace Jones was performing!!!! OMG..double and triple Yuk.

  133. Scott says:

    Rasp,Kylie is,or once was,an Aussie.
    We always perform 🙂

  134. Rasp says:

    Hi Scott, yes, I always enjoy Kylie’s performances – purely for the quality of her voice you understand 😆

  135. Rasp says:

    Micky, GJ sung her entire song whilst spinning a hula hoop around her waste. She really is a scary woman

  136. Rasp says:

    Never mind the jubilee celebrations…. to day we at last have the first article by our Polish Princess

    ….. New post ……….

  137. Scott says:

    I didn’t know she sang Rasp……..I was referring to the hot pants!!

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