Arsenal’s Greatest Squad 1st Vote – Greatest Manager

This week GN5 has provided us with a review of our greatest ever managers, its been interesting reading and quite illuminating discovering things about our managers, I knew the names I knew some were physios becoming managers, but there was lots of info I had no clue about.

I have known five managers in my lifetime, Terry Neil, Don Howe, George Graham, Bruce Rioch and Arsene Wenger, only two feature in this poll, which makes voting difficult, but GN5 has given me much food for thought as to where my vote should go.

Below is a handy spreadsheet showing the statistical achievements of the candidates, numbers can’t show what the manager did for the club in other ways.

# Games 336 294 378 420 364 638
Games Won 157 137 171 181 167 368
Games Drawn 84 80 101 115 108 161
Games Lost 95 77 106 124 89 109
Goals For 736 552 677 554 543 1206
Goals For per Game 2.19 1.88 1.79 1.32 1.49 1.89
Goals Against 541 345 509 444 327 601
Goals Against per Game 1.61 1.17 1.35 1.06 0.90 0.94
% of Points Won 59.3 60.2 58.6 56.8 55.6 66.1
League Titles 2 3 2 1 2 3
FA Cups 1 1 1 1 1 4
League Cups 0 0 0 0 2 0
European Cups 0 0 0 1 1 0
Charity Shields 3 3 2 0 0 4

Also have a look at the posts that have been written over the last week:

Chapman and Allison

Whittaker and Mee

Graham and Wenger

So now its over to you:


90 Responses to Arsenal’s Greatest Squad 1st Vote – Greatest Manager

  1. Mayor of the Woolwich says:


  2. Mayor of the Woolwich says:

    Yea, first, and second too.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    I went for Herbert because it was during his time that Arsenal became the most famous club in the World and the powerhouse of English football. Otherwise we could have been Chelsea -…. no history.

    Without HC would we have been in a position to become the great club which our second best manager currently runs? I don’t think so.

    Furthermore, it is difficult to assess AW until a few years after his retirement.

  4. LB says:

    Well, guess who I voted for?

  5. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all.

    Herbert Chapman was no doubt a great manager and richly deserves to be remembered as such for developing Arsenal into the powerhouse, (Big Raddy’s description), of English Football.

    However, Arsene Wenger revolutionised Arsenal’s football and was instrumental in creating the modern blueprint for successful self-financing clubs.

    Despite the fact that we don’t know when or how his reign will end Wenger gets my vote over Chapman……just.

  6. Red Arse says:

    In some ways it has been difficult to choose, although the excellently summarised facts and statistics produced by GN5 and GIE have been both illuminating and informative.

    On the other hand, there are two absolutely stand out candidates among a strong group of managers.

    Step forward Herbert Chapman who ushered in the first era of cohesive management and frequent success.

    You, too, Arsene, our current fantastic and successful manager who has added two more Doubles to the one won by Bertie Mee, in addition to setting Arsenal’s course into a successful new era in the 21st Century.

    None of us have seen Herbert Chapman but his history and record is known to all, whereas Arsenal’s record is known to all, and everyone has an opinion.

    At base there can only be one winner, and that is Arsene Wenger, whose qualities and achievements will become clearer and can be assessed more objectively only after he has gone.


  7. I find myself in agreement with Big Dandy, it’s Herb because of the historical resonance of his achievements. We wouldn’t be where we are now without him plus I like a touch of skullduggery in all great leaders.

  8. He's a complainer says:

    Hi GN5,

    You have omitted one of George Grahams’ trophies, the Mercantile Credit Centenary trophy held at the start of the 88/89 season, to celebrate 100 years of the league.

    For those who do not remember, this was contested by the top 8 clubs from the previous season. We beat QPR, Liverpool and then ManU in the final at Villa Park. Surely this should rate at least as high as the Charity Shield as no doubt it helped build belief going into the Championship winning season.

  9. Norfolk Gooner says:

    B****y Hell! That changes everything, I’m going to have to re-evalute my my reaons for voting for Arsene Wenger.

    Can I change my vote? Should the ballot be considered null and void? Do we need to notify the Electoral Commission?


  10. I’m with mr chapman he got the sheepskin vote

  11. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Sheep voting for sheepskin coats? Isn’t that like turkeys voting for Christmas? 😀

  12. kelsey says:

    Good Morning

    Firstly thank you both GN5 and GIE and apart from anything else this series of posts may have enlightened our younger fans who only think about the NOW scenario.

    We are a great club, steeped in tradition but I fear that is being eroded by a changing game and in our case ownership and who knows who will ultimately run our club but it is fairly certain that in the not too distant future there will be no one on the BoD who directly or indirectly has ties with our club going back several decades.

    I can’t really chose.A mixture of Graham and Wenger,best defensive and offensive manager combined,? but how can you leave out Chapman.

  13. goonerjake says:

    Wenger for me. It could of been George, however some of the football in the later years of his reign,….well?

  14. evonne says:

    The Judgement Day!! Do we have a clear winner yet 🙂

    I wonder whom LB voted for?

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    Good morning to you all.

    GIE is starting a family vacation this week. so we will be missing his valuable input.

    Rasp, thank you for providing the voting tablet,

    Now to my choice, which will come as no surprise, at all, to regular AAers.

    Herbert Chapman was a standout tactician and manager, the cunning he demonstrated with his negotiating tactics was also demonstrated with his uncanny football knowhow – which was evident in the way he lined his teams up.

    He was the manager who opened the window to Arsenal’s future, through which we now look with great pride,

    He was the manager who won us our first major trophy – the 1929/30 FA Cup.

    He is the manager who holds the Arsenal record for the most goals scored in a season – 127 in 42 games in the 1930/31 season, which equals an incredible 3.02 goals per game (and unsurpassed by any PL team).

    One seemingly overlooked point is that far back in those days we were one of the teams with the deepest pockets, and Sir Jack used every trick in the book to entice the greatest players of the era to play for Arsenal. Both he and Herb were two of a kind and worked glove in hand (and out of the back pocket) to ensure we were successful. The equivalent of today’s “oilmen”? I don’t want to think so, but as we all know money really does talk and sometimes in very unusual ways?.

    Arsene Wenger has been nothing short of a revelation for both Arsenal and British football. His unequaled knowledge of the world wide player base has enabled us watch some of the finest players of the current generation. We’ve been privileged to watch the best and most skillful football ever played by an Arsenal team, most certainly the best that I’ve witnessed in 66 seasons and over 2, 000 games.

    He has not had the benefit of bottomless pockets to create his squads and what little money he has had available had to be supplemented by the sale of some great players in order for Arsenal to remain competitive.

    A new stadium, new training facility, improving players eating habits, new training techniques, are all a testament to him and his ability to manage in the 21st century.

    I will only list a few of his on field successes as his overall statistics speak for themselves.

    1. Unbeaten in the PL for a full season.
    2. Two PL and FA Cup Doubles.
    3. Making the CL Final to cruelly lose in the final minutes.
    4. An average position of 2.44 in the PL.

    Arsene, like Herbert are both legendary figures, their statues signify both their status in Arsenal folklore and the level of high esteem in which they are held.

    My vote goes to Arsene Wenger.

  16. Shard says:

    About two years ago, Arsene Wenger made a comment about his 15 years in charge, and how he was thinking that there must have been a kid of 10 years of age, who was watching Arsenal, and now he’s a man of 25, and he’s still watching the same Arsenal. Arsene’s Arsenal. That kid is me. He’s the only manager I’ve known at our great, storied club. I guess I got lucky. Am i unbiased? Probably not. I love Arsene Wenger. For all he’s done for the club over the years, and for how he’s gone about it. There could be no other way for me to vote, although I did consider Herbert Chapman.

    Although I am not unbiased, that doesn’t make me wrong to think of Wenger as our greatest manager. His stats as put forward, compare favourably with anyone else’s. Also the circumstances of his job, and what he’s done in that context, both on and off the field, has been quite brilliant.

    I did almost vote for Chapman also because like a few other posters, I felt that it is impossible to judge Arsene’s true impact until a fair few years after his reign. But that would be unfair to Wenger himself, to discount him for that reason. So Arsene Wenger it is. Our greatest manager.

  17. GunnerN5 says:


    You will have the benefit of witnessing many more managers in your lifetime and I truly hope that you are fortunate enough to watch
    some more who are the likes of the six managers that we have profiled.

    They were selected due to both their prowess and their positive contributions to the both the past. the present and the future of our great club.

    Even with my Arsenal background I was not unbiased and desperately tried to remain impartial. Of the six profiled I considered three as standouts, HC, GG, & AW, but the manner in which GG chose to line his pockets by getting backhanders buying players we did not need took him out of my top three. Which left me with HC and AW and even though AW’s legacy is still incomplete I don’t foresee him doing anything that would alter my opinion. In fact my earnest belief is that he will improve upon his , already legendary, status.

  18. LB says:

    Top comment that, Shard.

  19. GunnerN5 says:


    From previous comments, it’s pretty easy to guess which way you voted, can you share some of your reasoning with us?

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s very unfortunate that none of us were around to enjoy the Chapman years. I recollect my Grandfather talking of him as though he was a God from the past and poor George Allison always took a beating in our family discussions – but that’s all I remember.

    But I was fortunate enough to see all of Tom Whittaker’s games
    at Highbury from Nov 22nd 1947 on, and believe me Arsenal winning the Division One Championship in 1947/48 was the highlight of my young life.

  21. evonne says:

    GN5 have been an Arsenal supporter for 66 years. Shard is about 25. Both voted for Arsene. That is amazing! The man truly bridged the generation gap

    One of AW’s great achievements that I admire most is his flexibility. How many times did he have to rebuild the team and how many times did he have to repair the damage left by a departing player? The changing room prima donnas have only emerged some 10-15 years ago. Most of our previous managers didn’t have to deal with different cultures, nationalities, inflated egos. Today players often earn more than the manager, have an agent ready to do just about anything to earn a few quid, and the oilies constantly destabilising teams by spreading rumours about buying this and that player. How do you discipline already not too bright and very young tweeting twats? We don’t even know if any of the other managers possessed any of those skills, whereas Arsene fulfilled (with excess) previous requirements for the job.

    No brainer for me. Arsene forever.

  22. Ian Ure Face says:

    I feel there should be a special mention for Bruce Rioch …..for bringing God into our lives !
    Hallelujah…praise the Lord !.

  23. RockyLives says:

    The fact that this has been such a tough decision is a credit to the work that has gone into this series.

    I started by whittling it down from 6 to 4 – which meant a cheerful cheerio to Bertie Mee (even though the ’71 Double was the first Arsenal glory I remember) and George Allison (who had such a great inheritance from Chapman).

    After that it got difficult:

    George Graham: brought us back to the top after such a long, fallow period. And May 26th 1989 will always be my favourite Arsenal anniversary.

    Herbert Chapman: as others have said, he “created” The Arsenal as a club to reckoned with.

    Tom Whittaker: I’m surprised he has received such little support in comments. To pick up the pieces after WW2 and bring us two titles in a few short years was an achievement that may be hard to appreciate from today’s perspective, but the post-War, post-Chapman/Allison story could so easily have gone differently. Instead Tom put us straight back where we’d left off.

    Arsene Wenger: the most accessible because he is our current manager. His trophies, the way he transformed our playing style and the wonderful Invincible Year all count greatly in his favour.

    In the end, I decided on a three-way tie for second place between Graham, Chapman and Whittaker. All of them were faced with starting afresh and building success after either a fallow period or, in Whittaker’s case, the disruption of a world war.

    The winner is Arsene because I believe he has had TWO great periods of stewardship of Arsenal:

    The trophy-winning, Invincible, pace-power-and-skill period I mentioned above; and the Arsenal Austerity period during which, while spending less than zero, he has kept us competitive at the top of English and European football. The financial constraints have not enabled him to reach the summit during that period, but to be in touching distance so regularly is a monumental achievement.

    Arsene it is.

  24. Bruce Rioch says:

    You ungrateful bastards !…..I brought you God !

  25. RockyLives says:

    Sorry to point this out mate, but God brought himself. They say He moves in mysterious ways and Inter Milan to Arsenal was mysterious at the time, but He knew what he was doing… 🙂

  26. Bruce Rioch says:

    True Rocks, he does move in mysterious ways….well, actually it was a trannie club in Brentwood and I still have the photographic evidence of Dein and a fist full of clogs !. hahaha

  27. Its fantastic that the discussions have been so intense this week but I’m not at all surprised that Arsene is proving to be the clear winner.

    A clear vote for any other would show a real lack of confidence in AW’s ability to carry on in what could be another new age. This team showed real spirit to compete in the last games, we go into the new season 10 games unbeaten – no mean fete.

    I’ve watched him suffering in the dugout these past seasons, maybe we’ll never know how much was his own balancing act and how much was a directive but I’d love to see his magic return.

    Its Arsene for me.

    I’m surprised we haven’t been awash with fantastic double winning videos, Thierry slaloming, Cesc creating, Bobby and Freddy scoring, Dennis just standing around in an Arsenal shirt, Patrick’s long legs, Big Tone, Keown’s passion, even cashly and the Dutchman owe their careers to him. I can’t put any up as I’m writing on a tablet but I’m sure someone else could.

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dear I sense another bad smell.

  29. Joe says:

    Danny he bought two of the players you mentioned them and austerity is down to paying our bill you the stadium.

  30. Joe says:

    Sorry about the above statement it should be
    He bought two of the players you mentioned and austerity is down to paying our bills you know the stadium.

  31. Joe says:

    Were do we get 19m plus the wages for our players and other expencese a football club have to pay. That 19m is the first payment which Arsenal has to fork up other clubs can use that money to buy players every year or don’t have worry about paying their bills like manc and Chelsea.

  32. RockyLives says:

    “danny” (one of several names he uses) is a troll who’s been hanging around for a while. We are ignoring him.

    I agree with your points though – and welcome. Have you commented before?

  33. Joe says:

    Where has Danny gone I was enjoying explaining to him how things work in the real world. Also I look like a loon posting replies to someone called Danny who does not exist.

  34. Joe says:

    I have posted before not that often read every day agree with most things on this site so don’t feel the need to put in my twopence worth. Thought Danny could do with an education.

  35. kelsey says:

    That is the best joke I have heard this week, danny 🙂

  36. RockyLives says:

    His modus operandi is to raise what sound like “debate points” and then to descend into abuse and parroted lines from Le Grove.

    Anyway, did you vote in the manager vote today?

  37. Joe says:

    Yep voted for Mr Wenger

  38. RockyLives says:

    Runaway winner.

  39. Joe says:

    Just seen one of dannys posts over on Le Grove under Dialsquare why do these bother support Arsenal.

  40. Joe says:

    Just had post go in to moderation was it for using bad words lg

  41. Joe says:

    High Danny see your back do you even know who Herbert Chapman is or did you just see a name in a list?

  42. RockyLives says:

    I can only assume that some people have very sad lives.

  43. Joe says:

    I can’t talk I spent half the day telling every one on LG how wrong they are but hay there’s no real football to keep me sane.

  44. RockyLives says:

    The close season is tough!

    Reading the transfer rumours can drive you nuts.

    Hopefully you’ll stay with us as we select the All Time Arsenal XI throughout the summer (we’re on to goalkeepers next week, I believe).

    I know voting hasn’t closed yet but there’s no doubt that AW will be the manager of the all-time team. Should that affect our subsequent selections? Hmmm…. I’ll need to ponder that.

  45. RockyLives says:

    Where are you based Joe? Do you go to games or do you live further afield?

    (I had a ST for years but live in Canada now).

  46. evonne says:

    joe – if you are insane, you are in good company here on AA

  47. Joe says:

    Born it north London now live in Wicklow in Ireland try to watch 5-6 games a season live then watch the rest on tv if work doesn’t get in the way.

  48. RockyLives says:

    Ah… a London Irishman like myself then.

    Wicklow is nice.

    The good thing about North America is that every game is available on TV. I see more games now than when I had a season ticket – because you could never see the away games live if they were Saturday 3pm kick-offs (unless you went, of course).

  49. Joe says:

    Rocky I am the same have an Arsenal pub in the town get to see all 3pm kick offs. I agree wicklow is lovely live just out side the town overlooking the golf club and the sea. But I am a Wexford man thats were moved when we left London in 1970.

  50. RockyLives says:

    My lot are Dubs, Joe
    I’ve visited Wicklow quite a few times. I like it even more now that I know there’s an Arsenal pub 🙂

  51. Joe says:

    My dads a dub

  52. Joe says:

    Can’t say I have noticed he’s just not my type seams like nice bloke all the same.

  53. Bastard, I’m deleting that one, its not me. I have the power 😆

  54. Joe says:

    This may sound like a silly question am I in trouble or have I missed something or do I have to love Mr Wengers smile.

  55. You can’t copycat me without the chocolate legs I’m afraid.

    Welcome Joe

    In fact I do think AW has a nice smile but that’s for me to say not a trolling copycat.

  56. Joe says:

    Ok thanks for the welcome makes change being a site where we get to post about AW smile rather having to read the AW out idiots.

  57. RockyLives says:

    Can you imagine how boring our troll must be in real life.

    You can just feel the collective heart-sink every time he walks into a room.

    I’m starting to feel sorry for him.

  58. RockyLives says:

    There’s a real range of opinion on here. I would say it’s generally pro-Wenger, but plenty of people have criticisms of him and the club.

    The main things we pride ourselves on are a civilised discussion, no juvenile abuse and having a laugh.

    There’s also a great age range among the regulars. We have some young ‘ins and others, like Gn5 who is writing the All Time Arsenal series, who have been supporting for well over 50 years.

  59. Joe says:

    Been an Arsenal fan for 45 years myself.

  60. RockyLives says:

    Blimey, you might be older than me then! (Or close)

    I started supporting in 1970, aged 10. Good timing as it turned out, as I didn’t have to wait long for some glory 🙂

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    66 years Rocky……………..

  62. RockyLives says:

    I was going by how young you feel 🙂

  63. kelsey says:

    only 55 years since my first visit to Highbury

  64. RockyLives says:

    I love hanging out with you lot… I feel like a spring chicken 🙂

  65. Joe says:

    I am 52 in 3 weeks started supporting around 67-68 not sure old age catching up with me first Arsenal memory is winning the fairs cup which I did not see on tv. The first big tv moment was the 1971 FA cup final and Charlie laying on his back after scoring in the cup final.

  66. Joe says:

    Have all the young ones gone out on a Saturday night.

  67. Cliff says:

    Great memories lads

  68. kelsey says:

    Which young ones Joe 🙂

  69. kelsey says:

    If we did an age poll on here of all the regulars you would be quite surprised

  70. Joe says:

    Their must be some everyone on here can’t be old timers.

  71. Joe says:

    Someone not everyone must learn to proof read.

  72. RockyLives says:

    I’m about a year older than you, but you got in earlier than me with your Arsenal addiction!

    There are quite a few younger bloggers – even in today’s comments there are references to only having supported Arsenal since AW has been manager.

    As you say – they’re probably all out by now!

  73. dandan says:

    Well good evening AA ers, I have been tied up of late with the ongoing health pressures within the family, but it would seem we are making progress on a number of fronts and for those who remember those genorous conversations of a couple of months ago, I will only say that my brother took less kindly to the Arse leapfrogging the Spuds than he did to the Chemo invading his body. God knows what will happen should Levy take the gold and let Bale do a RVP. Indeed I can imagine half of the Tots supporters cutting Kriah and making a bonfire of their idols defiled shirts as they mourn the death of their dreams.

    GN5 and GIE congratulations firstly on the concept of a series to fill the void of the football less months and secondly on finding the Stamina, determination, dedication and time to carry such a daunting undertaking with such finesse. It is a credit to you both and has in my case unleashed a maelstrom of memories as I approach my 70th birthday. Pity of course that we have had the misfortune to stir the brain cell of an amoebic ignoramus, too full of his own importance to recognise the pettiness of his picky trivia and the how sad it renders him in the light of the classy collection of essays you two are putting together.
    I doubt you have had time to consider that this project has the makings of a reference book for many of the newer Arsenal fans which in my mind it does. Give it some thought and speak to the club it would make a handsome addition to the information pack given out each year to members and junior gunners.

    I have not had a chance thus far to delve deep into the ongoing discussions, suffice to say I will in time, but I have bitten the bullet and Voted for the mighty Arsene and the wonder of Wenger ball that has so delighted me since his joining.

    Keep up the good work GN5/GIE it not only illuminates your skills and the fortunate paths us older supporters have travelled, but emphasises just what a classy blogg AA is. Thanks fellows

  74. Joe says:

    The fans who got to support Arsenal under Wenger had it easy. Compared to some of teams that we had to support even longer periods without winning something not great football. What really gets on my wick are the Wenger out brigade. All I can say to them is be careful what they wish for. All the same we still had great times before Mr Wenger arrived.

  75. RockyLives says:

    Well said Joe.
    You and I have both experienced some dull, trophy-less periods.
    The thing with the Wenger-Outs is that they don’t seem to be able to understand the context of what’s happened to footy and Arsenal in the last 7 or 8 years.

  76. RockyLives says:

    Hello dandan
    I hope things are going as well as possible for your brother. I’m sure we all wish him well.

    Right, I’m off out now for dinner with wife and kids. Good sushi in Toronto!

  77. Joe says:

    Rocky I couldn’t have put it better myself enjoy your night out.

  78. chas says:

    Super set of posts, GN5.

    I found I couldn’t vote for Arsene because his tenure is not yet finished. If he took a bung as Stroller did, then his legacy would be tarnished forever. Likewise if he went on to manage Totteringham Scumspur.
    I suppose this means I can only vote for someone who’s dead.
    In that case I voted for Bertie Mee for four reasons…..

    1) His superb achievements as manager happened as I was growing up.
    2) His score was nil points which seemed a little unfair.
    3) He never did anything to sully his immaculate reputation.
    4) He was born in Bulwell, Nottingham (a tough start for anyone)

  79. forfarfor says:

    Patrick Viera came from Bulwell also!

  80. forfarfor says:

    And Carlos Vela..

  81. Big Raddy says:

    So AW was the runaway winner- no surprise there.

    Wonder whether both Theo and Ox will start tonight.

  82. evonne says:

    Chas – ‘happened as I was growing up’. When did you stop? I still think you about 12 🙂
    I tried to rig the voting and give Bertie Mee a vote, but wasn’t allowed to vote twice, clever WordPress or Rasp is getting more crafty

  83. evonne says:

    I am not a troll 😦

  84. njstone9 says:

    I started following Arsenal when I was about 13.

    It was the season when Arsenal lost the final of the Cupwinner’s Cup to the freakiest goal of all time by Nayim against Seaman.

    I remember seeing Arsenal play Auxerre on TV. Arsenal were fairly rubbish but held a 1 goal lead from the first leg. I quite liked Ian Wright so I ended up following the whole cup run – amazing semi final v Sampdoria when Seaman saved I think three penalties, the only one that went in was by Lombardo.

    I can’t remember exactly how long after that Wenger came in but I guess soon after which means for me, I’ve never really known any manager other than Wenger and I’ll be devastated when he finally leaves.

    He’s a truly noble man. Will he ever write his memories? The answer to the question ‘why did you buy Park?’ vexes more than ‘who killed Kennedy?’

  85. njstone9 says:

    I meant “memoires” not memories.

    Thanks autocorrect.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    nj. I remember those penalties. I was convinced that we would go out on penalties but Seaman how wrong I could be.

    I can still recall the tension.

  87. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Apologies for my lack of input yesterday, I was preoccupied playing cricket.

    I have a lot of sympathy with Chas’ view that you cannot judge AW yet as his tenure is not over, but on the other hand I wasn’t around to understand exactly what Herbert Chapman achieved and in what circumstances. I would choose AW over GG and therefore I voted for Arsene.

    We don’t appear to have a post for today so we can keep debating on this post unless something turns up.

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I did a throwaway Gervinho post. Use that rather than nothing.

  89. Rasp says:

    OK, thanks Raddy

  90. Rasp says:

    …. New post ……

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