Tag Archives: Bertie Mee

Are Arsenal actually in the middle of a glory period?

In researching for responses to yesterdays blog on how things at Arsenal are actually not as bad as what they seem, I ended up asking myself a question:

Are Arsenal actually in the middle of a glory period?

Now before you spit your tea out all over your monitor, hear me out.

Arsenal have won 3 FA Cups in 4 years. That is 3 trophies, 3 bits of silverware. Now some of you will already be saying the FA Cup is not enough. Well done for being brainwashed by Sky and UEFA to think that the only thing that matters is the Premier League and the Champions League.

I remember the days of the 90s, when we won the domestic cup double and then the European Cup Winners Cup in 1994. I could not tell you where we finished those years.

3 trophies in 4 years is a success, especially when you factor in that Arsenal’s hit rate since 1900 is just under a trophy every 4 years (give or take a bit of time for the World Wars). Interestingly, prior to 1996, it was a trophy every 5 years. So 3 trophies in 4 years is clearly well above our going rate.

Now I looked into it further, to try and establish what our most successful periods in our history are, and how does the current period compare:

What is clearly missing from the current successful period is a league title, but what is clear is when you look at the bigger picture, that over the 125+ year history of the club, we are in one of most successful eras. Don’t believe me?

Despite our reported demise, only 4 previous era’s have shown a better years per trophy period than the era we are currently in.

The above 5 eras span 37 years between them. That means that outside of these eras, we have had nearly 90 years of either no success, or just the single trophy.

Whilst we might all be a little bit despondent about the current era, history will show it in a good light, that we are in one of the more glorious eras of our history.

Embrace the success.


Do Arsenal need a proven winner to replace Arsene Wenger?

So with yesterday’s news about Pep Guardiola about to join Manchester City, my mind started working overtime. And the result ended up with the simple questions.

Do Arsenal need a proven winner to replace Arsene Wenger?

Now let’s work backwards.

Arsene Wenger

A Ligue 1 titles back in the 80s, followed up by a single French Cup triumph. A couple of trophies in Japan (I have no idea how important they are) and then he became ‘Arsene Who?’. The rest, as they say, is history. Doubles, unbeaten seasons, back to back FA Cups (twice).

George Graham

Imagine the scenario. “Arsenal hire Steve Bruce”. Crazy. But not so in 1986.

After the dismissal of Don Howe, Arsenal turned to former player George Graham – having been turned down by Alex Ferguson. Graham was managing a little old south London club called Millwall, with him guiding them from promotion to the old Second Division.

He bought Arsenal back from the dark times.

Bertie Mee

Even more ludicrous than signing an unknown Frenchman from Japan. Or giving the job to an ex player who had only been in lower league management for 4 years. Let’s give the job to the physio.

Yes, Arsenal’s first double wining manager was, for 6 years before becoming the manager, the team physio.

So much did he doubt his own ability that he actually had it written into his contract that if it was not working out after 12 months, he could return to his old job. He ended a 17 year trophy drought, won in Europe, and gave Arsenal the magical year of 1971.

Now if only Colin Lewin wasn’t so busy in the treatment room.

Tom Whittaker

Everyone go’s on about the Liverpool boot room, but not a lot is written about the Arsenal boot room.

Another ex-club physio (further proof that Colin Lewin as the man), he never managed anyone before Arsenal, never managed anyone after Arsenal. And won the league title.

George Allison

So we have had 2 physio’s go on and do a job as manager, winning titles. How about Ol’ George Allison.

He came to London as a journalist – greyhound correspondent for the Sporting Life. His first job at Arsenal was programme editor. After the First World War; he was first club secretary and then managing director.

After Herbert Chapman’s death in 1934, he was appointed manager, overseeing 2 league titles and the FA Cup. How much more would he have won were it not for the Second World War?

Herbert Chapman

Ok, you got me. The man who laid the foundations for everything future about Arsenal, and one of the greatest innovators of English football, was a proven winner, having won back to back titles at Huddersfield Town, as well as the FA Cup.


So bar Chapman, none of our previous league winning managers were proven winners. They were the right man for the job.

And that is what Arsenal need to replace Arsene Wenger. Not someone who has the job just because they have won trophies elsewhere, but someone who will do the right job at Arsenal.

Ps: I am sure the boys over at The Arsenal History could do a much better attempt at this blog than me.