Tag Archives: Herbert Chapman

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.


Safe Standing Petition: Have you signed it yet?

By now I am sure you all would have read the survey results put out by the Black Scarf Movement (BSM). IF not, ensure you get them read here.

One of the most conclusive answers in the survey was with regards to Safe Standing, with 91.5% of all those surveyed in favour of it. This lead to a groundswell of support to the theory that not only should we look at implementing Safe Standing within the Emirates Stadium, but The Arsenal should be leading the campaign on behalf of all Premier League Clubs.

Arsenal Football Club has a deep and rich history in being leaders, promoting initiatives, our list of ‘firsts’:

  • Arsenal were the first team to use numbers on the back of their shirts
  • Arsenal were the first team to play a match broadcast live on radio
  • Arsenal were the first team to install floodlights in their ground
  • First team to play in a match broadcast live on TV
  • First team to play a match broadcast live in 3D TV

Under Herbert Chapman, we were seen as world leaders in football initiatives, with much of what he bought in then been exported to the global game. In the same sense, the current Arsenal Board should embody the memory of Chapman and lead the campaign for Safe Standing in English football.

Following the BSM’s survey on the atmosphere at the Emirates, and the support which it highlight, Arsenal supporters group REDaction added their support to the initiative, saying:

“The push for safe standing in the Premier League is gathering pace…both Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis have also said that they think safe standing is a good idea…REDaction think safe standing is an issue that Arsenal should use their respected position in the football world to lead the way on.”

They state that the current problem is that whilst many clubs are saying, often officially, that they would support Safe standing if it was bought in, not enough are standing up (excuse the pun) and willing to lead the fight against the Premier League and UK Government. It is their belief, as it is ours, that Arsenal should lead that fight. With our history of being “innovators in football, pushing ideas that seemed revolutionary or even impossible at the time.”

They have begun a petition, which they will present to the board, demanding that Arsenal should lead the push for standing. The board often say they are custodians of the club, on behalf of the fans, if they believe this, they must stand alongside the fans once presented with evidence of thousands of signatures by fans demanding our club lead from the front.

What we are She Wore are asking is that you add your signature to the list. Whether you are a season ticket holder who go’s week in week out, a red member who go’s once a year, or a fan who has perhaps never been, add your signature. Arsenal fans need to stand side by side on this matter, show a collective force.

Even if you do not wish to stand yourself, add your signature, what REDaction and the BSM is asking for is not the entire stadium to be standing, but for those who wish to stand can, in their designated Safe standing area. This will actually benefit those who wish to sit as no longer will they have someone standing in front of them.

And if you live abroad and have never been, add your signature. One day you will go to a game. And one day you will want to go to the Emirates and stand. Look at Dortmund, people travel far and wide to stand in their end. Do not deny yourself a similar opportunity to do the same at Arsenal by not signing the petition.

There is no justifiable reason to not allow standing. The disasters of Bradford and Hillsborough were not caused by people standing. Not allowing Safe standing is a form of control.

Arsenal fans need to stand together. English football needs to stand together. Sign the petition. Let Arsenal be leaders once more.


The Arsenal and Me – Steve’s Story

I would not be an Arsenal fan if it was not for the great Herbert Chapman from before the 2nd world war.

Herbert Roberts was a cousin to my mother (who has now passed sadly), he played for Oswestry Town (where I still live and play for) and was picked up by Herbert Chapman in 1926,

Herbie Roberts

Herbie Roberts

He went on to play nearly 300 games for Arsenal and had a cap for England , Arsenal then played a 4.2.4 formation (which people said the Brazilians invented in 58) and he played the stopper centre half! At that time Arsenal were the biggest club in the world, and all other teams copied their formation of a stopper, and withdrawn winger ect…

Sadly on Herbie’s part on the 5th time of winning the title he only managed a dozen games because of injury we think, he then worked as a trainer in the reserves after that…..

Herbie then served in the war as a Lieutenant in the Royal Fusiliers where he sadly died on duty a year or so before the war ended.

Arsenal have been in us since!

Not bad for £200, a lot of money in them days I suppose…. Probably built the town I still live in.


If you would like to tell your Arsenal story, click here