Did Wenger owe his success to George Graham, as we are often told?


By Proudkev

It seems a day doesn’t go by when someone, somewhere tries to discredit Arsene Wenger’s record.

How many times has it been repeated that George Graham handed Arsene success with that back 4? This is a regular weapon in the armoury of the Wenger Out Brigade and is often repeated in the media. Now this is not to say that back four was not great, it was but was it really so good it guaranteed success?

We also often hear it repeated that Arsene Wenger doesn’t know how to defend. But is this repeated narrative true?

I conducted a bit of research and came up with some amazing findings. In fact, I was surprised by what I found:

George Graham joined Arsenal for the 1986/7 season.  The back four at that time consisted of Tony Adams, veteran David O’leary, Viv Anderson and Kenny Sansom. That season the team finished 4th.

In 1987/8 George started rebuilding the back 4. He bought in Nigel Winterburn from Wimbledon. The team finished 6th, that season.

In the 1998/9 season he bought in Steve Bould and Lee Dixon and the famous back 4 was built. The team famously won the League Title at Anfield (but  we should have had the title sewn up weeks before).

Here is a season by season breakdown covering the George Graham back 4 that is so revered. It is interested to note the ratio of goals conceded per game:


Season                 GP          GA          GA Ratio              Pos

1986/7                  42            35           1.2                          4th

1987/8                  40           66           0.6                          6th

1988/9                  38           36           1.05                        1st

1989/90                38           38           1                              4th

1990/1                  38           18           2.1                          1st

1991/2                  42           46           0.9                          4th

1992/3*                42           38           1.1                          10th

1993/4                  42           28           1.5                          4th

1994/5                  42           49           0.85                        12th


Goals against ratio: 1.14                                Average League Position: 5.1

* The first Premier League season.


So under George Graham, that back four won two titles. Impressive stuff.

However, if that back 4 was so good that it virtually guaranteed success, how did it finish 4th three times and also finish as low as 10th and 12th?

The records will show that the George Graham defence, finished 10th, 4th, 12th and then 5th in the 4 seasons before Arsene Wenger joined the club.

So what of Wenger? Is he really that hopeless defensively as he is often accused?

Well let’s look at the Arsene Wenger seasons:

AW with the GG back 4 he inherited (that had finished 4, 10, 4, 10, 5)


Season                 GP          GA          GA Ratio              Pos

1996/7                  38           32           1.2                          3rd (AW joined in September)

1997/8                  38           32           1.2                          1st (Double)

1998/9                  38           17           2.2                          2nd

1999/0                  38           43           0.8                          2nd

2000/1                  38           38           1                              1st (Double)


Goals against ratio: 1.28                                Average League Position: 1.8

The goals against ratio compares favourably to George Graham and the league positions improved three fold, with 2 league titles and 2 second place finishes in his first 4 full seasons.

Arsene Wenger now started to break up the back four and rebuild it. Cole had already emerged as our left back, Lauren came in (2000), Sol Campbell (2001), Toure (2002) and Lehmann (2003). This back four that Wenger rebuilt, went on to be part of the record breaking Invincibles.


The record while rebuilding the back 4:

2001/2                  38           36           1.05                        2ND

2002/3                  38           42           0.8                          2ND

2003/4                  38           26           1.4                          1ST

2004/5                  38           36           1.05                        2ND

2005/6                  38           31           1.2                          2ND

Goals against ratio: 1.1                   Average league Position: 1.8


So let us look at the goals per game ratio.

Under George Graham, our goals per game ratio was 1.14. The same back 4 under Arsene Wenger averaged 1.28 games per goal conceded, better than George Graham.

Even while slowly rebuilding the back 4, Arsene Wenger still managed to keep the goals against ratio at over 1 game per goal.

In other words, the goals per game ratio of George Graham and Arsene Wenger is virtually identical, despite George Graham having the stability of the same back 4.  Yet George Graham is supposedly a much better defensive coach and Arsene Wenger doesn’t do defending?


As Untold often says, where is the ‘evidence based’ reporting? All we get is the same old accusations trotted out by the media and those who do not like Arsene Wenger. As can be seen in the above, it is simply untrue that George Graham handed Arsene Wenger his early trophies. It is also clear that Arsene Wenger can build good defences, his goals conceded ratio is on a par with George Graham. In fact, Arsene Wenger completely rebuilt the back 4 and it was the foundation for the only unbeaten season on record.

Interesting, isn’t it how much rubbish gets churned out and repeated without anyone bothering to check if it is true or not.



  • 9 November 1981: Stewart Robson signed pro forms for Arsenal.  He went on to play 150 league games for Arsenal scoring 16 goals.  He also played 126 games for West Ham and Coventry, and managed Southend for three matches, winning one and losing two of his games, before becoming the arch-critic of Arsene Wenger on TV.
  • 9 November 1997: In a game against Manchester Utd in a series in which Arsenal recorded only two wins in eight Anelka scored the first goal in game, as Arsenal won 3-2 after only one victory in five.   Game 14 of the 2nd Double Season.    The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.    The win over Man U was one of only two wins in eight.

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34 Replies to “Did Wenger owe his success to George Graham, as we are often told?”

  1. Why is 28 year old David O’Leary described as a “veteran” but not Viv Anderson (2 years older) or Kenny Sansom (4 months younger)?

  2. We didn’t finish 2nd in 2005/06. We finished 4th.

    But otherwise agree with the general point. There are the occasional fans who believe that the GG era was responsible for the invincibles.


  3. Funny thing is that those who say that the invincibles is a GG achievement seem to forget that the back four of the invincibles was completely build by Wenger. Not one player from the GG era to be seen…

  4. And you didn’t even mention that the GA average for:

    2012/13 was 0.97
    2013/14 was 1.08
    2014/15; 0.95
    and so far this season 0.75!!

    So clearly Wenger hasn’t got a clue 🙂

  5. very interesting stats, and yet another myth busted by Untold.
    George was a great….if slightly naughty man who did brilliant things for his teams and the club, but his era was seperate to that of Wenger, what Wenger ultimately achieved was off his own back.
    These stats are especially interesting as GGs teams were not generally as attacking as Wengers. Wenger used to be a defender, his assistant, who we are told is not allowed to work with the defence….happened to be a rather good defender in his day, so there is no reason why they would not be able to build a defence. I am told only the ultra defensive and expensively assembled Utd have let less goals in the league than us, and that our figures stack up with the now universally loved and admired and soon to be all conquering Spuds. But of course, a poor performance in Munich and a poor first half yesterday, due in no small part to an unwell player and a mass of injuries, the evidence based version of the truth goes out of the window.
    There are times when I wish that wenger was less polite in press conferences to the media, but then again, his withering looks of bafflement at their complete stupidity of all things football make his stance worthwhile. He knows many of them are fools, he doesnt quite say it, but he certainly communicates it to those that actually watch him

  6. It always made me wonder how a team with a defence that ‘guaranteed success’ for a manager could finish 4th 10th, 4th, 12th and 5th.

    I knew it was rubbish to suggest Wenger owed his success to Graham, that is just a very cheap shot used by the members of the radical wenger out movement. The fact it gets repeated so often is frustrating and just further proves how poorly Wenger gets treated. Anyone would have thought that had been a title winning defence. Defending is not just down to the back 4 or 5 but is a team function.

    However, I had accepted that our defending was better under Graham than it was under Arsene but had put much of that down to our attacking phylosophy. I was really surprised when I looked at the numbers. When you consider the fact that the media and all the other Fantasy Football Managers continually talk about Arsenal not being able to defend, you wonder why they have never bothered looking into the numbers. To hit those ratios as a defensive team is fine but to do that in a team that attacks is pretty outstanding really.

    To build a defence from scrap for £9 million and then go an unbeaten season, is up there as one of the greatest defensive achivements of all time.

    So expect to read more about Wenger owing his suuccess to George Graham and how Arsene Wenger cant defend because thats what people want to believe.

    Evidence based reporting takes a degree of intellect and willingness to conduct research:- unfortunatley good journalism died out years ago and we get this lot of numpties.

  7. Where was GG at Monaco or in Japan? Did Arsenal play GG/English route one football when they won league titles? How many of the invincibles were Wenger recruits rather than inheritance from GG? Sometimes I wish Wenger could leave and join one of ManU, ManC or Chelsea (I know it’s almost impossible wth Wenger’s love for abusive Arsenal). Only them will Arsenal fans appreciate the man. Chelsea’ fans shame us, they give full support to a suicidal Mourinho including wearing his mask to their matches. Arsenal fans are busy looking at rubbish stats to discredit their man.

  8. The difference in goals conceded over the last half dozen or so years compared to the likes of MU, MC, Chelsea can be almost entirely explained by the hugely significant number of penalties we give away. Strangely, this disparity is not evident in the years prior to 2009 (when Riley took over).

  9. Sorry, should reword that. The number of goals conceded from open play or from set pieces since 2009 is broadly similar across the “Big 4”. Penalties make up most of the difference.

  10. Perhaps GG partly owes his legacy to Arsene? Had Rioch stayed or a different manager took over in ’96, Grahams players might not have had their careers prolonged or legacies cemented as well as they did. The fact AW turned it around so well deserves a lot of credit. Players like Bergkamp could have had enough of the drinking/poor diet culture & secured a move away from Highbury? Perhaps other quality players may have been put off signing for us? Who knows.

  11. Wenger progressed Arsenal but very much built on the foundations that George Graham laid.

    That means he made it better, most significantly in the attacking play and the way the club was run. He used his knowledge of the European game to both bring in the right players to fit his vision and to bring in the right level of professionalism to the club.

    Dennis Bergkamps book – Stillness & Speed – is a great read and goes into some detail about the club he joined shortly after Graham had gone and Rioch had taken over and then of course his experience under Wenger.

    I don’t think there can be much argument against the fact that Wenger did inherit great players that had a lot more to give.

    Arsenal were a successful and top side when Wenger joined. In my view it is wrong to suggest that Wenger built the club as some have said (I find that view quite insulting to Arsenal FC by the way). At the same time it is also wrong to suggest that Wenger did not improve us as a club in terms of the way we play and our standing in the world game. You can’t argue with Wengers first 7 years in charge, they were brilliant.

    So, in part, yes Wenger does owe his success in some part to his predecessors, but then when is that not so in life, let alone football.

  12. Nice writeup Kev.

    The only point I have is about nits (picking them). You mentioned a 3 fold improvement in place under Wenger. I don’t think relating the improvement in a multiplicative fashion is what you want, the improvement seems more additive to me.

  13. Wenger would probably be the first to admit it was brilliant to inherit a back 5 of such stature ( as much as they admit Wenger prolonged their careers and a healthy bank balance) As we all know champions are built on the foundations of a solid back line but what Wenger done was an eye opener to the whole league which every team followed ( something he’s never applauded for) Some comments on here about GG I find hard to accept don’t forget he was the one to help end the Liverpool dynasty giving other teams the belief they could also succeed ( the 80s was all Liverpool and Thatcher……now that’s an oxymoron) GG himself inherited a bunch of young up and coming players Adams Rocastle Thomas Merson to name a few ( how did Paul Davis never get an England cap) Ferguson got a result with the ‘ class of 92 ‘ and Maureen got 10 trillion so I suppose there is a touch of fortune for some managers but please do not compare GG with Wenger completely different but both deserve a place among the legendary status

  14. Linda, very well put.

    Southern Gooner, another good way of looking at things.

    I am not trying to knock George Grahams achievements but it does get tiresome watching him elevated to a position of superiority over Wenger. I used to go to games every other week and it was awful under Graham. That sort of football was okay when there was a trophy at the end of it but as for entertainment it was often pretty dismal stuff.

    Pound for pound, I don’t thnk there has ever been a greater manager than Wenger. Or ever will be. The legacy he leaves behind is incredible. Ever since he first threatened to leave if we didnt move to a deidicated training facility. Imagine trying to arrange a training session to get to know the players, only to be told we had to wait because the University College had already booked it! That’s what the club used to be like when he arrived. Look at it now!

    The resaon I defend him so, is because of the lack of credit he gets. The media have always refused to treat him with the respect he deserves and that which he has actually earned. Instead, they have preferred to lavish their praise on Ferguson and Mourinho, two great managers but both cheque book bullies and bullies in other ways too. Wenger has been more than a Manager. If he had known what he knows now, I am sure he would have jumped ship. He would not only have earned more money elsewhere, he would definitely have won more trophies and more praise. His pre-stadium success would have meant even the most small minded would have acknowledged his acheivements and he wouldnt get the abuse he gets now for staying loyal and trying to help us maintain a level while financially disadvantaged. Wengerless, I wonder what would have happened. I have no doubt it would have been catastrophic. I actually despise the small minded agenda followers who not only jump on his back after any defeat but who also abuse him.

    As this article proves, much of the ‘narrative’ used to cast Wenger in a lesser light is fabricated, poorly researched nonsense.

  15. Excellent work, proudkev. I would like to add a few things though.

    1) In my book, The Back Five (sounds like a name of a boy-band from nineties) helped Wenger to reach the first double. They had been replaced, one by one, before The Invincibles were assembled. So, Graham did not have any impact on The Invincibles.

    2) If we strict defending just to The Back Five, we are missing the big picture. The role of the midfield shield is overlooked. In our case, it would mean role of Manu and Paddy, both Wenger’s signings. Remember that there was a story from 1997-98 how defenders called for a team meeting as they wanted more protection from the Frenchmen? Well, Manu & Paddy most certainly helped them. That’s why judging The Back Five is impossible without the contribution of Paddy and Manu.

    3) There is no need to diminish George Graham’s role in Arsenal history. He may have not been a person I would like to go out with to watch the game but he is one of the greatest players and managers in our history. By acknowledging that you won’t take anything from Arsene Wenger’s greatness.

  16. OT – Cheating in Athletics uncovered & made public. How long before the media realise that doping of the public with bias in football will also be exposed?

  17. George Graham himself inherited the ethos of Don Howe under whom he played in the 1971 Double team. That’s how life works.
    George Graham didn’t have the likes of Chelsea or Man City offering to double the wages of his defenders. Wenger did and lost players as a result.
    If that back four was so great (by the time Wenger took them over) why did he feel the need to put two defensive midfielders in front of them?
    Wenger needed far more from his defenders in terms of comfort on the ball and creativity than the Graham back four were able to provide in the autumn of their careers. He has rebuilt (against many odds) to achieve it.

  18. Great article proudkev…
    That is seriously the most stupid argument used to discredit Wenger. Honestly, what does someone expect a new manager to do as soon as he comes in?- dismantle the whole team and start from scratch?

    In my opinion, GG’s back four attained cult status by virtue of it being miles above his attack. In relative terms, our defence was everything. All that was reinforced by the cup double season- where we scored the least number of goals in the league, ended up a respectable 10th and won two trophies. It kind of gave Arsenal that tag of being difficult to score against- something that we often associate with a lot of mid table teams these days- like any Pulis or Allardyce team. In short- and this might be sacrilege to some- it was over-rated. It was good, but was made to look better by deficiencies elsewhere.

    Nothing against GG here. He was a manager who made good use of what he had at his disposal. We shouldn’t slight his achievements (which are far, far better than Pulis’ or Allardyces’s btw). However, what Wenger did to that team in a couple of years is simply at another level- we went from drab and boring to a team that has a Centre back score from open play. From a team that people have heard about to a team that has fans eager to watch its games thousands of miles away. .

  19. Thanks Kev. There’s a name worth adding as an appendix to your article:

    Pat Rice.

    The Strange One(s) who created the AKB vs WOB narrative construct in order to attack the club (I’m still waiting to meet someone who believes football managers don’t make mistakes) and to plug their blog *coughs* also resorted to attacking Pat Rice as well towards the end if his time coaching the first team.

    Pat Rice was the glue that knitted GG’s and the early AW squad together more then any individual player nevermind what position they played.
    I suppose that one must be a genuine self declared Expert in order to attempt to blank out the role of one of the most significant and important people in the history of Arsenal Football Club and resort to this GG vs AW false construct which we’ve seen the strange one(s) attempt and fail to apply to their trolling on these pages (fortunately I don’t recall anyone else being willing to discuss such an infantile “debate”)

    Pat Rice brought through a number of players who prospered under GG, not quite the Defence but a fair few of the midfielders alongside Adams. Likewise we’ve got a number of players like Gibbs (I think, could be wrong) Wilshere and Coquelin and others who all played under Bould’s youth team. And that’s the most interesting thought of all.

    Bould’s crop have got the cup medals, now they just need to add a title or two (should be easy!) to reach the heights of Rice’s graduates from the Royal Arsenal Acadamy.

  20. You used to go every other week and the football was dreadful? You really do have a problem with Graham even though you try and disguise it. I am a massive fan of Wenger but to keep attempting to discredit the achievements of George Graham is just as pathetic as the people who try on a daily basis to discredit Wenger. I started going to Highbury in 1972 and suffered for years and only remember a few highlights until Graham took over and for as long as I live I will never forget the feeling of standing in the away end and watching Thomas score and I don’t go with the bull that we should have had the league wrapped up weeks earlier(that’s the sort of remarks people like to fire against Wenger)
    So do me a favour and get rid of your unrelenting obsession of knocking George Graham and for your information it wasn’t always drab and boring ( Smudger won a few golden boots) but yes I will admit it was going downhill after 1993 and a change was needed but he is still a legend to many of us

  21. Proudkev. A good piece and putting the record straight on behalf of Arsenal’s greatest manager is to your credit.

    Let me, though, build on Josif’s second point; the midfield. In my humble opinion, the Manager’s subsequent switch from two combative central mids (both of whom had good defensive instincts and discipline whether Vierra, Petit or Gilberto) to one holding mid and one playmaker (e.g Song and Cesc) put his back 4 at a disadvantage after the years you review.

    It has been in the post Invincible years that Mr Wengers reputation has been questioned. And yes people mistakenly or (deliberately) choose to believe he was always a bad defensive coach, even when he wasn’t, but the truth is that he hasn’t been able to create a team since then with anything like the defensive solidity of the years you’ve reviewed.

    Now it could be argued that he chose to spend his limited resources (by this time) on attacking players and take his chances on defenders – better to play the right way than win the wrong way – but you and I have seen some terrible defensive performances by his teams since the Emirates over such a long time that even though I know he was a good defensive coach, I harbour doubts now that, even though he has the resources to build a good defence, he either isn’t interested or he has lost what he had.

    He still has Cazola in central mid, he didn’t buy defensive back-up to Coq and he has decided to try and plug the current defence’s vulnerabilities with a great keeper. Got to say, so far this season, it’s working and may be its going to go our way this season but I think the questioning over Mr Wenger’s defensive know-how these days is reasonably fair. Hopefully, he will prove me and those like me wrong.

    But, back in the day, as you have proven, he had it sussed and it was great.

  22. Lukic signed 1983
    Anderson signed 1984
    Sansom signed 1980
    Williams signed 1984
    Oleary youth 1975
    Adams youth 1985
    Rocastle youth 1984
    Davis youth 1980
    Quinn signed 1983
    Nicholas signed 1983
    Hayes signed youth 1985

    Groves signed by GG
    Thomas youth 1982

    I am sure many, if not all recognise this team from 1987, it is the Littlewoods cup winning side. On a Arsenal fan group on Facebook there was this very argument that Wenger would of been nothing without GG and his famous back four. I was heavily criticised for pointing out that GG would of been nothing without TN and or DH as managers before him. The names I was called for suggesting the un questionable GG owed his success to other managers was childish to say the least, as we can see and as I proved only one player in that cup winning side was a GG player the rest were signed or brought through from a youth team run by TN or DH.

    But as usual why let the facts get in the way if a good rant from the Anti Wenger Brigade, the facts are that most successful managers owe a debt to the previous manager. AW owes not only GG and BR but also TN & DH for some of the youth players that came through the ranks that were still playing when he took over. The same can be said for Sir Red Nose at United if it wasn’t for the players signed and the youth team coaches before him where would he of been as a manager?

    AW used what he had (like most new managers) brought in players to strengthen and slowly adapted the squad to his own ideas, the invincibles had non of the famous back four but according to the Anti Wenger Brigade that is beside the point. But my point about the two previous managers before GG is not a valid point and was in fact the biggest load of b******s ever read on that page (until another post by me yesterday where I said I would rather trust the excellent Swiss Ramble on financial matters at Arsenal than some of the board members, which has caused me to leave the group)

    Unfortunately for Wenger the invincibles has been his worst mistake at Arsenal, to me (and others) it has given a a section of the fan base an unrealistic view of football. They see what has happened since as nothing but failure to build and continue winning the PL at a canter from the likes of City, United and Chelsea. They see £200m sitting in the bank and want it spent not just a bit but every single penny, when they hear board members saying yes we can if needed they take that as gospel and it will be said over and over again, it is the same with the quote about “competing with Europes elite” I have lost count that that quote has been thrown at me during arguments. They look back to the GG era with rose tinted glasses and think how footballing life was so great, but easily forget the last few seasons with a god awful midfield. They fail to see the changes in football since the arrival of Roman at Chelsea and the rise of the mega owner.

    Wenger and the club have unfortunately set themselves up to fail because to the AAA and AWB (I hate labelling the fan base but how else can I describe these fans?) we are not trying to win the PL or CL we are not spending every penny in the bank and Wenger is not as good as GG. It is sad times we live in when a manager like Wenger is criticised by not just the lazy sports media day after day but also by the fans who have unrealistic views of where and how the club should be run.

    Sorry for the rant needed to get that off my chest 🙂

  23. “Graham broke the dominance of Liverpool and helped give hope to the league that others can do it as well.” Fair enough. BUT then did Blackburn help build same level of hopes!!!.

    Winning the league is not easy. Wasnt easy then when there were literally 2 teams that could do it or neither it is now when there are 5 teams capable of doing it. Graham is a great manager. BUT so are Allison, Whittaker and Mee. Or Even Terry Niel for that matter.

    Yes Graham did break Liverpools dominance. So did Mr Wenger. He broke Man Utds dominance. Graham wasnt consistent. Whereas Mr Wenger has remained consistent over the period (having played over twice, almost, the number of games compared to any other manager).

    Now no ones contesting that Mr Wenger inherited Grahams back 4. But to credit Mr Wengers early achievements to Graham is a joke. Rather a pathetic joke. Mr Wenger inherited and improved. He raised the whole team to a new level unseen. No one could have ever predicted the rise or the longevity of the now hallowed back 4.

  24. November 9, 2015 at 1:21 pm
    Why is 28 year old David O’Leary described as a “veteran” but not Viv Anderson (2 years older) or Kenny Sansom (4 months younger)?

    Because O’Leary play over 700 games that’s why he’s a veteran, nothing to do with his age

  25. @Syd

    I do not know if your response was addressed to me but I will answer it anyway.. I must admit that all my knowledge of the Graham era is only through what is written of him in the media and a few highlight reels- after all, I was born a month before the 1993 League Cup final. The stats did seem to suggest that we were not a free scoring side (especially in comparison to Wenger’s) and, at the same time, very thrifty at the back. I understand that sometimes these simple numbers may not always tell the whole story. The same goes for the matches that I have seen from that era- mostly big games where it could have been pragmatic to sit back at times (like Anfield ’89). My view of GG could have been biased by any of those factors.

    I definitely do not have an obsession to knock him down and nor did I call his football dreadful. Your football cannot be dreadful if you have won 6 trophies in 9 years. In fact, if there was one thing that I would have liked to have experienced as an Arsenal fan, it was Anfield ’89- the highlight of Graham’s era. I have watched the rerun twice and Thomas’ goal countless times- it was exhilarating every single time. I can only imagine what it would have felt to watch that goal unfold before your eyes. I did, however, call it drab and boring- but isn’t that used against a lot of successful teams? Like Italy or Chelsea? But considering that I have not watched nearly as much as you have and that not a single minute of my watching was live, I cannot contest your claim and fully respect your opinion.

  26. to be fair @Swales1968, the most important player on that list is of course, as we all know, is Perry Groves !!
    so GG was a genius !!

  27. “Yomster
    November 10, 2015
    November 9, 2015 at 1:21 pm
    Why is 28 year old David O’Leary described as a “veteran” but not Viv Anderson (2 years older) or Kenny Sansom (4 months younger)?

    Because O’Leary play over 700 games that’s why he’s a veteran, nothing to do with his age”

    League appearances when GG took over:
    Anderson – 408
    O’Leary – 379
    Sansom – 417

  28. As the old saying goes , ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating .’ , so for those that did not witness it live then , do get the tape and watch that great ‘Double Cup Winning ‘ games – all 3 of them , and then come on back and give your opinions .
    GG was a great manager then . The End . Let it rest .
    20 years on we still have to sing his praises ?
    The new man is still here , give him your unreserved backing for the greatest football show ever .

  29. While you still are on GG love fest , do not forget to catch the CW Cup winning grand show against Parma .

  30. And speaking of pissing in all the wrong places ….

    70-year-old George went for his annual physical. All of his tests came back with normal results. Dr. Smith said, “George, everything looks great physically. How are you doing mentally and emotionally? Are you at peace with yourself, and do you have a good relationship with your God?”

    George replied, “God and me are tight. He knows I have poor eyesight, so he’s fixed it so that when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (poof!) the light goes on when I pee, and then (poof!) the light goes off when I’m done.”

    “Wow,” commented Dr. Smith, “that’s incredible!”

    A little later in the day Dr. Smith called George’s wife. “Thelma,” he said, “George is just fine. Physically he’s great. But I had to call because I’m in awe of his relationship with God. Is it true that he gets up during the night and (poof!) the light goes on in the bathroom, and then (poof!) the light goes off?”

    Thelma exclaimed, “That old fool! He’s peeing in the refrigerator again!”

  31. Harry.

    1. If you read what I said, at no time did I try to diminish Grahams achievements. I stated he was a great Manager and that he lead us to one of the most incredible league titles. the 2-0 win at Anfield.

    2. You also say that we did not nearly throw away that title – but we did. Our last two league games were at home before the game at Anfield. We dropped 5 points from the 6 available by losing to Derby and drawing with Wimbledon, hence why we needed to win 2-0 at Anfield. Most Arsenal fans at the time had believed we had ‘thrown away’ the league. I cannot imagine how those two results would have been treated today, I suspect marches through London!!

    3. Yes George Grahams football could be boring, anyone except an alien living on the planet Zorb would acknowledge that. Okay, the media did latch onto the ‘boring’ Arsenal tag and repeat that unfairly, because there were some entertaining games. Players like Rocastle, Merson could turn on the style but generally we were a very pragmatic team and at times it was boring.

    So let us applaud George Graham for what he did, absolutely. But lets not beat up Arsene Wenger and discredit his achievements through some warped idea that George Grahams defence guaranteed succces, as it did nothing of the sort.

    Amazing really that a section of fans would rather lavish praise on a man who by his own admission accepted £400,000 in financial inducements, or as Graham himself calls them,’unsolicited gifts’. Well we certainly didnt get any gifts from those two Norwegian players Lyderson and Jenson! In defence of Graham, if there can be any, he was hung out to dry by the authorities and the media who knew full well that bungs were rampant. Did the fact GG worked for Arsenal have anything to do with this, we shall never know.

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