[Vote] Was Graham a better manager then Wenger?

Posted: May 21, 2009 by arsenalaction in Uncategorized

Arsenal fans bang on about how great Wenger is…But when you look at it, Graham was a BETTER manager.

Graham ( 7 Honours WINNERS – 9 years )

First Division (2): 1988–89, 1990-91
FA Cup (1): 1992–93
League Cup (2): 1986–87, 1992–93
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1994
Charity Shield (1): 1991

Wenger  ( 11 Honours WINNERS- 13 years )

Premier League (3): 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04
FA Cup (4): 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05
FA Community Shield (4): 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004

As you can see Graham won everything ,Graham never got the credit he deserves. and on the other hand Wenger is treated as if he was GOD for winning nothing in 4 seasons.

Arsenal had not won a trophy since the FA Cup in 1978–79 when Graham took over in 1986. Graham cleared out much of the old guard and replaced them with new cheap signings, Players like Perry Groves from non league football, He also promoted from the youth team, Arsenal’s form immediately improved, so much so that the club were top of the League at Christmas 1986 is his first season, Arsenal finished fourth in Graham’s first season in charge. and they went on to win the 1987 League Cup. and came runners up in the League Cup final the following year, their League form steadily improved. Graham’s side featured tight defensive discipline, embodied by his young captain Tony Adams, who along with great signings from lower league teams players like Lee Dixon, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn, formed the basis of the club’s defence for over a decade. However, contrary to popular belief, during this time Graham’s Arsenal were not a purely defensive side; Graham also employed capable midfielders from the youth side such as David Rocastle, Michael Thomas and Paul Merson, and striker Alan Smith, whose prolific goalscoring regularly brought him more than 20 goals per season.

At the end of Graham’s third season (1988–89), the club won their first League title since 1971, in highly dramatic fashion, in the final game of the season against Liverpool at Anfield. Graham changed the way Arsenal played on the night playing 3 CBs and totaly got the tactics 100% right.

Unable to retain the league title the following season, Graham signed goalkeeper David Seaman and Swedish winger Anders Limpar in the close season; both players proved vital as Arsenal won a second title in 1990–91 and reached the FA Cup semi-finals, losing to arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Graham went on to sign striker and eventual second all-time top scorer Ian Wright from Crystal Palace in October, and the club’s first entry in the European Cup since 1971–72.

After this season, Graham changed his tactics; he became more defensive and turned out far less attack-minded sides, which depended mainly on goals from Wright rather than the whole team. Between 1986–87 and 1991–92 Arsenal averaged 66 League goals a season (scoring 81 in 1991–92), but between 1992–93 and 1994–95 only averaged 48; this included just 40 in 1992–93, when the club finished 10th in the inaugural season of the FA Premier League, scoring fewer than any other team in the division.

Graham’s Arsenal become Cup specialists, and in 1992–93 Arsenal became the first side to win the FA Cup and League Cup double, both times Arsenal beating Sheffield Wednesday, 2–1 in the League Cup Final and 2–1 after a replay in the FA Cup Final replay. The next season they continued in the same vein, winning the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, their second European trophy; in the final Arsenal beat favourites and holders Parma 1–0 with a tight defensive performance and Alan Smith’s 21st minute goal from a left foot volley.

The 1994 Cup Winners’ Cup proved to be George Graham’s last trophy at the club; the following February he was sacked after nearly nine years in charge.

Would Wenger have signed players like Dixon, Bould and Winterburn? NO! Would Wenger have signed Ian Wright? NO!
Graham promoted Adams,Thomas, Rocastle, Merson, Palour from the youth team who all went on to win the title and play for England. How man English players had Wenger promotoed in 13 years? ONE..Ashley Cole!

Graham was fantastic in the transfer market and hardly made a bad signing. Wenger on the other hand has wasted £Ms players like Jeffers, Reyes, Diawara, Cygan, Stepanovs.

Wenger was lucky to come in and have the back 4 that Graham set up. He has never really replaced them.

So you can see that Wenger is not really as great as some people think!!!


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  1. Sam says:

    I would take Wenger winning one trophy over graham winning 2. At least then I wont be bored rigid by the bland tactics and play!!

  2. Goonblogger says:

    you are a twat sinbad. a total and utter twat.

  3. james says:

    Well at least Graham one something in Europe

  4. Sidthegooner says:

    What a great article!!! Bang on mate

  5. james says:

    one thing Ive noticed about some of u stupid Gooners any kind of truth hurts. Your all just so Wenger mad and it makes me sick where is the love for are beautiful club?.It seems Sinbad has much more love for the club than alot of you idiots. Great post Sinbad

  6. James says:

    I think Graham is owed as big a debt as Wenger if not bigger. What would Wenger have won were it not for inheriting Graham’s back 5?

    Wenger has a terrible track record at signing defenders. The best defensive players Wenger has had in 13 years have been Ashley Cole – inherited, Sol Campbell – free and a no-brainer, and Gallas – on a plate. Otherwise, you could only say Lehmann, Sagna, Lauren and Toure turned out any good.

    But look at the shit he’s bought: Upson, Manninger, Richard Wright, Garde, Vivas, Luzhny, Silvinho, Stepanovs, Van Bronckhorst, Hoyte, Cygan, Senderos, Djourou, Clichy, Traore, Almunia, Eboue.

    Ok, Clichy and Almunia has a future, forget the rest.

    I think without Graham, Wenger would not have won half of what he’s won and the Frenchman would have been out on his ear by now. It’s only what he’s won in the past that’s keeping him going.

  7. jkasper says:

    God, you really do hate the Prof don’t you – I’m just going to give up on this blog from now on after this but I like the way you cynically use the catchy device of a poll to attempt to gain responses. So, anyway, as usual your post is the same old twaddle, based on some vitriolic and irrational loathing of AFC’s greatest manager since when I first signed up to the cause of goonerdom back in 1970. This time round you are being completely unhistorical. Yes, in the time when it was the norm to source exciting new talent from the lower reaches of the domestic leagues then GG was the canniest. Try doing the same now and see how far that would get you?! In the premiership, when it comes to turning base metal into gold, AW is without doubt the savviest (see what I did there!) Incidentally, if you’re going to be pedantic, do the maths. 7 honours in 9 years = 1.29 per year – 11 honours in 13 years = 1.18 per year. (Oh and of course you don’t mention that this includes 2 x doubles – but then of course, you’d say that that is being unhistorical as it is now far easier for clubs to win these nowadays than in GG’s time). As I said, this is the last time I’m going to bother with this trite crap – I urge everyone else who is not a glory hunting newbie to do the same.

  8. GoonerDave says:

    One eyed dozy piece this, glad Wenger is winning the vote. No mention of Kiwomiya and Helder, but mentioning Stepanovs, thats below the belt. Plus last time I checked, Wenger hadn’t been found with a pocketfull of the clubs cash. Graham did a great job, but could never even compete at Europe’s top table. Gets browny points for giving us Sol when he was at the lane though.

  9. gunnerositz says:

    jees sinbad you truly are sadistic. always seem to be stirring up something or the other. ok obviosly u dont trust wenger as much as other arsenal fans. we get the point now just leave it be.

  10. twotouchmiracle says:

    this is not even a debate. Wow. Go support the scum

  11. Jon says:

    I think you’re forgetting the years from ’92 to ’95, when being a gooner was psychologically painful. Anyone who would rather watch John Jensen and David Hillier play over Vieira and Fabregas is not only mad, but dangerously so and should get himself committed immediately. After the ’91 side all of Graham’s sides were so dull and devoid of ideas that they only ever won anything by boring the pants off the opposition. Come on, I mean, we all used to pretend to think chanting “1-nil to the Arsenal” was pretty cool, but we’d always have rather banged in 4 or 5, even if we let in 3 or 4 – at least it wouldn’t have been so DULL. I’d rather rip my own eyes out than watch another post ’91 Graham side

  12. -dean says:

    Although this is my favourite Spurs blog you seem obsessed with Arsenal and especially Arsene Wenger. Why don’t you write about Tottenham a bit more?


    seriously is this guy for real? id love to meet him in real life.. i bet i would still be laughing about it 2 months later. pathetic article by a pathetic glory hunting idiot. give it up, every article you do you get nothing but people disagreeing with you and insults, everyone is entitlet to their own opinion but trying to get your opinion across by badly written tripe with no evidence to back up your claims is just idiotic.

    this is by far the worst blog site merely for the fact that YOU are allowed to post your crap articles on it.

  14. TeezyTease says:

    iCannot believe in my RIGHT! Mind why this STUPID ARTICLE IS UP!!! iHave given this gizzer credit @ times 4 da video’s u have posted!!! which are true when you we get disaapointing results… BUT THIS ARTICLE MAKES ME SICK 2 MY STOMACH!

    But it seems you don’t have a correct mind…


  15. Stroller says:

    What could have been constructed as a sensible debate and comparision is blown away by your stupid bias against Wenger. Of course Graham never made any poor signings did he ? Eddie McGoldrick, John Hartson, Chris Kiwomya and Glen Helder all turned out to be real stars didn’t they, along with a few others. Equally the early development of Adams, Merson, Rocastle and Davis was more down to Don Howe who preceeded Graham. They were ready and waiting when Graham took over the reigns. Look, I have supported the club through both era’s and enjoyed both in very different ways. George Graham brought success after a very barren period, and with it came those never-to-be forgotten succeses at Anfield, Wembley and Copenhagen where we were much the underdog. However Wenger’s contribution to developing the club as a whole, coupled with long periods of attractive and winning football should earn him the respect that you aren’t prepared to give. Wenger would not have signed Ian Wright ? Maybe not, but would George Graham have signed Thierry Henry ? Even less probable.

    ;en hels

  16. Matthew Wade says:

    Sinbad…you sound like a revisionist new fan, with a rose tinted memory.

    Graham was a superior manager in terms of 1-off game tactics and drilling the defence. He was also better at instilling a fighting spirit. However, he left the club only a little better off than when he arrived, and if we are going to give him credit for leaving Wenger the back 5, we should also remember the likes of Thomas, Rocky, Adams, Keown, Davis, Merson, etc (ie the core of a bloody good side) were already at the club and had debut under Don Howe.

    Georgeous Geore was a top manager, but he got left behind by the revolution in English football, and never quite caught up. Also mentally he never recovered from that loss to benfica, and by the time he left, he’d sold rocky, micky T, had alienated Davis, maginalised smudger and had 2 of our 4 best players in the throws of alchoholism, and with Adams and Wrighty getting itchy feet.

    He was great for 7 years, but 8 and 9 were painful to watch and embarrasing to see a good team deteriorate so quickly. Make no mistake, even Arsene’s fringe players now would have been stars in the 04/05 team, especially in midfield. We would ahve killed for a denilson or diaby then!

  17. Matthew Wade says:

    obviously i meant stars in the 94/95 team of Hillier, Jensen, Selly, Mcgoldrick….

  18. Chris says:

    I’ve seen it all now

  19. steve far says:

    Lets look at their performances this way. The most important areas for a club of arsenal’s stature are the premier league/division1 and the champions league. here its 3:2 in favour of le’prof in the league(prem/1st). Now look at the positions by year. AW averaged position 2.3 while graham averaged 3.3, infact missing out on the top 4 twice in 87/8 and 92/3. no champions league football twice in 9 years, not even Europe at position 10 in 1992/3! AW in contrast has never missed out on europe in 13 yrs. Graham increased his cup nos by going for things like the cup winners cup and domestically the league cup(carling cup) – the latter which wenger uses only to blood his younger charches b4 1st team action. So while graham went for anything called a cup, wenger has raised the bar. we compete for the chammpions league always and the premier league domestically. No wonder, when GG left arsenal, he went to the lowly spuds. sack wenger today and guess who will line up to employ him! you have been spoiled – admit.

  20. Rdx says:

    looks like the vote says it all.

  21. GoonerC says:

    Mate, did you ever watch Arsenal under Graham? We were so so boring, and wenger has won more and played better football. Graham won the Cup Winners Cup, which is no longer available. Under Graham we would never have got to the champs league final. Also, we came 13th under graham, 9 points off relegation…cannot see a wenger side doing that to be honest with you! Oh yeh, Graham also bought players to the club like Kiwomya, just so he could take back hand payment. GROW UP MATE!

  22. GoonerC says:

    Also James, you are a total idiot if you think Clichy is a bad signing- lets judge him on one season where he has fallen below his own very high standards shall we. I would also question you saying silvinho is shit- he was not, just not as good as Cashley at the time. Cole was hardly inherited from Graham either, he is a product of Arsene’s youth system, not Grahams.

  23. Rdx says:

    ” ‘Wenger’ was fantastic in the transfer market and hardly made a bad signing. ‘Wenger’ on the other hand has wasted £Ms players like Jeffers, Reyes, Diawara, Cygan, Stepanovs.”

    Contradicting statement eh? And what about Henry, Pires, Freddie, Viera, Fab, Van Persie, Arshavin, Nasri, Adebayor, Walcott, Eduardo, Sagna, Toure. Bad signings I suppose?

    Also, you admit under Graham, Arsenal were cup-specialists whereas under Wenger we always aim for the Premiership first. Tough luck mate but your points and facts are about as truthful as the Sun’s. I think you should apply for a job there. You’d make a killing.

    Also, if I remember correctly, wasn’t Graham charged with accepting Bungs?

  24. GoonerC says:

    Haha, the more i look at this article the worse it gets! Would Graham have signed Viera? NO. Would he have signed Henry? NO. Would he have signed Pires? NO. Would he have signed Fabregas? NO. Would he have signed Ljungberg? NO. Graham worked in a market where english players like dixon winterburn etc were not sold at inflated prices- this article is totally redundant.

  25. TUNADOG says:

    Prefer Wenger…but the perfect combo would be George organising the defence Arsene the forwards. I still believe that our strongest all round team was the 1998 double winners.

  26. GoonerC says:

    Sorry, one more point- Sinbad, are you arguing that Graham was a good manager and that Wenger isnt? Or that they are both bad managers? Your final quip- “SO YOU SEE WENGER IS NOT REALLY AS GREAT AS PEOPLE THINK” seems to say- “You see, Wenger only won 4 more honours than Graham (who you have rightly congratulad throughout the artile) is not that great after all”. Im confused.

  27. 26may1989 says:

    Graham better than Wenger???! Ha ha ha, I needed something to liven up my day.

    For those who don’t remember, Graham was very effective up to 1991, but then pretty much destroyed everything good he’d done, including selling the one and only Rocky Rocastle. Credit where credit’s due, Graham took the club from being nothing to winning the league twice in three years, and on the way built probably the best defensive unit English football has known. But, having inherited a great group of young players (Adams, Thomas, Rocastle, Merson), and made some great signings (Winterburn, Dixon, Seaman, Bould, Limpar, Smith etc), in his post-1991 period Graham also oversaw the destruction of our youth set-up (Mark Flatts anyone?) and signed
    stellar players such as Lydersen, Kiwomya, Carter and McGoldrick. It all made sense once we realised he was on the take. The only post-1991 signing I can think he made that was even slightly good was the legendary Ian Wright.

    Everything good that Graham did up to 1991 was negated by the damage he did in the second half of his reign. And yes, I do realise we won trophies in that time: I was at those fucking awful cup finals against Sheffield Wednesday. I’m sorry, but much as I want Arsenal to win trophies, I don’t want us to return to the dark, dark days of 1991 to 1995.

    I’m glad Graham’s anti-football has been consigned to history. It’s a shame he couldn’t build on his initial period at Highbury.

    Sinbad, there are plenty of factual errors in your one-eyed, ridiculous post which I won’t bother to correct but I can’t let you get away with glossing over what happened to us in the 1990s under Graham. We didn’t become “cup specialists” because it was intentional, we just got worse and worse in the league. Here’s what happened in those years:

    1992: 4th place (10 points behind the winners);
    1993: 10th (28 points behind);
    1994: 4th (21 points behind);
    1995: 12th (48 points behind – DID YOU READ THAT??! 48 points behind! And only 8 points above the relegation zone!).

    And James, your list of “shit” defenders is fucking hilarious: Clichy??? Silvinho? Manninger? Upson? And Wenger didn’t even buy Hoyte, you muppet! Shows what you know! The only examples you have any right to say were truly shit are Stepanovs and perhaps Richard Wright, but even Wright was widely thought to be one of the best young keepers of the day. The rest of them were at least very useful squad players, and some were very good players. And then there’s your almost as funny list of the “only” good defenders Wenger has had: seven of them. “Only”?? What a dipstick you are!

    Just a pair of WUMs, nothing more, nothing less.

  28. Tony Adams says:

    Wenger is a better coach, plays much better football at a much higher standard and the club is a more professional and better run, but Graham would not persist with players in poor form and would always get the best out of his men, his tactics were spot on, he would remind players of the history of the club and would tell them that they are not bigger than it.

    I would say Wenger is a better coach and ambassador for the club, but as far as true managment skill goes Graham was better. (Although he is a cunt.)

  29. Tony Adams says:

    In an ideal world, Graham would be assistant manager and wouldn’t be a cunt. Wenger would be manager and wouldn’t say: “We showed mental strength.” when we clearly didn’t.

  30. ryan says:

    you cite wenger’s mistakes in the market, yet you didn’t even bother to acknowledge our all time leading scorer and arguably greatest ever player (i don’t have to name names). nor did you mention overmars, pires, ljungberg, viera you didn’t mention campbell or toure (in case you have selectively forgotten the pairing for surely our greatest ever side (built almost entirely for nothing by wenger) in what was our most superior and impressive team (not to mention wonderful to watch) perhaps ever (i don’t know what chapman’s team was like so i make no comment on them). then for all that money you seem to think wenger pissed away there are the MASSIVE ammounts he generated by selling players like petit, overmars, anelka at practically no detriment to the team whilst making a fortune from their sales and replacing them with equally good or better replacements for a fraction of the cost.

    by all means criticise wenger when he makes mistakes, he certainly has made a number this season,by all means compliment graham for his also fantastic achievements, but don’t let your personal bias suggest that graham has been vastly superior when wenger has done SO MUCH for this fucking club.
    if you want to slag off wenger at least find a better reason than ‘graham was better’you ungrateful piece of shit. honestly it makes me sick how someone can be so fucking cynical about a man who has UNDENIABLY been incredible for this club, regardless of any recent issues. Have some fucking respect, seriously. it’s one thing if you want to compare the two managers and say you think Graham was better, but to be such a negative dickhead about Wenger after all he has done (in case you didn’t notice he’s been at the club longer than the last 4 years).

    Besides which look at the legacy Wenger will leave behind, in particular the youth academy, training facilities, a unique stadium of 60,000, more relative money in the bank in the long run because of his not blowing money on big name signings willy-nilly which Spurs shows does not guarantee anything. I know you will complain the stadium is crap, it has no atmosphere. Well that’s the fault of the fans, not the manager, same with the whole stuards being too strict, it’s nothing to do with him and I’m sure he wants it to be better himself.

    And come on, how can you talk badly of Wenger in the transfer market when the man you’re saying is better was found guilty of taking a bribe in 95. That’s just hilarious.

  31. fraster says:

    I share the comment from Tony Adams… LOL!!!
    I didn’t read this article, with the responses is enough…it’s a very biased article.
    For me, there isn’t a doubt that AW is better manager, and that’s all.
    Such a comparisons don’t be relevant… Graham is past, Arsene is present and FUTURE!

  32. nobheadblog says:

    you are a d^ckhead mate.

    go fcuk off and support spurs bellend

  33. gunman says:

    Ask your self this question, put simply, Do I support arsenal. If the answer to this question is yes then support the club, dont question it GG,AW,BR,DH who gives a Sh** get behind the club!

  34. arsenalaction says:


    Some people are ARSENAL FANS and not Arsene fans

  35. steve far says:

    TONY ADAMS, If GG got the best out of his players and got his tactics spot-on, how do you explain his teams finishing 6th in his 1st full season in charge of 87/8, 10th in 92/3 and 12th in 95/5? These are surely dizzying heights of under performance never yet seen under wenger 13 years on. In my view GG was just a lucky yesteryear sam alardice. a glorified anti-football merchant. his arsenal was then known as BORING BORING ARSENAL as they played the sort of over cautious game we have seen this year with the likes of HULL(always set up to grind a draw or nick a goal on the counter), no tactics there to talk about.

  36. The only good things about this article is the credit it does give GG which has been overlooked when he went into self-destruct mode. Also, the replies to your hilarious post show that there are gooners who can be proud of their club and objective as well. Well done those of you who have exposed this piece of blinkered writing for what it is.

  37. Just voted and saw the results, HILARIOUS!!!

  38. I suspect Georgie might have got more if it hadn’t been for this post…lol

  39. Those who wish Wenger gone, be careful what you wish for. He is our most successful manager ever. He has kept us punching above our weight consistently in the top 4 when we have seen the best ManU, Chelscum and Liverpool teams for years. He has given us memories that even those teams can only dream off. I’m not saying he doesn’t make mistakes – as much as I wished he didn’t – but some of the slack he has taken this season is really perverse. I’ve been lucky enough to start supporting the Gunners in their best 2 decades of their entire history. But I’ve done my homework and look at the barren seasons and wondered at times if we’d ever seen them again. Fans who saw them win the league title in ‘53 and then had to live through 18 absolutely barren years till the double in ‘71 will understand this. Then another 18 years before the next league title in ‘89 with sporadic cup honours sprinkled here and there. I’m sure real Liverpool fans understand as well. Since then, we have really been spoiled by George and Arsene. Didn’t look so rosy when Georgie got done though, did it?

    We’ve celebrated St Tott’s every single one of Arsene’s years with Arsenal and they’re supposed to have replaced us for 4 seasons running now. And yet just 5 barren years without a league title or honours (I’m not counting the cheap 0-0 2005 FA Cup penalty win where we were outplayed over 120 mins) and we can’t stop bleating. Get a grip Gooners! That’s how long some teams spend in the lower divisions before they come up again. Yes, I want to be as successful as Liverpool and ManU have been, but it doesn’t come overnight and certainly not without a price. Wenger is the best man to do it, whether he actually does or not is another matter. But mark my words, if he goes, we will not win another title for the next 5 years. So for flip’s sake, be grateful for what we have, give Arsene his due credit and lets follow him wherever it is he takes us.

  40. goonerpanther! Where did u copy this article from? Cuz it sure sounds familiar. You say we shd follow Wenger wherever he takes us? Maybe you the Arsene fans should do that but for us the Arsenal fans we ain’t ready to be bullcrapped with this kinda low trash you are talking abt. You say without Wenger we wont win another trophy for 5 years but i thought we haven’t won a trophy now for four years well unless you want to tell everyone the the best we can do is the Emirates cup huh? Enuf saiD. What amuses me is that some people here moan and whine like pregnant women. You think Wenger will never retire? You think he’s the end of Arsenal or what? You think he’s immortal or what? Cuz he sure aint gonna coach this club forever… The man is a tactical disaster. Times have changed this is not the 1990’s or early 2000’s Mourinho raised tha bar ..now every team defends better and attacks much better …Chelsea are nolonger a fourth place team or third place….Man city are also on the rise. Don’t talk about liverpool cuz they keep getting better each year scary that they even wanna sign Tevez…Manure showed everyone how bad we are tactically and defensively not forgetting the tactical disasters against Chelsea and Liverpool…we couldn’t defend a lead just for 4 minutes till the end of the game. Wow…what a team we gat with the best Manager in the whole world if you go by the remarks of most Arsene fans..i mean Mourinho was always spot on…the guy said Arsenal had kids with potential but he warned that they would never win anything with those kids.

  41. AlleksGek says:

    Great Article , I considered it wonderful

    I look ahead to more innovative postings like this one. Does Your Blog have a subscription I can subscribe to for more information concerning this?

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