George Graham played for us from 1966 – 1972 before moving to Manchester United, he came back to manage us in the late eighties, his reign 1986 – 1995, some believe he’s still one of our best. During that time he made sure we became a side that didn’t concede many goals; his defensive style earned us the ‘Boring boring Arsenal’ label.
Not only did Graham build solid defensive unit in his years with us, he also had a few players full of flair and style and a few that would lay their body on the line for the club they loved. Rix, Brady, Rocastle, Smudger, Davies, Merson, Thomas, the list goes on!
I think football was shocked when Graham was exposed to have been on the fiddle, he had accepted an illegal £425,000 payment from Norwegian agent. He was sacked by Arsenal and banned from football for a year, maybe it should have been for life? As good a manager he was, there’s no room in sport for things like that, well, not in my humble opinion.
A year later, having served his ban he walked back into football management at Leeds, after a couple of seasons with them, he committed the biggest sin he could in my book.
He managed Tottingham Hotspur!
How could a man who played for Arsenal, managed Arsenal do such I thing? Anyway, he did and for three years until he had a bust up with his boss and then he was sacked. He hasn’t managed a club since in fact the only time I have seen him talking about football has been as a commentator for Sky Sports or Setanta.
Today though, he’s committed that cardinal sin again, this time he has spoken about us and had the audacity to suggest that the Tiny Totts are better on the eye than Arsenal. I get the feeling he is still bitter and twisted about our club sacking him many years ago.
We all go on about Arsenal, their possession and all that but Spurs are really exciting to watch. That’s because they have an end product to all that possession and beautiful play. They have shots on goal and they have wonderful ¬crosses coming from both flanks. That’s makes them really exciting and it’s something Arsenal still have to work on.
They’ve got to have more end product to all that passing and possession.
In the same interview, Graham talks about the Champions League and he believes we will get knocked out but those down the road will go through.
I think Spurs will win against AC Milan, I really do. On their day, they can beat anyone at home. Facing Barcelona is going to be really difficult for Arsenal because Arsene Wenger (below) will just go for it. There will be no tactics, there will be no Jose Mourinho there, keeping it tight and winning 1-0.
Arsenal doesn’t have time to implement a defensive strategy before then. That doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes a whole season, if you work day in, day out on the training ground. Arsene only believes in going forward. But Barcelona are the best team in La Liga and the best in Europe.
I’d love to sit down with Arsene, one-on-one, and ask him what he thinks of his great side that went the season undefeated. You look at the difference in technique, physical power and mental power.
They had a wonderful combination, which made them such a successful team. Arsene had height in there, in Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell and Steve Bould and there was power throughout the team.
I cannot understand why he doesn’t try to replicate that now. It just seems they have gone overboard with technical players and have forgotten about the other side of the game.
Tactically, he is of course right and talk about Arsenal all he like but to suggest we are second best to that team down the road, he must be having a laugh, or had too many JD’s.
On our day we are one of the best clubs to watch play football in England and we are not far off being the best in Europe either.
That’s it for today, tomorrow it’s the chavs – have a good Boxing Day…..