What to make of George Graham – having a laugh, or one too many Malts??

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…..

58 thoughts on “What to make of George Graham – having a laugh, or one too many Malts??

  1. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 9:27am

    Morning all….

  2. gunnerwilliam

    December 26, 2010 at 9:28am

    I believe GG is right about height and power. It seems Wenger has forgotten about these two traits.
    That is why in a 50-50 situation, the gunners will lose. Brawn will overcome technique or brain power if you like.

  3. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 9:32am

    morning gunnerwilliam, i don’t think he’s wrong either with his comments about wenger lacking defence but just wish he didn’t add the other bit…

    our biggest and for me, best defender is JD, he and Squilli should start tomorrow…

  4. george graham

    December 26, 2010 at 9:32am

    But isn’t it true about defensive, barca, etc.?

  5. Moray

    December 26, 2010 at 9:34am

    Happy Christmas, Rico.

    I can’t disagree with a lot Graham says, but you’re right, he has sounded for years like a spurned suitor. And of course he laid the foundations for Wenger’s first title winning side and maybe feels he didn’t get enough credit. Of course, they don’t play better football than us, though…

    What the Spuds have that we don’t is natural wingers. We seemed to have spurned that in favour of playing wing backs who cannot cross and naturally central midfield players out wide. It is a curious way of playing which has not really borne fruit. Yes, it helps us to demolish weaker teams, especially when we get the first goal. But it also means the better teams (and some weaker teams) can defend against us with ease, and hit us on the counterrattack – ironic, really, considering we once had one of the best counterattacking teams I have ever seen.

    Oh well, let’s hope for the best against Chelski while having a few pounds on Drogba first and last to sweeten the pill of (almost inevitable) defeat…

  6. Moray

    December 26, 2010 at 9:35am

    notable also is that Spuds have been without their best centre-back pairing all season…

  7. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 9:39am

    hi gg – like i say in the post, i agree with his tactical comments just i don’t believe that the spuds are better than us, however, if wenger doesn’t pull his socks up, they soon will be…

  8. Moray

    December 26, 2010 at 9:41am

    george – Barca play a similar template to us, but instead of Chamakh or Bendtner up front, they have had Eto’o, Ibra, Villa…, instead of Densilson and Diaby, Xavi, Toure and Iniesta…Their defence is shocking too but a gifted DM sticking to his position provides the shield they need. Unlike “Pele” Song. They have come undone a couple of times recently by teams playing like some do against us to great success, but as Graham correctly points out, we will not and cannot play that way against them, so their superior players and better injury record will no doubt pay off against us.

    Also, their attitude and motivation is one of winners. Ours, alas, is not.

  9. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 9:41am

    morning moray, happy christmas to you too…

    unless JD and Chesney play, I can see us getting little from the game tomorrow, Kos and Squilli will struggle with Drogba and Clichy needs to be at his best too….

    GG certainly seems a bitter and twisted old man these days….

  10. Doublegooner

    December 26, 2010 at 9:43am

    Graham is spot on.

    Too much propaganda how good we are & that we play the best football.

    Wenger has gone backwards, his team is like watching those street ball jugglers. Fun for 10 minutes but none of them ever win anything & it gets monotonous after 15 mins with no end result.

  11. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 9:44am

    Spot on moray, wenger needs to ou think pepe rather than go all out attack, if we do that they will beat us at our own game.

    thats just why we have all been crying out for a lump of a DM and a lump of a CH, wenger could do with getting Samba, he’s not cup tied and he ticks the right boxes….

  12. Moray

    December 26, 2010 at 9:46am

    I guess nobody likes the next boyfriend to be more charming, glamorous and successful…especially when you put in all the hard work only to blow it on a drunken night out. In GG’s favour, I think he was a fantastic manager for us, and Arsenal were his team. After us, I think he couldn’t be bothered so much…

  13. K-TR7

    December 26, 2010 at 9:47am

    Morning all.

  14. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 9:47am

    Doublegooner, i think his defensive weaknesses have been exposed for a while, other than a free Sol Campbell and TV, has wenger really ever bought a great centre half?

  15. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 9:50am

    Moray, had wenger not inherited GG’s players, would we have achieved all that we have under him, my guess is no….

    If we could have the perfect mix it would be GG defensive approach and wengers offensive tactics…

  16. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 9:50am

    Morning KT…

  17. Doublegooner

    December 26, 2010 at 9:52am


    Only Tommy V appears to help his cause re: centre halves.

  18. kelsey

    December 26, 2010 at 9:53am

    Morning all.

    I find myself agreeing with Martin Keown:

    “There’s lots of talk about the back four but I think they need to be a bit more demanding of the people that play in front of them and certainly those in wide positions.
    I think the wide players can do more to help, and our attitude used to be the more they do in front of us, the less we do.
    It’s ok wanting to play with the ball, but you have to play without it. You need to defend as a team.”

    “You win together, you lose together. The full backs are able to attack with great venom and great energy, so why can’t the wide players defend with the same energy?
    It’ about a willingness to work for one another. You can’t carry any passengers and I just think one or two of them could do more when they’re not in possession.”

    “I still believe this Arsenal team can win the title; of course they can. They’re in the hunt… So it’s all there for the taking – if only the whole team can work together.”

    GG is a personal friend of minr of many years,so I rather not comment about him,though there is no question he did wrong and got ,whilst others have got away with it for years.

  19. kelsey

    December 26, 2010 at 9:54am

    should say….and got caught

  20. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 9:57am

    thats just my point DG, why couldn’t he go and get another like him last summer, but a bit taller ….

  21. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 10:00am

    morning kelsey,

    keown is right too, but wenger is to blame for allowing the likes of song to race of up the pitch, we all know he’s too slow to play that role.

    re GG, no probs, i remember he is a friend of course, hope i haven’t offended…

  22. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 10:09am

    DG, ouch but it’s pretty bloomin accurate…

  23. ANELKA

    December 26, 2010 at 10:11am

    There is merit to George Graham’s claims that Spurs have been more exciting to watch than Arsenal this season.

    Whether this fact is true or not, we as Arsenal fans have a lot to be thankful for. Most games that Arsenal play whether we win or lose are exciting games.

    Even if the gameplay of Arsenal has been a little bit boring with little end product, we unlike a lot of other clubs get the privilege of witnessing many young plays grow into superstars.

    We as Arsenal fans will soon get to see kids grow into men and win the league. Such an accomplishment will be far more exciting than anything the Spur can produce.

    We have a lot to be grateful for, including Arsene Wenger an amazing world class manager.

    Your thoughts…

  24. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 10:13am

    ‘They have no depth of character. They are now just about frippery and indulgence. Shallowness, as Wilde would have told them, is the only vice’.


  25. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 10:14am

    Anelka, wenger was a world class manager and thats the man we need back….. right now he far away from the man who joined us in 1996….

  26. JonJon

    December 26, 2010 at 10:15am

    he isnt the only manager who has taken a bung he just got caught..george did no different to what agents do now..the totnum thing was his choice but maybe he needed the money..

    he created the best defence the leagues ever seen and gave wenger the foundations of a team to win the double double so cant really knock him too much..

    cant really knock him either for his comments hes bang on..lack of end product is what kills us

    i also disagree with keown..we dont have any wide players..the Fb’s are the widemen..its the two players who sit in front of the defence who needs to protect and cover the defensive gaps..but when ones an attacker and the other ones told to push forward all the time the defence will be always exposed..

  27. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 10:19am

    all i can say jj, if you don’t abuse your position, you can’t get caught…. he should have been above all temptation, he’d poss still be our manager now if he did….

  28. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 10:24am

    back in a while…..

  29. K-TR7

    December 26, 2010 at 10:24am

    For all the talk of lack of end product,the league table doesn’t lie.

  30. JonJon

    December 26, 2010 at 10:25am

    they all do it though rico..

    the reason wenger wont sign a superstar is cos a 20 mill pound player really costs 40mil cos after a 10mil signing on fee and a 10 mil agent fee the price tag of the player is just a subsidy for the club..

    GG got caught for something they have now made technically legal..

    a 5 mill agent fee is technically a legal term for a bung…

    didnt really have agents in those days..so the managers took the ‘bung’..george just got slack and didnt announce it on his tax forms or something..thats why he got done..

  31. JonJon

    December 26, 2010 at 10:27am

    hey ktr..

    no your right the table dont lie but if we had better end product we’d be top..

    our fb’s are piss poor when it comes to final ball..thats the problem spurs dont have..but thats the only position they are stronger

  32. Mark

    December 26, 2010 at 10:28am

    If Spurs have more end product than us, maybe George could explain why they have scored 25 league goals this year & we have scored 34.

  33. JonJon

    December 26, 2010 at 10:33am

    never guess who i had the pleasure of meeting on thursday night doing xmas shopping in leeds for his mrs???

    sol campbell..what a legend..he was really pleasant as well as humble..total professional..

    made my xmas did that..

  34. K-TR7

    December 26, 2010 at 10:34am

    Good to see you jj.been a long time

  35. JonJon

    December 26, 2010 at 10:40am

    ive had a lot on ktr..

    had a massive court case last year took months to sort out..thought id turned a corner a few months ago but got landed with massive court costs so i been putting double shifts in to clear the bill..

    i’ll be around more next year..

  36. JonJon

    December 26, 2010 at 10:46am

    ssn reckons wengers after chris samba..

    depends on his price tag but unless he plays in midfield i dont see how we need him..

  37. binjgunner

    December 26, 2010 at 10:50am

    GG Is spot on
    Our defence is suspect
    u need a solid defence to win Trophies

  38. Bala

    December 26, 2010 at 11:08am

    Fuck Graham and Spurs

  39. K-TR7

    December 26, 2010 at 11:31am

    A couple of days ago i wrote about how poor our off the ball movement is at the moment.Aw mentioned before this game that we’ll have to produce a ‘dynamic perfomance’ now that cesc and rvp10 are fully fit.i really hope those off the ball movements be there because the last time we beat the chavs at home they couldn’t cope with us.we all fear being counter attacked but we should impose our game on them and rattle them.take your chances Arsenal!Barca played a high line vs madrid despite having puyol and pique against özil/ronaldo/di maria/Benzema.they imposed their game on madrid,chased and harried them to submission.more importantly they were very clinical.they had 8 shots on target with 5 ending up as goals.i hope we do the same.

  40. vinagunner

    December 26, 2010 at 12:12pm

    totts have better defence? how come they’ve more goals conceded than arse?

    totts have more end products? how come they have scored less goals than arse?

    totts are better? how come arse are second and totts are fifth?

    some genius please explain!

  41. vinagunner

    December 26, 2010 at 12:12pm

    totts have better defence? how come they’ve more goals conceded than arse?

    totts have more end products? how come they have scored less goals than arse?

    totts are better? how come arse are second and totts are fifth?

    some genius please explain!

  42. Rennie

    December 26, 2010 at 2:03pm

    Rico, I don’t think that its possible to marry GG’s defensive approach with Wenger’s offensive tactics. They’re clearly 2 mutually exclusive approaches

    However we can & must demand a lot more work/effort put in by most of our lazy players especially when we don’t havta ball… Attack with ball & Hassle when without it, now that shld work!

  43. Rennie

    December 26, 2010 at 2:10pm

    KT, good pt there – ‘rattling the opposition by imposing our offensive game on them’ is precisely Wenger’s tactic, well more like his only tactic…

    Everybody says that he’s following Barca’s strategy, but I really believe that even our Invincibles employed similar tactics. So we’re no copycats! If anyone deserves credit, then its probably Rinus Michels’ Dutch side of the 70s. What’s played these days I guess are just offshoots of that.

    The only diff btw Barca’s game & ours (without taking Lil’ Messi into consideration ofcourse) is what’s done without the ball. Even the so-called superstars of Barca – Xavi, Iniesta, etc. pressure the opposition in the midfield & thereby shutting all routes of progress to their goal. But when our own primadonnas lose the ball, they linger in their forward positions hopin that someone(?) in defense will retrieve it back for them

  44. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 3:55pm

    Boo, anyone around? I have just had a family lunch and now i cannot move :(

  45. Rennie

    December 26, 2010 at 5:40pm

    S#%^!!! Utd beat Sunderland, don’t know why we shld even bother turning up for the league.. Ol’ Red Nose’s side have so many guaranteed points every season, what with servile creatures like Brucie & Fat Sam eagerly serving up their arses on a platter… Could Santa deliver a few back bones neatly tied up in a stocking?

    The Winter Red Bugle Express is building up speed as usual ppl, is 2nd place the only realistic thing left to fight for? (Fervently hoping that am wrong!)

  46. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 6:04pm

    Hi Rennie, makes tomorrows game even more important, wenger must get it right…..

  47. Rocastle

    December 26, 2010 at 6:22pm

    =D Rico

  48. kelsey

    December 26, 2010 at 7:46pm

    I have a horrible feeling…..to be continued

  49. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 8:01pm

    boo – bet you have all gone again….

  50. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 8:02pm

    hi kelsey, rocastle….

  51. rico

    December 26, 2010 at 8:39pm

    all quiet, so i’m departing, be good and stay safe all…

    til tommorow…

  52. rico

    December 27, 2010 at 7:29am


    kelsey, to be continued…. today?

  53. kelsey

    December 27, 2010 at 8:12am

    I have e mailed you,rico,but my computer is playing up.

    Have you received it ?

  54. rico

    December 27, 2010 at 8:15am

    Hi kelsey, i’ll check now..

  55. rico

    December 27, 2010 at 8:25am

    Just checked it kelsey and have replied…

  56. rico

    December 27, 2010 at 8:29am

    Mark Clattenburg is the referee tonight, he likes us doesn’t he??

  57. rico

    December 27, 2010 at 9:15am

    New Post up

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