By Tony Attwood
There is a clamour by journalists and their lapdogs in the blogettes at the moment for Arsene Wenger to be sacked because of the allegedly poor start to the 2015/16 season, in which his side has won one, drawn one and lost one.
I’ve just published a review of managers sacked this century, and it shows that not that many sackings have resulted in much improvement subsequently for the club.
So I wondered if any of our other successful managers had suffered the sacking that is called for by the press and their lap dogs on the blogettes would have gone before their time.
This of course leaves aside the issue that the calling for the sacking comes after two successive FA Cup wins and two Charity Shield wins, and coming 4th and 3rd in the league in the last two seasons. So just looking at the first three league games, and in all cases just recording results in seasons where the manager had another league championship to come.
So to be clear, if we had rejected the manager in any of the seasons listed before, then that manager would not have stayed on to win the league again. So Chapman would not have won the league in 1931 and 1933, Allison in 1938, Whittaker in 1953, Mee (the Double) in 1971, George Graham in 1990/1
Herbert Chapman: 1925/6. One win, one defeat, one draw (including a home defeat to Tottenham)
- Herbert Chapman 1928/9. One win, two defeats
- Herbert Chapman: 1931/2. Two draws one defeat.
- George Allison: 1935/6. One win, one draw, one defeat.
- George Allison: 1936/7. One win, one draw, one defeat.
- Tom Whittaker: 1948/9: One win, one draw, one defeat
- Tom Whittaker: 1949/50. Two defeats and one win.
- Tom Whittaker: 1951/2. One win, one draw, one defeat.
- Bertie Mee: 1967/8. Two defeats and a win
- Bertie Mee: 1969/70. One defeat one draw one win.
- George Graham 1986/7. One win and two defeats
- George Graham 1987/8. Two defeats and one win
- George Graham: 1989/90. One win, one draw, one defeat
- George Graham: 1991/2. Three defeats
- George Graham: 1992/3. Two defeats and one win – the year of the Cup double
So in this regard all our successful managers have been serial offenders, and if a starting run of one win, one draw and one defeat was considered a sackable offence, then they would all have gone before winning the league, and in Graham’s case also before the Cup Double.
Not quite apropos this, but related, there is often the complaint made that because Arsenal is the most expensive ground in the country, we ought to have the best team. It is an argument flawed on many different levels, but I’ve just come across some figures that seem to indicate that around 1960, Arsenal had an entry price to the clock end of 2/6 with no discount for children, and that this was the highest entry price for standing behind the goal in the 1st division.
As I have often said by way of a simple example, a Leicester fan coming to Arsenal will pay less for his away ticket than I pay for my away ticket at Leicester. Chelsea fans couldn’t believe that they could get into the Emirates for £10 for a league cup match. Nor Ipswich for a league cup semi-final. It all depends on what you measure, and the context you consider.