Knowing Your History

Arsene’s Magic is Far From Gone

By Zickar

Most of the members backpacking across arsenal forums are either in their late teens or early twenties and unless you have been around with the arsenal forever or had the comfort of watching some documentaries and read a few books about the history of AFC, you’ll probably be stuck with the idea that we were always a top class club and that Wenger hasn’t done anything special.

I’m one of those late arrivers at Arsenal . The first game I watched (on TV since I don’t live in England) for Arsenal was a CL game against Barca in 1999 that ended I think at 1-1 then, I was only 14 years then with a limited knowledge of Club football and I didn’t even know all those compeitions even existed, I then saw this red team with players like Bergkamp and Henry, they played the best football in the world.

Back then Arsenal were publicized as a force to be reckoned with, they were the title holders at 98 and had some of the best talents in the world and played the best football around. Back then I though Arsenal was always like that, but back then things were going fine.

Now that the going got tougher and the dry spell has went on for another year I was urged by a couple of my freinds to look at the history of Arsenal so I can realize the true bliss we’re in at the moment and what Edge Wenger has given.

I took a look at Arsenal History DVD and I was really surprised at the amount of downs we had , we even finished 17th once barely avoiding relegation, we had plenty of middle table seasons and we even had our dry spells, the biggest of which lasted 17 years …

Sure we had glorious days like in the 30s and the fifties and the late seventies but I haven’t seen any day Arsenal were as good as they were with Wenger, Sure the results might have become poor but we’ll bounce back, Knowing that with Wenger we went 8 or so seasons with a top two finish and 11 years of consecutive CL appearances, these are all achievements that should be credited for the man who made this possible : Wenger

What do you think?  Are Arsenal fans simply too spoiled or has Wenger lost his magic?  Share you opinions over at TheGoonerForum.

13 Responses to Knowing Your History

  1. Steve says:

    You only have to look at Arsenal’s greatest 50 players list to know that most Arsenal fans are clueless. Kanu 13!!!!!!!! Wiltord 33!!!! Absolutely outrageous. I know that you have to balance their talents vs what they did for Arsenal but even so. Kanu wasnt even the 13th best player when he played for Arsenal.

    Also, really surprised Limpar didnt make it on to the list whereas Overmars was really high up-shows that we do indeed have lots of younger fans

  2. El Tel says:

    Just to let you know George Graham played as much a part as your demi god

  3. arsene-knows says:

    Been a supporter since 1960. During those early days boy did I see some crap games.
    1971 and the double was the highlight of my childhood especially doing the congo on the pitch at White Hart Lane.
    Yes I think today fans have been thoroughly spoilt… stop your whinging and let Arsene do his job – he knows ya know.

  4. Didrik says:

    Makes me proud and somewhat sentimental everytime someone describes their first “meeting” with the Arsenal… For those who need an “easy” way to history: Watch (or better read) Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch. It’s the 1997 movie from the UK and NOT the US one from 2005 with Drew Barrymore!

  5. gus_gaius_caesar says:

    most blogs i run into have comments from other bloggers,their multiple pseudonyms and their friends moms bla bla….everyone super critical….f*ck that…

    my arsenal experience:
    first game went with my grandad..1982 v forest….east bank…..i wore some lame white shorts and my cousins old crinkly (what was that material?) 1979 shirt…..just an umbro logo and the cannon
    few years after became a junior gunner and stood at pitch level in the east bank…2 quid in i think…what a bargain…and right next to the action
    then graduated to the old north bank……

    my top player was without doubt rocky rocastle (disgracefully placed in the top 50 and yeah right,wheres anders limpar??)…..rocky was the business!!!….maradonna-esque….step overs,dummies,long winding runs,screamers…the lot…..THAT was our henry for the 80s……
    rocky rocky rocky rocky rocastle……one of my saddest arsenal experiences was hearing of his death….that meant a lot to me….that guy was our secret….he only had a short period of excellence,but no one touched him…..he was a reason to go watch the arsenal……you had to be there……he was hugely underrated at the time……..check some youtube….

    it’s about that special relationship….a personal thing…..growin up with red n white as the only colours you wear…..repeating AFC in yr head over and over again…..the dodgy farts in the north bank……the peanut sellers (see previous statement)…….its about the first team to employ multiple black players (viv anderson,rocky,mickey thomas,paul davis,kevin campbell,gus caesar)(?)……..yes this is london,not lancashire!!!….we need to celebrate the diversity of our squad whatever the haters throw at us…..le boss has it right….our traditional is one of multi culturalism…..something we should be proud of………allez les rouges!!!!!
    lets have a killer season…..for ROCKY!!!!
    gooner 4 life
    ps nasri + vela….great additions…lets have a couple more,in defence,then we’re ready for the scum – in all its incarnations

  6. Derek says:

    Most of the younger fans are the ones who read blogs etc.I am a supporter since 1979 and what I would have give nin the early 80’s for a title win.George Graham started the winning trend in the late 80’s and then due to some creative accounting he lost his job.However like Wenger when he won a title he never built on it.We were a cup team and after 91 we didn’t challenge for the lge.Remember in 1987 we had a good lead and threw it away and almost did the same in 1989.In 1995 we got to the cup winners cup final but struggled badly in the lge.We sold some great players Rocastle,Thomas ,Williams mainly due to not paying the wages they wanted, the same happened with Brady and Stapleton in 1980 and 1981.So players leaving becuse they could get more money elsewhere has not just happened under Arsene.Wenger took a team that was struggling for direction post Graham and not only won something but in style.George Grahams Arsenal won the title in 1991 in style losing only one game but from August 92 out went the style and in came a style that either won a game 1 nil, or lost it 1 nil.If you get a chance look at a video or dvd from the season 91-92 some of the goals scored from March that yr until the end of the season were unreal but like the last few seasons that team ended up potless.

    Wenger has his faults but tell me the name of a manager who could give us the chance of trophies with the financial restraints that Wenger is under.We have finished in the top four, got out of our group stages in champions lge ,won FA cups, got to a lge cup final and to the Champions lge final all done while spending less than Spurs and they have won the lge cup.

    Now the people who want us to sign Barry I am sure will have the name on a manager of equal talent who could do what Arsene has done.

  7. duke says:

    I’ve been lucky at 29 I remember only a little while of being dull with Howe, then the boring but glorious Graham years.

    Did you even know that for years we were called Lucky Arsenal, then quite rightly Boring Arsenal.

  8. Mike says:

    George Graham did NOT play as much of a part as Wenger.

    It’s very simple, Wenger IS the most successfull and longest serving Arsenal manager ever. That’s cold hard facts, it’s not debatable.

    Chapman was the second most successfull Arsenal manager.

    Chapman introduced the “D” outside the penalty box, floodlit games, the 45 min stadium clock, and many other innnovations (a single England manager instead of a comittee also being one of his ideas btw, and the mini-vegetable’s “idea” of having a “goal line judge” was suggested by Chapman in the 30s – just shows how out of it plant-teeny really is).

    Wenger has built the new training ground, been a major force in motivation and design of the new stadium, built up the academy, been responsible for some of the most scintillating football ever seen, never mind only at Arsenal, and done it on a smidgen of the budget of almost every other EPL club.

    George Graham was successfull as far as trophies went (but not as successfull as Wenger), but his teams played some of the worst football I’ve ever seen, never mind just at Arsenal.

    So yes, George Grham is part of Arsenal’s history, and a fair chunk of it’s success, but to claim he comes even vaguely close to Wenger in terms of achievement or importance to the club is completely delusional.

  9. Paulie says:

    Are you sure you are not 14 years old still son. Arsenal was a massive club long before that greedy comical Ali Wenger decided to milk us dry son. Never forget hes just the latest in a long line of great coaches. Its now time he moved on as hes clearly lost it. Every time he now speaks its embarassing for the fans. Wait for it any day now he’ll be tipping us to win everything and as usual come the business end of the season when Fabregas has run himself into the ground, the rest of Wengers chokers will shit themself under the pressure. Last years debacle must still be in your minds, when the most dramatic collapse ever by any team occured when this team shit themselves when it mattered. Always the same with Wengers teams, lets not forget when he was winning most of the players had been brought in by Graham and Rioch, Wenger just bought a few and then when they couldnt listen to his bullshit anymore they all fucked off. Time now for Wenger to do the same.

  10. Mike says:



    No, I don’t think so.

    In fact, considering that I have been an Arsenal fan since 1970, when I was 8 years old, and taking into account your apparently selective memory, coupled with your tenuous grasp of facts and your inability to present anything resembling a coherent argument, I doubt you’re in any position to be be referring to me as “son”.

    Why don’t you stick to your own kind, and hang out with all the other little Championship Manager morons over at le grove?

    Most sane, intelligent Gooners tend to leave you and your ilk over there alone, do us all a favour and leave the grownups elsewhere in peace.

    Remember that old adage, “children should be seen, not heard”.

  11. natsteel says:

    Paulie, are you serious?? Arsenal were a massive club before Wenger?? How do you define massive?? 2 English league titles in 25 years and one European trophy in the history of the club and that was a Cup Winners’ Cup. I wouldn’t say “massive.” They had practically no European let alone global profile before Wenger. Just how did Wenger “milk us dry”?? What did we have to milk dry? So you think Wenger’s time as manager has hurt the club? That’s what your statement implies. It also implies that you think we’d be better off if he had never been manager. Also, I’d hardly think that last year was “the most dramatic collapse ever.” 2002-2003 was far more devastating, for me at least.

    And if all this wasn’t enough to just ignore your post, we get this gem… “lets not forget when he was winning most of the players had been brought in by Graham and Rioch, Wenger just bought a few and then when they couldnt listen to his bullshit anymore they all fucked off.” Huh?? Most of the defense was there from Graham even in 2002 but basically the entire attack besides Bergkamp, Parlour (whose role was hardly the largest), and Wright in ’98) was brought in by Wenger. And his best team in 2003-04 had only Bergkamp and Parlour left from the pre-Wenger era. It seems yours is the post that reads like its done by a 14 year old.

  12. natsteel says:

    well done, Mike.

  13. Arranblonde says:

    ditto – well saId Mike / natsteel.

    Clearly some wee boys haven’t had to sit through games / results when things weren’t going for us – I can remember those bleak days of the mid ’70s (before a few good FA cup runs) and early 80’s. I can remember Graham’s teams being both superb and down right drab (buy a creative midfielder ….).

    Anyone who doubts Wenger is total class clearly was dropped on their heads as a baby.

    For me, Chapman is still the greatest Arsenal manager – yes Wenger has won more trophies but Chapman’s influence was immense. There’s still time for Arsene to create that side that will dominate domestic and European football and take over the mantel … go for it AW ….

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