Wenger Vs Chapman

The Most influential manager in Arsenal (Part 1)

When asked the question who is the most influential manager in Arsenal history, many tend to point out the obvious towards Wenger, But is it really the obvious and is Wenger really the most influential at Arsenal ??

Over the course of the next few days the gooner forum will be finding out the answer to that question as we remember some of our fine coaches over the decades and try to answer the question : Who is the most influential manager in Arsenal history ??

Today we start with Chapman and go onwards till we reach the Wenger days with highlights and summaries of every manager’s portfolio

Herbert Chapman (1878 – 1934)


Some call him the father of everything Arsenal, some call him the best manager in England at his time but either way Herbert Chapman will always be one of the finest managers in the history of the game that seemed to turn every team he managed into success.

Ever since it was established in 1886, Arsenal has been craving to win something worthy of the effort and for once to match ambition with achievement and enjoy life at the top.

Until 1925 Arsenal were stuck with mediocre performances and results that saw them float above the relegation zone a couple of times and even get relegated on the verge of world war I before negotiations saw them go back up after the league resumed post war, But all that was about to change.

In 1925, Arsenal went after Chapman and got him, the manager who has had a low profile as a player was a revelation as a manager, He helped turn the fortunes of Leeds City before they were incriminated with illegal payments and disbanded, he went on to manage Huddersfield town into their first titles with two First division titles and an FA cup in the space of four years.

Chapman who soon became an arsenal man at 1925 would turn out to be one of the most influential figures in Arsenal history for his supposed role in introducing many of the traditions that outlived him.

During his spell as Arsenal manager Chapman would see the introduction of the white sleeves Arsenal would become famous for in March 1933, Chapman was also reported to be behind renaming the local underground from “Gillespie Road” to “Arsenal”.

Chapman also have introduced the WM formation otherwise easily understood as a 3-4-3 formation that would be adapted by other clubs all over England.

Arsenal under Herbert’s guidance would go on to finish second in his first season five points behind Huddersfield Town but it would take him till the end of the decade to win his first league title in the 1930-31 season just 12 months after winning the FA cup the year before . Chapman would go on to win the league two more times in 1932-33 and the 1933-34 season, the season that Chapman had died before he could see Arsenal retain the title.

Herbert Chapman died of pneumonia on the 6th of January 1934 after watching Arsenal reserves at Guildford. Chapman was mourned by the football community and arsenal players alike and his death would see the fade of Arsenal into a series of disappointing seasons and results as they struggle to get the right formula again

Arsenal’s achievements with Chapman

League Winners in 1930–31, 1932–33, 1933–34 and runners up in 1925–26 and 1931–32
FA Cup Winners in 1929–30 and runners up in 1926–27 and 1931–32

By Zickar

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2 Responses to Wenger Vs Chapman

  1. brdgunner says:

    I have not read this yet but its a great title, and add to this the fact that we have run out of things to discuss.

  2. Dgob says:

    Different eras and challenges so not really a fair assessment possible here. Also, too few of us watched Chapman’s giants play.

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