Lee Dixon has claimed Arsene Wenger’s success with Arsenal is ‘hugely’ down to George Graham.
The French boss took over from Graham back in 1996, and enjoyed widespread success in his opening years with the club.
Lee Dixon is now claiming that Wenger inherited much of the philosophy and defensive stability from his predecessor, and it would take years to fix his current issues.
Dixon said: “George has to take huge credit for setting up the foundations for Arsene.
“When Arsene came in he realised he had this base of what Arsenal was all about – and left it there.
“It had been drilled into us for five or six years. We had this ethos. It was built on a back four that could play blindfolded.
“And it worked for Arsene – as it had for George – for a long period and helped win lots of trophies.
“But for whatever reason, whether it was modern football or that he couldn’t find players to replicate it, this has been lost over time.
“George managed and coached in one way. Arsene was totally different, allowing his players much more freedom.
“But that balance has flipped the wrong way – and that’s the bit which is not right.
“Regaining that balance is very difficult. It takes many years to get it in the first place and you can’t just rediscover it overnight.
“It takes a huge amount of effort and time to get players into thinking that way again.”
Was Wenger the right man at the right time? Was he just lucky to inherit the defenders he did, which would work perfectly with the creative passing and possession policy which he installed?