The truth about Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal defences compared to George Graham

NO DEFENCE SINCE 2006 GOES THE CLAIM, BUT IS IT REALLY TRUE WHEN WE COMPARE GRAHAM/RIOCH TO WENGER? NO, AS THE STATS CONFIRM BELOW:

This has always been the claim, with Wenger’s defenders described as simply “dross” versus the legendary George Graham defence that Arsene Wenger inherited, so let’s take a closer look.

I used our official handbook 2018/19, to check the amount of goals conceded and, as a further interesting point, looked at where we finished and used that as an average for the league each year from when GG started his reign as manager. This would also show just how important the defence is when analysing final positions. After all, if we let in two hundred goals but finished first, would anyone care?

To make things even more interesting, I looked at AW’s first ten years versus his second ten years (referenced as A1 and A2) and added Bruce Rioch’s one season to GG’s nine to create another ten years for comparison, AND FOR THOSE OF YOU ALREADY SHOUTING FOUL, here are the facts for GG’s last year and BR’s one season:

GG = 49 GA & Final Position = 12th BR = 32 GA & Final Position = 5th – so, no stitch up just improved stats for GG, as confirmed further down and an equal playing field for comparisions.

So, the following three examples are what I uncovered and worked out using averages.

GG = 356 goals against/ Average= 35.6…Average Final Position=4.9…Worst final position 12th.
A1 = 334 goals against / Average= 33.4…Average Final Position=3.0…Worst final position 4th.
A2 = 386 goals against / Average= 38.6…Average Final Position=3.4…Worst final position 4th.

Now the ten years of GG’s record, shows a total of 356 goals let in, as we happily chanted “1-0 to The Arsenal”. I did it on the North Bank at Highbury and still do it at the Clock End at the Emirates, and I love it!!

The first ten years of A1 sees a total of 334 goals let in, along with exciting attacking football that saw this, along with the terrific defensive record take us to the top, including AW’s own assembled Invincible defence, and nothing to do with GG’s inherited back four of course.

The next ten years of our so called “no defence” sees a total of 386…certainly 30 more than GG’s figure, but a final positional figure from A2 that completely outshines GG’s record.

Also the claim that AW inherited GG’s watertight defence is completely false as, firstly, Rioch was able to improve it by seventeen goals and remember, after Wenger equalled that, he also improved the league position from GG’s final 12th, to BR’s 5th to, in his very first season, 3rd.
In fact, under the so called “genius of GG’s defences”, our lowest position of 12th (in the 1994/95 season) was recorded, and it was the worst since the 1975/76 season of 17th under Bertie Mee.

Now I include the complete figures for EVERY game under Graham, Rioch and Wenger below:

GG: Pld 507-Won 247 =48.7%- Drw 147=30.0%- Lst 113=22.3%- GF 778 =1.5 ave- GA440 =1.15 ave.

BR: Pld 47-Won 22 =46.8%- Drw 15 =32.0%- Lst 10 =21.2%- GF 67 =1.4 ave- GA37 =1.20 ave.

AW:Pld 1235 Won 716 =60.0%- Drw 266=21.6%- Lst 253=20.4%- GF 2298 =1.9ave- GA1227 =0.99 ave.

So, AW heads the list in all catagories, most wins, least draws, least defeats, most goals for and least goals conceded – tactically unaware? Perhaps it’s certain fans who should have that label?

We should look again at those “dross players” and/or those “defensive frailities” of AW’s so called tactically unaware times, especially when we analyse the days of the defensive maestro GG, so just how did AW1 & 2 achieve twenty top four finishes with no defensive tactics and dross defenders?

As a final insult to the chant of 1-0 to The Arsenal, GG averaged 10.3% with that score, while the score for AW was 10.6%….funny old game, but if one shouts a false opinion long and loud enough, it starts to become the truth – dross players or just wrong opinions?!?!

All the above facts (bar the 1-0 % for GG and AW above, that’s from youtube) can be checked via the official handbook 2018/19 of course and then averages worked out by individuals.

Ken1945

64 Comments

  1. SAGooner says:

    You know the saying about statistics, Pat: ‘Lies, damn lies, and statistics’. Different era, different opposition, different EVERYTHING. Absolutely meaningless in my opinion. Wenger forgot the hard work and started the pussyfooting football, neglected the defensive structures and started the slump. Sideways and backwards passing became the norm, nobody looked forward anymore, because nobody was running in the front. Merson put the nail on the head when he recently said that for the last 10 years Arsenal have been the worst team in the EPL without the ball. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

  2. Mike says:

    Wenger had , strong, physical and skillful players in almost each position in his early years in charge, players like Gilberto, Petite, Lauren, Adams, Bould, and Vieira players that could compete and beat players like United’s Keane. I still don’t understand why he moved away from that blue print, so in hindsight he didn’t really need that good a defense compared to GG.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍 Mike, I too cannot understand Arsene Wenger’s change in the player type, which had been so successful for him and the Arsenal?

      1. Mike says:

        That truly is a mystery ozziegunner

  3. stevo says:

    Most of GG era was when 90% of Arsenal players were English. Wenger was one of thre first European managers and brought in many European and Black players and so had an early advantage . But then Abramovich and Mourinho
    arrived and also recruited European and Black players. Mou destroyed Wenger in 2005 and Wenger never won the title again because that early advantage was lost. Wenger was saved by Kroenke who was not interested in winning trophies So Wenger was allowed to cruise in the 4th place zone for ten years. Even two years in the El did not worry Kroenke. Only fan protest got rid of Wenger otherwise he’d still be here today.

    1. Dan says:

      When you say European and black players , what do you mean mate ?
      Im not type too punk anyone out but what do you mean
      Why not European.Or white players
      Plus we had English European and English players who were black
      Just clarify what you mean

      1. SueP says:

        Perhaps he meant black African players. My memory isn’t great but although there were plenty of black players being both British and European I’m not sure if many came from Africa as in playing for an African nation before Wenger. I don’t recall losing players to the African cup of Nations prior to AW’s reign

    2. Diogenes says:

      Wenger’s budget compared to Fergie’s and Mourinho’s was peanuts. And you’re talking of Wenger’s ADVANTAGE?

      As you will realise in the following years—-many many years probably—-3rd or 4th and a few FA cups is excellent when you’re competing against massively wealthier clubs.

      Also a word about deceitful ‘fans’:

      Either you discount ALL stats or you use them even when they don’t suit your narrative.

      This mostly goes to people who are obsessively mean and unjust when talking about Ozil or Wenger (usually the same pathetic excuses for men).

      I was happy Wenger was gone and I agree Ozil should follow soon, but the ungenerous vitriol some among the obsessives spew here and on other forums is embarrassing and suggest mental pathologies.

      When Ozil’s stats made him one of top 5 MFs in Europe for YEARS, stats were meaningless according to them. But now when his stats are mediocre, these same fools have begun using stats to make arguments against him. How despicable!

      It seems to be the same with Wenger…

      1. edwardcurtling says:

        you also foet that we built a six hundred and forty million stadium while chelsea and man u. were laying out millions on new players-kept us poor but you get the best you moaning arsenal supporters—support –you cant always win -sport doesn’t work like that

    3. gee says:

      “. Wenger was one of thre first European managers and brought in many European and Black players and so had an early advantage”

      Chelsea during the vialli and Gullit years had loads of european players and “black players” before wenger was here.
      Also George Graham had a teams of Micheal Thomas, Paul Davis, David Rocastle, Kevin Cambel, Ian Wright, chris kiwomya. Also we had Limpar (swedish) (Jensen) European.

    4. jon fox says:

      And as all racists know skin pigment and being born in any allowable country that racists do not dislike makes all the difference in talent. My late, racist and unlamented Aunt used to say, in true bigot style, that ALL black people have india rubber heels. I knew, even at age seven, that this was arrant, hurtful, human damaging nonsense and have spent my whole adult and late teen life actively fighting disgusting, obscene bigotry and racism.

      I cannot in truth call Stevos post above as OVERT racism but I find it disturbing and would welcome a clarification by him. Why were Euro and black players “an early advantage”? And an advantage over what exactly?

      1. Dan says:

        For once agree with Jon Fox , just in terms of clarification
        It’s like the post is saying there are English.players , European players , then black.players
        You have races from England , Europe , Africa , South.America , etc

    5. ken1945 says:

      stevo, and what, exactly, does any of that have to do with comparing the stats of GG and AW, especially in defence?

      That’s what this article is about and let’s hope Arteta can cruise into fourth place as well!!!

  4. Igot350K4doingnothingandyou? says:

    Is it a coincidence or a fact that the decline of Arsenal started with Mesut signing for us? After he came over we never controlled the midfield the way we used to build our attack from. Sanchez and Carzola were the ones who carried the team forward and protected Ozil from being exposed. Once they left top 4 was gone forever. The pussyfooting of side-back IMO was due to the fact that Ozil could/will never take on his man one on one and move forward, just pass around for that “defense splitting pass” which never comes. In the first season a hungry Sanchez would do all the dirty work after receiving a simple pass which then would go on to be a “defense splitting pass”. Players like Xhaka, Elneny have no pace or agility for the modern day game. Hence Elneny is struggling. Mkhitaryan was sacrificed from his natural position to accommodate Ozil, today he plays his natural game for Roma and is doing well. We would be much better had we retained Mkhitaryan and released Ozil. Mkhitaryan has a physical presence and loves to go forward, unlike Ozil who lacks stamina for a 90 minute game.So coming to the point of comparing defenses, a poor midfield will always burden the defense, so let us not entirely blame the defense all the time.And with aging players – Socrates, Luiz, what can one expect, add to that the non existent midfield of our day.

    1. Dan says:

      We had gone 8 years without a trophy before Ozil though
      Won 3 Cups and got to 2 finals since he’s been here

    2. gee says:

      “Is it a coincidence or a fact that the decline of Arsenal started with Mesut signing for us?”

      Wow. So you enjoied the trophy less Fabregas yrs better than actually winning stuff?

      when people spout stuff with no stats, facts to back what they say then it sounds and reads really dumb!.

      Seems there is a lot of talk without thought.

      1. Igot350K4doingnothingandyou? says:

        What did Mesut win us? The recent FAs were a result of Giroud & Ramsey. We did reach the Carling Cup final in 2011 only to loose due to a blunder from Kos . We did reach the UCL final only to lose due to a red card.For those with a forgetful memory, Arsenal finished 2nd in 2005,2016; 3rd in 2008, 2010, 2012,2015; 4th in 2006/7/9. During the “barren” Fabregas years we did play entertaining football and were never below 4th. I am trying to point out that certain players like Ozil have to realize their years at a competitive club are over, be humble like Rooney or Kosceilny and play elsewhere where the level of competition is low and suites their physical state. This is the only reason the likes of Wolves or S.Wed are above us and we are threatened by Burnley & C.Palace. Blind faith in players based on past laurels is taking us nowhere up the EPL table.

  5. Dan says:

    I heard pundits for years day he inherited a famous back 4 but could never build one
    My answer always is the Invinsibles
    Lauren , Campbell , Toure were his signings
    Cole he promoted from youth team

  6. Durand says:

    Must we constantly discuss Wenger? Can we move on and deal with our current state, or will we start discussing Arteta’s first year against Wenger and Graham too?

    Perhaps we can discuss how Wenger preferred style over substance next.
    We all should appreciate what he brought us, and vast majority do. But in the end he ran out of answers, couldn’t adapt to the ever-changing game, and his sun finally set.

    20 years in CL was remarkable, 20 years and no CL title was also remarkable. Let’s get with our current manager and look to our future.

  7. Dan says:

    If you don’t wish to discuss Wenger why click on heading Wenger defence compared to GG ?
    You must have known article would mention Wenger ?
    Be like me, saying ‘ must we talk about trains ?’
    Then reading a train magazine
    Then saying ‘ must we debate about trains ?:
    Then writing your opinion on trains lol

    1. ozziegunner says:

      I enjoy trains more than football, yet I still come on this site🤔.

      1. Dan says:

        Nothing wrong with trains lol

    2. Durand says:

      I thought I did discuss Wenger and make my comment, I just happened to preface it with a question of constantly discussing.

      Perhaps you only read the first sentence and skipped the parts where I said Wenger preferred style over substance, ran out of answers, and failed to adapt.

      I actually added something to the discussion beyond my initial question, but your mindless analogy about trains is substantive and relevant to the debate?

      1. Dan says:

        No you were clearly complaining about Wenger being written about , you mention nothing about his or G G defensive records
        It’s direspectful to someone who taken their time to.research and write an article out of his passion the club

        1. Durand says:

          Thought the “ran out of answers” and “couldn’t adapt” was discussion and my opinion. Feel free to disagree on those points, hence “debate.”

          I seemingly have drawn your attention for some reason, so we can debate if you like, but don’t lecture me on comments and opinions based on what you consider to be proper.

  8. Phil says:

    So Ken-if what you are saying is correct, it seems I was totally wrong to Lambast Wenger when walking out of Old Trafford after enduring the total embarrassment of being slaughtered 8-2 by United.What I should have been thankful for is that if it was George Graham as manager the anhialation would have been even worse.Thank god for Wenger.I should have been thanking him also for the 6-1 at Old Trafford,6-3 at The Ethiad, 6-0 at Stamford Bridge, and TWO 6-1 thrashings by Bayern Munich.
    As you say, it’s a funny old game.

    1. ken1945 says:

      No Phil – what you should be doing is trying to explain why the stats from our official hanbook prove beyond question that AW had a better record than GG when one looks at the two records at any level one wants…be it win rate, GA, GF, trophies…anything that takes your fancy.

      of course you remember the 8-2 thrashing and all the other ones you mention…have you forgotten the Luton Town and Swindon thrashings at Wembley, or the fa cup defeats at Walsall and Millwall?

      This is not about these awful results though, just as it is not about Ozil (how he got involved I don’t know) – what this is about is the actual records of two managers, one who has been glorified as the genius odf defending and the other as a man who knew nothing about defending – that is all.
      As you know, I have asked the question so many times about AW and “how did he do it with dross defenders, no idea of defending and not being able to organise a defence”.

      As all I got in reply was waffle, I decided to look at the actual facts regarding this persistent accusation – and by looking at said facts and have disproved it completely..unless you want to disagree with the clubs own records and history?
      Now I’m not arguing about the players we signed, I’m not arguing about the style of football and I’m not arguing about the humiliations suffered (as of course we did under GG agreed?).
      All I am doing, is putting forward a breakdown of the figures that form part of our history and that of GG and AW- how you want to react to them proving that one manager had a better record than the other is entirely up to you.

      What it has done for me, is answered the question that no one else seemed to want/ could explain, he did it by having a defensive record that, it seems, nobody (me included) realised, a better defence than the legendary George Graham.

      Ialso found the stats for Rioch very interesting, in that he improved Adam’s legendry defence by 17 goals in his one and only season, but I guess that will be ignored.

      1. Phil says:

        So Ken, this is one of those occasions when stats are no doubt mis-leading.
        Let’s take the latter part of the George Graham years.There is no doubt the 1994-95 season was not good at all, and that’s purely from a results and performance perspective and not including the infamous “Unsolicited Gift” of £425k he stole from the Club. The team were allowed to go very stale. Yet I cannot remember ever being on the wrong side of a 6-1, 6-2 or 8-2 thrashing. Can you?
        But it became a recurring theme with Wenger. Away at Anfield and being 4-0 down in 20 minutes before losing 5-1. And NOBODY was surprised.
        Are you seriously telling me you would rate the Wenger defence post Invicible season over the famous George Graham back four? That same back four that Rioch never even tinkered with, and Wenger was fortunate to inherit?
        Now Ken, blind faith in Wenger is one thing, but common sense and a half decent knowledge of football will tell everyone that the famous four/five became legendary in English Football not just at Arsenal. I somehow cannot recollect Senderous, Djouru, Schillachi, Stepenovs, Silverstri, Eboue, Santos, etc etc etc ever quite achieving those accolades.Do you?
        Or am I missing something here?

        1. ken1945 says:

          I have no argument with you on anything you say, apart from the stats being mis-leading and the “recurring theme” as if it happened every other week – if it did the stats would be so different (plus you didn’t acknowledge the Luton, Swindon etc humiliations).

          As I said, I am not judging players, results, or even pre-post anything and I made that quite clear.

          What I asked so many fans was this:
          How with the playerssuch as you rightly mention – Senderous, Djouru,Schillachi, Stepenovs, Silvestri, Eboue, Santos etc etc -how was Wenger able to keep our club in a top four position and through to the CL knock out stages?

          That is, in actual fact, what you are missing!!!

          Of course the thrashings you mentioned were bound to come with those type of players and come they most certainly did…I am not arguing with you regarding that scenario in any way, shape or form – it actually happened!!

          It is precisely because of that reason that I wanted to find out more. How, despite everything you say (and nearly most of which I agree with), was he able to keep us as a recognised and worthy top four outfit?

          The stats are facts Phil, like it or lump it – misleading?

          Well, that was the whole point of me spending time looking at them, to try and understand them – not as blind faith in Wenger or as a half brained fan with no common sense of football, but as someone seeking a genuine explanation to something that, on the face of it, doesn’t seem possible.

          Dross players, no tactics, a manger who had no idea of defence – all regular accusations from such as yourself.

          There had to be a reason why and that’s what I looked for – the results are there for you or anyone else to dispute, deny or agree with, but they are what they are…all undoctored and in the club’s official handbook – sorry if that upsets you.
          They are facts and not opinions.

          So Phil, as a respected full brained, completely common sensed football fan, with no liking for Wenger, just forget GG for a minute and explain to me, if the players you mentioned were as you see them, the manager had completely lost the art of defending as you see him…how did we maintain top four without a defence capable of defending anything?

          The only answer can be that the stats are not misleading for starters – then you have a choice: either AW was better coaching his defence than you give credit for OR the players were better than you give credit for…it has to be one or the other – and from my research into the stats, AW eclipsed GG in all aspects of the game, so it has to be him in my opinion.

          Phil, it is impossible, I feel, to separate GG’s wonderful, irresistable, wonderfully organised Adams defence, from AW’s Invincibles.
          If you remember, GG so nearly achieved it, just one defeat away to Chelsea if I remember correctly – AW did achieve it.
          That is why, everything after was seen as a disaster, but it seems it wasn’t!!

          Of course, post Invincibles, we never got anywhere near to having that kind of back four and yet, Phil, somehow AW kept the defence tighter than in GG’s era. The percentage of 1-0’s mentioned backs that up.

          I stick with my opening statement, the facts state that GG was not the master defensive tactician we all thought he was and AW outshone him in stats, if not style.

          1. Phil says:

            Ken-This is one of those conundrums that is very hard to justify.Your stats are there and it would be wrong of me to argue with them.The stats are in fact,fact.Therefore they are undisputable..But,and this is where I am coming from, if AW was as defensively acutely, as you suggest, why did he allow us to be thrashed by all the previously mentioned teams? And why did he allow the numerous totally embarrassing defensive displays to “lesser” teams to become the norm? Sheffield Wednesday Away in the League Cup.A humiliating 3-0 loss.Forest Away FA Cup. A 4-2 defeat that was so typical of Wenger in his later seasons in charge. I recall being at Swansea on a cold winters evening going down 3-1 when we not only took the lead but had over 70% possession.A Boxing Day capitulation Away at Southampton where we were thrashed 4-0.How can these be called a Wenger master-class in defending? How many more would you care for me to mention? So why I agree I cannot dispute the stats you have produced, can you seriously ignore the results that are equally there as fact?
            Finally Ken, you must be congratulated on the way you have so diligently and purposely researched the statistics for your article. I must ask.Have you nothing better to do? And have you ever thought of taking up knitting as a hobby?

          2. ken1945 says:

            Phil, I have no answer to your questions regarding the defeats and how they occurred in relation to the stats.
            Actually,it’s you who has just called them a master class in defending, I would certainly not be that positive.
            Just so thankful that, despite all these results, he managed to keep us a top four club for so long – a magical time so sorely missed.

            Time wise, I’m a gooner mad old git, who loves to research my team and other fans thoughts and opinions and when someone shows me that I got something wrong regarding The Arsenal to recognise it gracefully and not dwell on it.

            Knitting? As you know, one in the household is more than enough, but Marian says if you want to learn, just let her know.

        2. Dan says:

          Phil- could you not argue – Cole was better then Winturburn,
          Lauren better then Dixon , Campbell better then Adams , Toure Bould

          I.stress not saying they are but you.could have that debate ?

          1. Reggie says:

            Different eras and all about opinion.

  9. jon fox says:

    Admin, Why did my long detailed post debunking the amateur way stats are so often misused , disappear please. It initially appeared on here and was not abusive , so why is it gone,please?

    1. Admin Martin says:

      No idea, I will look into and see if someone else removed it or if the damn software is playing up again. I certainly never binned it.

    2. Admin Martin says:

      OK Jon, None of your posts have been deleted today, I have asked Pat and he has not deleted anything, I have not, it is not in the bin or spam and so I am at a total loss what has happened to it. Sorry I cannot offer any better response other than to confirm, no one has deleted the post.

      1. jon fox says:

        Well then thanks MARTIN and the plot thickens, as they say. I have become a victim of the phantom post remover of Old London Town. Wonder how the two Ronnies would sketch THAT one out!

      2. jon fox says:

        MARTIN, If it helps, I put my span in the bin. Not computer spam but the blooming stuff they ate in the war. My missus actually likes it; no accounting for her taste! But my cat eats it. Mind you, my cat is so daft he probably thinks Ozil is worth his wages!

  10. ThirdManJW says:

    Stats can be extremely misleading, but the entire article lost its credibility when you combined Graham and Rioch into one entity.

    1. ken1945 says:

      I explained why I amalgamated the two, but themn thought this might be used as an excuse to discredit the article, so…
      what you cannot argue with is the final set of stats that do not combine Graham and Rioch, they are stand alone figures of the three managers mentioned – and prove again that one manager stood out as having the best stats…so what is misleading about that?

      1. ken1945 says:

        Also, TMJW what stats can be extremelymmisleading?

        The ones that don’t agree with a personal opinion?

        official stats serve a purpose, that of being able to verify something – if you have noticed, I have NEVER queried stats of a certain player, they can’t be disputed.
        What one can discuss is the areas that result surrounding those stats, like 20 years in the top 4.

  11. Bobs says:

    Some people can’t just swallow there pride and accept the truth. Always finding excuses to criticise and make his words stand.

    Wenger has the best defensive stat and that’s just it but making up an excuse of him been beaten 8-2, 6-1 etc shows hatred of the man and not football.

    I can’t remember any Man United coach been beaten more than 6-2 after Ferguson but yet you can’t compare them with the great man.

    Another one giving excuse that the article loses credibility cos he compaired GG and BR stats together is dumb cos the article emphasise on it before it start and he even give analyze the stat of the 3 managers separately.

    You don’t need to love Wenger (cos he care less about your hatred and the club don’t even care if you hate him or not, they we always adore him) and you don’t need to let us know you habor hatred for him. Keep your hatred to yourself.

    Jon Fox is a real critics of Wenger but his words about Wenger shows no hatred. Though sometimes harsh.

    Ken
    I give it to you, though I thought GG has a better defensive records but thanks for clearing my mind.

    Best Article.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Thanks Bobs, this has bugged me for ages and I must admit, it surprised me when I did the calculations – like you I thought GG would win it hands down.

    2. Phil says:

      Bob-perhaps if you had suffered the utter humiliation of walking out of Old Trafford after those two defeats, plus all the others I had mentioned in Munich, Anfield, Ethiad and Stamford Bridge then you might have felt exactly the same as myself and all the other thousands of supporters who made those same trips. I’m sure you will believe me when I say that I am struggling to recall anyfan leaving those grounds saying “ well we might have just got a right jolly thrashing but let’s not forget Mr Wenger still has the best defensive statistics of all the previous managers”.

  12. Stewart Macintosh says:

    Stats are always fun so thanks for doing the math. Might be interesting to add in some controls for league goals for and against (averages) to compare individual Arsenal teams or eras – that would at least help to control for the variations in style of play, etc.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Stewart, I did start to do this for every competition and right back to Bertie Mee, who’s accumulated figures were horrendous – let in nearly as many as were scored!!!

      A complete nightmare that was hard to control – for instance the different number of fa cup games, european games and league cup games – try it my friend it’s nigh on impossible!!!

      1. Phil says:

        I thought about doing it Ken as I walking out of St James Park after watching us lose a FOUR NIL half time lead to draw the game FOUR ALL.But decided not to as I still had a 300 mile drive home. Bit lazy of me I suppose.

      2. Stewart Macintosh says:

        I don’t doubt that in the least. It is why theory is so much nicer than practice 🙂 After I posted and started to look around for the data and it quickly became apparent as to how hard that would be…

  13. Reggie says:

    Its funny how stats can deceive the reality. Nearly everyone agrees that GGs defence was better and he was a driller of defence. I cant remember GG getting beaten 8-2 or 6-0 in the prem or even 10-2 0n aggregate in Europe. It interesting that stats are telling porkies from reality but i suppose the fact that football has changes out of all recognition in the last 40 years every decade may have something to do with it, i dont know. We have been through periods of different types of team and teams domination at tactics, so to compare stats that are from different decades is misleading. I know from my personal experience that watching GGs defence was like watching an army regiment compared to the shambolic at times defence under le prof but my eyes and my mind must be telling me lies if these stats are saying wengers Arsenal were better at defending. It probably tells me, as i thought before, stats are just misleading and trust your judgement.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Reggie, I also agree that GG’s defence was better than all bar The Invincibles, who in my opinion were better, using your analogy that they went unbeaten.

      Like you and Phil, I watched nearly every single game of the second ten years under AW and there was no comparison to either of the above, maybe that’s why they were so villified?

      However, you must also remember the losing finals against Luton Town and Swindon, plus other defeats by lower clubs?
      It happens to every manager, even Chapman lost to Wrexham.
      One day I might just take time out to see what GG’s biggest defeat was, just as a reference.

      Your point on comparing stats from different decades I question however, as the results reflect the teams that played in that decade and it’s all relative surely?
      A little like comparing mortgages from different eras.

  14. Reggie says:

    And may i just add ken just to muddy the stats a tad. There were 24 teams in the fist division that over a period of time was reduced to 20 for the prem. So more games played per season would obviously amount to more goals let in and over a long period of a year or ten, that makes quite a difference to figures. So the stats are not an exact science anyways.

  15. Reggie says:

    First division.

    1. ken1945 says:

      It is the overall figure at the end of the article that covers that area Reggie and it was why I put it in (see my replt to TMJW).

      1. Reggie says:

        No ken, i cant see where the more games played per season is calculated into it. If you play four or eight games a season more you are likely to let in more goals in them games. Plus, you can’t take into account, the amount of money spent on players, conditions of pitches, changes in laws, weather conditions, types of balls, playing styles, rest of players, playing with injury, how many cigerettes they smoke, how many pints they had the night before, how many kebabs they had eaten and all sorts of variables. Im sorry stats can tell you all sorts of things but facts. Would Ali have beaten Tyson, if you work all their stats out? It isn’t relevant.

        1. ken1945 says:

          Dear oh dear, neither can I calculate how much a hot dog cost during GG’s time versus AW’s, strange that.
          It seems the club find that kind of information totally unnecessary and irrelevant when recording a managers record.

          So, here’s the question then Reggie, let’s hear how you think AW managed to keep us in the top four with no defence and no tactics?

          1. Reggie says:

            I will ask you something ken, how come when he was given money our stats and performances dropped, when they should have been better.
            The answer to your question for me is, the first 10 or so years he and fergie had the best and biggest clubs, teams. The second 10 years was because we were still in the top 4 or 5 biggest spenders despite what people say. And he did well, nobody is denying that. The problem is the ignorance of his decline.

          2. Reggie says:

            What you fail to appreciate ken, we were all wenger worshippers and loved the guy but one by one at different times people stopped the hero worship, not because of what he had done but because what they coud see was happening. The people who defend him say he did it on a shoestring, not really true but he didn’t go mad that correct and kept it all in line. But when the purse strings were released, he went backwards and thats where all this debate hangs. He couldn’t meet his or our expectations, the fact that he was allowed to carry on and basically waste a lot of the legacy he created himself is what upsets people now. We should be a bigger better club because of what wenger did but because of what has gone on this last 4+ years, we are not, we are rocking and rolling and are in a poor state. Was it wengers fault, no but he has to shoulder some of the blame that started this massive decline off.

          3. ken1945 says:

            Well Reggie, that was because hot dogs cost more, the pitches weren’t as good, the beer was cheaper, the fags were more lethal and of even less importance, the money he was given didn’t buy the same quality players he was forced to sell, plus he bought some duff defenders…who kept us in the top four!!!

            As for saying that nobody is saying he didn’t do well – please read some of Phil’s replies as an example of what you are saying is complete nonsense…and I’m not disagreeing with most of what he’s saying myself.

  16. Benjamin says:

    Good post from Ken 1945. I like facts and figures.

    1. Sue says:

      I agree 👍 Nice one, Ken.

      1. Reggie says:

        The reasons i dont Sue, i have laid out but if anyone is really interested and im not that bothered would be to look at the defences of both teams against the teams they were playing in their particular seasons. ie were they first, second, third or last against the teams in that season in their era. You can only judge from season to season not eras. Lets have a look at Bertie Mee and Herbert Chapmans, for me totally a waste of effort and time, it would tell you absolutely nothing and be irrelevant but every person is entitled to their opinion if they think it is relevant of course. Without stats, what i will say is GG defence is the best Arsenal defence i have seen and the invincibles the best attack, i dont need stats for that. Lol

        1. Reggie says:

          The first part of the last post was about most and least goals let in in that season against rivals tallies, not position in league.

  17. SueP says:

    I’m with Reggie

    1. Reggie says:

      Sue, the stats are misleading not accurate in their compilation and from different decades. How can you say a team let in less goals or more goals and compare when they are from different times, a different number of games and under totally different conditions in every shape and form. I watched football in every decade from the 60s and there is no way any stat can compare teams over that time. City and it is looking like Liverpool are breaking stat records right left and center but i still stand by that the invincibles are a better team but the stats will say im stupid.

Comments are closed