Ranking the 5 Best Managers in Arsenal FC History

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIFebruary 19, 2013

Ranking the 5 Best Managers in Arsenal FC History

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    Arsene Wenger is Arsenal's longest-serving and most successful manager, but the club had plenty of great leaders before him. 

    The men on this list took charge of Arsenal during different eras and all brought different things to the Gunners.

    Success was one thing they all had in common despite their separate approaches and they all played a major part in getting Arsenal to where it is today.

    Here are the five best managers in Arsenal history.

Honorable Mentions

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    Harry Bradshaw

    Harry Bradshaw was Arsenal's first successful manager.

    After joining the club from Burnley in 1899, Bradshaw eventually led Woolwich Arsenal to promotion from the Second Division.

    Why Bradshaw's impact is always overlooked cannot be answered, but he set them on the path to success. 

    George Allison

    George Allison is Arsenal's second longest-serving manager having taken charge of the club from 1934 to 1947.

    Allison inherited Herbert Chapman's team the summer after his death and was helped on the training ground by both Joe Shaw and Tom Whittaker.

    Allison did win two league titles and an FA Cup, but didn't add anything different to Arsenal in his tenure.

5. Tom Whittaker

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    Tenure: 1947-1956

    Tom Whittaker and George Allison had eerily similar managerial triumphs with the Gunners.

    Whittaker gets the nod into the top five because he oversaw more games with more success and didn't inherit Herbert Chapman's team.

    A former Arsenal player, Whittaker took over from Allison and won the league title in his first season.

    Before his time at the club was up, he also picked up another league title as well as an FA Cup trophy.

4. Bertie Mee

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    Tenure: 1966-1976

    Bertie Mee brought Arsenal their first taste of European glory with an Inter Cities Fairs Cup victory over Belgian side Anderlecht.

    He also led the club to a First Division title and an FA Cup title in the same year and in doing so became the first manager to lead the club to a "Double."

    The Gunners didn't challenge for silverware regularly during Mee's era, but he did bring one piece of significant silverware that no other manager has matched.

3. George Graham

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    Tenure: 1986-1995

    George Graham played for Arsenal during the Bertie Mee era and picked up plenty of silverware during his tenure.

    He returned to the club as a manager in 1986 and continued his success while leading from the bench.

    Graham led the club to two First Division titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups and one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup during his time in charge.

    He signed key players such as Ian Wright and David Seaman during his time at the club and fashioned a side known for its defensive solidity.

2. Herbert Chapman

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    Tenure: 1925-1934

    Herbert Chapman always comes to mind when you think of Arsenal's best managers.

    The W-M, counter-attacking football and trophies were major parts of the Chapman era.

    The former Huddersfield Town manager made some great signings for players such as Charlie Buchan, Alex James and Cliff Bastin.

    While continuing to hone the team's style of play, Chapman led the club to two First Division titles and one FA Cup title.

    The attacking style of play is something still common in Arsenal's squad today and Chapman was influential off the pitch as well.

    Some of his innovations include changing the Gunner's jersey to the red body and white sleeve so common today and influencing the introduction of Arsenal as an underground station stop (via Arsenal.com).

1. Arsene Wenger

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    Tenure: 1996-Present

    It was a close run between Arsene Wenger and Herbert Chapman, but the Frenchman gets the nod here.

    Despite his current predicament with Arsenal, Wenger is still the club's greatest manager.

    His longevity, his trophy haul and the implementation of the youth program as well as the club's style of play set him apart.

    Wenger has led the club to seven trophies, four FA Cups and three League titles, and was extremely close to European glory on two occasions.

    During the 2003-04 season, he guided the side to a League title and an unbeaten season.

    He also created superstars such as Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas, and oversaw the move to a new stadium.

    It's fair to say that Wenger helped raise the club's stature considerably with all his success early on.


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