Thursday, 5 May 2011


Now that Man Utd have reached the Champions League final at wem-ber-ley the media is going Eng-er-land daft; Scholesy and Wazza, Rio and Carrick. The old Busy Babes chestnut comes out once again. ‘King’ Kenny and his Anfield revolution are also to the fore; next year they could really be back in the big time (apparently).
No two clubs are as revered as Man Utd and Liverpool. Busby and Shankly, Paisley and Ferguson; all put on the pedestal of football myth. Post war these two clubs have dominated and had their share of tragedy (and yes they are real tragedies) that has unified sympathy and created an air of myth. This is the modern football landscape that the great and the good refer to when eulogising. The architects of the English game.
Before these two clubs, before the Scottish ‘legends’ there was a club that were the greatest in the world. A club adored by Kings and the good and the great. The Bank of England club. The innovators. The cream of the crop. That club was Arsenal Football Club and in the pre war years no one could touch them.
Guardian piece on Chapman
Before Shankly and Busby there was Chapman, Herbert Chapman. The blueprint for the modern manager. A visionary who led first Huddersfield and then Arsenal to the pinnacle of English football.  Like Shankly being followed by Paisley, following his death from Pneumonia, Chapman was succeeded by Allison to retain the dream. This was in the pre European competition era, but this Arsenal team competed against National teams, made up the majority of the England team, had a movie made about them; not a documentary, a proper movie. Shirt numbers, floodlights, training methods Chapman and Arsenal led the way.
This Arsenal team never had a tragedy on the scale of those that, sadly, United and Liverpool would have to suffer, with which to gain sympathy, no this team was stopped in its tracks by the ultimate tragedy; World War II.
Before that Arsenal led the way in numerous areas; commerce, tactics, understanding the importance of the media, innovation in buying players and groundbreaking decisions such as moving stadia, renaming a tube station and many other areas of creative thinking.
Hitler put the kibosh on the greatest Club side in the World. To often events before the war are overlooked; consigned to the dustbin of history. When you peel back the facts and take a good hard look the reality is that Arsenal where the first club of their kind; a super club, a legendary club. Those so called experts infatuated by Man Utd and Liverpool would do well to take a lesson from history once in a while.
This link tells you about Arsenal’s Herbert Chapman and upon reading it you can see the legacy of the man.
Never stand still

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