Herbert Chapman: Arsenal’s greatest ever manager?
Herbert Chapman is considered by most to be Arsenal’s greatest ever manager and whilst I am loathe to compare managers from different eras operating under different regimes there is absolutely no denying what this man did for our club.
81 years ago today Herbert Chapman passed away, 9 and a bit years into his Arsenal project turning a modest club into the giant of the 1930s. I’m no historian and wouldn’t dream of telling you what the great man was all about however I would like to point you to a transcript of an interview I did with Paddy Barclay last year where we discussed Chapman and Paddy’s book on the Arsenal legend.
I always knew that Herbert Chapman was special, but I never knew the detail of how far he took the club. Possibly the greatest testament to that is the consideration that he won 7 trophies for the club when he was only alive to see us lift 3 of them. Certainly he is more than deserving of posthumously being acknowledged for those trophies as largely it was his tactics and signings that claimed the honours.
In his book, Paddy Barclay makes the case that Chapman invented modern football management and it certainly seems the case when you have read the book.
The term legend is bandied about far too easily in football but if anyone is deserving it is Herbert Chapman. Cast in bronze at the club there can be no doubt that he was one of Arsenal’s best and greatest ever managers. Comparing him to others is futile and pointless in terms of success on the field but there is no comparison to be made at all when you consider what the man did for the club and football as a whole.