The main series:
- Islington 100: celebrating 100 years of Arsenal in Islington
- Arsenal’s Anniversaries
- The Managers index with two managers that no one else includes!
By Tony Attwood
For the story so far, see The Chapman Files
We’ve looked at Chapman’s choice of player for each position, and what has become clear is that in each position he had a favoured player – although time and again injuries and the need to move players around to cover for these injuries made the team selection look erratic.
In goal there was a regular change of player, and Chapman, at least according to reports had no worries about dropping a keeper because of one or two bad performances.
But leaving the keeper aside Chapman did, through his career at Arsenal find a fine player for each and every position – although not at the same time.
It was this ability over the years to find one or two more players who would be excellent in one specific position – plus the ability to move people around when there was a crisis, that made him the manager he was. It is a skill few other managers at Arsenal have ever managed, except perhaps Arsene Wenger.
Here is the summary of the players Chapman brought in…
4: Baker / Jones
8: Buchan / Jack
9: Brain / Lambert
What a team – although of course they were never all on the field together.
But here is my point. These players not only were superb in their own position, they also could adapt, and many of them did effectively change the nature of their role as Chapman moved into the WM formation and perfected it as the ultimate counter attacking system.
Chapman’s genius, was not just in picking players who could play brilliantly, but also players who could play to his system.
- 7th October 1912 – Title winning form from Woolwich Arsenal
- Did Chapman really introduce a new playing formation in 1925?
- Chapman’s number 11
- 30th September 1912 – Another week, another point
- Chapman and the number 10 – one solution, but otherwise fill-ins.
- Chapman’s centre forwards – stranger than you might think
- Arsenal launch new lottery – 110 years after their first one
- 23rd September 1912 – Crisis over?