List of Arsenal F.C. managers
Arsenal Football Club is an English professional association football club based in North London. The club was founded under the name Dial Square in 1886 by workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, and renamed Royal Arsenal shortly afterwards. After turning professional in 1891 the club changed its name once again, this time to Woolwich Arsenal. The club entered English football's premier knockout tournament, the FA Cup, for the first time in the 1889–90 season, and joined the Football League four years later. In 1913 the club relocated away from Woolwich to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, and a year later shortened its name to Arsenal. Arsenal was one of 22 members of the Premier League when it was formed in 1992.
This chronological list comprises all those who have held the position of manager of the first team of Arsenal since their foundation in 1886. Each manager's entry includes his dates of tenure and the club's overall competitive record (in terms of matches won, drawn and lost), honours won and significant achievements while under his care. Caretaker managers are included, where known, as well as those who have been in permanent charge. There have been eighteen permanent and four caretaker managers of Arsenal since 1897; Stewart Houston has managed the club in two separate spells as caretaker. The most successful person to manage Arsenal is incumbent manager Arsène Wenger, who has won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and four Charity Shields since his appointment in 1996. Wenger is the club's longest-serving manager; he surpassed George Allison's record of 13 years in October 2009. Two Arsenal managers have died in the job – Herbert Chapman and Tom Whittaker.
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Although Arsenal was founded in 1886, it was not until 1897 did the club appoint a permanent manager in charge of first-team affairs, with Thomas Mitchell being universally recognised as Arsenal's first professional manager. [nb 1]
The role was known originally as "secretary-manager", as the manager also managed the club's affairs off the pitch as well as on it. However following the death of Tom Whittaker in 1956, the role was split and all in the role, from then to this day, have been given the title of manager and concentrated mainly on first-team affairs.
The dismissal of Rioch meant Houston was once again put in temporary charge of first-team affairs. When Houston left Arsenal to eventually become the Queens Park Rangers manager, his position was taken up by Pat Rice. Arsenal, in the meantime, agreed a deal with Frenchman Arsène Wenger to become the club's next manager. His appointment was confirmed in September 1996, after receiving an early release from Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight. Such was Wenger's anonymous presence in English football, the Evening Standard greeted his appointment with the headline "Arsène Who?". Hill-Wood was highly optimistic of Wenger, in spite of the track record that came with previous non-British managers in the Premier League:
I believe Arsène Wenger is going to be a great success and drag football in this country into the 20th century. There is no doubt in my mind we are blinkered and backward as a sporting nation. Look at the British results in Europe, they were not good, including ours. We keep telling ourselves we have the best league in Europe, but it is not true. We need to catch up with the Continentals and we think Arsène is the man to help us.
Since his appointment, Wenger has been credited with promoting the importance of diet and nutrition in football and advocating the principle that the sport ought to be entertaining on the pitch. The signings of Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka, combined with the club's many experienced players, helped Arsenal to win the double in 1998. Wenger led Arsenal to appearances in the 2000 UEFA Cup Final and 2001 FA Cup Final, before the club completed its third double in 2002. A year later, Wenger became the first manager since Keith Burkinshaw 21 years previously to retain the FA Cup; Arsenal beat Southampton by a goal to nil in the final. Wenger won his third league title in 2004, which earnt distinction as he guided the club to an unbeaten league season – something achieved only once before in English football, by Preston North End in 1888–89. Another FA Cup was won in 2005, this time on penalties against Manchester United. Wenger took Arsenal to their first UEFA Champions League final in 2006 and in the same year oversaw the club's relocation to the Emirates Stadium.
In October 2009, Wenger surpassed Allinson to become Arsenal's longest serving manager. He reflected that the club were "maybe not crazy, but brave" to appoint him and said he felt partly responsible for changing the reputation of foreign managers: "Now you have a different feeling, now you think only foreign managers can be successful. […] I can show some articles where people tried to prove that the foreign managers can never win an English championship. That has changed and I have certainly contributed to that." Wenger managed his 900th game at Arsenal against Norwich City in May 2012.
|Caretaker manager before being appointed permanently|
|Mitchell, ThomasThomas Mitchell||Scotland||August 1897||March 1898||26||14||4||8||66||46||53.85|
|Elcoat, WilliamWilliam Elcoat||England||11 April 1898||20 February 1899||43||23||6||14||92||55||53.49|
|Bradshaw, HarryHarry Bradshaw||England||August 1899||May 1904||189||96||39||54||329||173||50.79|
|Kelso, PhilPhil Kelso||Scotland||July 1904||9 February 1908||152||63||31||58||225||229||41.45|
|Morrell, GeorgeGeorge Morrell||Scotland||10 February 1908||19 April 1915||292||103||73||116||358||411||35.27|
|McEwen, JamesJames McEwen [nb 2]||England||19 April 1915||c. 10 April 1919||1||1||0||0||7||0||100.00|
|Knighton, LeslieLeslie Knighton||England||c. 10 April 1919||16 May 1925||268||92||62||114||330||380||34.33|
|Chapman, HerbertHerbert Chapman||England||11 June 1925||6 January 1934||403||201||97||105||864||598||49.88||2 First Division Championships, 1 FA Cup, 3 Charity Shields|
|Joe Shaw [nb 3]||England||6 January 1934||28 May 1934||23||14||3||6||44||29||60.87||1 First Division Championship|
|Allison, GeorgeGeorge Allison||England||28 May 1934||31 May 1947||279||129||74||76||534||327||46.24||2 First Division Championships, 1 FA Cup, 1 Charity Shield|
|Whittaker, TomTom Whittaker [nb 4]||England||2 June 1947||24 October 1956||429||202||106||121||798||568||47.09||2 First Division Championships, 1 FA Cup, 2 Charity Shields|
|Crayston, JackJack Crayston||England||24 October 1956||19 May 1958||77||33||16||28||142||142||42.86|
|Swindin, GeorgeGeorge Swindin||England||21 June 1958||1 May 1962||179||70||43||66||320||320||39.11|
|Wright, BillyBilly Wright||England||1 May 1962||13 June 1966||182||70||43||69||336||330||38.46|
|Mee, BertieBertie Mee||England||20 June 1966||4 May 1976||539||241||148||150||739||542||44.71||1 First Division Championship, 1 FA Cup, 1 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup|
|Neill, TerryTerry Neill||Northern Ireland||9 July 1976||16 December 1983||416||187||117||112||601||446||44.95||1 FA Cup|
|Howe, DonDon Howe||England||16 December 1983||22 March 1986||117||54||32||31||187||142||46.15|
|Burtenshaw, SteveSteve Burtenshaw||England||23 March 1986||14 May 1986||11||3||2||6||7||15||27.27|
|Graham, GeorgeGeorge Graham||Scotland||14 May 1986||21 February 1995||460||225||133||102||711||403||48.91||2 First Division Championships, 1 FA Cup, 2 Football League Cups, 1 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, 1 Charity Shield|
|Houston, StewartStewart Houston||Scotland||21 February 1995||15 June 1995||19||7||3||9||29||25||36.84|
|Rioch, BruceBruce Rioch||Scotland||15 June 1995||12 August 1996||47||22||15||10||67||37||46.81|
|Houston, StewartStewart Houston||Scotland||12 August 1996||13 September 1996||6||2||2||2||11||10||33.33|
|Rice, PatPat Rice||Northern Ireland||13 September 1996||30 September 1996||4||3||0||1||10||4||75.00|
|Wenger, ArsèneArsène Wenger [nb 5]||France||1 October 1996||Present||985||564||232||189||1,765||920||57.26||3 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 4 Charity Shields|
- While Sam Hollis is credited by some sources as being Arsenal's first "manager" (in an amateur capacity) three years earlier in 1894, others claim he was only the club's trainer. and many sources, including the club's own official history, make no mention of Hollis and state that Mitchell was Arsenal's first manager.
- Though not officially named secretary-manager, McEwen was in charge of first team-affairs at Arsenal and thus de facto manager after Morrell left the club; the vast majority of his time he oversaw wartime matches, which do not count to the official record.
- Joe Shaw was appointed caretaker manager, while John Peters was appointed caretaker secretary.
- Whittaker was taken ill in the summer of 1956, and although he officially remained in charge at the start of the 1956-57 season, in practice Jack Crayston was team manager from then up until Whittaker's death in October; his record for this time reads P14 W7 D1 L6 F31 A25.
- Wenger's statistics include the FA Cup match played against Sheffield United on 13 February 1999; Arsenal won 2–1 but the match was replayed following a controversy about the winning goal.
- Soar, Phil; Tyler, Martin (2005). The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. Hamlyn. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-600-61344-2.
- Soar & Tyler (2005). The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. p. 25.
- "Royal Arsenal". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
- "Woolwich Arsenal". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
- Soar & Tyler (2005). The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. p. 34.
- "Arsenal Managers". Arsenal.com.
- Roper, Alan (2004). The Real Arsenal Story: In the Days of Gog. Wherry. p. 120. ISBN 0-9546259-1-9. "After their humiliating defeat the Arsenal FC directors decided to appoint their first professional manager, and the first to be signed as Thomas Brown Mitchell, a Scot."
- Soar, Phil & Tyler, Martin (2005). The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. Hamlyn. p. 30. ISBN 0-600613-44-5. "A disastrous FA Cup defeat by non-League Millwall (2-4 away) on 16 January 1896 proved one turning point for the committee. They decided to appoint a secretary-manager, one T.B. Mitchell from Blackburn,..."
- Joy (1952). Forward Arsenal!. p. 12. "The first manager was T.B. Mitchell, from Blackburn Rovers and he was succeeded after a few months by G. Elcoat of Stockton."
- Joy, Bernard (1952). Forward Arsenal!. Phoenix House. p. 11. "Arsenal's trainer, Hollis, however, was true to the nineteenth century pattern."
- "Arsenal: The History".
- "I came so close to packing it in last week – but Bruce Rioch got me through". Evening Standard (London). 14 August 1996. p. 68.
- Haylett, Trevor (14 September 1996). "Red faces as Houston walks out". The Independent (London). p. 28.
- Moore, Glenn (17 September 1996). "Wenger confirmed as Arsenal manager". The Independent (London). p. 48.
- Dickinson, Matt (16 April 2003). "Wenger in ceasefire after war of words". The Times (London). Retrieved 4 July 2012. (subscription required)
- Holt, Oliver (18 May 1998). "Overmars provides the driving force". The Times (London). p. 31.
- "Arsene Wenger factfile". Daily Mail (London). 3 May 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- "Final analysis". The Times (London). 19 May 2003.
- Hughes, Ian (15 May 2004). "Arsenal the Invincibles". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "Arsenal 0–0 Man Utd (aet) – Arsenal win 5–4 on penalties". BBC Sport (BBC). 21 May 2005. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- "Wenger faces old problems at new stadium". The Daily Telegraph (London). 19 August 2006. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Wenger is Arsenal's longest-serving manager". Arsenal.com. Arsenal Football Club. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Jackson, Jamie (28 September 2009). "Arsenal were crazy to appoint me, says Arsène Wenger". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- James, Josh (3 May 2012). "Behind The Numbers: 900 up for Wenger". Arsenal.com (Arsenal F.C.). Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- "Arsenal results database".
- "New Arsenal manager". Kentish Independent. 14 February 1908. p. 3.
- "Biography of Sir Henry Norris - 1919".
- Joy, Bernard (1952). Forward Arsenal!. Phoenix House. p. 26.
- "Biography of Sir Henry Norris - 1919".
- Davis, Sally. "Biography of Sir Henry Norris - 1925".
- Davis, Sally. "Biography of Sir Henry Norris - 1925 (2)".
- Arsenal handbook 1934-35. Arsenal FC. p. 6.
- Arsenal Handbook 1934-35. p. 10.
- Whittaker, Tom. Tom Whittaker's Arsenal Story. p. 185.
- "Arsenal Manager Leaving Club". The Times. 20 May 1958. p. 15.
- "On this day in...". Arsenal.com.
- "Wright to manage Arsenal". The Times. 17 March 1962. p. 3.
- "Wright gives up managership of Arsenal". The Times. 14 June 1966. p. 6.
- "Mee made Arsenal acting manager". The Times. 21 June 1966. p. 5.
- Soar, Phil & Tyler, Martin (2005). The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. Hamlyn. p. 135. ISBN 0-600613-44-5. "On 22 March 1986, after a 3-0 win over Coventry Don Howe resigned..."
- Soar & Tyler. The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. p. 163. "...the Arsenal board felt justified in their decision to dismiss him [Graham] on 21 February."
- "ArseWEB summer rumour machine 1996". Arseweb.
- Soar & Tyler. The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. p. 167. "Three days later (Friday the 13th) Stewart Houston resigned."
- Clarke, Richard (2006). "Wenger 1996 to 2006: the French evolutionary". Arsenal.com. Retrieved 2006-12-08.[dead link]