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Post-War Arsenal

Story Highlights
  • George Allison's Arsenal management
  • Tom Whittaker's leadership at Arsenal
  • Joe Mercer's influence on Arsenal
  • Arsenal's narrow title victory
  • Billy Wright's managerial career at Arsenal
  • Bertie Mee's tenure as Arsenal manager
Post-Second World War, Arsenal saw the return of its manager, George Allison, and some of its former players. However, the glorious days of the 1930s were a thing of the past, and the retirements of Cliff Bastin and Ted Drake further dampened the team’s prospects. The club barely avoided relegation in the 1946/47 season, ending up 13th, leading to Allison’s retirement. His assistant, Tom Whittaker, stepped in and made an immediate impact. Under Whittaker’s leadership, Arsenal secured the League title in the 1947/48 season with a seven-point lead over Manchester United. Two years later, Reg Lewis’s brace against Liverpool saw them lift the FA Cup. Allison’s last significant contribution was the recruitment of Joe Mercer, who would play a crucial role in the club’s successes over the following decade.

Arsenal’s history from the post-World War II era to the late 1960s!

In the early 1950s, Mercer’s influence led Arsenal to a period of resurgence. The team was in contention for a Double in the 1951/52 season but ended up without a trophy. They were short of Manchester United in the League and lost to Newcastle in the FA Cup Final.
Arsenal’s narrow title victory.skycleat.com

In the subsequent year, Arsenal clinched the title, albeit by the narrowest margin in history, edging out Preston on goal average. This triumph marked Arsenal’s last major trophy for the next 17 years.
Arsenal’s narrow title victory! skycleat.com
The aging team needed help to attract big names. So finally, after Whittaker died in 1956, Arsenal appointed former players Jack Crayston and George Swindin as managers, neither of whom could replicate past successes. In 1962, the club made a significant decision by appointing Billy Wright, a former Wolves, and England captain, as manager. Despite needing more managerial experience, Wright signed promising talents, including Bob Wilson, Frank McLintock, and Joe Baker. He also saw the club’s youth team win the FA Youth Cup in 1966, sowing the seeds for future success. In 1966, Bertie Mee, the club’s former physio, took over as manager. He promoted young talents like Pat Rice, John Radford, Ray Kennedy, and Charlie George. His tenure saw Arsenal reach consecutive League Cup Finals at the end of the 1960s, setting the stage for further glory.

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