Sports letter: Graham not golden

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The Independent Online
Sir,

So at last the George Graham affair is over. The theme of many articles was his success at Arsenal and how Leeds were now a team capable of challenging for honours.

As an Arsenal supporter myself, I question this. Graham won two championships at Arsenal, but we were continually taunted - particularly by Spurs supporters - about our style of football. Vinnie Jones, while at Sheffield United, called it "the Rolls Royce of our [Sheffield United's] system'' - a glorified long ball game.

Nothing Graham has done at Leeds suggests his brand of football has changed. What now of stylish Spurs? Which Arsenal team do their fans prefer?

At a time when we question skill in the game, we applaud the work of Graham. Gone are the days when a long-ball functional team will win the Premiership - possibly Blackburn were the last. Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have changed this, and taken domestic football to another plane after the doldrums of the late Eighties and early Nineties. Maybe Arsenal and Spurs should change names - in two years' time they won't be recognisable from the teams of yesteryear.

GARY JACOB

St Catherine's College,

Oxford

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