‘The back four was an iconic entity in itself'

Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn.


Our famous back four was the bedrock on which our success under George Graham was built, helping us to win our first title in 18 seasons when we snatched the trophy from Liverpool’s grasp in a dramatic final-day win at Anfield in 1989.


Journalist and lifelong Arsenal fan Amy Lawrence has documented that unforgettable night in the new film ’89’, and had this to say about our dominant backline.


“The Arsenal back four was an iconic unit,” Lawrence told Arsenal Player. “It’s not that often in history that you get little departments in the team that become an entity in themselves. Maybe something close is the Messi, Neymar, Suarez that you had at Barcelona and everyone thinks what a powerful thing they created.


“That Arsenal back four… it was incredible to watch them in those days because you went into games thinking, ‘Well, we’re not going to lose because we’re not going to concede a goal’.


“You knew there was every chance of a clean sheet and, even if they did concede, they weren’t going to concede many more. That was the foundation for what became a winning team. Arsenal hadn’t had a great team in the 1980s, and George Graham came in to put this side together for nothing.


“You think that back four cost £1m. Even accounting for inflation, that’s pretty spectacular stuff. He was bringing in guys who, at the time, weren’t making you think, ‘Oh great, Arsenal are bringing in the full back from Stoke or Wimbledon’.


“It wasn’t that glamorous but very quickly, Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon, Steve Bould and the colossus Tony Adams developed this phenomenal, telepathic understanding. That was the bedrock of what Arsenal went on to achieve under George Graham.”

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