This article revised 16 April 2017 to include enhanced details of the FA Cup semi-final and final.
By Tony Attwood
Arsenal in the 1930s.
This is the start of a series of almost 100 articles relating to Arsenal in the 1930s, all of which are published on this site. This series is dedicated with the fondest memories to my father, the late Arthur Charles Attwood, who was a passionate Arsenal supporter, and who took me to the Arsenal as a child. He is deeply missed, every day.
We start here with an introduction to life in Britain at the start of the decade and an introduction to Arsenal as the club approached this momentous season and momentous decade.
I won’t dwell on the former – there are a million history books available – I just want to set the scene.
Britain in 1930
Economically Britain was in chaos. The economic policy from 1925 onwards was a disaster, and the recovery after the first world war disintegrated. Employers attempted to cope by reducing salaries, and cutting any investment in new equipment. The government changed from Conservative to a minority Labour government, but economic policy remained the same: balance the budget no matter how much the working man got hurt. And boy did they get hurt!
In October 1929 the US stock market crashed, and the consequent depression hit full blast. There was even talk about this being the end of capitalism.
At the start of 1930 there were around 1 million unemployed. By the end of the year it was 2.5 million – mostly without any unemployment benefit. London didn’t feel the full brunt of the failure of the economy, but it certainly was affected. Industries such as coal mining, shipbuilding and steel were based on northern England, South Wales, Northern Ireland and central Scotland, and these were the areas where unemployment shot up.
In January 1930, Oswald Mosley, then a junior minister proposed that the government should take over the banks and control exports, increase pensions an boost the amount of money in the economy (anathema to the economists of the day). Labour would have nothing to do with it, so he left and founded his own New Party. Later that became the British Union of Fascists.
Arsenal in 1929/30
The manager was, of course Herbert Chapman who had replaced the awful Leslie Knighton in 1925 with the remit of bringing some silverware to Arsenal.
In his first season (1925/6) he came close – taking Arsenal to an unprecedented second in the league (they came 20th out of 22 the previous season).
In his second season he was close again, taking Arsenal to their first ever FA Cup Final. In his third season it was another FA Cup semi-final, but in his fourth season (1928/9) it seemed like a step back – 10th in the league and out of the Cup in the quarter finals. That seemed like a significant step backwards and on 5 April 1929 after a 1-2 home defeat to Newcastle, he offered to resign.
It was an odd moment. True Arsenal were out of the cup, but the team had just gone 11 without defeat. scoring 28 along the way. Major Sir Samuel Hill-Wood who had been chair of Arsenal since the start of the 1927/8 refused to accept the resignation and Chapman stayed. It was a brilliant decision by Sir Samuel for as it turned out, Chapman had almost brought his vision to fruition as the following season would show.
Arsenal started the 1929/30 season brightly, and despite an early setback against Manchester City away had progressed to the top of the league by late September. However a second defeat – this 5-2 away to Villa heralded a period of decline. In the remaining 17 games of 1929 Arsenal only won four and slipped down to 13th in the table by the year’s end.
Arsenal started 1930 with a 2-3 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday which saw them slip to 16th in the league. The team for that day was
Parker Roberts Hapgood
Hulme James Jack Jones Bastin
This was the first time Chapman had used this line up, and once again it could not bring Arsenal victory, but it did bring a couple of goals (from Bastin and Parker) which was something of a rarity for the club and a novelty for Bastin; aged 16 it was his first league goal for Arsenal.
But there was relief at hand the following Saturday with the FA Cup 3rd round in which Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0. Bob John came back into the squad instead of Baker, and Jack Lambert who had been out of the side since the defeat to Man U in October, returned at centre forward. He had scored six goals in his first six games, so his ability at number nine was not in doubt – apart from to himself. He was notoriously unsure of his own abilities.
Lambert (who had been signed for £2,000 in June 1926 from Doncaster) and Bastin (who had been introduced to the first team on a permanent basis in December) scored the goals and Arsenal were through to the fourth round of the Cup.
It was Bastin’s first goal – scored from a centre from Joey Hulme the right winger – and the fact that it was a pass from the outside right to the outside left shows how Arsenal were playing now they had Bastin in the squad. There were most certainly three forwards – the two wing players and the centre forward, and if the centre forward moved out of position one of the wing players moved to take his place.
Bastin had taken the place of Charlie Jones who had in 1928/9 been the first choice outside left. But Jones, who had originally been an inside forward with Nottingham Forest, now found a new role for himself as first left half, and then in the following season right half. It was a journey at Bastin himself, as he got older, was also required to make. The move to right half for Jones who like Bastin was totally left footed, was interesting, for it allowed the player, on receiving a quick ball out of defence, to make long range passes upfield which (because of using the left foot on the right side of the pitch, had an unexpected spin on them.
Back in the League Arsenal managed to pick up a point away to Burnley, but they were now getting perilously close to the relegation positions, having slipped to 18th. But there was encouragement. Bastin scored again, Jack got the other.
Now it was straight back to the FA Cup with a home game against Birmingham in the 4th round. The result was a 2-2 draw, with Bastin scoring (with a cracker of a shot for the second goal which went in after hitting the underside of the crossbar) for the third match running – his first three goals for the club thus coming in quick succession. Jack got the other, and notably Lambert kept his place in the team. Chapman was showing confidence in him and he was repaying the manager
The replay happened the following Wednesday, and Chapman made a couple of changes. Jones who had appeared in the first match at inside left, moved back to left half – the position he had been adopting of late (feeding balls to Bastin out on the wing), and Lewis (who had been replaced by Preedy in the first game) returning as keeper.
What grabbed attention for this match was the fact that Alex James rose from his sick bed to play. Alf Baker, the right half, scored from the penalty spot.
January thus ended with Arsenal in the fifth round of the cup but with the league table looking very unhealthy Arsenal having won just one of their last six league games…
|16||West Ham United||26||9||5||12||52||52||1.00||23|
Arsenal were just two points off relegation, and it is interesting, in the light of what happened later in the 1930s so see that even lower than Arsenal were Everton.
Arsenal now played out a goalless draw away to Bolton, with Lambert and Bastin still being kept in the team on February 1, but then one week later, at last there was a little bit of a break through in the game against Everton. True Everton were a lowly club, but Arsenal in the league were now willing to take any help they could get and if that meant hammering another team in relegation trouble, then they would certainly not hesitate.
But Everton were not a totally soft touch as they had just won two of their last three games, but Arsenal won 4-0. Better still this included a second hattrick for Lambert (he had got one earlier in the season against Grimsby) and a rare goal for the winger Williams.
With that bit of relief taken care of Arsenal returned to the Cup with another away game, this against Middlesbrough. And Arsenal duly won 2-0 with another goal from Lambert and another from Bastin. Suddenly it seemed that the two players brought into the team by Chapman to share out the goals were doing exactly that.
Unfortunately in the game Lambert was injured and so forced to miss the next league game – this against Derby away, and the rejuvenated Arsenal came down to earth with a bang and lost 4-1. Halliday taking over from Lambert scored Arsenal’s consolation goal.
This left one more match for February – away to lowly Grimsby who had lost their last three league games and were now sitting at the foot of the table. Lambert kept his place with Bastin on the wing, but the defence was being seriously disrupted by injury. Arsenal managed a 1-1 draw, with the goal coming again from Lambert. The bottom of the table now looked like this with Arsenal (for all their cup triumphs) still having only won one game in the last six.
Slowly it seemed that Chapman was putting together a team that could play well, and although the league results were still leaving a lot to be desired, the FA Cup games was making that team into winners.
And indeed, the reality that the players were seeing league and cup matches differently, was revealed fully by the next two matches: away to West Ham in the FA Cup on 1 March and away to West Ham in the league on March 8.
The team in each case was identical, but the results completely different. In the FA Cup Arsenal won 3-0, with Lambert getting two, and Baker the other, in the League Arsenal lost 2-3 with Baker getting the other. Arsenal had sunk to 19th, just two points above relegation, and with one of the relegation placed clubs (Newcastle) having a game in hand over Arsenal.
But on the other hand they were in the semi-final of the FA Cup for the third time in four years – a run that was utterly unprecedented for Arsenal, the club that had never won either of the major trophies in English football. Woolwich Arsenal had fought through to the semi-finals in 1906 and 1907 but that had been the height of the club’s achievements.
Even more exciting in terms of possible achievement was the news that Arsenal were drawn against Hull City of the 2nd division in the semi-final. And Hull were not just of the second division but currently 14th in the second division.
The FA Cup semi final, to be played at Leeds, was not until 22 March, and before that Arsenal had two vital league games, both at Highbury. The first was against Manchester United and the second against Birmingham City. It was a great relief to all concerned that Arsenal won both games beating Man U 4-2 with goals from Bastin, Williams, Lambert and Hulme, and then beating Birmingham 1-0 with a goal from Alex James.
Hull on the other hand had just lost three consecutive games, to Nottingham Forest, Chelsea and Charlton scoring two and letting in a total of nine. As a result they had sunk to 19th and were now in more trouble than Arsenal in the league, Arsenal having risen to 16th thanks to their two recent victories.
Of course Arsenal never like to make it easy for themselves, and on 22 March in the semi-final they managed to draw 2-2 with the second division strugglers, after being 2-0 down at half time, with the goals coming from Jack and Bastin. It was Bastin’s fourth goal in this cup campaign in his first season in Arsenal’s first team. He had just turned 17 years of age.
For Hull’s first goal on 15 minutes, Danny Lewis ran to the edge of the penalty area, and kicked the ball out 30 yards up the field. It went to Howieson, Hull’s inside left, who then simply lobbed it back into the unguarded goal, as Lewis had remained on the edge of his area to admire his clearance.
Worse, 14 minutes later Eddie Hapgood sliced his attempt to clear a shot from Duncan, and it shot into the goal – Hull were thus 2-0 up. Then the luck changed. Walsh the Hull right half was injured, and moved over to the wing where he was little more than a passenger (as injured players were called before substitutes were allowed). Within two minutes Baker put Hulme through on the right, he immediately centre and David Jack scored.
Hull were now playing a totally defensive game, ensuring among other things that Bastin did not receive a ball. This ploy succeeded totally for 20 minutes but with eight minutes remaining James passed to Bastin who cut in, bypassed Mills and scored in the top right hand corner. Bastin was the hero, despite not having touched the ball for so long previously.
There was one more incident to play out from the first semi-final however. Arsenal’s coach was held up in traffic and the team and management looked like missing the train back to London. Chapman reportedly leaned out of the coach and shouted instructions to the police officers directing traffic, and eventually arranged for a motorcycle escort to get the players to the station in time.
In the other semi-final Huddersfield (Chapman’s previous team) had beaten Sheffield United to secure a place in the final. They had beaten Bury, Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford and Aston Villa in the previous rounds.
The replay against Hull was at Villa Park the following Wednesday with Joey Williams coming in for Hulme. Hull had suffered injuries of their own in the first game, and they made two changes. Joey Williams looked to be the star of the first half, until five minutes before half time he sliced the ball wide when faced with an open goal.
Within minutes of the second half starting the Hull centre half Childs was sent off for repeated foul play thus entering the history books as the first player to be sent off in a semi-final. His final offence was hitting Jack Lambert (as if he wasn’t nervous enough about playing already). What then followed was a spot of what commentators later came to call “a bit of argy bargy” but which in the 1930s could lead to questions being asked in the House of Commons about the poor example footballers gave to young people – not least because with the crowd intermingled (there of course being no segregation) the press reported outbreaks of unruly behaviour (fighting) in various parts of the ground following the assault on Lambert.
The goal followed the sending off and was a perfect Chapman move. Alex James performed one of pinpoint crossfield passes. Joey Williams took the ball forwards, crossed just as it looked like the ball would go out of play and David Jack met it in the penalty area to score.
The resultant injury toll for Arsenal from the game was particularly worrying however: Lewis, Baker, Parker and Jack all leaving the field at the end of the game in bad shape while the officials made a formal complaint to the FA about the language of the Hull players. Baker and Jack indeed were each seriously enough hurt not only to miss the next game the following saturday against Blackburn but in fact the next five league games.
And so, having never reached a cup final before 1927 Arsenal were now in their second final in four years.
The final was set for 26 April, and Arsenal now had eight league games in 26 days, by way of preparation for the match.
The first of these on 29 March gave Arsenal great hope for the future, for it turned into a 4-0 route of Blackburn, with Williams, Hulme and then two from Lambert, knocking up the score. This meant that at the end of March the league now looked like this
Arsenal were six points above the relegation places with games in hand. The situation had indeed improved.
Away from football for a moment in a first sign of the upgrade to the nation’s power system the first section of what was to become the National Grid – the unified electricity supply for the UK – was switched on in Scotland on 30 April.
However the mood of footballing excitement surrounding Arsenal was brought back down to the ground with the next three league results: a 0-1 home defeat to Liverpool, and successive 1-1 draws to Newcastle and Middlesbrough, both away from home. A major cause of the problem was the injuries caused by the Hull replay, but although the Liverpool defeat was disappointing, with other teams not playing (Arsenal catching up on games missed because of the Cup), Arsenal actually rose up the table and now reached 13th.
Then on April 12 with a home match against Sheffield United, came the first of two utterly extraordinary league results in the space of nine days in the run up to the Cup Final, results which in many ways heralded what was to come time and again through much of the subsequent decade. Arsenal beat Sheffield United 8-1, their biggest league win to date, exceeding the 7-1 drubbing of Bury in March 1929.
The ever improving Lambert got a hattrick, Johnstone making only his fourth appearance of the season got two, Hulme, James and of course Bastin, got one each. Arsenal were up to 12th, and looking much safer in their first division status than at any time since Christmas.
There were now three more games left to play before the Cup Final, and all ended in draws – which was a little disappointing after the Sheffield result, but enough to make Arsenal completely safe in the league.
On Good Friday, April 18 Arsenal drew with Leicester 1-1, James getting the goal. On the next day there was the oddity of a match against Cup Final opponents Huddersfield away, which ended 2-2 (Bastin and Hulme), and then most bizarrely of all on Easter Monday a 6-6 away draw with Leicester in which Halliday got four goals and Bastin the other two.
Ahead of the cup final the league table now looked like this
|9||West Ham United||40||18||5||17||83||76||1.09||41|
In terms of recent form, Arsenal were unbeaten in their last six league games – although five of those were draws. Huddersfield had won two, drawn three and lost one.
Arsenal had thus in the space of a month, pulled themselves away from the threat of relegation and now were comfortably mid-table. From 12 March to 21 April Arsenal had five wins, five draws and one defeat. And in the midst of this Arsenal got to their second FA Cup final.
|Date||Opponent||Venue||Op pos||Result||Pos||Pts||Crowd||Av crowd|
Here are the abbreviations which are used in this table throughout the whole series from 1930 to 1939…
- Op pos, is the league position of the opposition before the game.
- Pos is Arsenal’s position after the game
- AC is the average crowd in league matches for the home team through the season, providing a comparison between the crowd on that day (in the previous column) and the norm expected by the home side.
This was not sparkling form, but it was definitely an improvement – and an improvement combined with the high emotion of the first ever trophy.
So what caused the turn round this season, and indeed into the glorious 1930/31 season?
The clue is to be found with the two players we have highlighted, who stepped up in the second half of the 1929/30 season. Lambert became a regular from February onwards taking over the number 9 shirt from Halliday. He ended the season with 18 goals from 20 league games – sign enough of something extraordinary to come. But so was the fact that he played all eight FA Cup games and scored five, including the opening goal in the final.
The other was the boy Bastin who after a couple of early games in October 1929, took on the number 11 shirt on Boxing Day, and with a few sojourns onto the inside right position ended the 1929/30 season having played, 21 and scored seven. Apart from the goalkeeper (Chapman could never stop tinkering with the goal keeper position) the team was in place and ready to roll.
But there were other signs of progress, On 5 April 1930 David Jack was the first Arsenal player to captain England; England beat Scotland 5-2; he thus missed the Newcastle game but he did score for England. Alec James played for Scotland.
Four days later on 9 April the score was hardly one to remember – Middlesbrough 1 Arsenal 1. Except that Charles Preedy began his return as goalkeeper – a run that eventually led to his appearance in the Cup Final – and a winner’s medal (even though he was then dropped and became third choice keeper the following season; but still ultimately made 19 appearances. Chapman never could decide on a goalkeeper).
As for David Halliday, his four goals in the league wasn’t enough to get him a place in the cup final and he left the club in the summer. 1929/30 was his only Arsenal season, having come from Sunderland, and leaving in November 1930 for Birmingham. He played 15 games and scored 8 goals. But Chapman was putting together a forward line that didn’t need him!
On 26 April 1930 Arsenal won their first ever F.A. Cup 2-0 v Huddersfield. And indeed on this day they won their first ever major trophy. It was the final remembered for the Zepplin flying overhead, and because it involved Chapman’s present and past employers playing each other. It was also the first final in which the managers led their teams onto the pitch.
And it was also that very rare thing: a London side lifting the cup. It had only ever happened twice before and both those times had been by Tottenham in 1901 and 1921.
The Huddersfield team contained seven internationals – Arsenal’s had six – including Alex Jackson who had achieved fame throughout the UK by being the hero of Scotland’s 1928 win against England at Wembley scoring a hat-trick in the 5-1 victory which had rocked English football to the core. The Scottish team had also contained Alex James (whom Cliff Bastin, playing in the final at the age of 18 years and 1 month, described in his autobiography as “unintelligible”.)
Arsenal had developed the habit of going to Brighton before each cup tie to help overcome the nerves. And indeed nerves there would have been as Arsenal had lost their one and only previous cup final, and Huddersfield were very much the top team of the moment. But Arsenal had already beaten Huddersfield 2-0 in the league at Highbury and drawn the away game.
In his account of the match Bastin only criticised one player in the Arsenal team for cup final day – Charlie Preedy, who played in goal because Lewis was injured. There were in the 1930s some keepers who stayed on their line, and others who came out. Preedy was one of the latter and Bastin described his “far too daring antics” which he claimed gave most of the team heart failure.
Bastin also described in detail the goal, which he suggests was carefully arranged – not by Chapman as it turned out but by the players! Bastin was facing at full back the England captain Roy Goodall and it was agreed that if there was a free kick inside the Huddersfield half Alex James would give a short pass to Bastin who would draw the defence waiting for James to be free in the box. It worked and James scored his first, and only, FA Cup goal of the season.
The second goal was a classic in the Chapman style. James put the inch perfect counter attack pass through from his own half to Lambert who by-passed the members of the defence who had not been drawn upfield and scored.
Arsenal had their first trophy and aas for Bastin, he had a cup winner’s medal less than a year after leaving Exeter City.
Here was the Cup Final team…
1 Charlie Preedy
2 Tom Parker (c) 5 Bill Seddon 3 Eddie Hapgood
4 Alf Baker 6 Bob John
8 David Jack 10 Alex James
7 Joe Hulme 9 Jack Lambert 11 Cliff Bastin
The only players who survived from the previous Cup Final against Cardiff in 1927 were Tom Parker, Bob John and Joe Hulme.
Here is one of the goals…
And here is the Zepplin
And the cup winners… the lights you can see hang over the dog track that went around Wembley at the time.
And the winning team posed
Back Row: Baker, Lambert, Preedy, Seddon, Hapgood, John Middle Row: Herbert Chapman (Manager), Jack, Parker, James, Whittaker (Trainer) Front Row: Hulme, Bastin.
After that league life went on. On 28 April 1930 having won the FA Cup just two days before, Arsenal then proceeded to lose 0-1 at home to Sunderland. Also see here
On 3 May Arsenal showed off the trophy in their final match but lost 2-4 at home to Villa, completing the run of only one league win in the last nine games of the season. But still, they had won a trophy, they had won one match earlier in the season 8-1, and aside from the final two games after the final (which were excusable) they were quite often looking a really good team.
Arsenal played only one post-season match that year on 5 May 1930: Northampton Town 0 Arsenal 7. It was one of a series of end of season games with Chapman’s first managerial club, which was set up to help Northampton recover from a devastating fire that had swept their ground. The game was agreed in the winter, and although when they made the offer Northampton knew they would get their old manager and his first division team back, they didn’t know that Arsenal would be displaying the FA Cup!
After this there was little transfer activity that summer – indeed just one player turning pro and one stalwart leaving.
8 May 1930: George Male turned pro on his 20th birthday. He started out on the left wing as a deputy for Bob John and he played just three times in the first championship winning season, but played in the 1932 cup final due to an injury to Alex James.
On 10 May England played out a 3-3 away draw with Germany. David Jack was again captain and again scored. Then to conclude the tour, England played Austria, and again Jack was captain. This time however it was a 0-0 draw.
6 June 1930: John Butler (the man who played for Arsenal at the heart of their “WM” tactical revolution in 1925) was sold to Torquay United.
So the question was: what was the dominant factor at Arsenal? The league form that left them just three points above relegation, or the heroics in winning a trophy for the first time? In the coming years we were going to find out
With the sort of a collapse in the economy noted at the start of this piece, we might expect that crowd figures at League matches might go down in the 1930s, and the 1st division league average did indeed go down for 1930/1, but not dramatically. Here are the figures taken from the History of English Football site.
|Season||Top club for attendance||Top club in crowd terms league posn||Top club average crowd||1st division average crowd|
|1921/2||Chelsea||9th in Div 1||37.545||27.003|
|1922/3||Liverpool||1st in Div 1||33.495||23.213|
|1923/4||Chelsea||21st in Div 1 *||30.895||22.654|
|1924/5||Arsenal||20th in Div 1||29.485||21.609|
|1925/6||Chelsea||3rd in Div 2||32.355||22.597|
|1926/7||Newcastle Utd||1st in Div 1||36.510||22.881|
|1927/8||Manchester City||1st in Div 2||37.468||22.885|
|1929/30||Arsenal||14th in Div 1||35.537||22.647|
Arsenal’s average crowd for 1929/30 was certainly at the upper end of average crowds for the past ten years, but was then beaten in 1930/31, although that was still not the highest of the era. And to understand this fully we need to look at the decline in the first division average crowd as shown in the last column.
This combination of a decline overall, but a rise in the attendance of a London club spells out what the country was going through. The bulk of division 1 teams were in the north and they were suffering in terms of crowds (their prime form of income).
Here are the top ten average gates from across all the English leagues for 1929/30
|No.||Club||Division||Posn.||Average||Change on previous year|
Thus two of the top ten were second division sides and both were in London.
If we then look forward to 1930/1 we find three of the top four clubs were in London and one in the Midlands. The top northern club has an average attendance 10,000 fewer than Arsenal’s.
|No.||Club||Division||Posn.||Average||Change on last year|
When we come to look at Arsenal’s crowds at Highbury through the ages we find that they had hovered around the same level then peaking in the first two years of Chapman’s tenure, before finally hitting the big time in 1929/30.
|Season||League pos.||Average crowd||Crowd pos.||Cup round|
|1914/5||5 (div 2)||13.820||8||2|
But we still haven’t understood how a team that finished 14th just three points above relegation, could then become not only Champions, but Champions with the record number of points, and scoring more than double the number of goals than scored by Huddersfield in 1925 when they were champions.
To find what Chapman did we have to look at the 1929-30 competition statistics (first four columns below) and compare with the final column – appearances in the 1930/1 league winning season…
|Alf Baker||Right back/Right half||19||1|
|Cliff Bastin||Outside Left||21||7||42|
|James Brain||Inside right / centre fwd||6||16|
|Jack Butler||Centre half||2|
|Horace Cope||Left back||1||1|
|David Halliday||Centre forward||15||8|
|Eddie Hapgood||Left back||38||38|
|Alfred Edward Haynes||Half back||13||2|
|Joe Hulme||Outside right||37||14||32|
|Albert Edward Humpish||Half back||3|
|David Jack||Inside forward||33||13||35|
|Alex James||Inside left||31||6||40|
|Bob John||Half Back||34||40|
|William S Johnstone||Inside forward||7||3||2|
|Charlie Jones||Outside left||31||1||24|
|Jack Lambert||Centre forward||20||18||34|
|Tom Parker||Full back||41||3||41|
|Harold Burston Peel||Inside left||1|
|Herbie Roberts||Centre half||26||40|
|Bill Seddon||Half back||24||18|
|Leonard Thompson||Inside left||5||1||2|
Only three players played in 1930/1 who did not play in the previous cup winning season; two of those were goalkeepers, and one a youngster just learning his way. Keyser played the opening 12 games and then was removed in “interesting” circumstances. Harper had been a success with the club between 1925 and 1927, and returned. As for Male… well he deserves his full mention from 1932 onwards.
- Harper 19
- Keyser 12
- Male 3
So yes, this was, in 1930/1, by and large the team of 1929/30 growing up and believing that they could now do the previously unthought of: the first ever London team to win the Football League.
Arsenal in the 30s
- 1: Life in 1930 and winning the first major trophy.
- 2: The cup winners who dropped out and the players who came in
- 3: How Chapman put his triumphant 1931 team together.
- 4: September 1930; played 8 won 7 drawn 1.
- 5: October 1930: A stumble, Villa are close behind, Man U have 12 defeats in a row.
- 6: November 1930: Scoring 5 in three games in one month.
- 7: December 1930: 3 games in 3 days and 14 goals scored.
- 8: January 1931: the biggest league win ever at Highbury
- 9: February 1931: the goals just won’t stop coming.
- 10: March 1931: hope, defeat, hope
- 11: April 1931: Arsenal win the league for the very first time.
- 12: Arsenal in the summer of 1931, the records and the Scandinavian tour
- 13: Arsenal in shock – July and August 1931
- 14: September 1931; the champions recover from a poor start.
- 15: October 1931: Arsenal lose to Grimsby
- 16: November 1931: Chapman’s exasperation with goal keepers
- 17: December 1931: A scoring sensation but a dreadful month
- 18: January 1932: A return to form and a record score
- 19: February 1932: From a faltering start to nine wins in a row
- 20: March 1932: Huge crowds, an emergency signing, better results, another semi-final
- 21: April 1932: Film of Arsenal in the Cup Final, and attempts to win the league.
- 22: Arsenal in the summer of 1932. Arsenal runners up in league and cup, Man U’s average gate drops below Plymouth’s, Stanley Matthews first game, and the greatest run in Arsenal’s entire history is about to begin.
- 23: August 1932 – preparing for the ultimate greatness.
- 24: September 1932: Arsenal’s first steps into immortality
- 25: October 1932: The rise to the stars
- 26: November 1932: Records fall, greatness beckons.
- 27: December 1932: Greatness and supremacy
- 28: January 1933: Top of the league and defeated by Walsall.
- 29: February 1933: New shirts, awful weather, a record score
- 30: March 1933: Top of the league but a month to forget
- 31: April/May 1933: Champions for the second time
- 32: 1929/33: All the men who played in the League for Arsenal.
- 33: Arsenal in the summer 1933: Champions and water shortages
- 34: August/September 1933 – the start of the new season.
- 35: October 1933 – a return to progress
- 36: November 1933 – displacing Tottenham.
- 37: December 1933: Chapman’s last month; Arsenal triumphant
- 38: January 1934: The death of Chapman
- 39: February 1934. Chapman is gone, but the club moves on.
- 40: March 1934. Chapman’s two teams fight for the title
- 41: April 1934. Joe Shaw wins the league for Chapman
- 42: 1933/34 League players, and how the goals declined but the crowds went up.
- 43: Arsenal in the summer 1934: Allison takes over from Shaw and Chapman.
- 44: August/Sep 1934: Allison starts with a bang
- 45: October 1934 – Arsenal finally blow away the north London curse
- 46: November 1934: vying for the top of the league, and the Battle of Highbury
- 47: Arsenal in December 1934: two steps forward, two steps back.
- 48: January 1935: Suddenly Arsenal’s form turns upside down
- 49: February 1935. Despite one slip, Arsenal remain top.
- 50: March 1935: Beating Tottenham by a record score
- 51: April/May 1935: Winning the league for the third time in succession.
- 52: Arsenal in the Summer 1935 after three championships in a row
- 53: September 1935: After three successive championships things get sticky
- 54: October 1935: Ok but not good enough
- 55: November 1935; Drake starts scoring again.
- 56: December 1935: beating the record, and record confusions. Ted Drake before and after the magnificent seven.
- 57: January 1936: the league won’t be won, but what about the FA Cup…
- 58: February 1936: an early example of rotational selection
- 59: March 1936: Wembley again but player rotation starts affecting the crowds
- 60: April/May 1936; Arsenal win the Cup. A match report and season’s end
- 61: Arsenal in the Summer of 1936
- 62: Arsenal players 1934/5 and 1935/36: the fundamental problem with the team
- 63: August / Sept 1936: 20 different players used in the first seven league games
- 64: October 1936: Arsenal in free fall
- 65: November 1936: Arsenal reborn, TV starts, the king demands, the palace burns down.
- 66: December 1936: Top of the league as the king steps down.
- 67: January 1937: Arsenal unbeaten as the goalkeepers change (again).
- 68: February 1937: Seven in the cup, and all to play for in the league
- 69: March 1937: Arsenal top but Man City close in
- 70: April / May 1937: Arsenal slip back and Man City triumph – for the moment
- 71: Arsenal players 1936/7, Arsenal crowds in the 30s, and comparisons with earlier years
- 72: Arsenal in the summer: the overseas tour of 1937
- 73: Arsenal in August and September 1937: a brilliant start and a TV first.
- 74: Arsenal in October 1937: Allison decides it is time for a total change.
- 75: Arsenal in Nov 1937; a tactical signing changes the game
- 76: Arsenal in December 1937; a settled team and a revival
- 77: Arsenal in January 1938: two steps backwards but a new genius emerges.
- 78: Arsenal in February 1938: a true resurgence takes us top of the league.
- 79: March 1938: Arsenal at the top and a fifth title looks possible
- 80: April/May 1938: from no titles to five in one decade – and the most amazing title of them all.
- 81: Arsenal in the summer: the Nazi salute, Bastin as the symbol, Whittaker for England, the world record signing.
- 82: August/September 1938. The start of the end.
- 83: Arsenal in October 1938: the champions stagnating in mid-table
- 84: November 1938: facing relegation?
- 85: December 1938: the manager makes changes and a new hero is found
- 86: Arsenal in January 1939: some signs of recovery.
- 87: February 1939: Arsenal struggle to make a continuing impact.
- 88: March 1939: goalscoring and away form are the key problems
- 89: April / May 1939: Arsenal clamber back to 5th, and achieve film stardom
- 90: Arsenal in the summer 1939
- 91: The players and the crowds: Arsenal 1938/9 – and the players who returned
- 92: Arsenal in the 30s: Arsenal at the start of the 2nd world war (autumn 1939)