Iconic moments no 8: 3 consecutive league titles under 3 different managers and Spurs relegated

Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.  Have your name in the book as an official sponsor.  Updated information here

By Tony Attwood

In 1932/3 Arsenal won the league under Herbert Chapman.  Chapman died in January 1934 and Joe Shaw took over and we won the 1933/4 league under him.  In the summer of 1934 George Allison took over and we won the league under him as well.

Three managers, three seasons, three titles – and this third of the the three is our 8th iconic moment.

Once again the margin was similar to the previous seasons – this time we won by four points.  But while in the Joe Shaw year Tottenham came 3rd in the league, this time the came bottom, and were sent down to their spiritual home – the lower leagues.

Under Allison Arsenal scored 115 goals, maintaining an incredible goal scoring run.   127 for 1930/1, 118 for 1932/3, just 75 in 1933/4, and 115 for 1934/5.  King of the goal scorers was Ted Drake, signed towards the end of the previous season by Joe Shaw, who scored 42 league goals in 41 games.

Allison introduced Wilf Copping and Crayston to the team, and Beasley stepped up to make 20 appearances on the wings during the season.

Copping was signed by Allison in the summer of 1934 for £8,000, as a replacement for Bob John at left half. Jack Crayston came from Bradford PA, and was signed even though he had broken his wrist and leg in the 1933/4 season.  He replaced Charlie Jones.

Davidson came in as  aback up number 8 and Rogers and Kirchen also made some appearances on the wing towards the end of the season – otherwise it was Joe Shaw’s team that won the league.

The club started the season scoring 20 goals in the first four games and managed to score eight goals in three separate league games that season.

The crowds of course loved it.  68,000 for the home game with Man City on October 13, followed by 70,500 for the home game with Tottenham the following weekend (we beat them 5-1).

The final run in was a huge success – 8 wins and 5 draws but no defeats, until the very last game of the season, by which time the league title was all done and dusted.  Highlights included

  • Arsenal 8 Liverpool 1
  • Arsenal 5 Birmingham 1
  • Arsenal 5 Tottenham 1
  • Chelsea 2 Arsenal 5
  • Arsenal 7 Wolverhampton 0
  • Arsenal 8 Leicester 0
  • Tottenham 0 Arsenal 6 (oh that must have been fun!)
  • Arsenal 8 Middlesbrough 0

Strangely through these three seasons of triumph with different managers, the FA Cup proved elusive.  In 1933 we went out in the third round to Walsall – Mr Chapman’s last FA Cup.  In 1934 we reached the 6th round before losing at home to Aston Villa.  And in the first Allison season we again reached the sixth round (playing all games away from home) where we lost to Sheffield Wednesday 1-2.

But perhaps a final word should go to our old chums Tottenham Hotspur.  They finished bottom with 10 wins, 10 draws and 22 defeats, letting in 93 goals.  They then languished in the second division until 1950 when they finally won promotion back to the first.

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