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Aston Villa v Arsenal, September 17, 1910

By Tony Attwood

100 years ago, three games played, two draws and a defeat.  (A bit of a contrast with the season 100 years later).  Two goals scored (both by Rippon) and three let in.

Next up Aston Villa away.  Villa won the league in 1909/10 and so were the reigning champions.   Little did they know it, but it would be their last championship for 70 years, and indeed in the next 100 years they would have only one more moment at the top – which really would have been unbelievable to anyone at the ground 100 years back.  Here they were, champions, having just knocked up their sixth championship, and also being one of only two clubs ever to have done the double thus far, and then…   It wasn’t an immediate fall from grace, more of a gentle slide, but slide it certainly was.

But at this moment all that was in the future, and for the moment they were the feared opponents.  Woolwich Arsenal had just escaped relegation last season, had gone through administration and come out with an owner who cared more about Fulham and Croydon Common than about Arsenal.

Now they were facing the champions, a team of great repute, a team that had scored 84 goals from 38 games last season, and a team looking good for a repeat of the championship.

The Woolwich Arsenal team line up was due to be the same as for the goalless draw with Sheffield United, which meant Andy Ducat was going to have to play out of position at right back, and we would be without Gray and Lewis.  Given that we had drawn 0-0 with Sheffield United, this hardly gave great hope to Arsenal fans.

Fulham meanwhile were at home to Hull City – and that is where Henry Norris was.

There were not that many expecting a great Arsenal win.

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