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Even the press agree tactics against Arsenal akin to a “pre-historic assault”

Latest article published by the Arsenal History Society…

December 1926: Henry Norris takes on the FA with no holds barred

Below are the Arsenal (and for historical context, occasionally one or two non-Arsenal) anniversaries for today taken from the complete files of over 6000 Arsenal anniversaries which appear on the Arsenal History Society website.  An index to the monthly Anniversary files can be found in the right column of this site under “Pages” on the right of the screen.

The current historical series on this site is Henry Norris at the Arsenal.   An index of all our main series can be found on the home page.


Today’s headline comes from 1971

2 October 1909: Playing with an injured keeper throughout, Arsenal lost 0-7 to Blackburn.  It was one of four defeats by this score that Arsenal have suffered in the first division.  The next time they conceded seven was October 1922.

2 October 1915:  Arsenal beat Clapton Orient in the wartime league, with Andy Ducat from Aston Villa in the team.  He had played 175 games for Arsenal before being transferred to Villa in 1912. He later ended his career with Fulham – obviously the connection with Henry Norris remained throughout.

2 October 1920: A sense of impending doom swept the club as Arsenal lost 2-1 to Middlesbrough, having been 1-0 up for much of the game.  The crowd of 25,000 was a disappointment too as the weather was particularly clement.

2 October 1922:  Arsenal lost 1-2 away to Sheffield United.  As a result of this defeat Arsenal were 19th, just one point above the relegation places and with a worse goal average than the two clubs one point below them.

2 October 1922: Frank Townrow (who joined Arsenal in November 1920, signing as a professional in April 1921) made his debut for the club.  He only played nine times for the first team in five years at Arsenal.

2 October 1924: Arsenal had made an offer to Preston of £4500 plus Bob Turnbull, for England forward Tom Roberts who had scored 118 goals in 199 games – another example of Knighton’s reported £1500 transfer fee limit being shown to be nonsense.  But on this day Roberts signed for Burnley.

2 October 1926:  One year on from the game against Newcastle when Arsenal went six down in the first half, and then changed tactics, it started again, as Arsenal went 0-2 down to Newcastle in 15 minutes.  And again a tactical change occurred at half time and the game ended 2-2.

2 October 1937: George Hunt, the England international signed from Tottenham, made his debut for Arsenal against Manchester City on 2 October 1937.  He went on to get a league winners’ medal, before moving on to Bolton for £4000.

2 October 1946: Albert Sigurður Guðmundsson played his first Arsenal match – a friendly against Sparta Prague, a 2-2 draw.  He played throughout as an amateur, but the restrictive employment regime of the UK meant he had to leave the club shortly after.

2 October 1962: Barnet’s 75th anniversary match ended Barnet 2 Arsenal 5.

2 October 1971: Southampton 0 Arsenal 1 (23,738 being crammed into the Dell).  The Observer called the Southampton tactics after Arsenal scored akin to a  “pre-historic assault” rather than football.

2 October 1974: A testimonial match at Reading gave O’Leary, Ross and Rostron their first games.

2 October 1993: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0.  This was the first of four successive 0-0 draws in the league.  The sequence ended on 6 November with a 1-2 home defeat to Aston Villa.

2 October 2011: An away defeat to Tottenham 2-1 meant that after five games with just one win, Arsenal were 17th, the lowest point in the table under Wenger thus far.

2 October 2016.  Away to Burnley Laurent Koscielny scored in the last minute to win the game.  Burnley manager Sean Dyche questioned the referee’s competence after the game claiming the goal was both offside and handball.   Although such attacks on refereeing competence by managers are prohibited by the PL no action was taken.  

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