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When Bobby Robson could make anti-Arsenal allegations with impunity and the media accepted it

Below are the anniversaries of Arsenal, along with a few non-Arsenal events of note for today.

Our lead story from 9 February 2003 relates to how Bobby Robson the ex-England manager, outrageously accused Bergkamp without the slightest piece of evidence of deliberately getting Laurent Robert sent off in 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

The rule among journalists at the time was that Robson was untouchable, and that no one was allowed to challenge any statement he made, no matter how wild.  This situation occurred repeatedly, including Robson’s occasional attacks on Millwall supporters whom he suggested should all be banned, and locked up, whether there was any evidence against them or not.   The reporters would raise not a word of objection.

9 February 1883: Birth of Bob Benson, the man who tragically died while playing a wartime friendly for Arsenal in 1916.  In all he played 52 league games for Arsenal between 1913 and 1915.

9 February 1889: Arsenal 3 Gravesend 3.  Arsenal refused to play extra time because of the late starting of the game and were disqualified from Kent Senior Cup.

9 February 1895: Arsenal played their last game (against Rotherham Town) before the Manor Ground was shut for 6 weeks because of unruly behaviour by spectators.  An identical episode at Wolverhampton Wanderers the following season led to their ground being closed for only 2 weeks.

9 February 1901:  Arsenal’s first ever victory in FA Cup Competition Proper: 2-0 against Blackburn.

9 February 1903: The final Woolwich Arsenal friendly against Millwall Athletic.  These games between the local rivals had been a major source of income and local interest since 12000 turned up to a game in 1892

9 February 1918: Arsenal continued their up and down wartime campaign by losing to Fulham at home 0-3 in the London Combination with a crowd of 8000 at Highbury.  The following Wednesday margarine rationing was introduced.

9 February 1933: A non-football story: Amidst hunger marches and social unrest the members of the Oxford Union voted “That this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and country.”

9 February 1935: Even in the all-conquering 1930s there could be upsets.  Birmingham were on a run of six defeats and three draws in the last ten and 19th in the League.  But on this day they beat Arsenal 3-0.

9 February 1957: Having taken over from Tom Whittaker in October, Jack Crayston suffered only his 4th defeat – Man U 6 Arsenal 2.  In the previous game Arsenal beat Sheffield W 6-3.

9 February 1984 Paul Mariner signed by Don Howe for Arsenal from Ipswich for whom he had played 260 league games, for £150,000.   He played 60 league games for Arsenal and scored 14 goals, before moving on to Portsmouth.

9 February 1961.  Tommy Docherty transferred to Chelsea (to become player coach) from Arsenal.  He had played 83 league games for Arsenal but only played four times for Chelsea in the league.

9 February 2003: Bobby Robson outrageously accused Bergkamp without the slightest piece of evidence of deliberately getting Laurent Robert sent off in 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

9 February 2007: Arsenal signed a deal with Colorado Rapids owned by Stan Kroenke; Arsenal’s first venture into the USA and the first meeting with the man who eventually bought the club.

9 February 2009: Joe Haverty died aged 72.  (Also reported as 7 Feb). He played 114 games for Arsenal and scored 25 goals, before moving on to Millwall, Celtic and Bristol Rovers and Shelbourne, before moving to the USA in December 1966.  He returned to Ireland in 1969, with Shamrock Rovers before moving on to Drogheda.

9 February 2010: Kyle Bartley loaned to Sheffield Utd.  He then went on to Rangers before permanently signing for Swansea in 2012.

1 comment to When Bobby Robson could make anti-Arsenal allegations with impunity and the media accepted it

  • rizal

    Who was the opponent player? when Bregkamp want to make a freekick but the opponent was too close to him and did not want to move away. Then Bergkamp take the freekick but the ball ricochet the opponent player leg and the referee had rightly yellow carded that player. I had forgotten who he was, do you still remember the name of that player? tq

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