From near relegation to 32 league goals in 7 games in just five seasons

Clubs can turn themselves around very quickly, and indeed I am not sure that many achieved such a turn round in one season as Arsenal did after Knighton’s last campaign in 1924/5.  On this day in 1925 we see Arsenal’s eighth consecutive defeat.  The following season we came second.  And then five years on we had our all time record campaign of the era.

Here are the anniversaries of today.

28 February 1891: Royal Arsenal 3 Clapton 2.  London Senior Cup

28 February 1903: Last game for Fergus Hunt.  Having been Woolwich Arsenal’s top scorer between 1897 and 1900 he moved on to West Ham before returning for three games in 1903 after that moving on to Fulham.

28 February 1908: Tim Coleman sold to Everton.  He had played 172 games in the league for Woolwich Arsenal scoring 79 league goals.  He later played for Sunderland, Fulham, and Nottingham Forest.  After the war he played some non-league football, and then worked as manager for Maidstone Utd., before moving to the Netherlands.

28 February 1913: The Kentish Independent published Norris’ response to the paper’s suggestions that Woolwich Arsenal were on the move saying that if the directors of Woolwich Arsenal were to move the club to a more populated area of London they could scarcely be blamed for doing so with gates at the Manor Ground as low as they were.

28 February 1914: Arsenal played Blackpool.  It is very likely that the photo used by Arsenal as the basis for their change of shirts in the final season at Highbury was taken on this date and did not represent the colour of shirts used in most of the first Highbury season.

28  February 1920: Arsenal beat Man U 1-0 with an approach that The Times described as including “a few bold experiments” including playing defender Bradshaw as a centre-forward and putting a completely untried pairing on the left.  This was perhaps the first match at Highbury the Times sent a man to since the 1914/15 season when their man noted the exceptionally poor crowd, while seemingly failing to realise he was watching a reserve match!

28 February 1925: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 0; the sixth consecutive league defeat and Knighton’s final derby.  The run left Arsenal in 19th out of 22, and an immediate improvement was needed to avoid relegation.

28 February 1931: West Ham 2 Arsenal 4, making it 32 league goals in 7 league games for the club and 14 in the last three.  Jack (2), John and Bastin scored as Arsenal headed towards an all time record points total.

28 February 1931: Sir Oswald Mosley resigned from the Labour Party and set up the New Party. “We challenge the 50-year-old system of free trade which exposes industry in the home market to the chaos of world conditions, such as price fluctuations, dumping and competition of sweated labour,” he announced.

28 February 1953: Arsenal 1 Blackpool 2.  FA Cup 6th round.  Having lost to Blackpool the week before in the League, Logie scored in front of 69,158 people at Highbury but Arsenal went out of the Cup.

28 February 1959: Arsenal 3 Man U 2, Arsenal made it six wins and two draws in eight.  The result left Arsenal one point clear at the top of the table, with Man U in third, but the teams below had games in hand.  Barnwell (2) and Herd got the goals.

28 February 1964: John Radford became a pro at Highbury.  He went on to play 475 league games for the club.

28 February 1970: Final game for David Court.  He went to Luton Town but returned to Arsenal in 1996 as Assistant Head of Youth Development.

28 February 1973: WBA 1 Arsenal 0.  It was Arsenal’s first defeat in 12 games, and left Arsenal second to Liverpool on goal difference, but Liverpool had played one game fewer.

28 February 1976: Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 1.  This gave Arsenal three 1-0 wins in a row, including the only back to back wins all season to alleviate the relegation worries.  Radford scored.

28 February 1978: Arsenal 0 Norwich 0.  The last of five games without a win.  Only 23,506 turned up to watch.

28 February 1981: Steve Walford’s last game for Arsenal.  He went on to play 93 times for Norwich before moving on to West Ham.  He later went on to work alongside Martin O’Neill as managerial assistant at various clubs and for Ireland.

28 February 1999: Newcastle 1 Arsenal 1.  The draw left Arsenal 12 points behind Man U.  Anelka scored.  Results picked up but Arsenal still ended second although only one point behind.

28 February 2004: Arsenal went two up in four minutes through goals from Pires and Henry but then hung on to win 2-1 against Charlton making it five wins out of five.   The 27th league game of the unbeaten season.

28 February 2009: Arsenal 0 Fulham 0 made it five draws (four of them 0-0) in a row.

28 February 2010: Sanchez Watt’s loan with Southend expired after just four games and despite his early promise the future looked dim. He was moved onto Leeds and after a series of loans settled at Colchester Utd before playing in India.


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