Today on 8 March 2019, the websites and blogs are full of criticisms of Arsenal, some of them running at a level which seems to suggest that the manager and the whole team should be dismissed and rebuilt. And all for one defeat.
One can only presume that those making these criticisms were not around on 8 March 1977 when the team contained the likes of Brady, Stapleton and Macdonald but suffered a significant defeat in what was the worst run of defeats ever in the League for Arsenal.
It was also interesting in 2017 and 2018 when people started to suggest that the attendance for Arsenal home matches dropping to figures in the 50,000s showed how the club had sunk to its lowest level. On this day in 1977 – just six years after the double and just five years after being runners’ up, the crowd at Highbury was under 20,000.
Here are the anniversaries for today.
8 March 1890 – Richard Horsington suffered a serious injury in the London Senior Cup final. He never played for the first team again, but became a respected and wealthy businessman in the Plumstead area.
8 March 1930: The low point in the season in which Arsenal were 19th just two points and two places above relegation.
8 March 1932: Bill Seddon sold to Grimsby having played 69 league games and over 200 reserve games for Arsenal.
8 March 1933: The Islington Gazette reported that Charlie Jones had been replaced by Alex James as captain – something virtually every Arsenal history book since then has missed.
8 March 1934: George Cox made his Arsenal debut against Leicester and went on to play seven league games in this and the next season.
8 March 1934: Leicester City v Arsenal was brought forward because Leicester were in the Cup semi-final. Arsenal agreed as 15th place Leicester would probably be distracted. But Leicester City won 4-1.
8 March 1952: Luton 2 Arsenal 3. FA Cup round 6. Arsenal had scored 15 goals in four matches thus far on the road to Wembley. Cox 2, and Milton got the goals.
8 March 1958: Arsenal 5 Chelsea 4. David Herd scored a hat trick in front of 41,570 fans. This was the third in a run of four games which generated 28 goals. DR Clapton and Jimmy Bloomfield got the other Arsenal goals on this occasion.
8 March 1972: Ajax 2 Arsenal 1. European Cup 3rd round 1st leg. It came after two battles with Derby in the cup (both drawn) and a defeat in the league to Manchester City.
8 March 1975: Arsenal 0 West Ham 2. FA Cup 6th round. This was the fourth consecutive defeat in league and cup.
8 March 1977: Arsenal 1 WBA 2. The 6th consecutive defeat in the all-time record breaking run of defeats. The team at the time included Brady, Macdonald and Stapleton. Only 19,517 turned up at Highbury. Jimmy Rimmer ran out of his area and attempted to clear the ball upfield but miskicked the ball back to WBA’s Cross who tapped it into an open goal.
8 March 1980: Watford 1 Arsenal 2 FA Cup 6th round, on the way to the last cup final for 19 years. Stapleton got both goals.
8 March 2003: Arsenal 2 Chelsea 2. FA Cup 6th round. Jeffers and Henry scored.
8 March 2006: Daily Mirror ran the headline, “Nil nil to the Arsenal” after the draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League.
8 March 2011: Barcelona 3 Arsenal 1. Champions League round of 16. Almunia, the third choice keeper, came on as the substitute keeper. Although Arsenal lost he was voted man of the match.
8 March 2013: 10 years after scoring for Arsenal in the FA Cup 6th round, Francis Jeffers signed for Accrington Stanley, his 12th club and final club. He played for them seven times and scored two goals. He had a trial with Chester the following year but did not play for them.
8 March 2014: Arsenal 4 Everton 1. FA Cup quarter finals – en route to Wembley. Ozil, Flamini, Giroud and Arteta scored.
8 March 2018: Having lost to Brighton in the League following two solid defeats to Manchester City in the League and League Cup Arsenal beat AC Milan 2-0 in Italy in the Europa League leaving much of the media lost for words. Cech kept a clean sheet for the 200th time. Arsenal won the second leg 2-1.