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Celebrating Freddie Ljungberg’s birthday and all he’s done for Arsenal.

There are many series of articles on this site about Arsenal’s history – you can see an index on the right side of this article under “Pages”.  Three of the main series are

Henry Norris at the Arsenal:  There is a full index to the series here.

Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series on the decade ever

Arsenal in the 1970s: Every match and every intrigue reviewed in detail.


 

Happy birthday Freddie.

Celebrated with the song “We love you Freddie because you’ve got red hair” he was always a favourite, and is now under 23 coach at Arsenal – and as friendly and courteous as ever.  When, earlier this season, two of us approached him for photographs before an under 23 game at Leicester, he was immediately happy to oblige, courteous, smiling and the most decent bloke you can imagine.

He played 216 times for Arsenal, and it was in May 2013 that Arsenal announced he was coming back to Arsenal as an ambassador for the club.   What we didn’t know at the time was that he was also engaged in getting his coaching qualifications and experience.  In 2017 he became assistant to Andries Jonker at Wolfsburg, before returning to Arsenal on 12 June 2018.

Indeed, happy birthday Freddie.

Here are the anniversaries for today…

 

16 April 1894: Having finished their first League season Woolwich Arsenal embarked on a series of friendlies – and curiously the friendlies got bigger crowds than the league games.  On this day the score was Luton 3 Arsenal 3 with 3000 present.

16 April 1900: Arsenal signed right back Archie Cross from New Brompton.  He later played at left back in over 100 games for the club before moving back to Dartford – his first ever club – in 1909.

16 April 1910:   Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1 in front of 39,000.  The first ever Tottenham v Arsenal league match at Tottenham.  Despite five games unbeaten Arsenal’s problems continued. This was the 16th consecutive Arsenal match in which neither side scored more than one goal.  

16 April 1912: Ted Drake was born. He started playing for Winchester City, and then went on to Southampton, playing for them for the first time on 14 November 1931.  Herbert Chapman quickly spotted him, but tragically passed on before he was able to sign him. See also Ted Drake Day

16 April 1912: One of the club’s pivotal days.  George Leavey wrote to the Kentish Independent explaining that he could no longer spend the time nor provide adequate support for the club, wished Norris and Hall success in the venture, and resigned. Leavey was Arsenal’s second great benefactor – the first being George Lawrence.  See also here.

16 April 1921: Bradford PA 0 Arsenal 1.  It was the last league meeting of the clubs.  14,000 were at the game, and Toner scored the only goal of the match.  Arsenal’s victory came despite travelling to Bradford by coach due to possible train disruption

16 April 1932: With one week before the Cup Final 4th placed Arsenal played 3rd placed Sheffield Wed.  Arsenal won 3-1 and moved up to 2nd.

16 April 1949: Everton 0 Arsenal 0.  This made it six draws and one defeat in the last seven.  The crowd was 58,987 despite Everton’s lowly league position and Arsenal’s poor form. The season represented the height of post-war league attendances.

16 April 1960: With just one win in eight and 10 goals conceded in the last four games, Arsenal sank to below mid table with a 3-0 away defeat to Birmingham and managed just one win against three defeats in the last four games of the season.

16 April 1962:  Arsenal recorded their first win at Old Trafford since 1930. George Eastham scored the first in a 3-2 win, Noel Cantwell o.g for the second and Alan Skirton the third and winning goal.

16 April 1966: WHU 2 Arsenal 1.  Baldwin scored for Arsenal but it was 10 without a win. Billy Wright’s days came to an ignominious end as Arsenal sank to 16th in the table just three points above the relegation spot.

16 April 1977: Freddie Ljungberg born. He  made his debut for Halmstads on 23 October 1994 and was signed by Arsenal in 1998 for £3m.  It is said that Arsène Wenger claimed he had never seen him play when he signed him – but just saw him on TV, although this seems very unlikely.

16 April 1979: Arsenal 5 Chelsea 2.  Arsenal scored five in three different games all against London clubs during the season, but didn’t win any of the remaining five games after this derby. Stapleton (2) O’Leary, Sunderland and Price got the goals.

16 April 1980: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1.  FA Cup Semi final 1st replay.  Sunderland scored. Arsenal were involved in the FA Cup, the Cup Winners’ Cup and a desire to get into the top three (for European inclusion next season).  There is a more detailed account here.

16 April 1983.  Arsenal  lost 1-2 to Man U in their 16th Cup semi-final appearance, played at Villa Park.  Woodcock scored for Arsenal. Arsenal had beaten Bolton, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa to reach the semi.  Man U beat Brighton in the final after a replay.

16 April 2000: Before the game Arsène Wenger and the players presented bouquets of flowers to their counterparts to honour the Leeds fans murdered in Istanbul.  Arsenal beat Leeds 4-0 away as Henry scored his 20th of the season.  Arsenal went above Leeds having been 10 points behind, last time they met.  

16 April 2004: Arsenal 5 Leeds 0.  Henry got four after Pires had scored the opener.  The 33rd league game of the unbeaten season and the third defeat of Leeds after two 1-4 away victories] one in the League, one if the FA Cup.

16 April 2012:  After a disappointing defeat against QPR in March there was another disappointment with Arsenal 1 Wigan 2 – both Wigan’s goals coming in first 8 minutes. The result left Arsenal in 3rd, 18 points behind the leaders, 13 behind the second place team.

 

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