Man City as champions relegated, Tottenham almost relegated, Arsenal’s title, the 49 begins

The story of Arsenal’s title win on this day in in 1938, their 5th in eight years, required not only their win, but a defeat for Wolverhampton Wanderers – with which they duly obliged.  But this was nothing compared to what happened at the foot of the table.    Manchester City, the champions of the previous season, looked safe from relegation, because to go down they had to lose and four other teams had to win.   And that is what happened exactly: the champions were relegated!

Tottenham ended the 1976/7 season at the foot of the table and were relegated and on this day in 2003 Arsenal started the great march to 49 games undefeated – including of course a whole season undefeated.

Here are the anniversaries.

7 May 1910: King Edward VII died; the mourning period throwing a spanner in the works of Arsenal’s attempt to restructure the club as no commercial activity could continue until after the funeral.  

7 May 1915: The sinking of the ocean liner RMS Lusitania by a u-boat killing 1,198 civilians en route from New York to Liverpool was censored but was a major reasons for America’s later engagement in the war on the side of the Allies.

7 May 1919: A delegation of Belgian refugees met Sir Henry Norris to thank him for his work and that of the local council not just in providing accommodation and work for them during the war years but also protecting them from attacks by locals who held a “no foreigners here” viewpoint.

7 May 1929: Charlie Preedy signed from Charlton.  He was the first player Arsenal ever signed who was born in India (where his father was with the Royal Artillery).

7 May 1921: Arsenal lost the final game of the season 0-3 away to Liverpool to end the season in 9th – a one position improvement on last season.  Sadly it was to be Knighton’s best achievement and from here on it was downhill all the way.

7 May 1927: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 4.  Chapman’s team finally beat Tottenham at the  4th attempt and ended the season with six wins in the last seven, but only finished 11th.

7 May 1931: Pat Beasley signed from Stourbridge FC.  He made his first team debut a year later and stayed with the club until 1936, winning the league twice.  He made 79 appearances in all in the league scoring 19 goals.

7 May 1932: Chapman concluded his 7th season with a 4-0 home win over Blackburn and his second runners up spot, just two points behind Everton.

7 May 1938: Arsenal 5 Bolton 0 – Arsenal won the league  for fifth time in 8 years.  Bastin and Carr each got two and Kirchen got the other. Not only did Arsenal need to win but also Wolverhampton had to lose – which they duly did.  Man City, last season’s champions, lost and were relegated.  For the story of the month’s football in detail see here.   Eddie Carr got two goals.

7 May 1945, One day before the Allies accepted Germany’s surrender and with the war in the Far East continuing, the FA announced that the FA Cup would be resumed with the extra preliminary round played on 1 September 1945.

7 May 1949: Arsenal 2 Charlton 0 as Arsenal ended the season in fifth, despite just two defeats in the last 14.  League début for Ray Daniel. Ray’s elder brother had also played for Arsenal and died in the second world war aged 18.

7 May 1966: Arsenal 1 Leicester 0.  The last game as manager for Billy Wright.  His job had been to take Arsenal back to the top but his record of 7th, 8th, 13th and 14th was worse than his predecessor, and crowds were dramatically down.

7 May 1977: Arsenal 1 Middlesbrough 1 drew little attention on this day because since being beaten by Arsenal on 11 April, Tottenham had won just one match and a 5-0 away defeat on 7 May meant that Tottenham were almost certain to be relegated for the first time since 1935.

7 May 1983 John Hawley’s final game for Arsenal against his former club, Sunderland, who won 1-0 at Highbury.  Arsenal finished the season in 10th. Infinitely more important was his subsequent role in saving lives in the Bradford stadium fire.

7 May 1984: Tony Woodcock scored his 21st and final league goal of the season in the 3-3 draw with WHU at Highbury.  The club finished sixth.

7 May 1988: Everton 1 Arsenal 2.  Thomas and Hayes scored as Arsenal finished the season in sixth.  First game for Kevin Campbell, and last game for Kenny Sansom and for Graham Rix.

7 May 1994: Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 as Arsenal ended the season in 4th.  Last game for Alan Miller who had played nine times for the club. He moved on to Middlesbrough and later West Brom.

7 May 2003.  Arsenal 6 Southampton 1.  With hat tricks from Pennant and Pires the 49 match unbeaten run began.  The most wonderful anniversary in the history of Arsenal.

7 May 2006: The last game at Highbury, Arsenal beating Wigan 4-2 including a Henry hat trick.  Dennis Bergkamp’s last league game.  Curiously his last game for Ajax was also their last game in their old stadium.

7 May 2017: Arsenal beat Man U 2-0, the first of five consecutive wins which concluded the league season.

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