The sadness of Brady and scoring in 47 consecutive games

Everyone who saw him knew from the off that Liam Brady was a brilliant player and extraordinary natural talent.  But his time with Arsenal was a tragedy.  Not of Liam’s making of course but of the fact that he played under two poor managers.

Bertie Mee had delivered a European trophy and the first double, but thereafter his teams slipped away, and his managerial approach appeared rigid and authoritarian – totally out of step with the footballers he was managing.  Neill had some ability as a manager – but not enough to get Arsenal back to the top – and so Brady’s talents languished, until he was able to leave.

But on this day in 2001, Arsenal beat Southampton 3-2.  A nice enjoyable win, and I am utterly certain none of us present had any concept of what it would be the start of: scoring in 47 consecutive games and 22 away games without defeat.

Here are the anniversaries for today…

19 May 1905: Edwin Bateup signed as a professional having joined from Faversham the previous month as an amateur.  He went on to play 34 games in two spells for the club, finally leaving in 1911.

19 May 1907: Budapest 0 Arsenal 9.  This was the 7th game in two weeks on Arsenal’s first overseas tour.  Curiously the club played Budapest again the following day, and  the result was a 2-2 draw.  Earlier in the tour Arsenal had played SK Slavia twice. The reasons for these arrangements are not known.

19 May 1910: Henry Norris started the hunt for new investors to save Arsenal.  He was offering a new company which would part-own the club along with himself and William Hall.   However although the local supporters made a lot of fuss about saving the club, when it came to putting hands in pockets, they were not that excited by the idea.

19 May 1931: Copenhagen Combination 1 Arsenal 1 (20,000).  Lambert got the goal.  Match three of a seven game 20 day tour of Scandinavia.

19 May 1932: Frank Tiger Hill bought from Aberdeen.  He had played 100 games for them as right half but was transferred after (unproven) allegations were made about players betting on the club’s results. Arsenal already had Bob John, Wilf Copping and Jack Crayston, but Tiger competed with them and always played enough games each season to get his medal.

19 May 1940: John (Jack) McClelland was born in Lurgan and played initially for Genavon before moving to Arsenal where he played as a goalkeeper for four seasons.

19 May 1955: Joe Wade ended his Arsenal career. having played 91 league and cup games for Arsenal. He worked as a school football coach before returning to Hereford as player-manager where he won the Southern League and Cup double.

19 May 1958:  Jack Crayston resigned as manager.  He managed 77 matches with a win percentage of 42.86, making him more successful than Swindin and Wright, but only 16th in our list of longer serving managers.  He managed Doncaster for three years thereafter, before leaving football totally.

19 May 1977: Manuel Almunia born.  He played for Osasuna,  Cartagonova,  Sabadell,   Eibar,   Recreativo and Albacete – the last on loan from Celta de Vigo from whom he joined Arsenal on 14 July 2012 as a backup to Jens Lehmann.

19 May 1980: Liam Brady’s last match for Arsenal, a 0-5 defeat in Game 70 of the season.  The sadness of Brady’s time as an Arsenal player is that he was there during Mee’s declining years, and then the only moderately successful Terry Neill.

19 May 1999: Malaysia 0 Arsenal 2.  Anelka and Petit scored in front of 60,000 fans in a two match end of season visit to Asia.

19 May 2001: On 28 September 2002 Arsenal beat Leeds 4-1 away, to break the record by scoring in 47 consecutive games and making it 22 away games without defeat. The record run had begun on 19 May 2001 with a 3-2 away win at Southampton.

19 May 2006: Thierry Henry signed a four year contract at Arsenal, however he was transferred to Barcelona on 25 June 2007.

19 May 2013: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1.  Arsenal ended the season with a 10 match unbeaten run . Koscielny scored and Arsenal retained their position in the Champions League while Tottenham fans celebrate an imaginary Newcastle equaliser which would have given them the European place.

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