It is always nice to think that there is something special about Arsenal which brings out the best in players, and that after they depart the club, they never quite get that old Arsenal form back again.
Of course this can be a misleading thought since players may have played out their best years with Arsenal, but there are some who seem simply to believe they are the best, and that their success is just down to them, and not to the club.
When Robin van Persie forced his departure from Arsenal to Manchester United he had just scored 37 goals in 48 games. Man U gave him a ridiculous contract, knowing that he was coming to the end of his career, but it paid off in the first season when he got 30 goals. The following season it was 18, the year after it was 10 – but he was still being paid that mega salary.
Alexis Sanchez has looked somewhat like a man in the same mould, and I mention this theme because on this day in 2014, Alexis signed for Arsenal amidst much excitement. He scored 25, 17 and 30 goals in his first three seasons for Arsenal, but then just eight in 22 games in the first half of 2017/18 before moving to Manchester United.
At Man U he scored three in 18 games and two in 27 across his season and a half with the club thus far and one might argue he has looked like a shadow of his old self. But apparently, the money is good.
Here are the anniversaries…
10 July 1916: The Princess Royal, colonel-in-chief of the 7th Dragoon Guards (the Princess Royal’s Own), opened a new building in the grounds of Fulham’s board of guardians’ infirmary. The building was to be used by the military for the duration of the war, and Captain Henry Norris, Arsenal chairman, was part of the welcoming party.
10 July 1920: Cyril Grant born. Seen as a possible post war replacement of Ted Drake, he played just two games for Arsenal in the difficult 1946/7 season. He then played one season with Fulham before finishing his league career with Southend United.
10 July 1921: The truce in the Irish war of Independence came into effect.
10 July 1956: Frank Stapleton born, Dublin. He joined Arsenal in 1972 as an apprentice (having tried his hand first with Man U) and played his first game in 1975 against Leicester in a 1-1 home draw.
10 July 1975: Bob McNab completed a free transfer to Wolverhampton. He played 13 league games for them before moving to the US league, and then finished at Barnet. He managed Vancouver and Tacoma, was caretaker manager of Portsmouth in 1999 and then worked as a property developer in Los Angeles. See also here.
10 July 1985: Park Chu-Young born. In 2004 he won the Golden Ball for the most valuable youth player, and was Asian Young Footballer of the Year in 2010.
10 July 1988: A key moment in the history of the League as ITV proposed different payments to different clubs, opening the way to separate negotiations along the lines of the Spanish League’s arrangements.
10 July 1995: David Platt transferred to Arsenal from Sampdoria for £4.75. Platt said that Bruce Rioch had been on holiday in Portugal and flew to Italy to make the signing and they “hit it off straight away”. He has since had a number of unsuccessful coaching and managerial jobs and in on 3 December 2018, he was appointed as a club consultant for U.S. Città di Palermo of Italy’s Serie B.
10 July 2014: Arsenal signed Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona for around £30m. He became an immediate success being the club’s top scorer in his first season and showing an unending drive and passion while on the pitch. However in 2018 he left for Man U but only scored 5 goals in 45 appearances in his first 18 months.
10 July 2018: Arsenal signed defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria for a reported fee of £26.4 million, and played 34 games in his first season with the club.
And here are the main features from the site There is an index to all our series on the home page.
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.