Selling Sammels, buying Holding: two affairs that show some Arsenal fans at their worst

Two issues leap out from today Arsenal anniversaries.  First the transfer of Jon Sammels in 1971 – a player forced to leave because he was endlessly booed by the Arsenal crowd.

And second the signing of Rob Holding in 2016.  As the note below says, this signing was met with absolute derision by the media and fans groups, and he faced a huge array of abuse, as did Mr Wenger for signing him.  But such matters were quietly forgotten when his remarkable talent and ability was revealed.

The problem is of course that since the media joined in all the antagonism, none of the media will go back and remember this and point the finger, since they would immediately find the finger pointing at them.

It is issues like this that are covered in the series on Untold Arsenal – the Media against the Arsenal.

22 July 1934 Danny Clapton born in Stepney.  He played for Leytonstone as an amateur before joining Arsenal in August 1953

22 July 1966: Tony Burns transferred to Brighton.   He played as a goalkeeper 31 times for Arsenal.  He continued playing until 1979, most notably playing 90 games for Crystal Palace, and then became a manager, and later goalkeeping coach.

22 July 1971 Jon Sammels sold to Leicester for £100,000, after becoming a victim of the “boo-boys” in the crowd.  He had played 215 league games and went on to play 241 for Leicester, leaving them for Canada in 1977.

22 July 1989: First appearance of goalkeeper Alan Miller in a friendly against Skelleftea.  He played nine times for Arsenal and then after several loan spells moved to Middlesbrough in 1994.

22 July 1990: Andy Linighan and David Seaman debuts v Varberg Bois.  Linighan joined from Norwich while Seaman came from Queens Park Rangers.  After Linighan retired from football he went on to run his own plumbing business.

22 July 1992 David Rocastle sold to the league champions Leeds for £2m.  Later reports strongly suggested that he was very much sold against his will and was deeply distressed by the move forced upon him by George Graham.

22 July 2003: Oleg Luzhny sold to Wolverhampton W.  Luzhny played 110 league games for Arsenal and was part of the team that won the 2001/2 double

22 July 2003: SC Ritzing drew with Arsenal to make it one defeat, two draws and no wins in pre-season games. Matters picked up later and Arsenal won four of the nine pre-season games all told before embarking on the Unbeaten season.

22 July 2004: Mathieu Flamini signed from Marseille on a free transfer – a profile he continued through his career, never once commanding a transfer fee.    He played 102 times for Arsenal before moving on to Milan; returning in 2013, and then leaving again for Palace.  After leaving football Mathieu not only became a partner in GF Biochemicals, he also co-founded The BioJournal the world’s first e-magazine devoted entirely to eco-sustainability.

22 July 2006: The Emirates Stadium opened with the Dennis Bergkamp testimonial,  Dennis’ father kicked off the match.  Dennis had played 423 games for Arsenal, and was part of both Arsène Wenger’s Doubles and the Unbeaten Season.

22 July 2016: Arsenal signed Bolton’s Player of the Year Rob Holding for £2m.  The transfer was met with wholesale derision by the anti-Wengerian mobs who were spurred on by the mass media and their newly emerging small scale blogs.   Although no one seemed to apologise for the abuse by the end of the season when Holding put in a sterling display in the Cup Final to see off Chelsea, it was apparent that this was another Wenger work of absolute brilliance.

22 July 2013: Arsenal played Nagoya Grampus, the club Arsène Wenger managed
before Arsenal.  Arsenal won 3-1 with goals from Giroud, Ryo and Walcott.


One Reply to “Selling Sammels, buying Holding: two affairs that show some Arsenal fans at their worst”

  1. Jon Sammels-he of the thunderous shot. I remember his goal in the Fairs Cup final and was actually there to witness it. I think he eventually became a driving instructor.
    To be fair I don’t think the abuse of Holding was in the mainstream media, but some low rent Arsenal blogs.

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