Remembering the concept of Arsenalisation and the statue of Chapman

By Tony Attwood

Arsenalisation was the term coined to symbolise the programme of turning Arsenal’s new stadium into a place that reflected Arsenal and its history.  It was in relation to this that I had the opportunity to put to Ivan Gazidis the notion that there should be statues of the great symbols of Arsenal’s past, such as Herbert Chapman.  My suggestion was that Chapman should be looking up at the new stadium as if to say, “I did this,” and this is what (to my mind at least) was built.

Here are the anniversaries.

?August 1890 Royal Arsenal Committee representatives signed a three years lease on the Invicta Stadium.  It was a major step forward for Arsenal, but it ended in disagreement as the club split between those who wanted professionalism and those who did not.

1 August 1956: Alex Forbes transferred to Leyton Orient.  He won the title with Arsenal in 1947/8 and 1952/3, and the FA Cup in 1950.  However in 1955/6 he had knee cartilage problems and he lost his place to Dave Bowen, moving to Orient before moving on to Fulham and finally and Gravesend & Northfleet.

1 August 1976: European cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Kanu born.  He started with Iwuanyanwu Nationale moving to Ajax and Inter before reaching Arsenal.  See here for memorable incidentHere for first game

1 August 1977: Steve Walford signed from Tottenham.  He signed with Tottenham in 1974 but he only played twice for them before Terry Neill, who of course himself at been at Tottenham, signed him for £25,000.

1 August 1980: After 235 league games Liam Brady transferred to Juventus for £514,000.  He later played for Sampdoria, Inter, and Ascoli before returning to London to play for West Ham.

1 August 1980: Arsenal revived the old tradition of playing friendlies against Rangers, but lost 0-2 in a friendly. It was the 18th game in the series and the first for seven years.

1 August 1982: Lee Chapman signed for Arsenal for £500,000 from Stoke City, for whom he played 99 league games.  He lasted just one season, and 23 games and then had one season with Sunderland, the first of 12 post-Arsenal clubs.

1 August 1987: Arsenal beat Celtic 1-5 away in a friendly. Ex-Celtic player Charlie Nicholas scored the first, Samson, Davies, and Martin Hayes on top form got two.

1 August 1999: Arsenal 2 Man U 1.  FA Charity Shield at Wembley Stadium.  Kanu and Parlour scored. Man U were treble winners the previous season and the win for Arsenal suggested a change in the hierarchy might be at hand.

1 August 2002:  Kapfenberg Tri-Team Pre-Season Tournament involved three sides (Arsenal, Panathinaikos and Roma) playing each other in 45 minute matches.

1 August 2003: Michal Papadopulos joined on loan from Banik Ostrava while Johan Djourou from Etoile Carouge arrived on a free.  Papadopulos never played for Arsenal, while Djourou played 86 times.

1 August 2006: Armand Traore joined Arsenal from Monaco as a youth player, and graduated to the first team squad the following season.  He played in Bergkamp’s testimonial and went on to play 13 league games for Arsenal.

1 August 2008: Stewart Houston returned to Arsenal taking up the role of a scout and watching forthcoming opposition teams.  He had worked with Graham at Tottenham at the turn of the century, and worked as first team coach of Walsall.

1 August 2009: Arsenal beat Atlético Madrid in the second Emirates Cup.  The development of the concept of the cup coincided with the introduction of Arsenalisation in the stadium. 

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