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The eccentricity of goalkeepers: Arsenal anniversaries on this day.

Goalkeepers are eccentric – it is one of the fundamental folk lores of football.   And if ever there was one who seemed to play up to this vision it was Wojciech Szczęsny, who after a number of incidents finally pushed his manager, Mr Wenger, too far when he was caught smoking after a game.  He has since found success in Italy.

He played 132 games for Arsenal, and was liked by quite a large section of the crowd, but seen as too eccentric by others.  But he has been the regular first team keeper for Poland since 2009.   Szczęsny was the keeper for the 2015 FA Cup final – the overwhelming 4-0 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley, having been dropped as the first team keeper for league matches for disciplinary reasons prior to this.

On this day in 2016 he was loaned to Roma, and never returned to play for Arsenal again.

4 August 1914: The UK declared war on Germany. The FA took no action but finally met on 1 September and agreed football should continue for the 1914-15 season.

4 August 1923: At a farewell dinner for Jock Rutherford (who as it turned out only left the club temporarily) Sir Henry Norris made a speech in which he criticised the press for their unfair commentaries on the club.  Being the press they vowed revenge for what the Islington Gazette called the “great offence caused”

4 August 1938: George Allison broke the UK transfer record signing Bryn Jones from Wolverhampton for £14,000.  Sadly the publicity this brought seemed to play on Bryn Jones’ mind and he never reached the heights expected.  See also here.

4 August 1948: Death of David Danskin.  Although oft reported as a founding father of Arsenal he was at the club only a short while and although he stood for election to the Committee in 1892 he was not elected because of his views on the future of the club. 

4 August 1956: The start of the modern style of pre-season games as Arsenal played Stuttgart away.  It ended 1-1, and was the only-pre-season game recorded for that season that was open to the public.  

4 August 1971: Arsenal 6 Benfica 1.  After the match the ref reported Benfica for the behaviour of the entire team after he was attacked by several Benfica players.

4 August 1978: Luis Boa Morte born in Lisbon.  He signed for Arsenal on 25 June 1997 and went on to make six league starts but appeared 19 times as a sub before moving on to Southampton in 1999.

4 August 1984.  Celtic 3 Arsenal 2.  Debut for Viv Anderson.  Charlie Nicholas was endlessly jeered by Celtic fans, and ended up scoring for Arsenal.  Ian Allinson got the other.

4 August 1985: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1.  Glenn Hoddle testimonial.  Stuart Robson scored.

4 August 1997: Norwich 2 Arsenal 6 in the final friendly prior to the start of the 2nd Double Season.   Wright got a hattrick, Grimandi two and Bergkamp one.  Arsenal had won 6 and lost one of the pre-season games.  The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

4 August 1999: Nic Anelka transferred to Real Madrid for £23,500,000 – a profit of £23m which it is said, paid for the new training complex that Mr Wenger wanted built.  Also quoted as 2 August in some reports.

4 August 2003: Gaël Clichy arrived from Cannes apparently after Arsène Wenger travelled to his home town and spent time convincing Clichy’s parents of their son’s potential and confirming he would be part of the first team squad.

4 August 2011: Samuel Galindo loaned to Gimnàstic de Tarragona.  Although signed in 2010 he went out on a series of seemingly increasingly unsuccessful loans, with long spells of not playing club football, but twice playing for his country.  By 2018 he was reported as playing for St Jose in Bolivia.

4 August 2013: Arsenal lost to Galatasaray in the Emirates Cup.  BT Sport made much of their inability to do the maths to work out who wins the trophy and spent their coverage of the match making fun of Arsenal.  After threats of a boycott by Arsenal fans the station suddenly reversed its stance.

4 August 2014: Benik Afobe joined MK Dons on a season long loan.  However such was his success (including a highly publicised performance in knocking Man U out of the league cup) that he was sold to Wolverhampton before the end of the season.  He joined Stoke in 2019.

4 August 2015: Chuba Akpom loaned to Hull City for the season.  He played 35 times and scored three goals to help Hull to a play off place, having come fourth in the league.  In 2018 he moved to PAOK.

4 August 2016: Wojciech Szczęsny loaned to Roma for the season.  In 2017 he joined Juventus as their first choice keeper winning the league with them in 2018 and 2019, playing in the team alongside C. Ronaldo.

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