The Arsenal contrasts: two defeats at the start of last season vs the club’s record runs

by Tony Attwood

Looking at today’s anniversaries I am reminded of how much the media make of any possible stories of Arsenal failing, and how little they make of Arsenal’s successes.   Last season on this day Arsenal lost their second match of the season – having already lost the first, and the media were immediately full of the when the last time was that Arsenal lost three in a row.

But there was far less made of the Great Away Run which began on this day in 2001, nor of the 14th consecutive win recorded on this day in 2002.

For Arsenal these years in the reign of Mr Wenger were indeed packed solid with records and notable runs.

Here are the anniversaries.  Details of our books and other series on this site are on the home page.

18 August 1961: Laurie Brown purchased from Northampton Town.  The following day he played against Tottenham, and then after being sold to Tottenham in 1964 played for Tottenham against Arsenal.

18 August 1962: Joe Baker’s first league game, and also Billy Wright’s first game as manager.  Arsenal beat the Orient 2-1 with goals from Geoff Strong and, of course, Joe Baker.

18 August 1973: Arsenal 1 Wolverhampton 3,  FA Cup 3rd place play off.  The notion of a third place play off was a short lived venture, played at the start of the following season, which picked up only modest public interest.

18 August 1979.  Brighton lost their first ever first division game 4-0 to Arsenal as.  Arsenal won an opening match under Neill for the first time after four attempts.  Sunderland 2, Stapleton and Brady got the goals.

18 August 1983: Mickey Thomas signed as an apprentice.  Thomas signed for us in 1982, became a pro aged 17 in 1984 and went on loan to Portsmouth.  He made his first team début in February 1987.

18 August 1991: Alf Kirchen died. He finished playing before the war and then became a trainer at Norwich, then taking a break to become a farmer, returning to Norwich as a director of the club and as Honorary President of the Norfolk Arsenal Supporters Club.  He died just before his 86th birthday. See also Tottenham 0 Arsenal 6

18 August 1992.  Perry Groves last game v Blackburn (a 0-1 defeat).  He had played 155 league games for Arsenal and scored 21 goals.

18 August 2001 Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 4 – the start of the great away games run. The run continued until 28 September 2002 when Arsenal beat Leeds 4-1 away, to break the record by scoring in 47 consecutive games and making it 22 away games without defeat   Sol Campbell played his first league game for Arsenal and Henry said afterwards, “I saw something today I never saw last season – we played as a team.  It’s the most important thing in football.”

18 August 2002: Following the retirement of Tony Adams, Vieira took over as captain for the game,  Arsenal 2 Birmingham 0.  This made 14 consecutive wins – a new record for the top division in England.  Arsenal then played another 8 league games before finally being beaten.

18 August 2008: Emmanuel Adebayor signed a new “long-term” contract with Arsenal.  However in 2009 he moved to Manchester City.

18 August 2009: Celtic 0 Arsenal 2, Champions League qualifier.  This meant that the return match should have been straightforward but Celtic instead tried to get Eduardo a European ban.

18 August 2018.  Arsenal lost 3-2 to Chelsea making it two defeats in two games for the new manager.

18 August 2011: Joel Campbell loaned to L’Orient.  It was the first of five loans during his period as an Arsenal player.  In 2019 he was reported as playing in Mexico.

18 August 2018.  Arsenal lost 3-2 to Chelsea making it two defeats in two games for the new manager Unai Emery.   There was much speculation in the press about when Arsenal had lost the opening three games, and whether Emery would immediately be sacked.  The club didn’t and he wasn’t.


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