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December 2019
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When Arsenal fans’ criticism was aimed at the reporter, not the club.

How did newspaper commentary on Arsenal begin?  It is hard to say exactly, but as Arsenal became a professional club in 1891 – two years before the club entered the Football League – the Woolwich Gazette started running a regular column, “Arsenal Football Notes” – on this day in 1891.  And a year later there was criticism of what the writer was saying.   So it seems that the arguments and negativity has been there from the start.

It would be good to know if other clubs have been afflicted in the same way by arguments between the club and the newspapers – it certainly seems to have been a part of the existence of Arsenal for many a long year, but it is also interesting to note that here the argument was between the readers and the reporter.

If only fans were as critical of the reporters now, as they are of the club.

Here are the anniversaries.

28 August 1891: “Arsenal Football Notes” by Redshirt commenced its regular commentary on the club and its games in the Woolwich Gazette.  By 30 September 1892 he was complaining about the negative way his comments were received.

28 August 1922: Arsenal 1 Burnley 1 in the second game of the season Arsenal director Charles Crisp had some guests at the game including Joan Gamper, founder of Barcelona FC, and other friends from Cataluña.

28 August 1926: Chapman’s second season began with a 2-1 victory over Derby County with Buchan and Parker scoring in front of 32,990.

28 August 1928: Some suggest the original Arsenal clock was installed on this date – but in fact it wasn’t.  It was in fact installed in 1930.    See here for the full story – but do read the corrections in the readers’ comments!

28 August 1932: The Times confirmed Charlie Jones had been appointed Arsenal captain.  He went on to play 29 games in the title winning season.

28 August 1937: Everton 1 Arsenal 4 in the opening game.  Alex James had now gone but Drake got a hattrick and Bastin the fourth.

28 August 1971:  Arsenal 0 Stoke City 1 in front of 37,637.    Having won the double Arsenal had started the next season with two wins and three defeats.

28 August 1973: John Matthews moved from being an apprentice to being a professional.  He made his debut one year later, and went on to play in 45 league games before leaving in 1978.

28 August 1976: Sunderland 2 Arsenal 2 with 41,211 in Roker Park.  But despite a win and a draw in successive away games the “news” was that Armstrong was going to leave the club.

28 August 1982: Lee Chapman made his Arsenal league debut against his old club Stoke City.  Arsenal lost 1-2 and in fact lost three and drew one of their first four league games.

28 August 1993: Ian Wright’s single, “Do the Wright Thing” entered the charts!

28 August 1999: Nicolas Anelka transferred to Real Madrid after playing just 50 games and scoring 23 goals.  It was said that the profit paid for the new training centre Mr Wenger wanted built.

28 August 2004: Robin van Persie arrived from Feyenoord for £3m.  He had played 61 times for the club and scored 15 goals, but had gained a reputation as a difficult player to manage.

28 August 2011: Arsenal lost 2-8 to Man U.  See also:   Ref Review   Arsenal’s goals came from Walcott and Van Persie, and the first Man U goal from Welbeck.   It took Arsenal until October to recover when a run of seven wins and a draw in eight games restored the team’s self-belief.

28 August 2015: Manuel Almunia was forced to retire from football due to a heart condition.  He had just signed for Cagliari Calcio but was unable to play for them.  He played 405 games for all his clubs in all competitions.   He then became Al Jazira’s goalkeeping coach,

28 August 2016:  Arsenal signed  Lucas Pérez  for £17.1m from Deportivo de La Coruña by activating his release clause.

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