When Arsenal were so outraged by the media that they denounced the reporting

The notion that Arsenal might take on the media and complain about the way they report the club probably seems very fanciful these days.  After all, even when all the media had taken up the notion that Arsenal only had a budget of £40m this summer, the club did not respond – except when asked a direct question at the fans forum held at the stadium at the start of the season.

But it was not always so.   In 1970 the negative reporting of Arsenal became so outrageous (in what was to be the first double year) that the club published a very strong condemnation of the media in the programme.

It is hard to see this happening again today.  These days ludicrous make-believe is what goes for football commentaries.

Here are the anniversaries for today…


19 September 1903: Woolwich Arsenal 8 Burton Utd 0.  It was the third win in a row in a sequence of eight straight wins, and the first of two that ended 8-0.  Briercliffe (3), Coleman (2), Gooing, Shanks and Linward scored as Arsenal headed for promotion.

19 September 1910: Ronnie Westcott born.  He signed for Arsenal on 5 November 1935 but only played two league games for the club.

19 September 1914: Stockport 1 Arsenal 1.  Harry King made it seven goals in five games.   Only 6000 saw the game, but that was still not the lowest crowd of the season.

19 September 1925: Having lost 1-7 at home to Blackburn, Newcastle gained a victory after a draw and another defeat, as they gradually tried to alter the way they used the new offside law.   By 9 October they had got it right and beat Arsenal 7-0 which caused Arsenal to go down the same route and make the same adjustments. See also below.

19 September 1925: Under the new offside rule the number of goals scored per 1st division club ranged from 4 to 20 after 5 games.  In defence the range was 1 to 17 goals conceded. Every club was now trying to work out how to play the system. Not all were getting it right.

19 September 1929: Cliff Bastin’s first game. He signed for Arsenal for £2,000 on 27 April 1929 after 17 games in the Third Division South for Exeter.  Arsenal beat Huddersfield 2-0 with Lambert and John scoring.

19 September 1936: Arsenal played away to Wolverhampton.  Their home record was one win and one defeat thus far, but they beat the Arsenal 2-0.  There were 53,097 in the crowd, not bad for a club whose average crowd was 23,787

19 September 1937: Geoff Strong was born in Kirkheaton, Northumberland and being a talented schoolboy sprinter and top athlete seemed destined from the start to make his living from sport.  He trained as a machine-tool fitter while playing for Stanley United, until he joined Arsenal in a £100 deal in November 1957.

19 September 1951: Many publications claim this match against Hapoel Tel-Aviv was Arsenal’s first floodlit game.  But that was actually at Canning Town where Arsenal played Thames Ironworks on 16 March 1896.  This was the first of the modern era with modern style floodlighting. See also here

19 September 1963: David Seaman born.  He began his career at Leeds United but player manager Eddie Gray turned him down, so he joined Peterborough then in the 4th division.  In 1984 he went to Birmingham for £100,000 and in August 1986 he moved to QPR for £225,000. His goalkeeper coach was… Bob Wilson

19 September 1970: Arsenal 6 WBA 2.  The Arsenal programme published a powerful letter criticising Evening Standard’s reporting of the club’s performances.  This was League match 9 of the first Double season and it was Arsenal’s highest score of the season. Arsenal scored 4 goals in three successive games, otherwise it was three or fewer goals per game.

19 September 1979: The press suddenly remembered that Arsenal were in the Cup Winners’ Cup (something they failed to mention in the buildup to the match) with Arsenal beating Fenerbahce 2-0.  Young and Sunderland of course got the other.

19 September 1993: After losing the first game 3-0 at home Arsenal made it 5 wins and 1 draw but then lost on this day 1-0 to Man U

19 September 1996: George Hunt died.  He had been the first ever player to move from Tottenham to Arsenal, and played 21 games in the amazing 1937/38 title winning season scoring three goals

19 September 2001: Stathis Tavlaridis joined Arsenal from Iraklis Thessaloniki for £1m.  He only played one league game for Arsenal, and after two loan spells joined Lille where he played 77 games.

19 September 2005: Arsenal beat Everton 2-0 as the sequence of winning only every other game continued.  The sequence ran across 11 games ending on 5 November. It was also Alex Song’s debut.

19 September 2009: After two consecutive defeats Arsenal started a run of six wins and a draw with 4-0 victory over Wigan.  Vermaelen got two, Eboue and Fabregas the other two.

2 Replies to “When Arsenal were so outraged by the media that they denounced the reporting”

  1. I agree with you. Liverpool(full squad) got beaten by Napoli, Spurs go 2:0 nil up and were only able to draw 2:2 at Olyimpiacos, Chelsea got beaten by Valencia at their own turf. The media is silent and not slaughtering any of these managers or players. Only if Arsenal draw at Watford 2:2 after leading 2:0 do they all come alive and throw all sorts of words about the players, the manager, the amount of money spent etc.
    I think Arsenal always do well despite all these negativity in the media even during Wenger’s reign at the club.

  2. Some of the criticism is deserved, some not but I’ll agree with Keno, that the media, love to have a go at Arsenal. In our double winning season of 70/71, we were dour but we were successful. If in doubt, look at how many matches, we won 1-0, that season. Jose Mourinho’s counter attacking tactics, were straight out of the Chapman handbook, but they didn’t get called “lucky Chelsea,” because they were Chelsea. Worst piece of reporting was by the Daily Mirror after Arsenal drew 1-1 at Old Trafford and they labelled Tony Adams “a donkey,” after he’d scored an own goal. Who scored Arsenal’s goal at the ‘right end?’ That’s right Tony Adams ! I rest my case.

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