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When Arsenal played Tottenham in the 70s and no one was really interested

It may be hard to imagine but by the mid 1970s the national media were so transfixed by issues relating to player contracts that they hardly bothered to mention, let alone report, north London derby matches.   And indeed the crowd seemed to feel much the same way with under 38,000 attending the game on this day in 1975.

But a look at the league table on the day gives us a clue… (two points for a win of course in those days).  How QPR must wish for a return to the good ol’ days.

Pos Team P W D L F A GAvg Pts
1 Queens Park Rangers 10 5 5 0 15 6 2.500 15
2 West Ham United 9 6 3 0 16 9 1.778 15
3 Manchester United 10 6 2 2 18 9 2.000 14
4 Leeds United 9 5 2 2 13 9 1.444 12
5 Middlesbrough 10 5 2 3 12 10 1.200 12
6 Derby County 10 5 2 3 15 15 1.000 12
7 Coventry City 10 4 3 3 12 8 1.500 11
8 Liverpool 9 4 3 2 13 9 1.444 11
9 Everton 9 4 3 2 15 11 1.364 11
10 Norwich City 10 4 3 3 20 19 1.053 11
11 Manchester City 10 4 2 4 15 8 1.875 10
12 Stoke City 10 4 2 4 12 12 1.000 10
13 Aston Villa 10 4 2 4 11 15 0.733 10
14 Newcastle United 10 4 1 5 19 16 1.188 9
15 Arsenal 9 2 5 2 8 8 1.000 9
16 Ipswich Town 10 3 3 4 9 11 0.818 9
17 Tottenham Hotspur 9 1 4 4 11 14 0.786 6
18 Birmingham City 10 2 2 6 14 19 0.737 6
19 Burnley 10 1 4 5 12 19 0.632 6
20 Leicester City 10 0 6 4 10 19 0.526 6
21 Wolverhampton Wanderers 10 1 4 5 7 16 0.438 6
22 Sheffield United 10 1 1 8 5 20 0.250 3

Here are the anniversaries…

27 September 1919: A rail strike began but the northern based Football League insisted that all fixtures be completed irrespective of transport difficulties – which effectively meant great hardship for London teams.  Arsenal travelled to Blackburn by coach – a journey of 15 hours each way over non-tarmacadam roads.

27 September 1919: The last British troops left Archangel in Russia, leaving the Russians to sort out their own affairs.  The final leftovers of the first world war were being wrapped up.

27 September 1919:  Daniel Burgess played against Blackburn (away), but after the return match the following week he dropped out of the team.  He had played seven games in a row, and scored one goal, and then was seen no more. See also here.

27 September 1924: From 30 August to this date Arsenal had seven league matches – on this day Arsenal lost to West Ham.  The Islington Gazette was particularly exercised about the team selection by Knighton suggesting that Paterson was available.  Paterson however did not play at all this season, and as an amateur he could make himself available as and when he wished. In his autobiography Knighton was very dismissive of Paterson, but upon taking over the team Chapman went out of his way to get Paterson to play again.

27 September 1933: Peter Dougall had a trial at Arsenal, signing as a professional on 23 October.  He made his first team debut on 10 February 1934, away to Middlesbrough.

27 September 1934: , Having played the first match in the Rangers v Arsenal series one week before, the return match was on this day.  Arsenal lost once again, but the series continued regularly until 1967.

27 September 1938: The RMS Queen Elizabeth was launched at Clydebank; and heralded as the largest ship in the world.

27 September 1957: Ted Platt’s last game.  Ted then moved to Portsmouth  where he played 31 games before moving on to Aldershot with whom he played 16.  His final club was either Worcester City or Ashford (Kent) according to which source one opts for.

27 September 1975: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0 with a crowd of just 37,092.  The national press mostly failed to report the match in any detail and considered the negotiations relating to players’ freedom of contract far more worthy of consideration than a north London derby.

27 September 1978: Arsenal got their biggest two leg Uefa Cup winning margin beating Lokomotiv Leipzig 4-1 away.  Brady, two from Stapleton and then Sunderland, were the goalscorers. It was also the first game for Paul Vaessen

27 September 1997: Everton 2 Arsenal 2 with goals from Wright and Overmars.   It was the 9th league game of the 2nd Double Season, with Arsenal still undefeated.  The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

27 September 2004: Gilberto Silva’s scan revealed that he had life threatening back problems.  However he later recovered and played with Arsenal until 2008.

27 September 2008: After three wins in which Arsenal had scored a total of ten goals, Arsenal were unbelievably beaten 1-2 by Hull.

1 comment to When Arsenal played Tottenham in the 70s and no one was really interested

  • Regarding the 0-0 draw with Tottenham. I can remember one of the football magazines of the time, criticising Bertie Mee, for failing to apologise, for such a boring game.

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