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When Kroenke met the Arsenal fans

On this day in 2013, some Arsenal fans group representatives wrote to Stan Kroenke requesting he honour his pledge made in 2011 to meet Arsenal fans groups.  He didn’t.

However his son Josh Kroenke did turn up to a meeting (without warning) on 10 March 2019. That was a fans’ forum at which with head of football Raul Sanllehi also appeared.

The meeting was chaired by communications director Mark Gonnella and included a video presentation from academy manager Per Mertesacker, who spoke at length about his work and vision for the academy.

Kroenke Jnr gave a short speech and confirmed they wanted to win silverware while respecting the traditional values of the club and managing resources carefully. Sanellehi also talked about the search for the new technical director – which eventually was the post taken up by Edu.

Copies of “Making the Arsenal” and “Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” are still available both on Kindle and in print.  Please see our books page.

Here are the anniversaries…

10 October 1896: A 5-1 home defeat to Millwall Athletic showed that even after three years into their league career, Arsenal were not automatically the top club in the area.

10 October 1903: J G “Tim” Coleman set a club record in scoring in each of the first 6 league matches of the season – getting nine goals in all.

10 October 1910: Arsenal played away to Millwall in the London FA County Cup, almost certainly the last game at Millwall’s Isle of Dogs ground.  But only 3000 were in attendance for a game which had on other occasions secured crowds of 20,000 plus. Arsenal found the same situation in 1913 when they left Woolwich.  People did not turn up to say goodbye.

10 October 1914: Arsenal had their big local derby – the match against Clapton Orient with 30,000 present, the biggest in England on the day.  Only one Highbury match had thus far recorded a higher crowd figure – and that was the equivalent game against the Os in the 1913/14 season when 35,000 were recorded as being in the ground.  Arsenal won 2-1

10 October 1921: An unusual event at Highbury: England played Australasia at Highbury in a “Northern Union” match – what today we would call Rugby League.  The New South Wales Rugby Football League had been formed in 1908 and this was their first tour.

10 October 1925: Arsenal 2 Bolton 3 – it was only Bolton’s second away win of the season with just nine goals in the previous five away games.  What makes this so important is that Buchan claimed in his memoirs that he sat down with Chapman after the 7-0 defeat to Newcastle on 3 October and transformed Arsenal’s playing style and that this was an instant success.  But here they were two games later, losing to a very modest opposition indeed. Yet he utterly fails to mention this game in his book.

10 October 1931: Blackpool 1 Arsenal 5, Blackpool having previously been undefeated at home so far this season.  Bastin got a hat trick, Hulme and Lambert the other two. One of Bastin’s goals was a penalty – Arsenal’s first of the season.  The result took them back to third.

10 October 1936: Drake scored his third goal of the season – but it was his eighth game and this was not the sort of return rate that had taken the club up the table in previous seasons.  Indeed everything about the side was wrong. Arsenal were 17th in the league

10 October 1942: Bremner played for Scotland in the wartime international against England. Marks, Hapgood and Dennis Compton played for England.

10 October 1950:  Charlie George born.  He played for Islington Schoolboys before joining Arsenal in May 1966. He turned professional in 1968 and made his first-team debut for the club on 9 August 1969.

10 October 1956: Arsenal continued their regular friendlies against Racing Club de Paris, this time winning 4-3.

10 October 1960: Arsenal played Northampton to celebrate the first floodlit match at the County Ground.  Arsenal were selected as opponents as Northampton had ex-Arsenal man Dave Bowen at their manager.  Also with a look back to Herbert Chapman who managed both clubs and who had arranged previous friendlies against the club.

10 October 1964: Arsenal lost 3-1 to Tottenham in Geoff Strong’s last game.  Joe Baker scored. The score was exactly reversed in the return game the following February.

10 October 1966.  Tony Adams born. He signed for Arsenal as a schoolboy in 1980 and made his first start for the first team on 5 November 1983 against Sunderland when he was just past his 17th birthday.

10 October 1970: Newcastle 1 Arsenal 1.  League match 12 of the first Double season; George Graham got the goal.  It meant Arsenal had won exactly half of their league games thus far.

10 October 2000: The hearing was held on the allegation that after the Arsenal Sunderland game Mr Wenger, who until that moment had an utterly unblemished record as a manager,  had indulged in violent or threatening behaviour against Mr Taylor, the fourth official at Sunderland. Mr Wenger was banned for 12 matches.for “improper conduct”.  It was eventually rescinded on appeal.

10 October 2013: Fans groups wrote to Mr Kroenke requesting he honour his pledge made in 2011 to meet Arsenal fans groups.

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