When Theo Walcott scored two goals on this day in 2016 he was a shining light in the club as 10 goals from 23 starts confirmed, but his days were numbered. In the following season he scored three goals in 14 games and was then sold in the winter window to Everton after six games with no goals.
With Everton in the rest of the season he got three goals in 14 games, and in 2018/19 it was five goals in 37 league games as Everton sank down the league, and the manager’s position came completely unstuck.
Theo’s last international appearances were in 2016 and now aged 30 it seems he is into a period of decline. His greatest moment, at least in my viewing of his games, was the 2015 FA Cup final in which he played at centre forward and scored a sensational opener in a 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa.
Here are the anniveraries.
15 October 1894: Henry Boyd, Arsenal’s most prolific goalscorer had his amazing run stopped by a broken ankle.
15 October 1909: Ehud ‘Tim’ Rogers was born in Chirk. He played through a variety of local and lower league clubs before being brought in as a possible long term candidate for right winger in the championship winning squad.
15 October 1910: Arsenal 4 Blackburn 1. Arsenal’s first win of the season after eight games. Arsenal had failed to score in the previous five.
15 October 1914: HMS Hawke was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the North Sea and sank in less than 10 minutes with the loss of 524 lives.
15 October 1919: Sir Henry Norris chaired the last meeting of the London Borough of Fulham before the local elections. Sir Henry was now standing down after becoming the longest serving London mayor of all time a record that he still holds.
15 October 1921: Arsenal 1 Sunderland 2, the second of four consecutive defeats in a run of 12 matches from the start of the season, in which Arsenal won 2, drew 1 and lost 9. Arsenal and Cardiff were classed as joint 21st in the league as they had the same points and goal average.
15 October 1932: George Male’s first appearance as a right back v Blackburn. The story is that Male didn’t believe he could play right back but a chat with Chapman convinced him he “was the best right back in the country”. And so he was.
15 October 1963: Arsenal drew 4-4 with Tottenham at Highbury. Eastham 2, Baker and Strong got the goals. It was part of a run that saw Arsenal score 17 goals in five games, but only gain three wins.
15 October 1966: Bob McNab made his debut v Leeds United in a 1-3 defeat. Despite the result he kept his place making 25 appearances in that first season. In 1967 Court regained his place but by October Bob was back, although this time at left back.
15 October 1971: Andrew Cole born. He signed for Arsenal in October 1989 but only made one appearance in the league and after a loan spell at Fulham went to Bristol City.
15 October 1972: English football was hit by a sensation, as Brian Clough and Peter Taylor left Derby County following a dispute with the club’s directors. Derby had won the league in 1971/2 and this episode was the start of a life-long tirade by Clough against club chairmen and directors. The Derby fans were mutinous.
15 October 1977: Arsenal 1 Queen’s Park Rangers 0, 36,290 in attendance. “We came here to frustrate them,” said Rangers’ manager Frank Sibley, “and to make them play badly.” Eight behind the ball was the minimum, rising to all 11 for much of the game. The goal came as a loose ball was punted in by Macdonald leaving QPR not the first team to realise how hard it is to go from mass defence into any form of attack.
15 October 2005: Arsenal lost 1-2 to WBA. Senderos scored the Arsenal goal, one of two league goals he got all season in 19 starts.
15 October 2016: Theo Walcott scored his fourth and fifth league goals early on, in his last five games, as Xhaka was ludicrously sent off. Özil scored on his 28th birthday, as Arsenal moved joint top of the league with Man City- the result making this five wins in a row in all competitions.