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Reminding us that Arsenal’s position after 8 games does not indicate what will happen later

The Autumn of 2014 was just one of a number of occasions in which the media and some Arsenal supporters attempted to portray Arsene Wenger as a terrible manager who needed to be replaced – on this occasion by suggesting that the club’s start to the season was the worst in 30 years.

In fact it wasn’t, as a quick look back at the records showed, but much more to the point, the debate showed as ever that the position of the club after eight league games is no indicator of where the club might end up at the end of the season.

After the game on this day in 2014 Arsenal were in fact seventh in the league, with two wins five draws and one defeat.  But the club recovered and ended the season in third, five points clear of Man U in 4th and 11 clear of Tottenham in 5th.

Here are today’s annivesaries.

18 October 1910: The trial of Dr Crippen opened at the Old Bailey amid massive public interest.

18 October 1919: First match for Stephen Dunn – a 1-1 home draw with Everton.  He was a goalkeeper who also played for the first team as a full back when he injured his wrist.  30,000 were in the ground as Arsenal remained 10th.

18 October 1922: The BBC was formed, amidst a realisation of the need for independent news coverage at this time not least because as the government was about to resign over the Chanak Crisis.  Meanwhile Arsenal chairman and Fulham MP Sir Henry Norris informed his local party that he was not going to stand in the next election and that he suspected they would have difficulty finding anyone else as a candidate, given that the local political party was demanding that they be given half of the MP’s salary.  It was a prediction which turned out to be true.

18 October 1924: Final game for Robert Turnbull; he became Arsenal’s most prolific league scorer thus far (with 22 goals in one season) after being switched from fullback to centre forward.  After this last appearance he was put on the transfer list and sold to Charlton Athletic in November.  See also here.

18 October 1930: First game for Joey Williams. He had played 82 games for Stoke before joining Arsenal in 1929, and played 22 games for the club, leaving in 1932.  On this day Arsenal beat Man U away 1-2.

18 October 1933: Arsenal beat Everton 3-0 in the Charity Shield in front of 30,000 at Everton’s ground, with an unexpected appearance from Norman Sidey   Birkett (2) and Bowden got the goals with Hill taking over the number 11 shirt.  Norman Sidey subsequently continued his run at centre half.

18 October 1941: Joe Lievesley who had played for Arsenal from 1913 to 1915, died aged 58.  Joe’s son Leslie was a coach for Torino in Italy and died in tragic circumstances in the Superga air disaster

18 October 1948: Wally Barnes’ international début.  He went on to play 22 games for his country and scored one goal.

18 October 1951: Lawrie Scott was transferred from Arsenal to become player manager at Crystal Palace.  After Palace had to apply for re-election in 1954 he moved on to Hendon and later managed Hitchen Town.

18 October 1958: David Herd made his international debut.  He went on to play five times for Scotland and scored three goals.

18 October 1968: Jimmy Robertson signed from Tottenham in exchange for David Jenkins.  He eventually took over the number 7 shirt from John Radford on 31 March 1969 and got a run of games to the end of the season.

18 October 1969: Nelson Vivas born in Santa Fe, Argentina.  He had a rare ability to play anywhere in midfield or defence and after seven years as a professional in South America he came to Europe and started with AC Lugano on loan, after which Arsenal signed him for £1.6m in August 1998.

18 October 1978: Hajduk Split 2 Arsenal 1 in the Uefa Cup, a capacity crowd of 25,000 looking on.  Heeley and Kosmina were called up to fill in the gaps left by Sunderland and Walford.

18 October 1983: Peter Nicholas returned to Crystal Palace. A series of injuries in the 1982/3 season reduced his potential and he had been on loan since August.  His return fee was £150,000, but then in 1985 he was on the move again, going to Luton Town, playing for them over 100 times.

18 October 1985: Bryn Jones died.   After leaving Arsenal in 1949 having played 71 league games, he coached at Norwich from 1949-51 and then ran a newsagent shop near the Arsenal ground.

18 October 1989 Tottenham beat Arsenal 2-1 at WHL in front of 33,944.  Thomas scored Arsenal’s goal, making it five goals for him in three consecutive games.

18 October 1997: Arsenal started a run of just two wins in eight matches with Crystal Palace 0 Arsenal 0.  This was also Alberto Mendez’ league début. And it was the 11th league game of the 2nd Double Season   The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

18 October 2003: Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 to make it seven wins and two draws in the 9th league match of the unbeaten season.  Edu and Henry scored to make it three wins in a row.

18 October 2005: Thierry Henry beat Ian Wright’s scoring record with two against Sparta Prague in the Champions League in a 2-0 away win.  Arsenal went on to win the first five group stage games, and then drew the sixth.

18 October 2008: Arsenal beat Everton 3-1 with goals from Van Persie, Nasri and Walcott.  The match came within a run of nine games in which the club scored 29 goals.

18 October 2010: Vito Mannone loaned to Hull for the season.  His loan was then continued until 2013, at which stage he left Hull having played 31 times for the club.

18 October 2011: Vermaelen signed a new contract with Arsenal.   He stayed until 2014, but his career was seriously hampered by injury, playing 110 times all told.

18 October 2014: A 2-2 home draw with Hull meant that Arsenal had won 2, drawn 5 and lost 1 so far in the season and languished in 7th in the league.  The totally untrue story that this was Arsenal’s worst start in 30 years circulated in the media in a vain but commonplace attempt to put pressure on the manager and whip up negativity.  Sanchez and Welbeck scored.

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