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When Arsenal (bottom of the league) played Tottenham (one from bottom)

If you look at this league table there are some elements that might look familiar, but others which seem hard to believe. But when you have got your head round it, take a guess at the year, without reading on any futher.

Yes it was a first division table and it included in it Ipswich, Derby, Carlisle, QPR and Luton Town.  Tottenham are there with  Arsenal at the foot of the table.

Team P W D L F A Pts
1 Liverpool 12 8 1 3 20 8 17
2 Ipswich Town 13 8 1 4 18 8 17
3 Manchester City 13 7 3 3 18 15 17
4 Derby County 13 5 6 2 21 16 16
5 Everton 13 4 8 1 18 15 16
6 Middlesbrough 12 6 3 3 15 10 15
7 Newcastle United 12 5 5 2 19 16 15
8 Burnley 13 7 1 5 23 21 15
9 Stoke City 12 5 4 3 18 15 14
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 4 6 3 15 13 14
11 Sheffield United 13 5 4 4 19 21 14
12 West Ham United 13 4 4 5 24 22 12
13 Birmingham City 13 5 2 6 17 20 12
14 Carlisle United 13 4 3 6 9 12 11
15 Coventry City 12 3 5 4 14 19 11
16 Chelsea 12 3 4 5 12 19 10
17 Leeds United 12 3 3 6 14 15 9
18 Queens Park Rangers 12 2 5 5 11 15 9
19 Leicester City 11 2 4 5 13 18 8
20 Luton Town 13 1 6 6 12 20 8
21 Tottenham Hotspur 12 3 1 8 14 20 7
22 Arsenal 12 2 3 7 12 18 7

This was the table before the start of games on 19 October 1974.  Three years after the double.

The injuries to George, Armstrong, Rice, Kelly, Nelson, Ball, and McNab, plus the poor form of Blockley, were all part to blame.

But also so was the policy of Mee, and presumably the board, of keeping the number of first teamers low. He had got away with it, when in seasons like the Double Season, they could use a tiny number of players. But injuries do come around, and the club knew that the good run of few injuries would not last forever. A good management and directorial team prepare for what can happen, and in the case of injuries they most certainly did not do that.

Perryman and Chivers scored for Tottenham from far post headers, and Tottenham found it easy to work through Arsenal’s newly attempted open and positive style, but they won’t have fooled themselves. They were in trouble too.

There is more on this and all of Arsenal’s adventures in the 70s in the appropriately named series Arsenal in the 70s on this site.

Here are the anniversaries.

19 October 1889: Arsenal beat Dartford Working Men’s Club 7-1  in the first round in the Kent Junior Cup starting their journey to the club’s first ever piece of silverware.

19 October 1910: James Quale rejoined Woolwich Arsenal after a period with Northfleet.  He made just one appearance, as a deputy for Joe Shaw against The Wednesday on 12 November 1910. In the match, which Arsenal won 1-0 he was badly injured and had to leave the field of play.  He did not play football again.

19 October 1912: Arsenal 1 Sunderland 3, in Arsenal’s relegation season.  But the rumours were circulating that this would be Arsenal’s last season in Plumstead.

19 October 1918: Arsenal were top of the London Combination but on this day lost 1-4 away to Chelsea in front of 25,000.  They were however still second, which was quite a change from most of the war years.

19 October 1920: Arsenal’s annual report was issued, showing George Peachey as a director and the club heavily in debt.  Humphreys were still owed £10484 for building the grandstand; and others £5943. The club had an overdraft of £17000; £10,000 of which was personally guaranteed by Sir Henry Norris.  (That’s about £500,000 today).

19 October 1922: The coalition government of the UK resigned over the Chanak Crisis in relation to Turkey thus heralding another general election.

19 October 1929: Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest 4-0 in a friendly with 3,340 in the crowd.  These friendlies were arranged so that the manager could look at some of the reserve players – something that was hard to achieve since reserve games were normally played at the same time as first team matches.

19 October 1935: Male, Hapgood and Bowden were all selected to play for England away to Ireland leaving Arsenal patching together a team to play Portsmouth on the same day.  As a result Compton played at right back and Bob John played his first game of the season at left back. England won 3-1. Arsenal lost 2-1.

19 October 1946 Albert Sigurður Guðmundsson played first of two league matches for Arsenal.  He was the first ever Icelandic professional footballer and later became Minister of Finance of his country.

19 October 1974: Arsenal (bottom of league) played Tottenham (one from bottom) in front of 36,194. Tottenham won 2-0.  Arsenal remained at the foot of the table while the bottom six also included QPR and Chelsea.  The crowd at Highbury was 36,194.

19 October 1999: After a 1-1 draw in Barcelona, Arsenal lost the return game at Wembley 2-4; their first defeat in the series.  Bergkamp and Overmars scored.

19 October 2002: The all-time away win sequence ended with a 2-1 defeat by Everton, the start of 3 defeats in a row, the worst run for 19 years.   It was the first defeat of the season, Rooney scored his first goal, in the last minute.  Arsène Wenger said, “At that age, Rooney is already a complete footballer. The guy can play. He’s the best English under-20 I’ve seen since I came here.”  13 years later he became England’s all time top scorer.

19 October 2010: Arsenal beat Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1.  The goals came from Song, Nasri, Fabregas, Wilshere, Chamakh, meaning Arsenal had played three, won three and scored 14 goals.

19 October 2011: Arsenal beat Marseille 1-0 away in the Champions League, with a goal from Ramsey in the 92nd minute.  Arsenal remained unbeaten in the group.

19 October 2013:  Arsenal 4 Norwich 1 (Ozil 2, Wilshere, Ramsey).  The result meant that Arsenal were unbeaten in 12 games since the bizarre opening home defeat to Aston Villa

19 October 2016: a home win against Ludogorets Razgrad involved goals from Sánchez, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and a career first hat-trick for Özil.. This took Arsenal to seven wins in a row in all competitions

19 October 2017: Arsenal beat Red Star Belgrade of Serbia 1-0 in front of 50,327 to make it three wins out of three in the Europa group stages.  Arsenal eventually went out to Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals. Giroud got the goal

2 comments to When Arsenal (bottom of the league) played Tottenham (one from bottom)

  • Tony

    … are you sure the game wasn’t as their place? We did beat them at home later in the season – and also went on to finish the season above them!

  • Jamie

    It was played at White Hart Lane
    They came to Highbury for our last home game of the season in April.

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