Freddie at the Arsenal, and still on the way up

Freddie Ljungberg will forever be associated with Arsenal having played 216 games for the club – far more than he played for any other side.   He was of course a great favourite with the crowds, and it was pleasing for many of us to see him return to the club in 2016 working with the under 15s.   After just one year in that job he became assistant coach at VfL Wolfsburg before moving back to Arsenal to be head coach of the under 23s for 2018/19.   And then the rapid promotions continued as he became assistant coach to the first team this season.

Clearly he is good at his job, and clearly he likes the club and the club likes him.  Whether he will be the next manager, we wait and see, but he is certainly Arsenal through and through.

On this day in 2008 he signed for Seattle Sounders as his playing career gradually wound down – and went on to play 37 times for them.  His playing career finished with spells with Chicago Fire (15 games) Celtic (7 games) Shimizu S-Pulse (8 games) and Mumbai City (four games).

Here are the anniversaries.

28 October 1893: Arsenal had conceded 15 goals in three consecutive games losing 0-5 at home to Liverpool on this day.  It was Arsenal’s worst defeat at home equalled only in very particular circumstances on 14 February 1925 in the game against Huddersfield.

28 October 1899: Arsenal drew 1-1 at home with New Brompton in the 3rd preliminary round of the FA Cup.  The game went to four replays before Arsenal finally lost 0-1 in the fifth game of the series played at Gravesend.

28 October 1911: Manchester City 3 Woolwich Arsenal 3, making it five without defeat.   Ducat, Randall and Common scored.

28 October 1912: Arsenal reserves lost their 100% record, two of the reserve players were suspended by the FA for playing Sunday football, and the London press retreated on their suggestion that Arsenal was moving to Harringey.

28 October 1916: Edward “Ned” Liddell played his first game for Arsenal, at the time when Arsenal had played eight but had won just one game.  When he was in the team from this point on, Arsenal won seven, lost three and drew one, a significant improvement. He ultimately returned to the reserves for the first post-war season, and then in 1920 was appointed manager of Southend taking them from the Southern League into the newly formed Third Division of the Football League.

28 October 1920: Sylvia Pankhurst jailed for six months for sedition, after calling upon workers to loot the London Docks.

28 October 1922,  Bob John’s league debut: Arsenal 1 Newcastle 2.  He went on to play 421 league games for Arsenal and won the FA Cup and three league titles with the club.  See also here.

28 October 1926: There was an Army v Football League game at Highbury: both Buchan and Hulme playing.  At this time Highbury was regularly used for representative games, and could draw reasonable crowds – as well as bringing in further income for the club.  Highbury seemed to be preferred to Chelsea as a venue because of the ease of transport.

28 October 1933: In 1930/1 and 1932/3 Aston Villa had given Arsenal a strong challenge for the title, each year with Arsenal winning the trophy and Villa coming second.  But as Villa slipped back Chapman’s ability to spot a player was proven to be majestic as Dunne scored two and Bastin the other in a 3-2 win over Villa. Having failed to score in his first three outings the new number nine had just got four goals in two.

28 October 1936: Sunderland 2 Arsenal 1 in the Charity Shield with a crowd of 30,000 at Roker Park.

28 October 1953: Racing Club de Paris 2 Arsenal 4, in the continuing series of matches to raise money for ex-servicemen, initiated by Herbert Chapman.

28 October 1970:  A 0-0 away draw with was played with Crystal Palace who were challenging Arsenal at the top of the league.  The result left Arsenal second, two points behind Leeds at the top with Arsenal en route to the double.

28 October 1972: Arsenal had their third goalless draw of the season, at home to Manchester City in front of 45,536.   In an extraordinary moment caught on TV, Marsh sent an overhead kick towards the Arsenal goal, Barnett palmed it against the post, the ball came to Lee who scored but with the ball inches over the line Blockley then got a fist to the ball and the ball came out.   And the referee gave… play on.  No VAR in those days.

28 October 1975: Graham Rix debut in a testimonial at Charlton, having been signed by Bertie Mee.  However he had to wait until April 1977 to make his first league appearance.

28 October 1978: Arsenal beat Bristol City 3-1 at Ashton Gate.  The game was so dominated by Brady that it looked like there was more than one Brady on the pitch.  No one was going to say that Arsenal were setting the league alight, but at least we could reflect on three wins and two draws in the last six.

28 October 1992: Cup Match 3 of Arsenal’s Cup Double season.  Derby 1 Arsenal 1 in the 3rd round of the League Cup.  Campbell scored, just as he had scored the only open play goals in each of two games against Millwall

28 October 1997: First and last appearance for Isaiah Rankin in away game against Tottenham.  His career took in 14 clubs with his most games played in a two year spell at Brentford. He finished his career at Hendon in 2014 after 394 games and 73 league goals.

28 October 1998.  Remi Garde became the first non-UK/Ireland national to captain Arsenal in Derby 1 Arsenal 2 in the league cup.  Vivas scored – the other was an own goal.

28 October 2000: Arsenal 5 Manchester City 0.  It was the fourth of five consecutive wins. Cole, Bergkamp, Wiltord and Henry (2) got the goals.  It was also the second of five games in the season in which Arsenal scored five or more in the league.

28 October 2003: Debut for Cesc Fabregas making him at the time Arsenal’s youngest player aged 16 years 177 days.  The game ended 1-1 and Arsenal then beat Rotherham in the league cup 9-8 on penalties. Wiltord took the first (and missed) and the winning kick at the end.

28 October 2007: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Liverpool after seven straight league wins.  Gerrard gave Liverpool the lead on seven minutes and Fabregas equalised on 80 minutes.

28 October 2008: Freddie Ljungberg signed for Seattle Sounders after an unhappy time at WHU for whom he played 25 games.  He retired in 2012, but returned in 2014 to play for Mumbai City before starting a coaching career at Arsenal moving on to be the assistant coach to the first team in 2019.

28 October 2009: Arsenal reserves beat Liverpool 2-1 in the league cup.  Merida and Bendtner got the goals.

28 October 2017: Arsenal beat Swansea City 2-1 to make it just one defeat in the last 12 games.  Kolasinac and Ramsey scored. However the attendance stayed under 60,000 as it did all season.

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