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November 2019
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When Bergkamp and Anelka were just not potent enough

Arsenal were champions and had their up and coming young striker Nicolas Anelka playing for them on this day in 1998.  And indeed with Bergkamp out injured Anelka took up the challenge and scored the only goal of the game on this day against Coventry to make it one defeat in 16.  As it happened Arsenal could not retain the title, eventually ending up one point behind Manchester United.  But most disappointing was the goal total – just 59 for the season, 21 fewer than Man U.

Here are the anniversaries.

31 October 1898: Arsenal 5 Brighton United 2 in the third and final season of the United League.  Although Brighton Utd faded from history, they are better commemorated than many teams that have passed away, as one of their directors was a professional photographer.  They also played in the Southern League.

31 October 1914: Arsenal drew 1-1 against Lincoln in front of 10,000 (compared with 15,000 last season.  Newspaper reports of the day suggested there was crowd trouble, with the police moving into the terraces.

31 October 1918: The armistice with Turkey was declared as the Allies met at Versailles to discuss the conditions that would be imposed on Germany and Austria-Hungary.  The war had come to an end.

31 October 1921: Arsenal won their second round match in the London FA Challenge Cup, away to QPR of Division III (South) 2-0 in front of 5000 fans.   Also on this day there was a censure motion on the government claiming the government, elected as Unionists were breaking the union up by splitting Ireland into two.  The government won, which was fortunate as the Irish Treaty Conference had opened on 11 October.

31 October 1925: So far Chapman’s first season at Arsenal had resulted among other things in a 7-0 defeat and victories of  4-0, 5-0, and 4-0, and on this day Arsenal beat Everton 4-1. See also here.

31 October 1932: Gillespie Road tube station became Arsenal (Highbury Hill).  The Highbury Hill element of the name was later dropped as the station adopted its long term name of Arsenal. (see “Chapman’s achievements“). Many sources wrongly quote this as happening in November 1932.

31 October 1932: Racing Club de Paris 2 Arsenal 5 in the series of games to mark Armistice Day.  Four goals from Cliff Bastin.

31 October 1970: Arsenal 2 Derby 0. Goals from Kelly and Radford.   League match 15 of the first Double season in front of 43,013. It was one of four successive games in which Radford scored.

31 October 1981: Chris Whyte’s last game: a 1-0 home win against Coventry City; he moved to Nottingham Forest for £50,000 but injuries dogged the rest of his career

31 October 1984: Arsenal lost 2-3 to Oxford Utd in the Milk Cup 3rd round.  Rix and Allinson scored in front of 14,393. It was sandwiched between league defeats to West Ham and Man U.

31 October 1998: Arsenal started a run in which they scored just three goals in six games with all three scored by Anelka.  The sequence yielded two wins, three draws and one defeat.

31 October 2000, George Armstrong suffered a brain haemorrhage while running a training session.  He did not recover and tragically died 1 November aged just 56.

31 October 2009: Arsenal made it 3 league wins and a draw beating Tottenham 3-0 at home with a record Emirates crowd (at the time) of 60,103.  Van Persie (2) and Fabregas got the goals.

31 October 2015: A 3-0 victory over Swansea City in the league helped restore positive feelings which had been a little dented by a 3-0 away defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in the league cup in midweek.  But with Arsenal having beaten Bayern just under two weeks before there were positive feelings before the next game: Bayern away. Koscielny, Giroud and Campbell got the goals.

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