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November 2019
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Whatever happened to the extraordinarily negative Stewart Robson?

It is difficult to know how much damage Stewart Robson (who was born on this day in 1964) has done to Arsenal – if indeed any.   His vitriolic attacks on Arsene Wenger on Arsenal TV and elsewhere certainly set the scene for others to copy, and Arsenal TV did take an indecently long time to remove him from their official outlet.

Of course by then he was famous for his outrageously wild ranting against Wenger, and he was quickly offered jobs by broadcasters finally taking up a long-term place with EPSN.   And it rapidly became evident that it wasn’t that Robson had something particular to say about Wenger, for he soon turned his ire on anyone who happened to come into his vision, making himself a sort of negative version of the comedy jester.

Among his targets were Jorginho whom he attacked for no particular reason in 2018, but his favourite enemy remains Arsenal, and he is still on ESPN raging and ranting away at any Arsenal event that comes into his vision.   Ozil is naturally one of the sources of an eternal story for him.

What makes a man like that tick?   Is he doing it because broadcasters like negative people, as it fits with their vision of supporters, or does he have some deep psychological disorder that just makes him rancidly negative all the time?  Or indeed is he just a normal person who thinks that people in football are forever getting it wrong while he can see what is right?

He was a coach for a while including being at Wimbledon, Southend, and one of my local clubs, sadly no longer with us as an up and coming team, Rushden and Diamonds.  Maybe it was the Diamonds going bust that made him so bitter and twisted.

We’ll never know of course, but it is sad how some people can be so utterly negative, especially after having some success.  He was after all player of the year at each of Arsenal, West Ham and Coventry.  But now he’s just negative, negative, negative, and really it is not a very edifying listen.  Still, broadcasters love negativity, and he fills that role perfectly.

I wonder what he’s like at home.

Here are today’s anniversaries.

6 November 1899: Woolwich Arsenal 2 New Brompton 2.  FA Cup 3rd qualifying round, 2nd replay.  The clubs eventually played each other five times before New Brompton won 1-0 in a match at Gravesend.

6 November 1907  Last game for Charlie Satterthwaite the man who scored Arsenal’s first ever league goal.  He made 141 appearances for the club of which 129 were in the league, and scored 48 goals (45 in the league).

6 November 1909: After playing 11, winning 2 drawing 1 and losing 8 Arsenal found themselves bottom of the league.  The result on this day in the 12th match of the season was Arsenal 0 Bradford City 1.   See also here

6 November 1912:  With Arsenal chairman Henry Norris having been elected mayor of Fulham for the fourth time the day before, Arsenal reserves tried out various possible first teamers in a game against Peterborough.  The result was a 2-2 draw.

6 November 1920: A 2-2 draw with Blackburn (Buckley and McKinnon getting the goals) meant four out of the last five league games had been drawn.  20,000 were in the crowd. Arsenal remained 16th.

6 November 1937: Grimsby 2 Arsenal 1.  It was the début for Leslie Jones who scored the Arsenal goal and was the fifth consecutive league game without a win.

6 November 1954: Bolton 2 Arsenal 2.  The fourth game in a run of eight without a win, and the début for Jim Fotheringham.  Goring and Lishman scored.

6 November 1964: Stewart Robson born.  Arsenal was his first club, and he started playing for the first team in 1981 and was player of the year in 1985.  He later became notorious for his severe criticism of Arsene Wenger on Arsenal TV, from which post he was ultimately removed.

6 November 1965: Arsenal 6 Sheffield U 2. It was the first win in four and came just three weeks after losing 3-5 to Blackpool.  Baker, Skirton and Armstrong got two goals each.

6 November 1968: Bob McNab played the first of four games for England. He went on to be part of the double side of 1971 and the Fairs Cup winning team of the previous season.

6 November 1972: Liverpool 3 Arsenal 2 in front of 46,929.  After Lawler was booked for the 2nd time in 3 weeks Shankley said “You can tell he’s a bad one… he swore once.. about six years ago”.  The assembled media thought it funny.

6 November 1974: John Hollins Testimonial v Chelsea (1-1 draw).  As well as his 127 league games for Arsenal he had two stints at Chelsea playing 465 league games for them.

6 November 1976: 4-0 home victory over Birmingham City, Gary Jones being sent off on 37 minutes when he fouled Stapleton in the box. With Ball, the regular penalty taker, not on the pitch Brady and Ross had a row over who was going to take it, and Macdonald nicked the ball from both of them and took the kick.  He scored.

6 November 1980: Lionel Smith died (this is also quoted as 8 November in some sources).  After leaving Arsenal he moved to Watford,and then became player-manager at Gravesend & Northfleet where he won the 1957-58 Southern League title.  He retired from football in 1960.

6 November 1991: Arsenal lost to Benfica in extra time.  It proved to be the club’s last appearance in the European Cup until 1998.

6 November 1997. Ray Daniel died.  In 1952-3 he played 41 league matches as Arsenal won the league under Tom Whittaker.  However he then left for Sunderland after they offered him payments far in excess of the maximum wage that was allowed.  Sadly Ray was tempted and succumbed. He never won a trophy again.

6 November 2002:  Only 19,059 turned up for Arsenal v Sunderland in the league cup.  The figure is a reminder of just how quickly Arsenal moved from being a club which could still play to a half empty ground into a club in which every seat would be sold for every game in a 60,000 capacity stadium.  However maybe the crowd did know something in advance: Arsenal lost 2-3.

6 November 2016: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Tottenham.  That made it 16 unbeaten, since losing the first match of the season 3-4 at home to Liverpool.  Arsenal finished the season in a disappointing 5th, but did the FA Cup for a record number of times.

3 comments to Whatever happened to the extraordinarily negative Stewart Robson?

  • Henry Root

    Nicely put! I think he’s a jealous man whose nose was put out of joint when George Graham sold him. I think George found him a very negative personality.
    While a pretty good player ( you don’t have to be brilliant to be player of the year at Coventry or West Ham) his injury record was awful and his disappointment and frustration about this may fuel his negative comments.

  • Does anybody know the real reason why Stewart Robson wanted to leave arsenal? he asked to leave soon after George Graham took over,I don’t think George wanted to sell him it was a strange decision. I admit I was very disappointed at the time, he was a great young talent.
    Because of the way he played he had a lot of injuries, and his career suffered.

    I just wonder if it was because the way Don Howe was replaced by George.

    Maybe Stewart would be kind enough to let me know

  • DAVID WHEELER

    contrary to an earlier report from you regarding the first Arsenal player to be selected in a world cup squad,

    Laurie Scott was in the 1950 squad.

    I think you said it was George Eastham in 1962

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