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How personal bitterness can lead to vindictiveness and recriminations

It is always important for a club manager to have a good relationship with his players.  When that goes, difficulties arise.

Of course some people can set aside past disputes and disagreements but others seem to retain these for far longer than was necessary.

We don’t really know enough about Herbert Chapman to know if he retained a grudge, but history suggests he did towards Henry Norris, refusing to allow Sir Henry to see Arsenal’s documentation after he had left the club and was preparing his case to defend himself against FA charges.  Chapman’s refusal  on this day in 1927 to help the man who had given him the job as manager at Arsenal, made Norris’ defence against accusations very difficult to manage.

Paul Merson also appears to be a man who will not let the past go, in terms of his dislike of Arsene Wenger as he launched a fierce attack against his ex-manager in 2014.

Here are the anniversaries…

10 November 1888: Horton Kirby (South Darenth) 2 Royal Arsenal 6, in the Kent Senior Cup – it was Arsenal’s first year in the competition.

10 November 1913: Arsenal played Tottenham in the London FA Challenge Cup. Arsenal had already beaten QPR and Chelsea, but this time they went out 1-2 at WHL.  Only 8,000 turned up.

10 November 1917:  Millwall v Arsenal generally brought out the largest wartime attendances due to the historic rivalry between the two teams, but now came down to just  6,000. It was a 2-2 draw.

10 November 1917: Battle of Passchendaele which had begun in July finally ended.

10 November 1919: Sir Henry Norris handed the insignia of the office of Mayor of Fulham over to R M (Bob) Gentry, the trade unionist who had won the council for Labour for the first time.  Sir Henry had not stood in the elections.

10 November 1920: The body of The Unknown Warrior arrived from France aboard HMS Verdun for burial in Westminster Abbey.

10 November 1924:  Arsenal played in the London FA Challenge Cup, this time away to  West Ham with Tom Whittaker and G Colin getting a game (his only first team match). Arsenal lost 1-4.  

10 November 1927: Herbert Chapman wrote to Sir Henry Norris, stating that if Sir Henry wanted to see the minute books of the club he had run for 17 years he had to prove his legal right to look at the documents.  This small minded refusal to help greatly hindered Sir Henry’s case against the FA in 1929 and reveals the total breakdown in Chapman’s relationship with the man who had stood by him as Arsenal struggled in the early years of Chapman’s reign.

10 November 1948: Laurie Scott last appearance for England.  He won 17 caps between 1947 and 1949

10 November 1951: Arsenal 6 WBA 3.  Doug Lishman (3), Holton (2) and Logie were the scorers.  With this result Arsenal had scored 16 goals in four league games.

10 November 1957: Racing Club de Paris 1 Arsenal 1, in the series initiated by Herbert Chapman.  The series continued until 1962.

10 November 1958: Billy McCullough played his first Arsenal game – a friendly v Southampton.

10 November 1959: Peter Nicholas born.  He had started out with Crystal Palace as a youth player, and was part of their second division title winning team in 1979.

10 November 1969: Jens Lehmann born.  He played for Schalke, Milan and Borussia Dortmund before becoming the only player ever to play in every single top division game in one season without once being on the losing side.

10 November 1973: Arsenal beat Man C away 1-2, Hornsby and Kelly scoring.  One report said only two things Man C tried went right. They managed to kick off as per the laws of football,  and on 82 minutes Lee took a perfect free kick from 25 yards out and scored.

10 November 1979: Arsenal lost 0-1 to Palace away.   After the game Palace suggested they were going to emulate Forest in winning the second and the first division in consecutive seasons.  Some of the journalists took them seriously.

10 November 2014: Paul Merson unleashed a fierce attack on Arsène Wenger, claiming that Wenger had let the club down and should leave.  In the commentary Merson said Wenger begged him to stay in 1997 but Merson refused. Other commentaries suggest otherwise.  Merson’s hatred of Wenger then expanded into a constant criticism of all things Arsenal.

1 comment to How personal bitterness can lead to vindictiveness and recriminations

  • WHEN WENGER FIRST ARRIVED AT ARSENAL MERSON WAS GUSHING WITH ENTHUSIASM WITH THE NEW TRAINING METHODS HE INTRODUCED.

    I HAVE AN END OF SEASON VIDEO WITH MERSON STATING HE WOULD BE HERE THE FOLLOWING SEASON.

    WHY WOULD SOMEONE WITH AMBITION DROP A DIVISION TO SIGN FOR MIDDLESBROUGH, THE REASION OBVIOUSLY WAS FINANCIAL.

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