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December 2019
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Not every run of poor results is actually a major crisis

Football seems to have become ever more myopic – whatever the problem is today, that is the BIG problem, and needs to be sorted out with BIG solutions – usually involving dropping half the team and sacking the manager.  The thought that this sort of thing just happens, doesn’t seem to occur to supporters or journalists very much.

Around this time in 2008/9 we had exactly this problem, with what had been a free scoring side suddenly transmuting itself into a team that simply couldn’t score goals.

Details are given under the entry for 2008 below, but the lesson is one that is seemingly rarely learned.  Most clubs, in most seasons, have runs where everything works, and runs when nothing works, and this was simply an example of the latter

The anniversaries for today are printed below.


The website

An index of many of the series of articles on Arsenal’s history that we have run on this site can be found on the Arsenal History Society home page.

The books

“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” is the definitive history of Arsenal from its inception as a league club through to its first year at Highbury, and reveals dramatic elements of Arsenal’s early days that have never been revealed before.

“Making the Arsenal” is a journalist’s inside view of the events around Arsenal’s collapse in 1910 and the rescue that paved the way for the move to Highbury and the arrival of Herbert Chapman.

Both books are now available on Kindle and in print.    Please see here for more details.


The anniversaries…

15 November 1912: Writing in the West London and Fulham Times Henry Norris had to admit that things were not going well for Woolwich Arsenal.  Maybe he admitted it because not even Fulham could provide him with any relief as they were near the foot of the second division.

15 November 1918: The first released British prisoners of war reached Calais.

15 November 1919: Jack Butler made his debut in a 2-2 away draw with Bolton..  He signed for Arsenal from Fulham Thursday in 1914, and served in France in the Royal Artillery in the war.  Subsequently he played over 250 league games.

15 November 1922:  The Conservatives won an easy victory in the general election, with the Liberals replaced by Labour as the official opposition in the Commons.

15 November 1924: First game for Dan Lewis:  Everton 2 Arsenal 3.  In a Fifa commentary on the change of rules to allow goals to be scored direct from corners it is suggested that this game was the first in which this then happened but this not the whole truth.  The rules had been ambiguously written allowing players to take a corner and then touch the ball again and this happened on this day.  James Howie Ramsay scored two of Arsenal’s goals. The rule was subsequently changed.

15 November 1950: Leslie Compton won his first full cap for England, having won 12 war time caps.  He was the oldest player ever to win his first full cap – at the age of 38.

15 November 1951: Lionel Smith debut for England.  In all he won six caps – the last being in 1953.

15 November 1952: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 5 – as Arsenal continued en route for the title.  Cliff Holton got a hat trick, Ben Marden got two.  It was the second game in a seven match unbeaten run.

15 November 1975: Birmingham 3 Arsenal 1, 21,652 in the crowd.  It was Arsenal’s third successive defeat and it saw the club slip down to 16th in the league.

15 November 1976:  Refusing to cease football just because of an international break, Arsenal arranged two friendlies.  The second was played on this day with the result Dubai National Civil Service 0 Arsenal 3. (Macdonald, Rostron 2)

15 November 2000: Rhys Weston sold to Cardiff for £50,000.  He only played once for Arsenal but went on to play 182 times for Cardiff, and later had a long spell with Walsall.  He also won seven caps for Wales.

15 November 2008: The first part of the 2008/9 season had been awash with goals. 11 had been scored without reply in three consecutive games in late August / early September, there was a 6-0 win over Sheffield Utd, a 5-2 win over Fenerbache and a 4-4 draw with Tottenham.  Then it stopped and in seven games starting on this date with Arsenal 0 Aston Villa 2, Arsenal scored just four.

The anniversaries for today, are printed below.


The website

An index of many of the series of articles on Arsenal’s history that we have run on this site can be found on the Arsenal History Society home page.

The books

“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” is the definitive history of Arsenal from its inception as a league club through to its first year at Highbury, and reveals dramatic elements of Arsenal’s early days that have never been revealed before.

“Making the Arsenal” is a journalist’s inside view of the events around Arsenal’s collapse in 1910 and the rescue that paved the way for the move to Highbury and the arrival of Herbert Chapman.

Both books are now available on Kindle and in print.    Please see here for more details.


 

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