While there were a lot of “Wenger Out” banners towards the end of the reign of Arsenal’s longest serving manager the club continued to perform well – although not well enough to win the league. On this day in 2016 for example the club continued its unbeaten run which had begun with the second match of the season, making it 17 unbeaten in the League, League Cup and Champions League.
Here are the anniversaries.
19 November 1886: The Kentish Mercury published a letter confirming there was a Steamboat crossing from Greenwich to Isle of Dogs, thus allowing us to confirm over 125 years later how the Dial Square players got to their first ever game, playing against Eastern Wanderers the following month.
19 November 1887: First ever game between Arsenal and Tottenham. Poor light stopped play with Tottenham leading 2-1 and about 15 minutes to go. It is alleged on some Tottenham sites that the problem was caused by Royal Arsenal players arriving late, but no supporting evidence is provided with these claims.
19 November 1892: George Davie’s last game as the result of an injury. He then sued Arsenal for his wages for the rest of the season, but lost, thus changing the way football contracts were written and creating the introduction of the notorious “retain and transfer” rule which was itself overturned by another Arsenal player, George Eastham.
19 November 1897: Tom Parker born. He joined his local club playing his first season in the war leagues that carried on until 1919, then played with Southampton in the Southern League and after that in the newly created third division.
19 November 1914: The FA issued another appeal to encourage players and fans to volunteer for the armed forces while almost all the media continued its hostility against the league, running an anti-football campaign while arguing that keeping horse racing going was perfectly ok. The Times announced it would send their man to an Arsenal match – with hilarious consequences.
19 November 1921: Bolton Wanderers 1 Arsenal 0. It meant five defeats and two victories in the last seven games leaving Arsenal at the bottom of the league, three points from safety with a game in hand.
19 November 1929 – Jack Kelsey was born in Llansamlet, near Swansea. Jack joined Arsenal in 1949 from Winch Wen – his only other club (playing in the Swansea and District League side).
19 November 1932: Aston Villa 5 Arsenal 3 Jack, Lambert and Bastin scored. It was part of a run in which Arsenal scored 40 goals in nine games, 12 of which came from Bastin.
19 November 1960: Jimmy Bloomfield sold to Birmingham City for £30,000. He spent four years there, played in a Fairs Cup final, winning the league cup and scoring in the final. He later played for Brentford, West Ham, Plymouth Argyle and Leyton Orient, where he was player manager, winning Division 3 in his second season.
19 November 1977: Newcastle United 1 Arsenal 2, with a crowd of just 22,880. Newcastle went ahead, Stapleton got the equaliser before Sunderland got the winner on 75 minutes. It left Newcastle five points away from safety, while Macdonald who wasn’t playing for Newcastle, said the Geordie fans deserved better. McGarry (Newcastle’s manager) criticised his own team in public for playing too many short balls, and then said he would not criticise his team. He was that sort of guy.
19 November 2011: Having been 15th in the league (with Tottenham 17th) Arsenal scored their fifth win in a row with a 2-1 away win to Norwich, scoring 15 goals. They ended the season in 3rd; Tottenham came in fourth.
19 November 2012: Frimpong went on loan to Charlton; the second of three loans before moving on to Barnsley and then Ufa. (Ufa was created by the President of the Republic of Bashkortostan, to represent the republic in the Russian league).
19 November 2016: Arsenal drew 1-1 away to Man U. This made it 17 games unbeaten since losing the first game of the season. Giroud got the goal which left Arsenal 4th, two points behind the leaders, Liverpool.