On 30 November 1997 the league table looked like this
The result on this day was Arsenal 0 Liverpool 1 and it left Arsenal with only two wins in the last eight league games. This was the fifth game in six in consecutive league matches in which Arsenal failed to score.
|27 Sep 1997||Everton v Arsenal||D||2-2|
|04 Oct 1997||Arsenal v Barnsley||W||5-0|
|18 Oct 1997||Crystal Palace v Arsenal||D||0-0|
|26 Oct 1997||Arsenal v Aston Villa||D||0-0|
|01 Nov 1997||Derby County v Arsenal||L||3-0|
|09 Nov 1997||Arsenal v Manchester United||W||3-2|
|22 Nov 1997||Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal||L||2-0|
|30 Nov 1997||Arsenal v Liverpool||L||0-1|
What would be the reaction of some fans and all the media to this sort of affair today? “Sack the manager,” I would guess.
Fortunately, Arsenal didn’t, for the manager was Arsene Wenger and Arsenal went on to win the double that season.
Here are the anniversaries
30 November 1895 Charles Ambler played his one and only league game for Woolwich Arsenal having played previously for Royal Arsenal since 1891. He had earlier left Woolwich Arsenal without playing a league game, but then returned on 22 November 1895 from Tottenham.
30 November 1889: Arsenal 13 Ordnance Store Corps 1, on way to first trophy: the Kent Junior Cup.
30 November 1893: James Boyle début in friendly v London Caledonians. It is said in some references that he left Celtic and joined Clyde in 1893 after making just nine appearances and later that year he moved south. But at this point there are contradictions in the account of his career, Arsenal saying he came straight from Celtic in November 1893
30 November 1895: Charles Ambler made his one and only appearance for Arsenal in the league, despite having two spells with the club. He had returned for his second period on 22 November, transferring from Tottenham, and on this day played in the league match against Newton Heath.
30 November 1903: Woolwich Arsenal 4 The Army 0.
30 November 1910: Thomas Winship sold to Wallsend Park Villa, before returning slightly later, almost certainly on loan. Arsenal appear to have retained his registration, and the matter was not fully settled until 1925.
30 November 1912: Final appearance of Alf Common in a 0-1 defeat to Blackburn. It meant Arsenal had scored one in the last five. In fact the run went on and Arsenal scored only two goals in nine games.
30 November 1920: Frank Townrow signed by Arsenal. He went on to play eight times for the club.
30 November 1923: The Fulham Chronicle reported that “a torrent of wrath” had been unleashed on Sir Henry Norris by the local Conservative Party and quoted an unnamed source as calling Sir Henry “a disgruntled and embittered man” who acted from “personal malice.”
30 November 1925: Athletic News took up the big news from the weekend: Arsenal were top of the first division for the first time ever. Their article noted particularly Bob John’s work as left back, and the tactics of the team as behind this astonishing rise from the ashes of the last two seasons.
30 November 1935: Huddersfield were undefeated at home (five wins, two draws) and they had won three of their last four. For Arsenal Parkin stood down and Beasley stepped in, but the result was a 0-0 draw. Derby and Sunderland won to take them further ahead. Arsenal were fourth.
30 November 1936: The Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire.
30 November 1940: Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 2 in the South Regional (wartime) League. Only 761 turned up – the lowest for any attendance in the second world war. Only matches in the League War Cup that season got over 10,000, and it wasn’t until 1943-44 that wartime attendances really started to grow.
30 November 1944: George Graham born, the youngest of seven children from a poor Coatbridge family. His father died on Christmas Day that year from TB, as did his eldest sister in 1951.
30 November 1946: Joe Mercer debut v Bolton, a 2-2 draw. The result made it six games without a win.
30 November 1965: Arsenal 3 Moscow Dynamo 0 in a friendly game.
30 November 1974: Arsenal (19th) beat Middlesbrough (12th) 2-0 at Highbury in front of 25,283. The visitors had two shots in the whole match, Kidd and Ball were off-song, Radford tried for a goal but couldn’t get his range right, and Brady was reduced to running in circles in an attempt to avoid having his legs broken, Sadly after the match it was revealed that Brady had indeed been injured in the game, and would be out for about a month.
30 November 1983: Niall Quinn joined Arsenal from school. He had played Gaelic football, and hurling, including taking a one-month tour of Australia
30 November 1994: Vince Bartram first appearance (as sub keeper) v Sheffield W in the league cup; Arsenal won 2-0 to reach the 5th round. Morrow and Wright got the goals.
30 November 1997: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 1 left Arsenal with only two wins in eight league games. This was the fifth game in six in consecutive matches in which Arsenal failed to score – which didn’t make it seem like league game 16 of the 2nd Double Season. The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.
30 November 2003 Arsenal 0 Fulham 0 – the first failure to score in 46 consecutive matches at Highbury. The 14th league match of the unbeaten season, and the start of a period in which Arsenal drew three games in four.
30 November 2016: Arsenal played Southampton in the quarter-finals of EFL Cup, with a team with 10 changes from the last game. Southampton won 2-0, the first defeat for Arsenal since the opening day of the season. Arsenal were however to get their own back in the FA Cup later in the season.