Beating Tottenham away in 1972 – the film of the match.

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Obviously a lot of football that took place in the past is lost – all we have are newspaper results and the reports, if that, and we know how biased they can be.  And indeed how the style changes with the times.

Of course TV coverage can be just as warped, but still, it is better than nothing and for the game Tottenham 1 Arsenal 2 on this day in 1972 we do have a 10 minute clip that is well worth watching.   Details in the 1972 listing below…


9 December 1893: First league game for James Boyle: Northwich Victoria 2 Arsenal 2 in front of a crowd of just 2,000.  The game gave Arsenal it’s first ever away point in the league.

9 December 1916: Arsenal suffered their fourth consecutive defeat, this time at home to Crystal Palace 1-2.  There were just 3000 in the ground for this wartime game.

9 December 1918: Athletic News gave voice to the discussions that had been evolving around football since the initial little battle between the FA and League over the payment of players.  The article made it clear that professional football was ready for reorganisation, and quoted an idea from an acquaintance of Sir Henry Norris, TA Deacock of Tottenham, who was suggesting the creation of a third division.

9 December 1922: First league game for John “Alex” Mackie – the man who (despite endless stories to the contrary) it seems did not get a pet monkey as a signing on fee (although he may later have bought a pet monkey).  Arsenal beat Birmingham 1-0 to end a run of 8 without a win.

9 December 1922: Arsenal 1 Birmingham 0 was also the first game for Andy Kennedy, having transferred from Crystal Palace for whom he had played just one game.  Mackie and Kennedy continued as a pair through the whole season.

9 December 1935: Arsenal beat Middlesbrough, but then only won two home games between this date and 10 April.

9 December 1937: Arthur Biggs transferred to Heart of Midlothian.

9 December 1961: Paul Davis born in Dulwich.  He signed for Arsenal in 1977, and played for the first team for the first time against Tottenham on April 7 1980 at Tottenham; a game which Arsenal won 2-1.

9 December 1972: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 2, Storey and Radford doing the honours in front of 47,505 at the Lane.  A copy of the Big Match is available to watch on You Tube.  I recommend it – ten minutes of glorious history and a lovely discussion at the end about off side.

9 December 1973: Probably the first ever comment about what was to become the famous Arsenal back four, was made on this day, concerning the “highly drilled precision” looking “like guardsmen” as they “stepped up smartly” to “catch Derby off-side”.  .

9 December 1975: Arsenal 2 Feyenoord 1; Peter Storey Testimonial.  It is said that the follow-up celebration in Storey’s pub lasted two days and included a range of “interesting” guests.

9 December 1981: Willie Young sold to Nottingham Forest.  However from this point on he began to suffer injuries and eventually retired to run a pub.  Later he moved onto the less common ex-football occupation of running kennels.

9 December 1995: Southampton 0 Arsenal 0.  It was the second of four consecutive draws, two of which were 0-0 and two were 1-1.  It left Arsenal third, but nine points behind the leaders Newcastle Utd.

9 December 1998: Panathinaikos 1 Arsenal 3; the first Champions League run concluded with an Arsenal victory.

9 December 1999: Nantes 3 Arsenal 3 in the Uefa Cup en route to the final, but only after letting a 3-1 lead slip.  Grimandi, Henry and Overmars scored.

9 December 2000: Arsenal 5 Newcastle 0; A Parlour hatrick helped Arsenal maintain second place but they were still six points behind the leaders, Man U.

9 December 2001: Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 2.  League match 15 of the third Double season.  After going four games without a win Arsenal had now won three in a row, leaving them three points behind the leaders, Liverpool.  Wiltord scored the first and Henry got the other two.

9 December 2007: Middlesbrough 2 Arsenal 1: ending the 22 match unbeaten run.  Despite the defeat Arsenal were still top of the league.

9 December 2011: Arsenal History Society’s suggestion that the club erect statues to famous Arsenal men, made to Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis in a discussion on Arsenalisation, finally came to life: the first three statues being unveiled.  In the meeting it was specifically requested that the statue of Herbert Chapman should be of the great man looking at the new stadium as if saying, “I created that”.

9 December 2015: Arsenal needed to beat Olympiacos in Greece by two clear goals to qualify for the Champions League group stages having lost 2-3 in the home leg.  The media felt the result was impossible but a Giroud hattrick saw Arsenal easy winners.

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