Arsenal News


Arsenal News
Arsenal News
May 2022

The crazy things players and the pressmen say about football

One of the extraordinary things about the media coverage of football is how often the media get things wrong, but then ignore that reality, continuing as if nothing had happened.  So it was on this day in 1911, when the media told anyone silly enough to listen that Roose was going to Fulham, when in fact he was going to Arsenal.

Was it a last minute change of plans, or had a false trail been laid all along, which the eager journalists happily gobbled up?  Either way in ploughing through the papers of the era I never spotted an apology.

Mind you, it was also on this day in 2006 that Cole made his notorious comment about his transfer to Chelsea always being about respect never about money, suggesting that just as one can’t believe a word the journalists write, neither can you believe a word the players say.

Although Cole was a particularly notorious player of games with reality.

10 December 1892: Royal Arsenal won through the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup into the competition proper for first time with 5-0 defeat of Clapton.

10 December 1898: New Brighton Tower 1 Arsenal 3.  It was one of only two games in the whole season where no record is given of the crowd, suggesting that it was very small indeed.

10 December 1906: In the Southern Professional Charity Cup Arsenal lost to the local rivals Millwall, who at this stage played north of the river on the Isle of Dogs.

10 December 1908: “Greenaway, the young Coatbridge forward, has nearly set the grass on fire at Woolwich Arsenal, where he would seem in peril of being spoiled by praise. He was one of Manager Morrell’s discoveries, and cost the Arsenal next to nothing. Greenaway, being a modest lad, wears the same-sized hat as when he went to Plumstead.” (The Courier.)

10 December 1910: Matthew Shortt played his third game for Arsenal: Arsenal 0 Middlesbrough 2.  In all he played four games for the club, and all were defeats.

10 December 1911: The press were full of stories saying Leigh Roose would be joining Fulham and it seems the deal did get as far as Aston Villa sending Fulham the papers needed to register him there. But then Roose signed for Woolwich Arsenal FC on 11 December.

10 December 1921: Arsenal played Blackburn at Highbury with the same team for the third game running (only the second time this had happened so far this season) in front of 35,000.  The result was a 1-1 draw, Hopkins now getting his first goal of the season. Arsenal were still bottom, two points behind three teams above them.

10 December 1923: Arsenal played in their third final of the London Challenge Cup beating Charlton 3-1, thus winning the trophy for the second time.

10 December 1926: Horace Cope purchased for £3125 from Notts County.  Although he stayed for seven seasons he fell out of favour after three seasons, with the arrival of Eddie Hapgood, and only played 65 league games for the club.

10 December 1932: Arsenal 4 Chelsea 1, the West Stand (costing £45,000) opened by Prince of Wales (although it had been used by the public for several games before this). This game was part of a 20 match sequence in which Arsenal lost 2, drew 2 and won 16.

10 December 1936: The King abdicated.  The following day Parliament passed the Abdication Act, to which the king gave his royal assent (I always find that funny – the king had to consent to the act allowing him to abdicate, having already abdicated the day before.  But that’s the constitution for you).   

10 December 1960: Arsenal 5 Bolton 1: George Eastham’s debut – he scored two goals. Strong also got two, Barnwell the other.  It made up a little for a 6-0 defeat to WHU, a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea, and a 5-3 loss to Wolverhampton earlier in the season.

10 December 1963: Arsenal 6 Everton 0.  (Baker 2, Eastham 2, Armstrong and Strong).  It was the second 6-0 of the season, but was undermined by a 2-7 and a 0-5 defeat.  The team was nothing if not erratic.

10 December 2006: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1 – the first meeting of the clubs after Cole’s acrimonious transfer.  Cole is quoted as saying, “It’s never been about money. For me it is about respect”. I wonder how many believed him.

10 December 2009: Carlos Vela signed new long term contract.  After five loan periods he signed for Real Sociedad following a loan spell with them, in 2012, and by 2015 had played 120 league games with them. 

10 December 2016: Arsenal 3 Stoke 1.  It was the final game in a 14 match run in the League, in which four games were draws and the rest wins.  However Arsenal only won 8 of the next 18, which led to the club missing out on the Champions League for the first time after 19 consecutive years – a record which was only surpassed by Real Madrid.

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