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Phil Brown, the football manager, seemed something of a curious fellow when he was managing in England.
On 17 March 2009 as Hull City’s manager he claimed that he had seen Cesc Fàbregas spit at the Hull assistant manager Brian Horton at the end of the defeat of Hull City in the FA Cup.
On 22 May 2009 Cesc was cleared of this and various other wild allegations made, such that Cesc had no right to be on the pitch at that moment (Cesc was recovering from knee surgery, and joined the team on the pitch at the final whistle), that Cesc was improperly dressed (!), and that Arsène Wenger had refused to shake his hand at one of the two previous games between the clubs that season. He also said, “Arsene Wenger got my goalkeeper booked. You call that good management? He was complaining about time-wasting. It’s an absolute disgrace.”
He went to Preston North End for a short while (losing his job on this day in 2011) and after a longer period being out of work, he got a job with Southend United. He lasted there five years before moving on to Swindon Town but only lasted a short while before being replaced. Since then it has been Pune City for one season and now Hyderabad.
Here are the anniversaries.
14 December 1889: Arsenal played teams in two separate cup matches in one day, following the refusal of both cup organisers to allow a postponement. The results were Gravesend 2 Arsenal 7, (Kent Senior Cup) and Arsenal 6 St Martin’s Athletic 0, (London Senior Cup)
14 December 1895: Centre half Jimmy Boyle became the 4th goalkeeper to be used thus far in the season. Arsenal remained 5th despite a 1-4 away defeat to Burton. Boyd scored the Arsenal goal.
14 December 1918: A general election was held with women age 30+ and men aged 21+ able to vote for the first time and with the election held on one single day also for the first time. On the same day Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-0. The match was followed by a meeting of professional footballers to discuss the recent pay offers by clubs following the re-start of professionalism. The meeting was chaired by Harold Hardinge of Arsenal and voted to re-form the Players’ Union.
14 December 1922 Don Roper born. He was spotted as a schoolboy by Southampton, playing for Bitterne Nomads, in the Hampshire League and turned professional with Southampton in 1939, (and not 1949 as Brian Glanville claimed in the Guardian) and started playing for the club during the second world war.
14 December 1933: Having not been registered with any club before that point Arthur Biggs became a professional on this day, and went straight into Arsenal reserves to become a regular in the side that constantly won the Combination. He made his first team debut on 29 March 1937.
14 December 1935: Ted Drake scored seven in the 7-1 away win against Aston Villa. An 8th goal by Drake was controversially disallowed by the ref. With manager Allison ill and unable to attend, Tom Whittaker had the job of phoning the result to the boss who asked who scored the goals. Whittaker reported that he simply said, ‘Drake’.” For the full story see here.
14 December 1937: John Milne sold to Middlesbrough. He had made 54 appearances for Arsenal scoring 19 goals, and retired from football following the outbreak of war.
14 December 1946: Ronnie Rooke took over from the injured Reg Lewis and scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Charlton. Rooke went on to score 21 league goals in 24 games from this point on.
14 December 1974: 20,849 saw Arsenal 0 Leicester 0 with Arsenal 18th and survival in the 1st division the aim just 3 years after the double. Charlie George sat on the subs bench but was not called on to play in a game so utterly forgettable at every level that even the journalists were hard pushed to write a match report based on what happened.
14 December 1985: Full debut for Niall Quinn in a 2-0 home win over Liverpool, in which Quinn also scored. Charlie Nicholas got the other. It was the end of a sequence of one win in five during which Arsenal had conceded 10 and scored just three.
14 December 2003: Arsenal 1 Blackburn 0. The 16th league match of the unbeaten season. Bergkamp scored the only goal in a match which was the only win in four successive league games.
14 December 2011: Under three years since his wild anti-Arsenal allegations as manager of Hull City (then of the Premier League) following on-the-pitch altercations, manager Phil Brown lost his job at Preston
14 December 2013: Man City 6 Arsenal 3. A reversal in this match and a conversion of two draws into wins, would have given Arsenal the league title.