Today is Alexis Shachez’ birthday. There was huge excitement when he arrived at Arsenal from Barcelona in 2014, and the 72 goals he scored across the next three seasons was by far the most productive part of his entire career and was an absolute triumphant signing by Arsene Wenger. But it seemed greed or poor advice got hold of him and he decided he wanted to move to a “bigger club” meaning Manchester United. Then after five goals in 45 games across two seasons he moved on loan to Inter Milan. There he suffered a sending off early in his time at the club, followed by an injury in October 2019 which was said to keep him out for several months – although he was reported by the Sun as saying that he had “found his love of football again” after leaving Man U.
Here are the anniversaries.
19 December 1896: John Caldwell returned to Arsenal from Third Lanark where he had been playing. His career is somewhat mysterious, as the previous season he had played every league game save one for Arsenal, then for some reason vanished, but now returned.
19 December 1897: James Devlin was transferred from Sunderland to Arsenal for £80 having only been with Sunderland for two months. But he was struck down with pleurisy soon after arriving at Plumstead and so just played one match, on 1 Jan 1898, in which he scored. He moved to Airdrie on 7 August 1898 in exchange for John Dick.
19 December 1903: Arsenal 5 Grimsby 1. The score meant Arsenal had scored 25 goals in six games, which left Arsenal second, two points behind league leaders Preston. In fact the season finished with Preston as champions, just one point ahead of Arsenal, Arsenal also gaining promotion to division 1 for the first time.
19 December 1933: Jim Fotheringham born. He joined Arsenal as an amateur in 1949 and after Bill Dodgin was dropped as keeper Jim got 39 games in the 1953/4 season before himself being dropped in favour once more of Dodgin.
19 December 1933: George Cox turned professional with Arsenal, having previously played for Horsham. He made his Arsenal debut on 8 March 1934 against Leicester and went on to play seven league games in this and the next season.
19 December 1942: Luton 0 Arsenal 4 in the wartime Football League south. It meant Arsenal had won 14, drawn 1 and lost 2 games this season, but now went on to lose the next two games, conceding 10 goals
19 December 1959: Jimmy Magill debut. Sheffield W 5 Arsenal 1. He began his career with Portadown but moved to Arsenal in May 1959. He went on to play 116 games before moving to Brighton and Hove, his final club.
19 December 1970: Man U 1 Arsenal 3, making it five consecutive wins in League match 22 of the first Double season. But despite the victories Arsenal’s progress was matched by Leeds who still led Arsenal by two points.
19 December 1988. Alexis Sánchez born in Tocopilla, Chile. He was signed for Arsenal by Arsene Wenger, but ultimately ran down his contract before he was swapped for Mkhitaryan at Manchester United.. His subsequent career under Mourinho was disappointing and he was loaned to Inter Milan in the 2019/20 season.
19 December 1990: Tony Adams imprisoned for four months for drink driving. He gained 50% remission for good behaviour, and subsequently dedicated much time to his charity which supported sports people with addictions. In 2019 he became President of the Rugby Football League.
19 December 2009: Arsenal beat Hull City 3-0. Subsequently Hull were given a £40,000 fine for the behaviour of their manager and the team’s behaviour during and after the match which included a fracas on the pitch.
19 December 2012: Gibbs, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, and Wilshere, all signed new contracts, as Arsenal spoke about the value of having young British players in the team.
19 December 2017: Arsenal beat WHU 1-0 in the replay of the quarter final of the League Cup, before going on to beat Chelsea in the semis but losing 0-3 to Manchester City in the final.