When Arsenal’s away form was a disaster – but they still won the league!

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A lot has been made of Arsenal’s poor away form in recent years, and certainly it has contrasted with Arsenal’s home form – most notably in Arsene Wenger’s final season.

But this is not a new phenomenon.  For in 1934 as Arsenal were at the height of their dominance of the decade, Arsenal’s away form was troublesome while at home they were knocking in the goals for fun.

By this day in ’34, at home Arsenal had won nine and lost one, scoring 47 and conceding just eight.  But away it was a different story for Arsenal had won just one, drawn six and lost three.   The goals for (away from home) were 16 and goals against 18.

Just one defeat at home just one win away – the contrast was extraordinary.

But in the end Arsenal’s form did pick up and they went on to win the league, thus showing that one should never give up hope.

Here are the anniversaries

22 December 1900.  Arsenal 2 New Brighton Tower 1 – a game against one of the artificial clubs of football created to make use of a large stadium.

22 December 1910: A funeral procession moved from from Liverpool St Station to a service in St Paul’s Cathedral for the policemen shot dead in the Houndsditch jewel robbery.  All the mayors of London including of course Henry Norris were specifically invited.

22 December 1917: Arsenal beat QPR 3-0 at home – the start of a fair set of Christmas games, with two draws against Fulham on Christmas and Boxing Day and 2-1 against Clapton Orient away on 29 December.

22 December 1923: Arsenal, away to Huddersfield, were 1-0 down at half time, but then Kennedy and Butler both just back from injury got injured again, and Town ran out winners 6-1.   That made it three defeats in a row and no wins in the last seven games. Arsenal were 17th and back in the relegation dogfight just two points clear of Middlesbrough at the foot of the table.

22 December 1934: Despite near perfect home form Arsenal’s away form continued to be a trouble as Derby beat the champions 3-1.  The two previous home games had been a 7-0 and 8-0 victories.

22 December 1937: Ex-Arsenal player David Halliday was made manager of Aberdeen.  In 1945–46 he won the Scottish League Cup and also won Aberdeen their first ever title.

22 December 1971 Arsenal paid £220,000 (a record) for Alan Ball.  Arsenal were 8th at the time, eight points behind the leaders.  They ended the season 5th, six points behind Derby, the new champions.

22 December 1973: Arsenal had 1-0 home win over Everton, in front of 19,886. The Guardian likened the Arsenal side to a draught-horse.  Everton had one shot which hit the emblem on the top of the North Bank stand, as a result of which the ball got a puncture; it was a major incident in the game.   Ball scored after the one exciting move of the game.

22 December 1984: Arsenal 1 Watford 1.  Last league game for Colin Hill.  He was replaced by Viv Anderson and moved on to C.S. Marítimo in Portugal.

22 December 2007: Bendtner scored six seconds after coming on for the match against  Tottenham to give Arsenal a 2-1 victory.

22 December 2017: Arsenal v Liverpool.  Liverpool went two up, Arsenal responded with three goals in five minutes from Alexis, Xhaka and Özil but Liverpool scored an equaliser.  It was called the game of the season.

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