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How a poor game in December convinced the directors Arsenal needed a new manager

This day in 1995 was probably a key moment in which it was decided by Arsenal directors that Bruce Rioch was not the man to take the club forward.  It was not just that Arsenal were defeated at home by Wimbledon but also that this was followed by a 0-2 defeat to Newcastle.

Arsenal did recover somewhat to end up fifth in the League but a set of terrible results in the pre-season friendlies the following summer fully convinced the board that the Rioch experiment had failed.

Also on this day in 1918, match fixing was for once on the top of the agenda as Athletic News campaigned to get Chelsea back in the first division after they had been relegated by the match fixing antics of Liverpool and Manchester United.

Here are the anniversaries.

30 December 1893: Arsenal’s first ever away win in the league: Ardwick 0 Woolwich Arsenal 1.  Henderson got the goal in front of a crowd of 4,000. Arsenal went on to win away twice more in the season, including a 3-6 win at Middlesbrough  Ironopolis.

30 December 1911: After beating Tottenham 3-1 on Boxing Day hopes were high but the footballing year ended with a 4-1 away defeat to Liverpool.

30 December 1916: Arsenal ended the year with a 1-0 away win over Southampton making it three wins and a draw in the last four games in the wartime London Combination.

30 December 1918: Athletic News, the lead football journal of the day, raised the Liverpool and Man U match fixing affair again arguing vigorously on Chelsea’s behalf since they were the team that had been relegated as a result of the match fixing, but still no one argued that the clubs should be punished!

30 December 1921:  The Fulham Chronicle stated definitively that Sir Henry Norris would be standing in Fulham East as an Independent Unionist against any official Conservative Party candidate.

30 December 1922: Arsenal beat Stoke 3-0.  But it was a false dawn as there was only one more win in the next six games.  The correspondent of the Times noted that Arsenal could only play on heavy pitches.

30 December 1926: James Ramsey left Arsenal and moved to Kilmarnock.

30 December 1933: Arsenal played their fourth game in eight days, and after three wins over Sheffield Utd and Leeds (twice) hopes were high but Arsenal then drew on this day with Birmingham 0-0.

30 December 1961: Charlie Nicholas born.   He played 84 times for Celtic scoring 48 goals.  He brought great hope of a renaissance when Terry Neill signed him in 1983 but ultimately did not live up to his high promise.

30 December 1972: As the league finished for the year Arsenal were in second place three points behind Liverpool while Manchester United were bottom of the table.

30 December 1978: Arsenal beat Birmingham City 3-1 at home, with an attendance of 27,877.  The game included Rice’s first goal of the season, from 30 yards out. Arsenal were not only fourth, but only four points behind Liverpool.

30 December 1995: Arsenal 1 Wimbledon 3.  One of the low points of the Rioch year, coming during a spell of one win in eight games.  Ian Wright scored in front of 37,640.

30 December 2006.  Sheffield Utd 1 Arsenal 0.  Arsenal 7th league game of the month, and their only defeat.  The result left Arsenal in 5th place, 17 points behind the leaders.

30 December 2009: Portsmouth 1 Arsenal 4. The match came in a run of nine unbeaten, which included 10 goals in three successive games.  Ramsey, Song, Nasri and an own goal gave Arsenal their four.

30 December 2010: Harvard Nordtveit sold to Borussia Monchengladbach for £800,000.  He became a regular fixture for the club playing over 150 league games for them before going to West Ham.

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