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The anniversary of one of the all time classic referee “mistakes”

Two goals stand out on 31 December in Arsenal’s history.  One was Jensen’s first ever goal for Arsenal, his failure to score before this becoming the stuff of legends, and the other was a goal so outrageously wrong that even TV commentators found it hard to excuse, in the match in 2017.

Here are the anniversaries for the last day of the year.

31 December 1898: Haywood and Hunt each got a hatrick in a game that ended Arsenal 6 Luton 2.  It was also the start of a run of six goals in four consecutive matches for Haywood and concluded a run of five goals in three for Hunt.

31 December 1904:  Arsenal 0 Newcastle Utd 2.  The last of the five games in seven days which resulted in one victory and four defeats.  The decline was all the more concerning in that it had come in the wake of Notts C 1 Arsenal 5 – the first time Arsenal had scored five in the first division.

31 December 1909: A miserable end to the year with Arsenal having lost their last three league games of the year (all at home) and with (truthful) stories circulating that Arsenal were in dire financial trouble.  Arsenal were in 18th, just one point above the relegation positions..

31 December 1917:  Arsenal Football and Athletic Company Limited produced its annual accounts showing that Henry Norris and William Hall were owed £15838 between them; and Humphreys Ltd, who had built the grandstand at Highbury, were owed £19943 – a sum also guaranteed by Henry Norris.

31 December 1921: Arsenal played their eighth game of the month beating Chelsea 2-0 away to make it  2 wins, 3 draws, 3 defeats in the month.  40,000 turned up. The result left Arsenal one from bottom with only Manchester Utd below them.

31 December 1960: Nottingham Forest 3 Arsenal 5.  Herd got three, Eastham and Henderson the others. It was the 10th match in the 25 league games thus far in the season in which five or more goals had been scored and the sequence continued in the first five league matches of 1961..

31 December 1977, Everton 2 Arsenal 0, before a crowd of 47,039.  With Nottingham Forest opening up a gap at the top, Chelsea beating Birmingham 5-4 away, and Tottenham knocking four past Blackburn, Arsenal needed to win in style to show they were still in contention but the result left Arsenal 4th, seven points off the top.

31 December 1980: Death of Leslie Jones – the man fundamental to the league title win of 1938.   He was released on a free transfer in 1946, and went to Swansea as a player coach signing on 22 May 1946.  Shortly after he moved on again to be player manager at Barry Town. He then played for Brighton and later managed Scunthorpe.

31 December 1984: David Rocastle and Michael Thomas signed as professionals.  Rocastle made his debut in September 1985, Thomas in February 1987.

31 December 1984: Brian McDermott sold to Oxford for £40,000.  He had played 61 times for Arsenal in the league and scored 12 goals, as well as having two loan spells with Fulham and IFK Norrköping.

31 December 1984: Steve Williams, the most committed of players, signed from Southampton for £550,000.  During his time at Southampton he played in a league cup final, became captain of the club, played in the FA cup semi-final and took the club to runners’ up in the first division in 1984 – their best ever performance.

31 December 1994: John Jensen scored his first ever goal for Arsenal – Arsenal 1 QPR 3.  His failure to score before that point became a matter that was widely discussed and resulted in a number of fans thereafter proclaiming “I was there when Jensen scored”.

31 December 2008: Jay Simpson went on loan to WBA where he played 13 games.  After a further loan spell with QPR he was sold to Hull City for whom he played 78 games.  After a period in Thailand he returned to play for Leyton Orient.

31 December 2009: Abou Diaby signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2015.  Sadly continuing injuries precluded him playing very much and the contract was allowed to expire.

31 December 2017: Mike Dean as referee made one of his classic “mistakes” to give WBA a goal and a point that they in no way deserved in a game at the Hawthornes.

1 comment to The anniversary of one of the all time classic referee “mistakes”

  • Mikey

    Arsene Wenger on the Mike Dean incident.

    “I’m angry because we have seen the same things again. I did fight very hard for the referees to become professional many years ago and they did a good job to allow them to be professional. But I see no improvement.

    “There are two countries in Europe where you have professional referees, in Italy and in England, and not one English referee will go to the World Cup. But everything is all right. We cannot say a word against it because they’re untouchable. That is the truth. It’s not only me that judges them.”

    Alan Pardew, West Brom’s manager, sympathised with Wenger about the penalty and admitted he “would have been very upset if it was given against me”.

    And nothing has changed. Refereeing still lacks transparency, accountability and logic in the Premier League.

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