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Could there actually be a St Totteringham Day this year

By Tony Attwood

I ask that question today because this is the anniversary of the earliest St Totteringham Day of the modern era (and perhaps of all time) (see 2008 below).

St Totteringham Day is, as you will know I’m sure, the day upon which it is impossible for Tottenham to overtake Arsenal, and we sing “It’s happened again, it’s happened again…”

Of course it doesn’t happen every year but in what has (everyone will admit I am sure) been a troublesome season, it seems we might just make it.   Here’s the top of the league today

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 29 27 1 1 66 21 45 82
2 Manchester City 27 18 3 6 68 29 39 57
3 Leicester City 28 15 5 8 54 28 26 50
4 Chelsea 28 13 6 9 47 39 8 45
5 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 10 13 6 41 34 7 43
6 Sheffield United 28 11 10 7 30 25 5 43
7 Manchester United 28 11 9 8 42 30 12 42
8 Tottenham Hotspur 29 11 8 10 47 40 7 41
9 Arsenal 28 9 13 6 40 36 4 40

Perhaps the most memorable St Tots Day was 15 May 2016

Arsenal sat third and Tottenham second in the league ahead of the final day’s games, with Tottenham needing just one point (at already relegated Newcastle) to secure second and end above Arsenal for the first time since 1995. Despite Newcastle having a man sent off, Tottenham lost 1-5, while Arsenal beat Villa 4-0 to secure second place, and achieve one of the most unlikely St Totteringham’s Day victories ever.

And here are the anniversaries…

9 March 1889: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1. Thus far Arsenal had won two and lost one game against Tottenham with one abandoned (with Tottenham ahead). Full index of early games v Tottenham is here   

9 March 1895: Arsenal played Leicester Fosse at Leyton following the forced closure of Manor Ground after crowd trouble.  The result was 3-3 with 4,000 present.

9 March 1906: The Manchester Evening News referred to Arsenal as the Gunners – one of the earliest (and perhaps even the earliest) references to this nickname in the press.

9 March 1907: Barnsley 1 Arsenal 2 FA Cup 4th round (equivalent to the modern 6th round) meaning the club progressed to the semi-final for the second season running.  The crowd was 13,871.

9 March 1912: Oldham 0 Arsenal 0 – the start of a five match sequence without scoring.  The other four games in the sequence were defeats.

9 March 1916:  Lt Henry Norris was appointed Supervisor of Military Representatives for the Number 10 District of the Eastern Command in the War Office and promoted to Captain to go with the job.

9 March 1918: There were fears about declining attendances at Highbury, only 9,000 having attended the last home game.  But in fact the crowd at Highbury showed more resilience as 15,000 came along to see a 4-1 home win over Tottenham in the wartime league.

9 March 1935 – Arsenal’s biggest crowd at Highbury (73,295) saw what was reported to be a very poor match, probably because of the high tension, as the game was billed by the press as the “title decider”.  It ended Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0.

9 March 1971: Arsenal 2 FC Koln 1: Inter Cities Fairs Cup 4th round 1st leg.

9 March 1991: Arsenal 2 Cambridge Utd 1; FA Cup 6th round.  Campbell and Adams scored. 42,960 came to the game, despite Cambridge’s lowly status.

9 March 2000: After beating Deportivo 5-1 in the Uefa cup Arsenal lost the rematch 1-2, but went through as they headed for the final.

9 March 2002: Newcastle 1 Arsenal 1, FA Cup 5th round – part of the 3rd Double Season.  The game was moved for TV, which led to protests from Arsene Wenger, given that Arsenal were still fighting in three competitions.  Cup overview is here.    

9 March 2005: Arsenal 1 Bayern Munich 0 in the Champions League

9 March 2006: Paul Merson, having played 68 league games for Walsall retired from playing, although he did make a series of comebacks playing for Tamworth, Whitton Athletic and Welshpool.

9 March 2008: The earliest St Totteringham Day (the date when Tottenham can no longer overtake Arsenal in the league) ever.  It occurred with nine games to spare. Tottenham ended the season in 11th position.

9 March 2009: Ben Marden died.  He only played 42 games for Arsenal but these included our record league win at Anfield and the match that won the league in 1953.  Despite the recency of his death we have very little information about him.

9 March 2010: Arsenal 5 Porto 0.  Bendtner scored a hat trick in the Champions League round of 16.

9 March 2015: Manchester United 1 Arsenal 2 in the sixth round of the cup.  It was the second time Arsenal had won in Manchester in the season, and revenge for the defeat by Man U in the league at the Arsenal Stadium.  Man U received a shocking seven yellow cards, with Di Maria getting two and so departing early. Monreal and Welbeck scored in a game that became famous for Arsenal’s change of tactics.

9 March 2015: By winning the FA Cup match (above) Arsenal secured their 28th FA Cup semi-final.  The win also secured a place in history for Arsene Wenger. He had already had more semi-finals to his name than any other manager (10) and with this win took his number to 11.

2 comments to Could there actually be a St Totteringham Day this year

  • Nate Dogg

    That game in hand will go on Wednesday without any additional points. Both out of Europe. Both playing uninspiring garbage. It’s going to be close! A battle for 8th…

  • 8th would be a prized position, compared to the mid 70’s, when both clubs were dire. Tottenham were relegated in ’77 and we’d nearly gone the same way in ’75 and ’76.

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