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The curious case of ex-Arsenal man Mark Randall

Mr Wenger once touted Mark Randall as a really important player for Arsenal with a huge potential.  But it never happened for him, and he has moved regularly from club to club.   And yet despite that constant urge to move on he has (according to the latest figures) played over 230 matches almost all in League One and League Two.

He has on a few occasions stated at a club for a couple of years including Chesterfield (45 games, 2011/13), MK Dons (13 games 2014/16), and Crawley Town (38 games, 2017/19).   But those are the highest totals, and the longest spells.

After leaving Crawley he spent the remainder of the 2018/9 season at Hemel Hempstead making six appearances, before moving in 2019 to Larne in Northern Ireland.   Thus far he has played 26 times for them, and scored six goals – a remarkable change in that between 2006 and 2019 he is recorded as having only scored seven in total.

Here are the anniversaries…

25 March 1893: Millwall Athletic 0 Arsenal 1.  See also here   6000 turned up for the game, as Arsenal prepared to enter the Football League.  Millwall stayed outside that League, but did ultimately join the United League and then the London League.

25 March 1895: Arsenal 1 Millwall A 1.  Another part of the long on-going rivalry between the clubs on the north and south banks of the river.  Millwall moved south of the river in 1910, Arsenal headed north in 1913.

25 March 1899: Arsenal 1 Grimsby 1.   Last game for Frederick Davis  – he was transferred on to Nottingham Forest having played 137 league games and also played in the 12-0 win over Ashford United in the FA Cup.

25 March 1910: Newcastle 1 Arsenal 1.  Arsenal played the first of three games in four days. Of the remaining two Arsenal won one, and lost one. See also here   After the result of the game at Newcastle came through by telegraph, Arsenal held a public meeting and then a shareholders meeting in Plumstead regarding the financial crisis and various fundraising systems were set in place.

25 March 1911: John Milne born. He joined Arsenal from Blackburn in 1932 and played 14, 19 and 16 games across the next three seasons before moving back to Blackburn.

25 March 1911: Arsenal 3 Bristol C 0.  Edwin Bateup’s 28th and last league game of his second spell with the club.  Up to 11 March he had been ever present, but after this game moved on to Burslem Port Vale.

25 March 1916: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Reading in the wartime league with just 1500 in the crowd.  Captain Henry Norris was now taken on full-time by the War Office, and Arsenal matches were left totally in the control of James “Punch” McEwen.

25 March 1932: Arsenal beat Derby who were 16th with one win in the last five.  The classic outfield played and Lambert repaid his manager’s faith with two goals.   This game meant that three consecutive home League games had brought a total of 167,871 through the turnstiles – an average of fractionally under 56,000 per game.

25 March 1933: Newcastle 2 Arsenal 1 made it three defeats and a draw in March – but Arsenal still went on to win the league.  Arsenal scored three goals in these four March games, but 14 goals in the next three.

25 March 1944: Reading 5 Arsenal 1, 19722 in the crowd (Football League Cup South).  Arsenal had a dreadful run in this wartime competition, playing six, winning just one and losing the rest.  Drake scored Arsenal’s goal, as he had done in the previous game, a 1-4 home defeat to QPR the week before.

25 March 1966: Pat Rice turned professional with Arsenal, having been signed as an apprentice in 1964.  He made his first team debut in December 1967 and later managed the club for a short spell.

25 March 1972: Leeds 3 Arsenal 0.  The 3rd successive defeat and confirmation (if it were needed) that the Championship would not be retained.

25 March 1973: Continuing the very occasional appearance of Arsenal men in broadcast fiction Bob McNab appeared as a footballer in an episode of “On the Buses,” a sitcom of the era.

25 March 1975: Luton 2 Arsenal 0.   Relegation loomed as Arsenal dropped to just three points above the drop zone.  However three wins in the final eight games helped Arsenal survive. Just.

25 March 1978: Arsenal 4 WBA 0: part of a nine match unbeaten run.  There was a  hat trick for Macdonald  with the other goal coming from Willie Young.  36,763 were in the crowd.

25 March 1988: Brian Marwood joined Arsenal from Sheffield Wednesday for £600,000.  He went on to play 52 league games for the club. He later played for Swindon and Barnet.

25 March 2003: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 3; FA Cup 6 replay.  Wiltord, Lauren and an own goal from Terry gave Arsenal the passage to the semi-final.

25 March 2010: Sanchez Watt loaned to Leeds.  He played just six games but then went back for a second spell on loan in the following season. He finally signed permanently for Colchester in 2013, and later played in the Indian Super League.

25 March 2012,  Mark Randall, lately of Arsenal, came on as sub for Chesterfield to win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.  After a spell in Italy and with MK Dons he joined Barnet.

25 March 2013: After making his numerous allegations against Arsenal, Phil Brown who had earlier been sacked by Hull, on this day became manager of Southend.  He was part of the BT Sport team for the Hull v Arsenal cup game in March 2016, where he was highly complimentary of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal in general, which is bizarre concerning the wild stories about Arsenal that he publicised earlier.

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