How Arsenal v Tottenham games show the animosity was limited early on

On this day in 1912 and again on this day in 1919 Arsenal played Tottenham in friendly games.  At the time of the first match Arsenal were playing in Woolwich, by the time of the second game Arsenal were at Highbury.

What is interesting is that much has been made of Tottenham’s objection to Arsenal moving from south to north London, and it appears that their fear was that having a third club in north London could diminish crowd numbers for their home games.  Arsenal argued the case the other way, saying that by having several teams grouped together it would keep football in north London in the news, and create more derby games, which would enhance the income of all the clubs.

In fact Arsenal’s view turned out to be right, and clearly Tottenham saw that, as they were happy to play this friendly.  There was also no animosity in the local Tottenham paper when Arsenal beat Tottenham to the spare place in the first division at the election 10 weeks before this match.

Indeed none of the vitriol over the issue of the election started until after  the second world war, stimulated by the highly critical report of Sir Henry Norris by the ex-Arsenal manager Leslie Knighton in his autobiography.

Here are the anniversaries.  There is more on Arsenal’s election to the 1st division here.

24 May 1890: Ernest Williamson born.  He was signed by Arsenal from Croydon Common after that club became the only Southern League club that failed to return to football after the cessation of the first world war.

24 May 1899: Horace Cope born near Sheffield.  He joined Arsenal in 1926 from Notts County and was a regular player for three seasons before dropping to the reserves as Chapman strengthened his squad.

24 May 1907: As part of their tour of Austria and Germany, Arsenal played Tottenham Hotspur in Vienna.  We won 4-0.

24 May 1912: Arsenal lost an end of season friendly away to Tottenham 0-4.  Although stories were circulating about Arsenal moving away from Plumstead there was no suggestion as yet that Islington would be the destination.

24 May 1919: Daniel Burgess signed from Goldenhill Wanderers and made his league debut on 1 September 1919 in a league match against Liverpool.

24 May 1919: Arsenal played a friendly at home against Tottenham.  This is of note for it has been suggested that bad feeling existed between the clubs due to Arsenal’s election to the first division in preference to Tottenham upon the expansion of the league just 10 weeks earlier.  In fact there was no bad feeling as indeed reports in the local newspapers and the playing of this game, show.

24 May 1919: Arsenal signed Daniel Burgess from Goldenhill Wanderers.  He made his league debut on 1 September 1919 in a league match against Liverpool.

24 May 1935: Bernard Joy joined Arsenal as an amateur from Fulham.  He started out with the reserves but played twice for the first team at the end of the 1935/6 season.  By 1937 he was a regular, but still an amateur.

24 May 1939George Male and Wilf Copping made final appearances for England in the 2-0 victory away to Romania.  It was England’s last full international for seven years.  Male finally ended with 19 caps and Copping 20. 

24 May 1941: Arsenal played their final London War Cup game of the season, beating Millwall 5-2.  However Arsenal did not qualify for the London War Cup final having only come fourth in the mini-league. 

24 May 1953: Last appearance for Ray Daniel in a post-season friendly – Arsenal 1 Rapid Vienna 6.  The rigours of the season with the win on the final day were clearly taking their toll.  

24 May 1975: Alan Ball played his 72nd and last game for England as England beat Scotland 5-1.  He was captain of England 30 times.

24 May 2009: Vito Mannone’s first team debut; it finished Arsenal 4 Stoke 1 and  Arsenal ended the season in 4th securing Champions League football once more. The crowd of  60,082 made the average league attendance 60,109 for the season – the highest average home crowd for Arsenal up to that point.

24 May 2010. After a considerable period of rumour Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote denied moving to buy a 15.9% stake in Arsenal.  The matter was dropped by the press within a day and it was all as if they had never made it up in the first place.

24 May 2015: Arsenal 4 WBA 1.  A stunning hattrick from Theo Walcott playing at centre forward and the goal of the season from Wilshere ensured his continuance in that position in the forthcoming cup final, as Arsenal ended the season third.

Henry Norris at the Arsenal:  There is a full index to the series here.

Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series on the decade ever

Arsenal in the 1970s: Every match and every intrigue reviewed in detail.

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