That was the headline on this day in 1998 as the footballing media completed their move from a position of it “not being right” for English football to be full of foreigners, to recognising, finally, that Arsenal’s revolutionary approach had worked brilliantly, and had made English football far more exciting.
It was of course the start of a revolution, as (inevitably) other clubs started to copy Arsenal’s approach of bringing into English football the best players from around the world.
Interestingly 22 years later to the day the footballing world held its collective breath as it waited to see what the Court of Arbitration in Sport would say about Uefa’s decision to ban Manchester City for two years from European football, following their manipulation of the sponsorship rules, and Manchester City’s decision to threaten to sue Uefa out of existence in every court in Europe.
13 July 1856: Frederick Beardsley born. He worked in a Nottingham government munitions factory and played for Nottingham Forest as an amateur keeping goal in the FA Cup semi-final against Queen’s Park.
?13 July 1904 Phil Kelso officially started his duties as manager. He introduced the notion of professionalism to Arsenal, insisting that players live locally, and didn’t drink or smoke. He also got the players together for matches a day or two before, to start preparations – a revolutionary stance in those days.
13 July 1910: Woolwich Arsenal Football and Athletic Company Limited (the company which still exists as the ultimate company that owns the club) issued a financial statement showing it was already £700 in debt, through paying the players’ close season wages.
13 July 1920: In one of its most appalling acts in its entire history the London County Council banned people who were not English nationals from working for the council – an act that was legal at the time.
13 July 1929: Joey Williams played his second and final game in the FA’s tour of South Africa.
13 July 1930: The first ever World Cup competition began in Uruguay. England did not enter, and instead, in terms of overseas sports, the broadcasters and newspapers focused on the first ever British Empire Games held later that summer in Canada. On this day in Uruguay the scores were France 4 Mexico 1, USA 3 Belgium 1.
13 July 1936: Jimmy Dunne sold to Southampton. He never replicated his amazing goalscoring form that he showed at Sheffield Utd and after he was dropped was described in the press as the most expensive reserve in English football. However in the season after leaving Arsenal he scored 28 goals in 36 games for Southampton.
13 July 1970: David Court sold to Luton Town. He had played 175 first division games for Arsenal between 1962 and 1970.
13 July 1971: Following the departure of Don Howe, Steve Burtenshaw was appointed first team coach, being promoted from the reserves.
13 July 1995: George Graham banned from football for one year as a result of his taking illegal payments. He then returned with Leeds Utd before also managing Tottenham.
13 July 1998: Ian Wright having become the club’s all time record goal scorer left Arsenal to join West Ham. He played 22 league games for them, and also played for Nottingham F., Celtic and Burnley before retiring.
13 July 1998: The Daily Mirror ran the headline “Arsenal win the World Cup” on the
front page in relation to the previous day’s triumph for France.
13 July 2000: Jay Bothroyd moved to Coventry. He won the FA Youth Cup for Arsenal against Coventry in 2000 just ahead of his move, but never played for Arsenal in the league. He later played 116 league games for Cardiff. By 2017 he was playing in the J league.
13 July 2005: Robin van Persie voted Arsenal’s Player of the Season with 35.3% of
the votes as Arsenal came second in the league, 12 points behind Chelsea.
13 July 2011: Malaysia XI 0 Arsenal 4 (Ramsey, Vela, Walcott, Rosicky) – the first match of the pre-season tour.
13 July 2017: Arsenal opened their Australian tour with a 2–0 win over Sydney FC, with Mertesacker opening his final season as a player with an overhead kick to score the first goal.