For the first time in their history Arsenal played a League match in July, as clubs sought to finish the season delayed by the coronavirus outbreak. The win made it three successive wins in a row.
The result also meant that Arsenal had suffered just three defeats in the 19 games since the start of the new year – a dramatic improvement from the period up to the end of the previous year in which Arsenal had won just one of their previous 16 games – one of the worst runs of all time.
I must admit I’ve not checked every single year but as far as I know the last run of that magnitude was in the relegation season of 1912/13 when Arsenal went 23 games without a win.
This was certainly also up there in terms of the worst of runs for the club, and to be considered alongside the notorious run of eight consecutive defeats between 12 February 1977 to 12 March 1977.
Curiously little appeared in the media concerning the turnaround in Arsenal’s form throughout the last two-thirds of the 2019/20 season, possibly because there was that long pause from 8 March to 16 June in which no matches at all were played.
In effect in the first third of that strange season Arsenal played as if relegation candidates and reached Christmas placed 15th in the league. If the final two thirds of the season are measured on their own Arsenal were second in the league, making this probably the most dramatic turnaround within a season ever seen at Arsenal.
That it wasn’t noticed was probably due to the fact that the pandemic is of course a lot more important as the disease continued affecting around 5 million people by the start of July 2021.
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.
100 Years: 100 Years in the First Division
Arsenal today: Untold Arsenal