18 October. Arsenal were top of the league. But then…





18 October 1997. Arsenal were top of the league. But then…

Premier League table after close of play on 18 October 1997


Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 11 6 5 0 27 10 17 23
2 Blackburn Rovers 11 6 4 1 21 9 12 22
3 Manchester United 11 6 4 1 16 6 10 22
4 Chelsea 10 6 1 3 25 14 11 19
5 Leicester City 11 5 3 3 14 9 5 18


But then, Arsenal started a run of just two wins in eight matches with Crystal Palace 0 Arsenal 0.  This was also Alberto Mendez’ league début in the 11th game of the season.

This was followed by a second goalless draw – this one at home against Villa. After that we lost 3-0 to Derby, before getting a home win against Manchester United by the odd goal in five.  

That was our first win in four, but then the league form continued its downward spiral with two more defeats (with Arsenal not scoring a goal).

A 1-0 victory over Newcastle gave momentary relief but then it was back to the defeats on 13 December with a 1-3 home defeat to Blackburn. 

There was a Boxing Day win against Leicester 2-1 but then a draw away to Tottenham rounded off the Christmas period. 

Arsenal ended the year in sixth, 12 points behind the league leaders, Manchester United.

And as far as the media were concerned that was it for Arsenal.  Another season of a spot of promise (we were top of the league on 18 October remember) but then collapse.  Same old Arsenal. It didn’t quite work out like that though.  1997/8 was the season of Arsenal’s second Double.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *