Arsenal anniversaries 11 June: Chapman becomes manager, Liam Brady joins



11 June: The day Herbert Chapman arrived at Arsenal as manager, and the day on which Arsenal started to become a serious challenger for football honours

Prior to Chapman’s arrival at Arsenal on this day in 1925, Arsenal’s best ever league performance had come in 1908/9 when the club finished 6th.  The season prior to Chapman’s arrival (1924/25) Arsenal came the closest ever to relegation since their return to the First Division.

The table below shows the final position in the previous best season (1908/9), the last Knighton season (1924/5), and the first Chapman season (1925/6).

You’ll notice that while the defence under Chapman let in five more goals than Knighton, but also that the attack scored 41 more – an extraordinary transformation.  Although to be fair we must add that for Chapman’s first season the offside rule was changed reducing the number of opposing players required to be in front from three to two players. 

Here’s the table of final tables…


Season P W D L F A Pts Pos
1908–09 38 14 10 14 52 49 38 6th
1924–25 42 14 5 23 46 58 33 20th
1925–26 42 22 8 12 87 63 52 2nd


And the anniversaries for this day.

11 June 1920: The third reading in Parliament of Sir Henry Norris’ anti-gambling legislation.  At this time bookmakers would hand out coupons on the street for punters to complete. At one Liverpool match in 1915 138,500 coupons were handed out and 79,000 were returned with money.  With Liverpool players found guilty of match fixing Parliament felt it was time to act.

11 June 1925:  Herbert Chapman became the manager of Arsenal, replacing Leslie Knighton who had been manager since the resumption of football after the first world war.   Chapman went on to become the manager who gave Arsenal its first Championships, and its first FA Cup triumph before his untimely death.

11 June 1971: Liam Brady joined Arsenal as apprentice professional from St Kevin’s Boys, aged 15. He turned pro two years later.    See also here and then again here

11 June 2002: Despite Vieira and Wiltord playing, World Cup holders France went out of the competition to Denmark in South Korea.

11 June 2009: Arsenal opened an Arsenal shop in Bahrain as part of the deal with Emirates Airlines.

11 June 2012: Sylvain Wiltord retired from football. In 2015, he competed on the reality show Dropped, which puts sportspeople in inhospitable environments. The day after his elimination from the programme, three contestants died in a helicopter collision.  Wiltord played 104 league games for Arsenal and 526 league games all told.

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