On this day Arsenal lost a friendly v Peterborough. The omens were not good. It was 2003.



Today’s headline comes from 2003 – the start of the Unbeaten Season

11 July 1302: The Battle of the Spurs between the French army and Flanders rebel as part of the Franco Flemish war.  Unexpectedly the Flemish won. It has no connection with football, but just somehow seems a slightly odd name.  Not sure why.

11 July 1866: James Boyle born in Glasgow and started out playing for Towerhill before joining Celtic in 1890.  He moved to Arsenal in 1893 and scored the goal which gave the club its first away point in the Football League

11 July 1890: Alex Graham born.  He played at first for several Scottish clubs before getting a trial with Woolwich Arsenal in December 1911, by when he was 21.  He went on to play over 179 games for Arsenal.  (See also here)

11 July 1922: Angus McKinnon transferred to Charlton after 217 appearances in 14 years.  In 1923 he joined Wigan Borough who were then under the managership of former Woolwich Arsenal player Charlie Bell before moving on to New Brighton.

11 July 1956: Ralph Guthrie transferred to Hartlepools Utd, his home town club.  He had only played twice for Arsenal, but was part of Hartlepools push for promotion following his return.

11 July 1977: Don Revie resigned as manager of the England national football team after three years in charge.  The following day he accepted a four-year contract worth £340,000 to take charge of the United Arab Emirates national team, making him the highest-paid football manager in the world.  He was considered utterly disloyal. He passed away in 1989.

11 July 2000: Edu arrived from Corinthians in Sao Paulo. However allegedly his Portuguese passport was a fake (!) which was odd because he had the right to an Italian passport because of his father’s nationality, so he applied for one, and finally joined Arsenal on 16 January 2001 for £6 million.  On 9 July 2019, he became Arsenal’s first technical director..

11 July 2003: Peterborough 1 Arsenal 0 – it was followed by Barnet 0 Arsenal 0.  In fact the club only won four out of nine pre-season games, but still did rather well in the season to come.  As you might recall.

11 July 2008: Arsenal fans voted Robert Pirès as the club’s sixth greatest player of all time, having spent six seasons at the club and played 189 games.  He continued playing after leaving Arsenal, including eight games for FC Goa in 2014/15.  In 2012 he became an ambassador for Grassroot Soccer, a non-profit organisation that uses the power of football to mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV.  In 2016 he was reported as being back at Arsenal as a coach.

11 July 2008: Samir Nasri signed from Olympique de Marseille for whom he had played for four years, making 121 league appearances. After leaving Arsenal he was banned in 2018 for breaching WADA drugs rules and given an 18 month ban. After a period with West Ham in July 2019, Nasri signed for  Anderlecht and was released one year later.

11 July 2011: Arsenal signed Gervinho from Lille. He had played for Beveren and Le Mans previously, and made 67 appearances for Lille, scoring 28 goals. Since leaving in 2013 he has played for Roma, in the Chinese league, and since 2018 for Parma.

11 July 2016: Isaac Hayden sold to Newcastle for a fee thought to be around £2.5m. By 2019 he had won the Championship with Newcastle and has played over 130 games for them.

11 July 2018: Arsenal announced the transfer of Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient for a rumoured £7 million.  He played 33 games in his first season but was then sent out on loan for disciplinary reasons first to Hertha Berlin (24 games) and then to Marseille for 2021/2.  In 2023 he went on loan to Lazio and in the summer of 2024 transferred there.

11 July 2021: Amid scenes of unprecedented chaos the final of the Euros was played at Wembley.  Saka was racially insulted by some members of the crowd.  No action was ever taken against the FA for its failure to operate the game safely.

Henry Norris at the Arsenal:  There is a full index to the series here correcting 100 years of rumour and false allegations.

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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