By Tony Attwood
Watch the big screens at the Ems prior to any match and just before you see the players come out you will see a stream of old film from the days of past glory.
Among these pictures is a grainy black and white sequence of Liam Brady scoring a goal from the left side of the pitch, about 3 miles out. The ball swerves and goes in, and Brady turns to the Shelf (for the other team is of course Tottenham H) as if to say, “that’s how we do it in Islington”.
These days it is conventional for Arsenal to beat Tottenham H 5-2, but it wasn’t always thus. For that shot of Brady comes from Tottenham 0 Arsenal 5, on 23 December 1978.
What is forgotten in the celebration of that marvellous goal is the fact that Alan Sunderland scored a hat trick that day.
Terry Dyson is the only Tottenham player to score a hat-trick in a first-class game against Arsenal. Arsenal on the other hand have had two such men: Ted Drake (October 20, 1934) and Alan Sunderland (December 23, 1978)
Here’s a summary of the games to date.
|Arsenal wins||Draws||T.H. wins||Arsenal goals||T.H. goals|
Terry Neill was the manager of Arsenal, and Tottenham were finding their feet again in the first division, having come up from Division 2 at the end of 1977/8.
In the side of the newly-promoted were Osswaldo Ardiles and Ricky Villa. Arsenal’s team was,…
Jennings Rice Walford Price O’leary Young Brady Sunderland Stapleton Rix Gatting
Alan Sunderland scored three, Frank Stapleton scored one, and of course there was Brady. The attendance was 42,273.
At the time of the game Arsenal were 4th and Tottenham 11th. Arsenal had already scored five once that season, beating QPR 5-1 early on. But there was no real sign in the previous results of either club to indicate that 0-5 was possible.
And indeed after the game Arsenal slipped back a little. We lost the next match 1-2 at home to WBA before ending the year with a 3-1 win at home against Birmingham A wretched end of the season in which we did not win any of our last five games saw Arsenal slip to seventh, four places above Tottenham.
But there were still more celebrations to come. Six days after the 0-5 triumph the first of my three daughters, Catherine, was born.
And there was one other matter to be dealt with. The FA Cup final. After playing Sheffield Wednesday five times in the third round we beat Notts County, Nottingham Forest, Southampton and Wolverhampton to reach the cup final where Alan Sunderland scored a suitably dramatic goal in the last few seconds, to win the cup 3-2.
Quite a year to remember.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- “The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal”: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Untold Arsenal
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- The weight loss programme: The only guaranteed wayto stay fit
- Looking for a terraced house in Northamptonshire?
- 22 December 1900. Arsenal 2 New Brighton Tower 1
- Arsenal’s Christmas reviews: 1904 and 1905; 1890, 1891 1892.
- Joe Shaw, the greatest long term servant the club has ever had
- The players of George Graham: Tony Adams
- Remembering David Seaman – our greatest ever keeper
- December 16: Michael Thomas signs for Liverpool!!!
- December 15: Not all Arsenal signings were superstars. Harold Peel
- December 14: Ted Drake Day
- December 13: when Arsenal fans turned against Arsenal – the start of the modern era