By Tony Attwood
But it is interesting to pause and see how Arsenal ended 1930. We had so far won the Cup (the previous season) been Finalists in the FA Cup and been runners up in the league. So no league trophies for us – or indeed any London club. (The general consensus in the press was that life was too soft for London players and they would never have the grit and determination of those in the industrial north.)
But 1930/31 was suggesting that something else was happening, and Arsenal fans would have had a great New Year celebration for the last three games of the year were
- Christmas Day: Manchester City 1 Arsenal 4
- Boxing Day: Arsenal 3 Manchester City 1
- December 27: Arsenal 7 Blackpool 1
Three games in three days, including a train ride to Manchester and back. And an amazing six players played in all three of those games. Bill Harper, Herbie Roberts, Bob John, David Jack, Alex James and Cliff Bastin. It was Cliff Bastin’s 22nd game of the season – and he continued to the end of of the season playing in every league game.
The run of high scoring wins couldn’t last of course and the next match we lost to Sunderland at home, before going on to wallop Grimsby Town 9-1.
We won the league, and George Male made three appearances that season (so didn’t qualify for a medal). After that he had one more season as a bit-player before in 1932-3 becoming the regular number 2 for the club.
But today, let’s think of what it must have been like on that first occasion, stepping out in front of 35,000 (the fans were yet to be convinced that Arsenal actually could win the league, and we didn’t get 53,000 at Highbury until the visit of Chelsea in April). But we were top of the league.
- 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?
- 26 December: Bill Linward plays the first of two games in two days
- 23 December 1978. Tottenham H 0 Arsenal 5
- 22 December 1900. Arsenal 2 New Brighton Tower 1
- Arsenal’s Christmas reviews: 1904 and 1905; 1890, 1891 1892.