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October 2019
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Arsenal go top of the league as Walcott shows his style and ability

When Theo Walcott scored two goals on this day in 2016 he was a shining light in the club as 10 goals from 23 starts confirmed, but his days were numbered. In the following season he scored three goals in 14 games and was then sold in the winter window to Everton after six games […]

The decline and collapse of Arsenal after the first double

Having won the Fairs Cup in 1970, Arsenal went on to win the double for the first time in 1971 and this was seen by many (and not just those within the club) as the rebirth of the Arsenal of the 1930s when all other clubs fell beneath an inexorable march that led to five […]

When Herbert Chapman was banned from football for life.

Most Arsenal fans know the name of Chapman, and I suspect most also know that he was the manager who gave Arsenal their first trophies – the FA Cup, followed by two league titles.

His death at a tragically early age robbed him of a life that would undoubtedly have brought him ever more honours, […]

The man who turned Arsenal from a local team of amateurs into a full blown league team.

The name Jack Humble is not well known among Arsenal supporters today, and yet he was central to the evolution of the club from being an amateur works team to a professional club recruiting players from around the country, and of course ultimately entering the League in 1893.

He was elected as the first chairman […]

Why match fixing in football only involved the players, not the directors

There were a series of match fixing scandals in the pre-first world war era, and at first the League did everything it could to ignore them, at one stage threatening to ban Henry Norris, the Arsenal chairman, from football, if he ever mentioned match fixing again.

But when the evidence was overwhelming the full blame […]

When Kroenke met the Arsenal fans

On this day in 2013, some Arsenal fans group representatives wrote to Stan Kroenke requesting he honour his pledge made in 2011 to meet Arsenal fans groups. He didn’t.

However his son Josh Kroenke did turn up to a meeting (without warning) on 10 March 2019. That was a fans’ forum at which with head […]

The ultimate proof of why sacking the manager is not always the best plan.

By Tony Attwood

If you ever read my ramblings on Untold Arsenal you might have noticed that I am rather wary of calls for a manager to be removed after a series of poor results.

Partly this is because of the lessons learned from history, for on this day in 1926 Arsenal slipped down to […]

How many different names has Arsenal FC had?

 

On this day in 1914 Arsenal changed its name. But this wasn’t the only change that has ever happened.

We know that Arsenal used the name Dial Square for its first game – but how formally that name was adopted is not sure and it was only used for one match – it at […]

When Arsenal hired entertainers as part of the team

by Tony Attwood

One of the central factors in Sir Henry Norris’ tenure as chairman of Arsenal was making the club break even. When he took it over, it was massively in debt – a debt which Sir Henry himself cleared. From that point on, making a profit was his key aim, for his belief […]

A most talented but tainted footballer

by Tony Attwood

We are used to contemporary reports appearing about footballers who despite their talent are troubled souls, having disputes with their club, being involved in dubious activities that bring them to the attention of the law, leaving clubs after a row, going absent without permission from the club…

But few can equal Henry […]

Searching out the location of Arsenal’s first FA Cup match

by Tony Attwood

For many people history is just the dry recording of facts, and I get a regular stream of correspondence telling me that I should be more concerned about Arsenal in the present day than bothering with all this history stuff.

But I find history interesting, and over the years it has given […]

The falsification of Arsenal’s history by repeating what the last guy said

by Tony Attwood

One of the most fascinating results of studying Arsenal’s history is just how commonly held views about the club’s past turn out to be utterly untrue.

For example, it is reported in many histories of the club that after Arsenal turned professional in 1893, one way or another all the local clubs […]

One of the famous stories about Arsenal turns out not to be true at all.

This is the day in Arsenal’s history in 1925 when supposedly a conversation took place between manager Herbert Chapman and club captain Charlie Buchan as to how the club could counter the approach teams were taking to the new offside law introduced in the summer of 1925. The rule change meant that only two men […]

There are managers who can question referees, and those who have to stay silent

It is not just the fact that some clubs play a more industrial style of football than Arsenal it is also the way in which some managers are able to get away with saying anything they like about referees, while if an Arsenal manager speaks in that way, he is immediately hauled up before the […]

The ex-Arsenal player who gained access to the club and then went too far

As a player at Arsenal Alan Smith was widely admired. A George Graham purchase he delivered as a centre forward in as much as he scored 86 goals in 264 games. Not the very best centre forward rate, but still a very welcome input into the team.

After retiring he took up journalism, appearing on […]

How the role of the football journalist has inverted itself.

On this day in 1892 the man who wrote the column about Woolwich Arsenal FC in the Woolwich Gazette, issued a complaint about how everyone always disagreed with him.

How different that is from today, where the newspapers, broadcasters and bloggers all seek to find common ground and argue that Arsenal is in a desperate […]

Arsenal’s title winning keeper who kept signing, but hardly played

Richard Wright is remembered as a backup goalkeeper in the Arsenal title winning team of 2001/2, playing 12 games – enough to get him a medal. He made his debut on this day in 2001.

Later in his career he was with Manchester City, but despite four years with the club as a player, never […]

The day Arsenal went beyond the concept of Total Football

28 September 2002 is a day that should be commemorated at Arsenal as one of its great anniversaries because this is the day when not only were records broken, but the world of football woke up to what a truly fantastic team Arsenal had built.

Of course the journalists, tutored in years of knocking Arsenal, […]

When Arsenal played Tottenham in the 70s and no one was really interested

It may be hard to imagine but by the mid 1970s the national media were so transfixed by issues relating to player contracts that they hardly bothered to mention, let alone report, north London derby matches. And indeed the crowd seemed to feel much the same way with under 38,000 attending the game on this […]

How we discovered that Arsenal’s early history had been wrongly recorded

A lot of football history consists of one writer taking as gospel what a previous writer has said, rather than anyone either going back and checking facts, or asking “is that actually likely?”

These two approaches were used by the little group of us who formed the Arsenal History Society and the work has resulted […]

Islington council accused of trying to crush Arsenal out of existence

Arsenal’s move from Plumstead to Highbury was not universally liked, and many local residents and shop keepers in Islington objected strongly, even forming a “Defence Committee” and demanding that the local council stop the move.

It was a rather futile approach since the power of the local authority to stop the development of the unwanted […]

Football history is full of strange rises and falls

by Tony Attwood

Having studied a bit of football history over the years I would always say, “don’t predict tomorrow in football, because of what happened today.”

For example, the footballing world was fairly shocked when Leicester won the League in 2016 and journalists jostled with each other for hyperbole. “The greatest footballing story of […]

When Tottenham were found guilty of bad language and the stadium curse

by Tony Attwood

Tottenham’s objections to Arsenal moving to north London were incredibly strong and quite possibly ill-judged, given that Arsenal had been the club which had saved Tottenham when they had opted out of the Southern League, but then failed to be given a place in the Football League. In the re-run of the […]

Scoring in the longest run of consecutive games. Who holds the record?

By Tony Attwood

I have not been able to find in reference books a definitive statement concerning the Arsenal player who has scored in the largest consecutive number of goals in league games for the club, but I suspect it was Reg Lewis who scored for six games in a row at the start of […]

How many bloggers and fans actually know what Arsenal’s motto is

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal’s motto “Victoria Concordia Crescit” was used in the club programme on this day for the first time in 1913, as part of generating a new spirit of togetherness in the club’s first months at Highbury.

It translates as Victory through Harmony, and it is impossible to believe that many of the […]