Arsenal finally remember Norris, but get the facts all mixed up

If you were at the Ems on Sunday, and bought a programme, you’ll know that there was an article over three pages about Henry Norris, written by “Highly respected football writer Brian Glanville”. I’m commenting on the piece because his version of events is so different from that which appears day by day on this …

And suddenly everything goes wrong for Arsenal

So there we were, 100 years ago, with the shares in the new Arsenal Football and Athletic Club on sale, and the existing owners anxious to sell to the local populace, when suddenly… Everything had to stop. On 7th May 1910 King Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria, died.  And that meant everything but everything …

Charlie Buchan appears on the radar

Charlie Buchan was known to be an up and coming footballer in 1910.  He was also known to have an  independent mind, and to be an educated man, who wanted to train as a teacher. Buchan played  some reserve matches  for Woolwich Arsenal in 1910 but didn’t settle, undoubtedly because of Arsenal’s financial problems, and  …

We should sack Wenger: he’s as bad as Herbert Chapman

I can’t be 100% sure about this, because while writing this blog I am not only not at home, I am not even in England, so I am lacking the usual reference materials that are at my disposal as I jot down my thoughts. But I think it is true that for those who feel …

Shares in Arsenal available now. £1 each. Five for the price of three

The shares in the club we know as Arsenal went on sale 100 years ago this week – it was the third attempt in 1910 to launch a new club – and the one that was the most serious. The new company being formed to replace the club that was teetering into administration 100 years …

End of season feelings, 100 years ago and today.

Today’s Sponsor: Gooner Gifts – everything for the real Arsenal fan ——————- May 2010: some Arsenal supporters are expressing discontent.  Equally many are very happy with the progress of the team, seeing the progress as reaching a moment of great excitement with so many of the youngsters who joined us six or seven years ago …

Chelsea relegated, but Arsenal’s future remains in doubt

The final results of the 1909/1910 season were in and it was indeed Chelsea who went down from the first division.  They  had simply run out of games while in  the final week others were finishing off their unplayed  matches. It finished… 18th Woolwich Arsenal 31 points 19th Chelsea 29 points 20th Bolton Wanderers 24 …

30 April 1910: the day the new Arsenal is launched

It would be great to report that the new Arsenal – the Arsenal that became the club we know and love today, was launched with a huge fanfare, wild parties in the streets, dancing on the lawn and the rest. But it wasn’t. Saturday 30th April 1910 was the final day of the football season …

Henry Norris’ house burgled: at least it says so in the book

If you have read the book, “Making the Arsenal” you might recall that just after Woolwich Arsenal’s season ends Henry Norris’ house was burgled. The story then goes on to describe who entered  the house, what they found, and the insight that it gives into Norris’ life and his political ambitions. The novel is of …

As an Arsenal fan 100 years ago today you would be looking to the heavens

In fact everyone was looking to the heavens 100 years ago today, because Haley’s Comet was in the skies, and so bright that it could be seen all day as well as being the dominant object through the night – brighter even than the full moon. The Earth in fact, was moving in an orbit …

Arsenal prepare for the close season in fear and trepidation

With one more saturday of the season to go, but no game to play, Woolwich Arsenal could watch the rest of the world of football, and look at the shambles of their own finances, and wonder. In the league itself, Bolton Wanderers were already relegated, and Aston Villa had won the title. At the bottom …

23rd April 1910. Arsenal safe, but not covered in honour

23 April 1910 was a curious date for Woolwich Arsenal. It was their last game of the season – one week ahead of most other clubs. The one issue of interest to Arsenal had been settled a week earlier – they were not going to be relegated, and so this match hardly mattered an inch. …

The origin of wholesale corruption in football

Today’s Sponsor: “Making the Arsenal” – the most original book on Arsenal FC ever. . Today if an Arsenal supporter ever does think of Preston North End, it might be in the knowledge that they were the first Invincibles – unbeaten in the very first season of league football.   With the black and white 19th …

Arsenal safe: but now the real worry. Will they survive the summer?

With the draw at Tottenham in the penultimate game at season, Woolwich Arsenal were safe for one more season. The crowd at Tottenham had finally been published at 39,900, although the feeling  was that it was probably much higher.   Either way the figure was a record for Tottenham, and revealed that the near London clubs …

Arsenal avoid relegation 100 years ago

The first ever Tottenham v Arsenal match at the White Hart Lane ground ended 1-1, 100 years ago.   With that result Woolwich Arsenal were safe for another season – although it had hardly been a classic year. The result also meant that Tottenham were probably safe, but that was dependent on the results in …

Meandering down White Hart Lane 100 years ago

By Tony Attwood As a youngster I lived just off White Hart Lane, on Devonshire Hill Lane.  If you are not familiar with the area, let me explain. The two Lanes meander, going through sudden 90 degree turns for no apparent reason while roads of different names suddenly take over straight ahead.  At one point …

What’s Woolwich like: thinking back to our origins

As we build up to Tottenham v Arsenal in 2010, so 100 years ago fans were getting ready for the first ever Tottenham v Arsenal league game at Tottenham, played on 15 April 1910. The importance of the match could not be overplayed.  A draw for Arsenal would see them more or less safe in …

11th April 1910. The football world cries “cheat” as Arsenal beat the champions

Woolwich Arsenal 1, Aston Villa 0. Played early monday evening, in front of a crowd of just 8000.   And certain sectors of the footballing establishment went beserk. If you have read the report of the game from two days before when Woolwich Arsenal drew with low-lying Bury, you’ll know that it left the table looking …

April 9th, 1910. Arsenal teetering on the edge 100 years ago

Woolwich Arsenal 0 Bury 0 changed the picture at the foot of the table. Bury……………………… Played 34 Points 29 Middlesbrough……… Played 34 Points 28 Woolwich Arsenal…….Played35 Points 28 Tottenham Hotspur…..Played 34 Points 27 Bristol City………………Played 34 Points 27 —————————————————————- Chelsea……………………Played 35 Points 27 Bolton Wanderers……..Played 35 Points 22 . Total number of games to be …

The Arsenal debt, 100 years ago to the day

100 years ago to the day, Arsenal revealed just how much money was needed to buy the club and pay off the debts in an honourable fashion (rather than go into administration and leave everyone out of pocket – in the style that Leeds did a few years back). Arsenal’s debt was clocked in at …

The Dark History of Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur: the dark history How an underhand strategy and a desire to rewrite history has transformed how people think about football in London. To begin, somewhere near the start, and take you into an interesting world of politics and sport unlike anything you’d see today in football, poker online or any professional sport… In …

As Woolwich Arsenal try to escape relegation we meet Bury

100 years ago we were desperate to get out of relegation trouble.  The club had looked doomed in March 1910, but then a victory away at Chelsea on Bank Holiday Monday, and a draw at Bristol City (two other clubs near the bottom) made it possible for us to get out. Next up was Bury. …

100 years ago we also won 1-0, but we were after something very different

. On 2nd April 2010 Woolwich Arsenal went to Bristol, to play City, and came back with a 1-0 victory.  McGibbon, the hero of the previous weekend (which was Easter, 100 years back) was not playing, presumably with an injury picked up at Chelsea. The goal was scored by Lawrence, the inside left, playing number …

Bristol C v Woolwich Arsenal, 2 April 1910

Bristol City away So having given ourselves a lifeline by beating Chelsea away, and with just a handful of games to go, Woolwich Arsenal had to take on Bristol City. As an away trip this was a rarity since leaving aside the two London clubs Arsenal’s away games were long distance affairs to the north.  …