Norway abandons Arsenal, and Everton beat us again

Here is a letter that appeared on Untold Arsenal on 6th February 2010 at 1036, from a Norwegian supporter… I love Arsenal since 1976. The beste team ever was with Henry, Vieira, Bergkamp and Pires. I dont see any of them todays Arsenal. I am finished with Arsenal now because i dont think they will …

Chelsea: the biggest con in the history of league football.

I wrote recently about the old story, still propagated by Tottenham supporters, that somehow Arsenal had stolen a place from Tottenham in Division I in 1919.  The article is on this web site if you want to find it – just scroll down after this piece. And then it struck me that since in the …

The year of 2 Evertons and a right of way through the middle of Anfield

Researching the history of football 100 years ago, there are some clubs that just seem to be boring, mundane and everyday, but some which sparkle with life.  Everton is one of the latter. Not that the life was all good and jolly – rather as we look at football 100 or more years ago life …

The “fixed” promotion, the corruption and the match fixing. How the Football League does business

There was a rather strange comment on our sister site Untold Arsenal this week in which an Aston Villa fan said that Arsenal supporters have no right to comment on Villa  when in fact Arsenal had bribed their way into the first division in 1919. I must admit I thought that the old Tiny Totts …

Henry Norris fixes Fulham’s promotion and gets ready to bid for Arsenal

By the end of January 1910 Henry Norris – owner of Fulham FC – was firmly established as a man who was talking an awful lot about Woolwich Arsenal FC and its impending demise. And as always happens in such circumstances journalists went a-digging. For those that were interested there were plenty of strange things …

100 years have gone by and we are still beating Bolton by two goals to nil

And so, just as we did twice this year, 100 years ago we beat Bolton 2-0.  Not the exact self-same scores of course, because this was the score at the Manor Ground, and we lost the game in Bolton (when Bolton actually did play in Bolton – unlike today) 0-3 back in September.  But it …

The gulf between the top 2 divisions 100 years ago was as big as today

Woolwich Arsenal v Bolton W, 29 January 1910 After the success last weekend with a victory against low-flying Middlesbrough Arsenal played bottom of the table Bolton for the next home match. Bolton were one of the original members of the League, having been formed 1874, 12 years before Arsenal.  While Arsenal started out as Dial …

100 years ago to the day, Norris expresses his first interest in Arsenal

On 22 January 1910 Arsenal won a league match (a rarity in itself in a rotten season), but events elsewhere overshadowed the win. However I have a real feeling that very few people actually realised just how desperate things were that weekend – and indeed if one didn’t go to either of the meetings on …

Will Arsenal be relegated? Arsenal v Boro, 100 years ago

There’s no indication that the Woolwich Arsenal players had anything to do with the two momentous meetings held in Woolwich Town Hall on 22 January 1910 – the meetings which set in train the events that ended up with the formation of the modern Arsenal.  After all they had a game to play, and they …

Without the events of 100 years ago today, there would be no Arsenal

22 January 1910 is a date that should be remembered by every Arsenal supporter, and yet somehow it is just another day.  I doubt that many other web sites will remember this day – and indeed even Arsenal FC seem to have forgotten it. But this was the day, 100 years ago, when when Woolwich …

Football 1.0 – what did it look like?

Football 1.0 is a shorthand way of defining the organisation of clubs at the start of the professional era. The defining moment was January 1884 when Preston NE played Upton Park in the FA Cup, and following a complaint from Upton Park that Preston paid their players, Preston were ejected. Other clubs were also informally …

Arsenal in the FA Cup – 100 years ago.

I have a special feeling about 16th January 1910, as it is the day on which Making the Arsenal (the novel) starts its story.  Jacko Jones has been sent off to wildest Plumstead (then part of Kent, not a part of London) to watch the FA Cup first round match, Woolwich Arsenal v Watford). Lacking …

Arsenal plan to drop white sleeves from their shirts – again

There is a story going around that Arsenal are going to come out with another special home shirt, in the same way that they did for the last season at Highbury. This time it is to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the start of the club in December 1886 as Dial Square. The story goes …

Arsenal take on Watford in the Cup 100 years ago

Next up for Arsenal – Watford in the First Round of the FA Cup, January 15th 1910. In 1910 there was only a First and Second Division of the Football League, and so the clubs in minor leagues (most prominently the Southern League which had two divisions) played out ties in the preliminary rounds, and …

Arsenal’s financial problems: we’re not the only ones in trouble.

The main news today (12 January 2010) concerns the further revelations about Manchester United and the way in which their owners have not only led them into unprecedented debt, but how simultaneously they have personally taken £20 million out of the club. If you have followed my ramblings on the subject of Arsenal 100 years …

Stories circulate about Arsenal’s financial problems.

10 January 1910 and the death of Woolwich Arsenal gets closer and closer The desperate hope at the end of 1909 had been that Woolwich Arsenal could return to the winning streak (well, at least, a non-losing streak) that they had had in late November and early December. A few good wins, the crowds would …

Preparing for Sheffield United. Woolwich Arsenal in 1910

100 years ago no matches were being postponed so probably the weather was not so troublesome as it was 100 years later.  Mind you 100 years ago it would have taken a volcano or fog to postpone a game.  Health and safety had not yet been invented. So next up was Sheffield United away – …

If we could go back to Arsenal 100 years ago, what would the club look like?

January 1910, and Arsenal played in Woolwich. We were in the First Division, but had never won any of the major trophies, such as the League or the Cup.   The nearest we had come to was being in the semi final of the FA Cup two years running. The ground could hold around 33,000, but …

2010: the year of three major Arsenal Anniversaries

Anniversaries come in all shapes and sizes. Just a month ago, at the end of 2009, we had the 100th anniversary of the first ever league match against Tottenham Hotspur.  In 2010 we have three big ones. First in 2010 is the 100th anniversary of the forming of the modern club.   In January 1910 Woolwich …

A miserable start to the new year for Arsenal

1st January 1910, the start of what was to be the most momentous year in the history of  Woolwich Arsenal FC.  The year that changed everything.  The year that saw the birth of the modern Arsenal FC. It was a traumatic year, and it started badly. Already near the foot of the table, Arsenal went …

A miserable end to the year for some, great excitement for others.

We might be having a few celebrations at the end of 2009, but one hundred years ago the outlook was not so fine for Woolwich Arsenal supporters. We had had our min-revival that had lifted us out of the relegation zone, but then, just when it looked like we could make a concerted effort to …

Do you know anything about Woolwich Arsenal reserves? If so please help.

What happened in terms of reserve football 100 years ago? The notion of a club playing in several leagues at once was well established,  but did the notion of having a reserve team playing football in their own league also exist in 1909? The edition of Arsenal A Complete Record which I have includes a …

27th December 1909. Woolwich Arsenal vs Liverpool

After two home defeats (against Notts County and Newcastle) in the Christmas period, 1909, Woolwich Arsenal finally managed to salvage a point from a home game, drawing one all in front of 15,000. It was the very least needed, given that the next match on January 1 1910 was Liverpool away. The only surprise in …

Liverpool: a team meandering

Next up for Woolwich Arsenal 100 years ago, after the disaster of Christmas Day, was Liverpool at home. At that time everyone knew the background: Liverpool were formed by the left-overs of Everton. When Everton moved out of Anfield Road and trotted off to the Goodison Park, a bunch of malcontents stayed behind and formed …

How could we lose to Newcastle on Xmas Day?

How indeed! But that is what happened at Christmas 1909.  The club had been favoured with three home games in a row.  Newcastle had to travel south on Christmas Eve and probably stay in a grotty hotel.   A trip to Woolwich was called “a trip to hell” by the northern clubs because of the problems …