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September 2019
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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 […]

When Arsenal were so outraged by the media that they denounced the reporting

The notion that Arsenal might take on the media and complain about the way they report the club probably seems very fanciful these days. After all, even when all the media had taken up the notion that Arsenal only had a budget of £40m this summer, the club did not respond – except when asked […]

Even Thierry Henry struggled to adjust to the Premier League at the start.

I think many people who were not there at the time now assume that Thierry Henry was a success for Arsenal from the moment he came on the pitch for the first time, but this was far from being the case. Henry had to get used to his fellow Arsenal players, the tactics of defences […]

The strange behaviour and goalscoring decline of Adebayor

Adebayor, who on this day in 2006 scored for Arsenal, is not exactly remembered fondly by Arsenal fans because of his exploits in leaving the club and what he did later, but the extraordinary thing about his was that when he was playing, in 104 games he got 46 goals. A ratio of 0.44 goals […]

When the critics turned on Bellerin and said he should never play for Arsenal again.

On this day in 2014 Hector Bellerín made his Champions League debut for Arsenal having made the briefest of league cup appearances for Arsenal the season before.

Following this game, and after a 2-0 defeat by Chelsea on 5 October Arsenal were in 8th position and again there was the usual ill-informed talk of the […]

Did Osama bin Laden really support Arsenal?

Did Osama bin Laden support, the head of Al Qaeda, actually support Arsenal?

Bin Laden is most well known for his role in masterminding the September 11 attacks, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 and prompted the United States to initiate the War on Terror.

But did he actually attend some games […]

What was Arsenal’s most local derby ever?

Looking at that question you might think the answer is either going to be a game against Tottenham, or a game against Leyton Orient. Or maybe Clapton Orient. Or there again against Tottenham in the first world war when they played on our ground.

But no, let’s get rid of the war time games and […]

When the media attempt to influence football’s decisions we are all in trouble

The media of course love to highlight controversy – it gives them something to write about and fill the space without having to do any research at all. It also gets the audience excited, anxious to read the latest instalment.

But when a supposedly serious newspaper launches into an attack on a player, finding him […]

When one of the great Arsenal sides inexplicably fell apart

In 1952/3 Arsenal won the first division title under Tom Whittaker’s management. It meant he had won the league title twice as Arsenal’s manager, and won the FA Cup – exactly the same as achieved by Herbert Chapman and George Allison before him. What’s more in his six years as manager the club had never […]

Fredrik Ljungberg’s 21st anniversary

On this day in 1998 Freddie Ljungberg joined Arsenal as a player. He is now, of course, first team assistant to the manager and since joining from Halmstad in 1998 he has always been a crowd favourite.

He has also retained his long term willingness to relate to the fans – as when two of […]

When the Arsenal team all took drugs, according to their manager

In terms of his historic legacy, Leslie Knighton might best be described as a menace, for he was the manager who some 20 years after he left Arsenal, wrote an autobiography which accused Sir Henry Norris, his boss, of the most awful nefarious deeds, many of which have passed into the mythology of Arsenal, not […]

Was it Charlie Buchan who solved the issue of the new offside law? Probably not.

Following the introduction of the new offside law in the summer of 1925, Arsenal lost 7-0 to Newcastle. It was Herbert Chapman’s first year at the club and the story told by the somewhat unbiased Charlie Buchan, who played inside right in the game, and later went on to become a famous journalist, promoted his […]

When the League started without any agreement as to how they could decide who had won

On this day in 1888 the first ever games were played in the Football League. What makes it particularly interesting is that although the clubs involved had agreed to play each other once at home and once away through the season, there was no agreement as to how the winner should be decided.

Various ideas […]

The proof that a brilliant team without a decent manager will soon fall apart

By Tony Attwood

Details of the many series and articles on Arsenal, and the books we have published, can be found on our home page.

 

It is undoubtedly difficult for many supporters today who complain about Arsenal not being in the Champions League, to realise the depths to which Arsenal has sunk after previous […]

The first match at Highbury; but those maroon shirts were a myth

The final year at Highbury was a good thing for the club to celebrate of course, and the idea of playing in a kit that was the same as worn for the first league match at Highbury, played on this day in 1913, was a good idea too.

Except that the picture that the club […]

The unlikeliest of opponents who beat Arsenal no less than seven times.

On this day in 1992 Wimbledon beat Arsenal – and it wasn’t too much of a shock. This was the first year of the Premier League and Wimbledon had already been in the top tier for six seasons. Arsenal did finish above them in 1992/3, but only by two points. Other clubs in the first […]