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Home defeat, 2 wins in last 8, 5 in 6 without a goal. Sack the manager!

On 30 November 1997 the league table looked like this

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts 1 Manchester United 16 10 4 2 40 12 28 34 2 Chelsea 16 10 1 5 35 17 18 31 3 Blackburn Rovers 16 8 6 2 27 17 10 30 4 Leeds United […]

Freedom of contract and limits on transfer fees: a court discussion in 1918.

On this day in 1918 Sir Henry Norris, chair of Arsenal and a director of Fulham FC, began his campaign to become an MP – during the course of which one of his opponents put out a leaflet that criticised Sir Henry saying that while Sir Henry had claimed to be in favour of the […]

Arsenal docked 2 points, a 2-6 home defeat, Adams in prison; a perfect season.

In 1991 Arsenal won the league by seven clear points, and were in fact 14 points ahead of the club in third place. They also went on a 17 match unbeaten run which was suddenly stopped by a 2-6 home defeat to Manchester United in the league cup.

And yet this season also saw the […]

When the idea came to Arsenal: let’s cut ticket prices.

These days we are used to League Cup games being charged at £10 and £20 a ticket, with discounts for juniors and seniors, but it was not always so. In fact it was the low crowd on this day in 2001 for the league cup match which convinced the club that it needed radical action. […]

100 years in the top division: a celebration

As you may know, Arsenal are celebrating 100 years in the top division of the League this year, and as part of that the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association (AISA) recently ran a 100 Years event at Islington Town Hall.

Our guests of honour were Bob Wilson and Alan Smith, along with two directors from Arsenal […]

Imagine Arsenal as a club owned by its fanbase: we nearly got it.

By Tony Attwood

When Henry Norris agreed to take over Arsenal in 1910, in order to avoid the club going into liquidation and thus ceasing to exist as a League club, he did so on the basis that he would fill the gap in the club’s finances, but then sell the club back to the […]

The anniversary of one of the great, great nights of the Wenger years.

25 mins: Henry’s side-footer gives Arsenal the lead 33 mins: Inter equalise after Vieri’s shot is deflected past Lehmann 49 mins: Ljungberg puts Arsenal back in front from Henry’s cross 81 mins: Henry’s solo special gives them a two-goal cushion 87 mins: Arsenal pile forward and Edu slots home the fourth 89 mins: Pires […]

The man who started the three league wins in a row

I can’t help thinking that the name of Reg Stockill should be commemorated by Arsenal even though he only played seven games for us.

But in those seven games he scored four goals, which is not bad going, including a goal that ought to be symbolic to the club – although it isn’t.

For Reg […]

When it comes to football and politics there are some people it is best not to argue with

by Tony Attwood

In studying the life and times of Sir Henry Norris, the man who rescued Arsenal in 1910 and became its chairman, we find a man who would work hard, give generously of his time and money, but not suffer fools gladly. And looking back from nearly 100 years on we find that […]

Arsenal’s worst start to the season for 30 years. Maybe.

According to the Daily Express this week Arsenal have this season suffered their worst start to a season for over 30 years.

Interestingly on this day in 2014 when Arsenal suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United the press also made much of Arsenal’s “poor start” to the season of four wins, three defeats […]

The keeper who let in four in his first match for Arsenal.

On this day in the 1942/3 wartime league Arsenal beat Aldershot 7-4. And the question might be asked, how did Arsenal let in four against Aldershot?

In fact Arsenal had had problems with the keeper’s position all season, and this was their sixth keeper in 13 games. Indeed the struggles they had with this position […]

How quickly the mighty can fall; 6 months on from the first Arsenal double.

Say “1971” to an Arsenal fan, and if she or he knows Arsenal’s history a smile might well emerge, because in the late spring of that year Arsenal won the double, including a famous victory at Tottenham to clinch the title.

And yet, say it concerning the period just six months later and it would […]

Would we still call for the manager to go if we were two points off the top

While there were a lot of “Wenger Out” banners towards the end of the reign of Arsenal’s longest serving manager the club continued to perform well – although not well enough to win the league. On this day in 2016 for example the club continued its unbeaten run which had begun with the second match […]

Arsenal knocking in the goals in the wartime league.

The wartime game between Arsenal and Watford played on this day in 1944 is hardly remembered – if at all. And yet it was an extraordinary season because out of 30 league games played, 16 contained four or more goals, including this defeat of Watford. Notable highlights included Arsenal 6 Brighton 3, Fulham 4 Arsenal […]

From England under 19 international and Arsenal hopeful to Thailand.

The Petroleum Authority of Thailand Rayong Football Club, has probably not been mentioned on this site before but that is where we now find ex-Arsenal player and England international at under 17 and under 19 level, Jay Emmanuel Thomas.

PTT Rayong play in the Thai League and as the name suggests is a company sponsored […]

When the High Court told the FA that it did not have God-like status

Throughout the 1920s the FA acted as if it were the law and could do anything. So bad did matters get that in 1927 on this day the high court itself reminded the FA that it was not able to the law and could not eject people from positions they held, just because they didn’t […]

Not every run of poor results is actually a major crisis

Football seems to have become ever more myopic – whatever the problem is today, that is the BIG problem, and needs to be sorted out with BIG solutions – usually involving dropping half the team and sacking the manager. The thought that this sort of thing just happens, doesn’t seem to occur to supporters or […]

What actually caused the formation of Arsenal football club?

by Tony Attwood

Most people who take any interest in the history of Arsenal FC know that the first match for what might be called an Arsenal team was between Dial Square and Eastern Wanderers. Dial Square we know was the name of the factory within the Royal Arsenal on the south of the Thames […]

“Arsenal get the most injuries”. How the story began almost 100 years ago

By Tony Attwood

On this day in 1920 the Arsenal programme contained a piece by Sir Henry Norris, the club chairman, outlining the club’s array of injuries, and claiming that probably no team had ever suffered so many injuries at one time as Arsenal now had.

The piece was taken up by several newspapers, and […]

The referee with his own team who became a journalist covering Arsenal.

The notion of a referee having his own team and taking them touring around the country playing charity matches seems very odd today but that is what Roston Bourke did. As noted below he later became football correspondent for the Islington Gazette and so wrote regularly about Arsenal.

The anniversaries for today, are printed below.

[…]

Szczesny’s son called Liam, FA bypass court rulings, Grimandi with Vieira, Bin Laden banned by Arsenal

By Tony Attwood

One of the most interesting things about gathering together all these anniversaries is that there can be a very curious mix of connections emerging on one particular day.

And of course a lot of the time I am discovering these things as I go along. The court case mentioned in the headline […]

How personal bitterness can lead to vindictiveness and recriminations

It is always important for a club manager to have a good relationship with his players. When that goes, difficulties arise.

Of course some people can set aside past disputes and disagreements but others seem to retain these for far longer than was necessary.

We don’t really know enough about Herbert Chapman to know if […]

How the first double team fell from grace in just three years.

Arsenal’s decline under Bertie Mee after winning the double in 1971 was one of the strangest and saddest periods in the history of the club. It is one thing to be a poor side, because that is what the club has generally been (as for example in the period from 1919 to 1925, and from […]

The totally bonkers things Arsenal fans were reported to have said in the unbeaten season.

On 31 August 2003 The Times reported the league match against Man City as containing “the worst 45 minutes [by Arsenal] that any of their fans could remember”. It ended Man City 1 Arsenal 2. On 8 November 2003 Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-1 in the 11th league match of the season. The Observer in its […]

The days when Arsenal sold their best players: remembering Geoff Strong

Geoff Strong played for Arsenal from 1957 to 1964 and showed himself to be a singularly accomplished player. Then he was transferred to Liverpool on this day in 1964 – an utterly ludicrous move given that he was performing well with Arsenal and was able to play in a whole variety of positions.

In his […]