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May 2020
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Two league titles and an FA Cup: Arsenal’s forgotten manager.

In 1930 Arsenal came 14th in Division One, their final poor league season before going on a run that saw them come first five times, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th once each in the next nine seasons before the outbreak of war.

Quite what would have happened to the club if the second world war […]

How the underlying desire of anti-Arsenal media always remains the same

It was quickly forgotten, as all such nonsense stories are, but Arsenal’s preparations for the Uefa Europa League final against Chelsea in Baku were reported in some of the media before the game to have been disrupted by an approach by Barcelona to recruit Unai Emery as the replacement of Ernesto Valverde as head coach.

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Whatever happened to Andrey Arshavin?

Today is Andrey Arshavin’s birthday – the Arsenal History Society wish him many happy returns. He’s now 39.

After leaving Arsenal Andrey went to Zenit, first on loan then permanently, playing 66 games, scoring nine goals in the Russian Premier League. Then he moved to Kuban Krasnodar for a season before, for his final gig, […]

The Arsenal managers who resigned after winning the league, and promotion.

On this day Jo Shaw, who had taken Arsenal to the 1934 title, resigned from his post in order to return to his job of managing the reserves.

He had in fact been made manager upon the death of Herbert Chapman as a temporary measure. The club wanted George Allison to be manager but he […]

The life and times of Gervinho

Gervinho whose birthday it is today, played for Arsenal across two seasons from 2011 to 2013, playing 46 games in all and scoring nine goals in the league. He then moved on to Roma, Hebei China Fortune and finally in 2018, Parma where he is still playing

He was one of those players who got […]

The two great Arsenal managers who are mostly forgotten

When we think of the names of great Arsenal managers we naturally think of Chapman, Graham and Wenger. If we are being generous we might include Bertie Mee who won three trophies, but then we would have to ignore the awful decline of the team under him, and his vision of reducing the size of […]

Creative football wins, as well as Xhaka’s determination

Catenaccio was one of the many deaths that football suffered across the years. Man for man marking with a sweeper behind and having bored everyone in the ground senseless using the counter attack to get a 1-0 win.

Inter Milan were the masters of the approach in the 1960s, and their winning of the European […]

How Arsenal v Tottenham games show the animosity was limited early on

On this day in 1912 and again on this day in 1919 Arsenal played Tottenham in friendly games. At the time of the first match Arsenal were playing in Woolwich, by the time of the second game Arsenal were at Highbury.

What is interesting is that much has been made of Tottenham’s objection to Arsenal […]

Those who have hurt Arsenal from within

Arsenal has, for much of its existence, been a club which others have sought to damage, both from within and without.

The earliest split came with the move to pay the players in 1891, which in turn led to a battle for control of the club. At that time the club was run by a […]

Whatever happened to Le Jeff?

Jeff Reine-Adelaide transferred from Lens for around £3m along with Yassin Fortune on this day in 2015. Due to injuries he never played a League game for Arsenal but played six cup games in the 2016/17 season

Adélaïde joined Angers in France for the second half of the 2017/18 season and on 26 July 2018 […]

Whatever happened to Sheffield Wednesday?

Our “Whatever happened to…” series preceding the day’s Arsenal anniversary files normally covers a player that we haven’t heard of for some time, but for a change (and because increasingly I’m finding we’ve already covered the players that might be remembered and thus whose life beyond Arsenal might be of interest), I thought I’d try […]

One player does not make a team: the tragedy of Brady

One player does not make a team.

Never has that been more true of Liam Brady, a stunningly brilliant player who came to Arsenal at exactly the wrong time, and played under exactly the wrong managers. If only the club had been as willing to get rid of managers in Brady’s day as they have […]

Whatever happened to Cliff Bastin?

Cliff Bastin (who was signed on this day in 1929) was one of our absolute all-time great Arsenal players, up there at the very top with Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.

And he would have played many many more games for Arsenal had football not been stopped for the second world war, which broke out […]

How the fake news travels – especially when Arsenal create it about themselves.

When Arsenal turned itself into a professional club in 1891 – the first club in the south so to do – it was recognised by the club’s Committee that some of the clubs that it had been playing in recent years, as it had risen to be the leading force in football in the south […]

The Arsenal Day I will always remember more than all the others put together

By Tony Attwood

I guess most of us have Arsenal moments that we always remember, maybe several jostling for position at the top of the list of our “most memorable” listen. But for myself, for the last 16 years there has only been one. This day in 2004, the last day of the unbeaten season.

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Arsenal v Blackpool 1899 report (slightly delayed)

By Tony Attwood

Peter Duerden, a Blackpool FC supporter and historian, recently got in touch asking about the Arsenal team for a match against Blackpool in 1899 – I’ve naturally done what I can to help. In return Peter has very kindly taken the trouble to provide local newspaper reports from Blackpool for the games, […]

When Arsenal asked Tottenham if they fancied helping to rescue the club

It obviously seems utterly impossible today, but on this day in 1910 the financial situation at Woolwich Arsenal FC had become so dire that the club’s directors approached other clubs to see if their directors wanted to take over the club, or at least invest in it.

At the time there were no rules against […]

11 May: Two of the biggest occasions in Arsenal’s history, both normally ignored

Of course we naturally remember the days when great Arsenal matches were played and on this day in history such as 11 May 2005: Arsenal 7 Everton 0, and 11 May 2002: Arsenal 4 Everton 3. If you’ve forgotten why these are so well remembered, details are below.

But on this day in 1910 and […]

The man who single handedly destroyed Arsenal’s reputation

By Tony Attwood

It is a tradition, and a worthy one I must admit, that one does not speak ill of the dead. But sometimes one comes across people who in one act have done so much harm to others, that there is nothing one can do except point out the awful things they did.

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The impossible Reg Lewis: 42 goals in 23 games for Arsenal

Arsenal won the 1941-2 London League; one of the leagues played during the second world war, and it seems appropriate that this league season ended on this day, while we are still thinking about VE Day.

This season he played 23 league games and scored 42 goals! These included a run of seven games in […]

We won the league in Manchester on this day

8 May 2002: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1 (Wiltord scoring) in front of 67,580. This came just four days after the FA Cup final on 4 May in which Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0 with Parlour and Ljungberg getting the goals.

We were unbeaten away all season, and as a result of this win had won […]

Celebrating the memory of Joe Shaw: club captain and manager

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Joe Shaw, one of the most important servants the club has ever had. Sadly he is hardly remembered these days, but he should be. Here is our announcement in the anniversary files, with a link to a piece about Joe Shaw

7 May 1883: Joe Shaw was […]

Sports management and Arsenal, from the club’s earliest day

In the earliest days of football, sports management did not exist. A football club put on matches, tried to get big crowds, and then hoped that the money from the gate receipts was greater than the cost of running the club. And that was by and large it.

If not enough money was raise then […]

Arsenal’s points per game decline, and the anniversaries for 6 May.

Today is the anniversary of Arsene Wenger’s last home match as manager. His final season – 2017/18 – ended with Arsenal 6th in the league.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts 1 Manchester City 38 32 4 2 106 27 79 100 2 Manchester United 38 25 6 7 68 28 40 […]

The Arsenal history quiz for 5 May. How much Arsenal history do you know?

Here are the quiz questions for today. All the answers are to be found in the anniversary files after the questions.

1: Arsenal chose their new name – “Woolwich Arsenal” on this day. What name did they have before this?

2: Arsenal played their first ever European match on this day. Who was it against?

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