Arsenals Top Seasons 1933-34 – Our 6th Best

This was a season that was over-shadowed by the death of  Arsenal’s manager Herbert Chapman – he passed away of pneumonia on January 6, 1934. He was 55 at the time of his untimely death.

This is a short exert from GN5’s posts on Arsenal’s best managers.

Arsenal Football Club is open to receive applications for the position of Team Manager. He must possess the highest qualifications for the post, both as to ability and personal character. Gentlemen whose sole ability to build up a good side depends on the payment of heavy and exorbitant transfer fees need not apply.”

 Herbert Chapman moved to Arsenal soon after, attracted both by Arsenal’s larger crowds and a salary of £2,000, double what he earned at Huddersfield Town. Arsenal’s league form was indifferent but in 1927 they reached the FA Cup Final losing 1–0 to Cardiff City. That same year, Arsenal became embroiled in a scandal over illegal footballers’ pay. Sir Henry Norris was indicted for his part and banned from football, but Chapman escaped punishment.

 He showed his cunning during negotiations held in a hotel when looking to buy David Jack from Bolton. Chapman met with the barman and gave him two pounds and then said “This is my assistant Mr Wall; he will drink whiskey and dry ginger, I will drink gin and tonic. Our guests will drink whatever they choose but you will give them double of everything while Mr. Wall’s drinks and mine will contain no liquor.” His cunning worked as Arsenal paid 3,000 pounds less than Bolton had first asked.

 He went on to establish Arsenal as English footballs dominate force and his football concepts and ideas served as a template for teams and managers all over the globe. He won the first trophy for the club winning the FA Cup in 1930. His 1930/31 team scored an incredible 127 goals – still a club record. He championed innovations such as floodlighting, European competitions and numbered shirts.

 Herbert Chapman’s league record –

Games 336, Won 157, Drawn 84, Lost 95,

Goals for 736, Goals against 541,

Goals for per game 2.19, Goals against per game 1.61

Points won 59.3%

Average League Position 6.25

Total # of trophies won – 2 League titles, 1 FA Cup, 3 Charity Shields.

A bronze bust of Herbert Chapman was crafted by Sir Jacob Epstein and was commissioned and paid for by 12 of Chapman’s friends shortly before he died in 1934.

In June 2006 the bust was temporarily removed and two exact replicas were made by Morris Singer Art Founders in Braintree, Essex. One of the replicas now resides in the Diamond Club entrance at Emirates Stadium, and the other was presented to Chapman’s former team, Huddersfield Town in 2008 to commemorate their centennial. This bust is housed in the entrance to the Galpharm Stadium.

The original bust was returned to Highbury and forms part of the concierge entrance in the Grade II-Listed East Stand to the Highbury Square development.

courtesy Tessa Heywood

On the same day as Chapman’s death Arsenal played Sheffield Wednesday in a top of the table battle. As word filtered around the crowd of 34, 000 inside Highbury they became increasingly subdued. The players wore black armbands and 4 trumperters played “The Last Post” as the crowd stood to attention. Six of Chapman’s favourite players – Jack, Hulme, Hapgood, Lambert, Bastin and James carried his cofffin at the funeral. The card on the teams’ wreath read “To the boss from the players. Our hearts are sad and our hopes are well-nigh shattered, but your inspiration, memory, and affection remain ours forever”

Reserve manager Joe Shaw was given temporary control of the team for the rest of the season and they  managed a 1-1 draw against Sheffied Wednesday – but proceeded to lose the following 3 games after which they recovered and won nine of the following 11 league matches.

With David Jack moving on, Arsenal had signed a replacement for the talented forward in Ted Drake, who joined the club from Southampton in the latter stages of 1933-34 for  £ 6,500. Other new faces such as Jack Crayston and Wilf Copping also arrived. Cliff Bastin, George Male, James and Roberts were still there, as was goalkeeper Frank Moss, although Alex James had started to become injury prone.

The title was wrapped up with a game to spare,  for the second consecutive season Arsenal clinched the title at Stamford Bridge. Alex James and Cliff Bastin netted to give Arsenal the single point they needed in a 2-2 draw with Chelsea on April 28, 1934.

Bastin and Ray Bowden shared the top goalscorer honours that season, with just 13 league goals each. George Male was the only ever-present throughout the campaign, having been successfully converted to a right back by Chapman.

Some trivia.

The Dionne sisters, the first quintuplets to survive beyond infancy, were born in Canada. Two of the quints Annette and Cecile are still alive today at the age of 84.

Drake, a legend at Arsenal for his 1930s goal scoring feats, was also the first Chelsea manager to win the Championship. His 1955 triumph was the only time the Blues won the League before they became steeped in oil money.

Written by GunnerN5

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18 Responses to Arsenals Top Seasons 1933-34 – Our 6th Best

  1. LB says:

    So Arsenal have won the league twice at Stamford Bridge, well you learn something new every day.

    And if that isn’t enough new information I find out that Ted Drake was the first manager to win the league for Chelsea and who says they have no history………..

  2. VP of Oz says:

    another great post GN5, we are much the richer for it.
    As for Drake, still very popular today…

  3. chas says:

    Nice one, GN5.

    I was amazed that we’d won the League at Stamford Bridge twice, too.
    I suppose winning the League so many times there’s bound to be a few away grounds in the list of where it was finally clinched – but still a surprise.

    One story I enjoyed from that season was an early example of fake news (not deliberate, just miscommunication, maybe) as documented by the Arsenal history website.

    http://www.thearsenalhistory.com/?p=15151

  4. GunnerN5 says:

    The fake news story is great Chas – thanks for digging it up.

    VP the Drake video was very inspiring, he restores ones faith in humanity – a good Canadian boy.

  5. chas says:

  6. chas says:

    CSKA Moscow VEB Arena.

    Four towers have been added to each corner of the arena. A 38-storey high-rise towers in the south-western sector, resembling the UEFA Cup won by the CSKA team in 2005.

  7. chas says:

  8. chas says:

  9. chas says:

  10. Eddie says:

    spurs v red mancs in fa semi
    that’s 2 out of 3 teams that I strongly dislike, no result would make me happy

  11. Aaron says:

    Chas,
    Thank you for doing this series. It is fascinating reading.
    Got me wondering about number 1, but then again we ALL know. Maybe…..

  12. chas says:

    Aaron
    It”s GN5”s work, not mine.

  13. chas says:

    NEW POST

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