What is the one thing most likely to get us 4th?

January 14, 2019

It’s a slow day on the Arsenal front.

Saturday’s limp and pitiful performance has left everyone in a state of ‘Meh, whatever’.

Let’s have a poll to relieve this listlessness ….

(Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

Please add any other (more sensible) answers to the question in the comments below.

chas

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An Arsenal Blast from the Past No. 14 Arsenal’s FA Cup Final History

May 16, 2014

Original FA Cup 001

Tomorrow Arsenal plays Hull City in their record eighteenth FA Cup Final appearance; they are tied with Manchester United. Hull City will be making their first appearance.

Here is a brief accounting of our Cup Final appearances.

 

1926-1927 – Arsenal vs Cardiff City

Arsenal’s first final, but sadly we lost 0-1 and it’s the only time the FA Cup left England.

This was also the first time that there was community signing at a FA Cup Final.

The tradition of signing “Abide with Me” which was written in 1847 by a vicar from Devon also had its debut performance.

FA Cup Song Sheet 1927 001

 

1929-1930 – Arsenal vs Huddersfield Town

Our first FA Cup victory, and first ever trophy, we won 2-0 on goals by Alex James and Jack Lambert. This was the start of one on our most successful decades, we were led by Herbert Chapman undoubtedly the greatest Manger of his time and arguably Arsenal’s best ever Manager. The Final was interrupted by a fly over of the German airship Graf Zeppelin.

 

1931-1932 – Arsenal vs Newcastle United

Our second loss we were beaten 1-2 with Bob John scoring our only goal.

In the thirty eighth minute with Arsenal winning 1-0 Newcastle attacked down the right wing, a long pass appeared to go over the line but it was hooked into the middle and they scored an easy equaliser. The linesman was ninety feet away and the referee sixty feet but the referee still gave Newcastle the goal. Newsreel confirmed that the ball had crossed the line.

 

1935-1936 – Arsenal vs Sheffield United

Our second victory we won 1-0 with Ted Drake scoring our goal.

Having won the League Championship three seasons in a row we now added our second FA Cup to our trophy collection. Herbert Chapman had died suddenly two years earlier and George Allison was now our manager. It was our sixth success in League and Cup in seven seasons.

 

1949-1950 – Arsenal vs Liverpool

Our third victory we won 2-0 with Reg Lewis scoring both goals.

This was the era of the Compton brothers, Denis and Leslie, both were famous footballers and cricketers. They played in both sports for England with Leslie not making his football debut for England until he was thirty eight years old.

 

1951-1952 – Arsenal vs Newcastle United

Our third loss we were beaten 0-1.

Newcastle became the second club to win the Cup in successive years after Blackburn Rovers in 1890 and 1891. Arsenal was down to ten men in the thirty fifth minute after Wally Barnes was injured, Newcastle scored the only goal of the game six minutes from time. Winston Churchill made the Cup presentation to Newcastle; he is the only Prime Minster to have made the presentation at Wembley.

 

1970-1971 – Arsenal vs Liverpool

Our fourth victory we won 2-0 with goals by Eddie Kelly and Charlie George.

Bertie Mee Double 001

This was indeed Red Letter day for Arsenal, having won the League Championship at White Hart Lane the victory secured our first League and Cup double. We were drawn away in every round of the competition and needed a replay to beat Leeds United in the semi-final. Charlie George scored his unforgettable winning goal from twenty five yards out in the twenty first minute of extra time.

 

1971-1972 – Arsenal vs Leeds United

Our fourth loss we were beaten 0-1.

This was a disappointing day for Arsenal but it set up the first stage of the “Double” for Leeds. They went to Wolverhampton just forty eight hours later needing only a draw to clinch the League Championship but to their disappointment they lost 2-1.

 

1977-1978 – Arsenal vs Ipswich Town

Our fifth loss we were beaten 0-1.

This was the fiftieth Cup Final and Arsenal was the odds on favourites to win their fifth FA Cup but Ipswich, managed by Bobby Robson, had other thoughts. They reduced Arsenal to nothing more than a supporting role and won the game with a goal in the seventy sixth minute but they also hit the post or bar on three other occasions.

 

1978-1979 – Arsenal vs Manchester United

Our fifth victory we won 3-2 with goals by Brian Talbot, Frank Stapleton and Alan Sunderland.

The game was described as the “Five Minute Final” a routine heavy weight bout with a finish that matched the “Matthews Final” in raw excitement. Arsenal led 2-0 with less than five minutes remaining when Manchester United scored two goals in 115 seconds. Extra-time appeared inevitable until Liam Brady, who was the architect of Arsenal’s first two goals picked up the ball straight from the re-start. He passed to Graham Rix, on the left, who centered to Alan Sunderland and he slid the ball into the net for the winning goal.

 

1979-1980 – Arsenal vs West Ham United

Our sixth loss we were beaten 0-1.

One of the most disappointed Arsenal fans on this day was GunnerN5 – I drove, on my own, four hundred miles through the mountains from Coeur D’Alene, Idaho to Cranbook, British Columbia. I had booked a hotel room in Cranbrook as the game was not being shown in the USA. Even a bottle of Macallan could not mask my disappointment and the return journey, the next day, was one of the longest and loneliest drives of my life.

 

1992-1993 – Arsenal vs Sheffield Wednesday

Our sixth victory we won 2-1 with goals by Ian Wright, Wright, Wright and Andy Linighan.

Arsenal became the first club to win both the FA Cup and the League Cup in one season but Sheffield United would prefer not to talk about that as they were the team that lost to Arsenal in both Finals. Andy Lineghan headed home the winning goal from a Paul Merson corner kick in the last minute of extra time

 

1997-1998 – Arsenal vs Newcastle United

Our seventh victory we won 2-0 with goals by Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka.

arsene-wenger_double

Arsenal finally beat Newcastle in a FA Cup Final having lost to them in both 1932 and 1952. This was Arsene Wengers first full season as Arsenal manager and he ended the season with a fist full of silver after winning both the FA Cup and The League Championship to secure Arsenals second “Double” season.

 

2000-2001 – Arsenal vs Liverpool

Our seventh loss we were beaten 1-2 with Freddie Ljungberg scoring our only goal.

Arsenal dominated the game but Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1, thus winning the FA Cup for the sixth time. It was the second trophy of their treble-winning season of 2000–01: they had won the Football League Cup in late February and would win the UEFA Cup four days later. As well as being the first FA Cup Final to be staged outside of England, it was also the first in which the managers of both teams were from outside the British Isles – Liverpool’s Gérard Houllier and Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger both coming from France.

 

2001-2002 – Arsenal vs Chelsea

Our eighth victory we won 2-0 with goals by Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg.

Ljungberg, having also scored in the 2001 final, became the first man to score goals in successive FA Cup Finals since Tottenham Hotspur’s Bobby Smith, who scored in 1961 and 1962. The match took place with one week remaining in the Premier League calendar for the 2001–02 season. Arsenal were in first position, but still needed a point from their final two games to secure the championship, which they achieved in their next match with victory over second-placed Manchester United. It was Arsene Wengers second and Arsenals third League and Cup double.

 

2002-2003 – Arsenal vs Southampton

Our ninth victory we won 1-0 with Robert Pires scoring the only goal.

The Gunners won their second Cup in 2 years with a dominant performance over Southampton. The gulf in class between the 2 teams was not evident in the score line as Arsenal won by the single goal, a scrambled shot by Robert Pires. The last 7 minutes of the game saw Arsenal retain almost constant possession accompanied by a string of cheers from their supporters. Southampton had a mere 2 chances to score. the last of which came in the dying seconds as Ashley Cole saved the day with a goal line clearance.

 

2004-2005 – Arsenal vs Manchester United

Our tenth victory we won a penalty shootout 5-4 with Patrick Vieira scoring the decisive penalty.

The game was dominated by Manchester United who did everything but score a goal, Arsenals defence was stubborn to the end and forced the game into a penalty shootout.

Van Nistelrooy took the first penalty for Manchester United, in front of the United fans, and sent Lehmann the wrong way to give United the early advantage. Lauren then converted the next penalty for Arsenal, before Scholes stepped up to take United’s second, only to see it saved by Lehmann, diving low to his right. The next six penalties were all scored – Ljungberg, Van Persie and Cole for Arsenal, Ronaldo, Rooney and Keane for Manchester United – leaving Vieira with the opportunity to win the FA Cup for Arsenal in his last match for the club before moving to Juventus. Although Carroll guessed the correct way to dive, Vieira’s kick was just out of his reach, giving Arsenal their 10th FA Cup. Manchester felt aggrieved to have lost a game where they outplayed Arsenal – but frankly who gives a damn?

 

2013-2014 – Arsenal vs Hull City

The game is still to be played.

The Cup is still to be raised.

The story is still to be written.

FA Cup Trophy

 

GunnerN5


Arsenal’s Greatest Forwards – Day 2

July 10, 2013

Continuing our Summer series of articles in search of Arsenal’s greatest ever team, this week we begin our quest for the greatest forwards to include in our team.  Don’t forget to take the opportunity to choose your personal favourite striker from an earlier era by voting in the poll at the end of the week.

4. Alex James: 1929-1937.

Alex made 261 appearances over an 8 year period and scored 27 goals.

Born in Mossend, Lanarkshire, Alex started his career with local youth clubs.

Alex joined Raith Rovers in 1922, where he spent three seasons, recording nearly one hundred League appearances, before moving to Preston North End for £3,000 in 1925.

Alex JamesHe spent four years at the Second Division side, scoring 55 goals in 157 appearances; however towards the end of his stay there he fell into several disputes with the club’s management, partly over wages – at the time, the Football League operated a maximum wage of £8 a week – and also because Preston refused to release him for international duty with Scotland.

Alex left Preston and joined Arsenal in 1929 for £8,750, making his debut against Leeds United on 31 August 1929. In order to circumvent the maximum wage rules, Arsenal arranged it so that his employment at the club was supplemented by a £250-a-year “sports demonstrator” job at Selfridges, the London department store. James had an unremarkable first season at Arsenal, in part due to the recovery from injuries he had accrued playing in the Second Division; however, he played in Arsenal’s 1930 FA Cup Final win against Huddersfield Town, scoring the first in a 2-0 win to give Arsenal their first major trophy.

Over time he settled into his role and became part of the dominant side of English football in 1930s. Playing deep as a supporting player, he scored relatively few goals for Arsenal – only 27 in 261 appearances – but created many times that number. Alex’s passing and vision supplied the ammunition that David Jack, Cliff Bastin, Ted Drake and Jack Lambert all put into the net.

He helped Arsenal to their first ever First Division Championship win in 1930-31, but was injured during the title race in 1931-32; without him, Arsenal finished second behind Everton and lost the 1932 FA Cup Final against Newcastle United. He had been passed fit before injuring himself in a pre-match photo call for the press, without him, Arsenal lost 2-1. He recovered to help Arsenal to a second title in 1932-33, as Arsenal scored 118 goals in the League that season. Another spate of injuries marred his1933-34 season, as Arsenal retained their title but scoring far fewer (75) goals in the process, but when he recovered they won a fourth, and their third in a row in 1934-35, with Ted Drake scoring 42 league goals that season, many of them supplied by Alex. The following season he won a second FA Cup winners’ medal, captaining the Arsenal team to their 1-0 win over Sheffield United.

He was famed for the excellent quality of his passing and supreme ball control, leading many modern-day comparisons with Arsenal forward Dennis Bergkamp. His rheumatism meant he wore “baggy” shorts to hide the long johns he wore to keep warm; the baggy appearance became his trademark.

Despite his form for his clubs, he won just eight caps for Scotland, partly due to Preston’s reluctance to release him for international matches. He made his international debut on 31 October 1925 against Wales, which Scotland won 3-0, his short international career included an appearance for the legendary “Wembley Wizards” team that thrashed England 5-1 at Wembley in 1928, with Alex scoring two goals.

With age and injuries taking their toll in the last two seasons of his career, Alex retired from playing in the summer of 1937. During World War II he served in the Royal Artillery, and after the war he became a journalist, as well as running a football pools competition. In 1949 he was invited back to Arsenal to coach the club’s youth sides.

Alex was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of his contribution to the English game.

He died suddenly, of cancer, when he was just 51 years of age.

5. Joe Hulme: 1926-1938.

Joe made 374 appearances over a 12 year period and scored 125 goals.

Born in Stafford, Staffordshire Joe usually played as a right-winger. He played for Stafford YMCA before starting his career in non-League football with Midland League side York City, he then moved to Blackburn Rovers for a fee of £250. He spent two years at Ewood Park and made 74 league appearances, scoring six goals.

JoeHulme_Profile.ashxHe moved to Arsenal in 1926, becoming one of Herbert Chapman’s first major signings.

Joe made his Arsenal debut on 6 February 1926 away to Leeds United, and remained a regular for the rest of that season. That led him to be picked for the Football League XI that season, and the following season, 1926–27, he made his full England debut, against Scotland at Hampden Park. In between 1927 and 1933 Joe won nine caps for England. That same season he also played in his first FA Cup final, against Cardiff City, which Arsenal lost 1–0.

He remained first choice on the right-wing at Arsenal up until the 1932–33 season, combining with Cliff Bastin (who joined Arsenal in 1929) to form a pair of highly-paced wingers with Joe scoring18 goals in 1931–32 (including hat-tricks against Sunderland and Middlesbrough) and 20 in 1932-33. During this time Joe and Arsenal started winning trophies, taking the FA Cup in 1929–30, and followed it up with a pair of First Division titles in 1930–31 and 1932–33. Injuries deprived him of another title-winning medal, as he only made eight appearances (but still scored five times) in Arsenal’s 1933–34 title-winning season. He returned to the Arsenal side the following season, 1934–35, and won his third league winners’ medal with 16 appearances, although by now injury and losses of form meant he was not an automatic first choice, sharing duties with Pat Beasley and Alf Kirchen.

In 1935–36, Joe played 28 times in the league and cup winning his final honour with Arsenal, a second FA Cup medal after Arsenal beat Sheffield United 1–0 in the final, making him the only player to have played in all of Arsenal’s first four cup finals. He spent his final two seasons at Arsenal (1936–37 and 1937–38) as a bit-part player, making just ten appearances in one-and-a-half years. His final appearance came against Liverpool on 18 December 1937. He scored 125 goals in 374 appearances for the Gunners, making him the club’s tenth-top scorer of all time.

He left Arsenal for Huddersfield in January 1938, where he saw out the rest of his career, picking up an FA Cup runners-up medal in the 1937–38 season before retiring from football at the end of that season. Joe was also a fine all-round cricketer, playing 225 times for Middlesex between 1929 and 1939 as an aggressive middle-order batsman and medium-fast bowler. Capped by Middlesex in 1930, he scored his first century that year, 117 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. He first passed 1,000 runs for the season in 1932, and in 1934 made his highest aggregate, 1,258 runs at 34.94, including four hundreds. He was an excellent fielder in the deep, and a good runner between the wickets. In 225 matches he made 8,103 runs at an average of 26.56, the highest of his twelve hundreds being 143 against Gloucestershire at Bristol. His useful right-arm medium-pace bowling brought him 89 wickets at 36.40, with a career best of 4 for 44, and he held 110 catches.

After World War II, which he spent working as a policeman; Joe became manager of Arsenal’s fiercest rivals, Tottenham Hotspur from 1945 to 1949. He achieved little actual success at the time, but he did lay the foundations for their championship-winning side of 1950–51. After that, Joe left football altogether, to become a successful journalist.

He died at the age of 87, in 1991.

6. Ted Drake: 1934-1945.

Ted made 184 appearances over an 11 year period and scored 139 goals.

Born in Southampton, Ted started playing at Winchester City, whilst continuing to work as a gas-meter reader. He nearly joined Tottenham Hotspur as a schoolboy, but missed the trial match with an injury. In June 1931, he was persuaded by George Kay to join Southampton, then playing in Division Two. He made his Saints debut on 14 November 1931 at Swansea Town, and signed as a professional in November, becoming first-choice centre-forward by the end of the 1931–32 season. In the following season he made 33 league appearances, scoring 20 goals.Ted Drake

After only one full season, his bravery and skill attracted the attention of Arsenal’s Herbert Chapman, who tried to persuade him to move to North London. Ted rejected the chance of a move to Highbury and decided to remain at The Dell. He started the 1933–34 season by scoring a hat trick in the opening game against Bradford City, following this with at least one goal in the next four games, thereby amassing eight goals in the opening five games. By early March he had blasted his way to the top of the Football League Division Two goal-scoring table with 22 goals.

Arsenal, with George Allison now in charge, renewed their interest and Ted eventually decided to join the Gunners in March 1934 for a fee of £6,500. Saints had declined several previous offers, but eventually were forced to sell in order to balance their books. Ted made a total of 74 appearances for Southampton, scoring 48 goals.

He scored on his league debut against Wolves on 24 March 1934, in a 3–2 win. Although he joined too late to qualify for a League Championship medal in 1933–34, he would win one in 1934–35, scoring 42 goals in 41 league games in the process, this included three hat-tricks and four four-goal hauls. With two more goals in the FA Cup and Charity Shield, Ted scored 44 in all that season, breaking Jack Lambert’s club record, one that still holds to this day.

His exploits at club level brought him recognition at international level, and he made his England debut against Italy in the “Battle of Highbury” on 14 November 1934; one of seven Arsenal players in the side, he scored the third goal in a heated 3–2 win. In total he won five caps, scoring six times.

The following season, 1935–36 he scored seven in a single match against Aston Villa at Villa Park on 14 December 1935, a club record and top flight record that also still stands. Ted claimed an eighth goal hit the crossbar and went over the line, but the referee waved away his appeal. Drake would go on to win the FA Cup in 1935–36 (scoring the only goal in the final) and the League again in 1937–38.

Despite being injured regularly (he was a doubt up until the last minute for the 1936 Cup Final), his speed, fierce shooting and brave playing style meant he was Arsenal’s first-choice centre forward for the rest of the decade, and he was the club’s top scorer for each of the five seasons from 1934–35 to 1938–39. The Second World War curtailed Drake’s career, although he served in the Royal Air Force as well as turning out for Arsenal in wartime games and also appearing as a guest player for West Ham United later in World War II. However, his career would not last long into peacetime; a spinal injury incurred in a game against Reading in 1945 forced him to retire from playing. With 139 goals in 184 games, he is the joint-fifth (along with Jimmy Brain) all-time scorer for Arsenal.

After retiring as a player, Ted managed Hendon in 1946, and then Reading from 1947. He led the club to the runners-up spot in Division Three South in 1948-49 and again in 1951–52, though at the time only the champions were promoted.

He was appointed manager of First Division Chelsea in 1952. Upon his arrival at Chelsea, he made a series of sweeping changes, doing much to rid the club of its previous amateurish, music hall image. He discarded the club’s Chelsea pensioner crest and with it the Pensioners nickname, and insisted a new one be adopted. From these changes came the “Lion Rampant Regardant” crest and the Blues nickname. He introduced scouting reports and a new, tougher, training regime based on ball work, a rare practice in English football at the time.  Within three years, in the 1954–55 season, Ted had led Chelsea to their first-ever league championship triumph. In doing so, he became the first person to win the league title both as player and manager. However, he never came close to repeating that success and left Chelsea to become reserve team manager at Fulham, later becoming a director and then life president.

Ted died aged 82, on 30 May 1995.

Written by GunnerN5 and compiled by Gooner in Exile


Mr. Wenger says the season starts here…..

September 10, 2011

The season starts here. The Boss said so?  No, the season started at Newcastle and we have one point out of nine, that’s right, one out of nine. Our worst start since Alex James took a drag from his Woodbine prior to walking onto the Highbury turf (perhaps).

Thankfully much has changed since OT and quite frankly it needed to. Lack of composure, lack of fit players, lack of tactics, lack of intelligence, lack of discipline and lack of creativity all added up to a team in excrement alley wearing open toed sandals. Arsenal’s response has been unprecedented in Wenger’s reign –  just look at the players in box on the right.

The International break reminded us of how good our players really are. Loads of goals, a number of MoM’s, and to a man they performed well. Even Theo!

Hopefully the dent to the confidence arising from the debacle at OT, has all but disappeared, which bodes ill for Swansea. This is Swansea’s first trip to The Emirates, and their first game against AFC since 1983. They play possession football and keep the ball on the ground – they should be the perfect opponents for the new style Gunners. Furthermore, Swansea have yet to score a Premiership goal.

My guess at the team:

This seems to be a conservative selection, however, when the suspensions are over and the new players have received their visas we will see some exciting teams. Our midfield and attack have so many options and I hope to see a return to the superfast football one associated with the Invincibles. The midfield pairing of Frimpong and Ramsey is likely to be the fulcrum of the team in the years to come (should Frimpong continue his development) however, they will be dependent upon Arteta to be not only creative but also authoratative. I am very excited to see our new Spaniard, and believe much of the season’s success will rest upon his slight shoulders. The arrival of our giant German is also very exciting, he is just what we have been asking for since Kolo left and I cannot understand the criticism from some sectors of the fans – if his name was shorter I would have it on the back of my new shirt (you know, the one which has been a Jonah so far this season and which will be binned if we lose today).

I would love to see The Ox come on for Theo at 60 mins and Park get 10 minutes towards the end. More likely will be Benayoun for Arshavin as the Russian tires (is it true he is the most substituted player in the PL?)  I expect the adrenalin of the Welshmen’s first visit to the THOF will wear off at 75 minutes and we will dominate the last quarter, particularly if the speedster  Chamberlain comes off the bench.

At present we hold the PL record for players sent off in consecutive games, can we add to our record and make it 4? Don’t bet against it, the referee is Andre Marriner, whose last visit to THOF was in the infamous 101 minute long game v Liverpool.

Ed “Taffy” Bowen who invented the hugely influential Radar, was born in Swansea. So was Dylan Thomas, who as everyone knows was a lifelong Gooner and had a season ticket in the East Lower.

This is not a game for fancy football, it is a game where the 3 points are essential for the well-being of us supporters, anything less and we face another week of ridicule and shame.

COYRRG

Written by Big Raddy