Arsenal FC – our home record against the Terriers

December 7, 2018

Here are our all time home results starting with Division 2.

Our first home game against Huddersfield was in Division 2 on February 14th 1914 we lost 0-1

Our history with Huddersfield would be incomplete with mention of Herbert Chapman, he was manager of Huddersfield from 1921 to 1925 and won the FA Cup in 1921/22 and the First Division Championship in 1923/24 and 1924/25.

In the 1925 close season, Chapman had already set about improving his squad for Huddersfield to seek a third successive title (something which had never been achieved before). At the same time, Arsenal was looking to replace Leslie Knighton, who had been sacked. Arsenal chairman Sir Henry Norris placed an advertisement in the Athletic News:

“Arsenal Football Club is open to receive applications for the position of TEAM MANAGER. He must be experienced and 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”

Although Arsenal had been fighting relegation in both the two previous seasons, and despite the chairman’s restriction on spending, Chapman nevertheless moved to Arsenal soon afterwards, attracted both by the London club’s larger crowds and a salary of £2,000, double what he earned at Huddersfield Town. At Arsenal, Chapman immediately made an impact by signing 34-year-old Charlie Buchan, an England international and Sunderland’s all-time record goalscorer, whom he made Arsenal captain.

During his time at Arsenal he won the FA Cup in 1929/30 (our first trophy) and the First Division Championship in 1930/31 and 1932/33, he passed away of pneumonia on January 6th 1934.

 

GunnerN5

Advertisements

AFC Hunters and Gatherers – which are you?

October 19, 2018

I scratch my head trying to rationalize the changing moods of football fans around the world. In my youth your football team and its players were god-like figures who were held in the highest esteem.

We kids were in total awe of the players, our imaginations were stimulated by the few occasions we saw our teams on TV. Most of the families in our area were too poor to spend their hard-earned money on going to a game of football, so all we had were our scrap books which were full of black and white pictures cut from the Sunday newspapers. Each week we would cut out the latest standings and pin them up in the kitchen, and we’d spend hours figuring out where we were most likely to finish – which was usually around mid table.

When my Grandfather took me to my first game at 10 years old, I was already a seasoned supporter but getting inside Highbury changed my life and meant that I simply had to see every game, but with no money I had to be very resourceful, and I was, rarely missing a game despite getting severely scuffed knees, torn trousers and chased by stewards.

The managers were talked about with reverence and we always wondered how they could be so smart and wondered where they gained the knowledge to run a football team. Names like Herbert Chapman, George Allison and Tom Whittaker were spoken about in awe during our family discussions; their accomplishments were debated and the comparisons created much banter, most good natured, but not always.

From Tom Whittaker’s last League trophy in 1952/53 we went through an awful period of only winning 3 trophies in the next 36 seasons – until George Graham won the League title in 1988/89. It was during that period that our managers and teams came under a lot closer scrutiny and strong “anti” opinions started to form.

Team finances were never discussed, after all, we were not clever enough to understand them and it was none of our business anyway. About the only time the amount of money spent came to light was when a transfer figure was revealed. Nobody knew or even cared about team finances – that was always considered to be only the club’s business and usually it was kept under wraps. I cannot ever remember one single discussion with my family, friends or other supporters that revolved around finances.

Talking about transfers the only time we knew about them was when they were announced. There was seldom media talk about potential transfers during the season – and transfer windows never existed, players came and went at any time during the season. We were always envious of some of the wonderful teams that came to Highbury and of their great players, frequently wishing that we had been fortunate enough to have those players at Arsenal, but that was the club’s business and not ours. You see our business was to support – and that is what we were good at so we stuck to it.

So what has happened to supporters?

Today it would appear that every Arsenal supporter is an “expert” on everything and they have earned imaginary degrees in every subject pertaining to football. These are known as “Red Top” degrees, and are earned firstly by being able to read and secondly by believing everything you read.

We originate from groups of hunters and gatherers

Gatherers believe that we will only be sustainable by building a solid foundation and saving some of the yield from a good harvest in anticipation of periods where there may only be a good yield in 3 of 36 seasons.

Hunters believe that they should always have a great catch and so they save nothing for the possibility of future needs and therefore they suffer greatly during the periods when there isn’t a “Trophy Catch” to brag about.

GunnerN5


Arsenals Top Seasons – 1930-31 Our 2nd Best and First Top Flight Title

April 25, 2018

Here is an early accounting of the game against Liverpool when we won our very first Division One League Championship.

Date: Saturday 18 April 1931
Competition: Football League Division One
Location: Highbury
Attendance: 39,143
Arsenal: B Harper, T Parker (captain), E Hapgood, B John, H Roberts, C Jones, J Hulme, D Jack, J Lambert, A James, C Bastin. Manager: Herbert Chapman.
Liverpool: E Scott, J Jackson (captain), T Lucas, T Morrison, N James, J McDougall, H Barton, G Hodgson, D Wright, A McPherson, G Gunson. Manager: George Patterson.
A full strength Arsenal went into the game with Liverpool at Highbury needing only a point to secure their first ever League title. Arsenal were not helped by the wind which was blowing directly into their faces in the first half – in the third minute we conceded a goal when the wind diverted a cross which bounced off the thigh of Herbie Roberts and evaded goalie Harper’s left hand.
On 25 minutes David Jack equalised after a pass from Charlie Jones set him up to shoot. Arsenal despite the wind disadvantage held on for the remainder of the first half and began the second half with the wind on their backs! Arsenal piled on the pressure and the Liverpool defence held on until the 65th minute when James took a free kick from 25 yards out which he feigned to send to Hulme but passed to Lambert. The ball found its way on to Bastin whose crisp drive nestled just inside the post. Five minutes later Harper punted the ball up field and found Hulme whose cross to Lambert was rolled past Scott into the Liverpool net.

Rare brochure celebrating Arsenal at the beginning of our golden period in the 1930s

This was the first time one of the Southern teams won the Division One title. Arsenal were continuing their rise to the top echelons of football, Herbert Chapman had put together an exceptional forward line consisting of Jack Lambert, David Jack and Cliff Bastin and opposition defences simply could not cope with their combined skills. Lambert scored 38 goals in 34 matches, Jack 31 in 35 and Bastin 28 from 42. Joe Hulme also netted 14 times as Arsenal scored 127 league goals, a club record for a single season.

This was an exciting time to be a Gunner as we handed out a number of heavy defeats. Grimsby Town were on the end of a 9-1 hiding in a replay of the game that was abandoned on December 6th 1930, although they could consider themselves slightly unlucky as they were leading 1-0 when the re-scheduled game was abandoned due to fog.

Arsenal Information Corner in the south west corner of Highbury  Stadium was extremely busy in the 1930/31 season

Blackpool lost 7-1 at Highbury, Derby conceded six on their visit to North London, and Arsenal won 7-2 at Leicester. Cliff Bastin – already Arsenal’s youngest scorer, became their youngest scorer of a hat-trick (at 18) in a 6-3 win over Derby on February 14. Arsenal won four of their first seven games by 4-1 and looked the only possible winners after beating their nearest challengers, Aston Villa, 5-2 on November 8 – a defeat compounded by Villa’s 6-4 home defeat by Derby the following week. Villa won the return against Arsenal 5-1 in March, but by then it was too late.

Arsenal’s first League title set them on the way to their domination of the 1930s. The previous year’s FA Cup final victory over manager Herbert Chapman’s old club, Huddersfield, was very symbolic, but the championship cemented the arrival of Arsenal. It took Chapman six years to win it, but then the floodgates opened, with three in a row from 1933-35, another in 1938 and a second Cup win in 1936 – although sadly he didn’t live to see most of the silverware, having died in 1934.

Herbert Chapman surveying the future

The 1930/31 season also saw the debut of the Gunners first player signed from overseas, Dutch goalkeeper Gerry Keyser. He played in the first 12 league matches of the campaign. Another debutant was George Male who made his Arsenal debut against Blackpool in December and went on to serve the Club until 1948; his first appearance was on Christmas Day. The team played three games in three days over the Christmas period, and won them all scoring 14 goals in the process.

Arsenal’s 66 points were six better than the previous best in League history. Only Arsenal have stayed in the top flight without interruption since then, Everton were Second Division champions in their first year below the top level and won the League title the following season.

The Times on 20 April wrote an intelligent piece entitled “Arsenal’s Triumph” about the key to the team being Herbert Chapman’s planning the construction of a watertight defence balanced with the counter attack:

The Team succeed by the rapidity and unexpectedness with which they transform defence into attack. They lure their opponents into a false sense of security, and then, with a short series of sudden blows, accomplish their downfall. A goal is scored before the other side has realised that it is not the attacking side. Theirs is a cunningly devised plan, and its success is to be judged by the large number of goals scored, averaging almost three a match.

The successes of Arsenal have been due more to excellent team play and adaptability than to the brilliant individualism of a few costly players of renown…The various players have sunk their individuality in the team and each has taken his full share in promoting the fortunes of the club.

The club held the League Championship winning dinner and dance at the Café Royal on the evening of Thursday 30 April. This was to be the first of five such celebrations in the decade of the 1930s. 300 people were present at the banquet including the full complement of Aston Villa players, who were cordially invited as runners up.

The trophy was handed to Tom Parker by John McKenna, President of the Football League after the end of the Bolton game, the final game of the season at Highbury. This presentation on 2 May 1931 was made in the grandstand with supporters allowed to congregate on the pitch in front of the ceremony.

Tumultuous scenes were witnessed as the game was delayed as thousands ran onto the pitch thinking the game had ended. They all had to be removed by the police from the pitch before the final whistle could be blown. When the whistle blew they all ran on again and carried off the players to the grandstand.

35,406 witnessed the 5-0 win followed by the League Championship trophy being awarded to Arsenal, and indeed to any London club, for the very first time.  Previously the most southerly team to win the League had been Aston Villa.

Written by GunnerN5


Arsenals Top Seasons 1933-34 – Our 6th Best

March 18, 2018

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


Arsenal Top Seasons – 1934/35 our 8th Best

January 16, 2018

The previous season had seen the Gunners win the league for the second successive time despite the untimely death of the great Herbert Chapman in January 1934. The Club appointed the club’s press officer, George Allison, as Chapman’s successor. In some ways, Allison moved from publicity expert to Club figurehead rather than manager itself and he wisely chose to use the existing coaching and playing resources to their fullest potential.

Although not officially in charge until the start of the 1934/35 season, George Allison had already procured Ted Drake from Southampton in March 1934 for £6,500. (Chapman had tried to lure Drake from The Saints two seasons earlier).

The signing of Drake was key to Arsenal’s success in the 34/5 season, with the tough, skilful centre forward scoring 42 goals in 41 games including 3 hat-tricks and four 4-goal hauls.

Arsenal began the season rampant at home but struggling a little on our travels. It wasn’t until late November (at Chelsea) that the team secured our first away victory, though managed to end the campaign with the league’s best travelling record.

Sunderland and Manchester City made the early season running with the Wearsiders inflicting Arsenal’s second defeat of the season in October, proving to be The Gunners main Championship rivals.  By Christmas, the North-East side were top of the table with Arsenal in third position, albeit only a point behind.

The Club made some personnel changes in mid-season to bolster and reinvigorate our title bid. In January 1935, Taffy Rogers arrived from Wrexham, a few weeks later, Bobby Davidson joined from St. Johnstone, and in March, Alf Kirchen was signed from Norwich City. All would make a contribution in the run-in.

When Arsenal and Sunderland met at Highbury on March 9 1935, a crowd of 73,295 (the record Highbury attendance) saw a tight 0-0 stalemate. Arsenal remained on top by two points, but with both Sunderland and Manchester City snapping at their heels.

The next game in the League was away at Everton on March 16th and aside from the 8,7 and 6 nil thumpings, proved to be a remarkable match indeed. Frank Moss, the Arsenal keeper was injured after half an hour and had to be replaced by Eddie Hapgood in goal. He left the field of play and received treatment in the dressing room from Tom Whittaker. Ted Drake scored with a long range pile-driver just six minutes after Moss had left the field and Arsenal went in one up at the break.

In front of an astonished Goodison crowd, Moss came out on to the pitch at the start of the second half wearing a red outfield player’s shirt and took his place on the left wing with an injured arm strapped to his side. At that time there were no substitutes allowed in English football, not even for severely injured players.

Who knows how much persuasion was required for him to allow the title-chasing Arsenal side to take the field with their full complement of 11 players?

Arsenal’s makeshift defence held firm with Hapgood making a number of decent saves. Then bizarrely, Frank Moss, showing a touch of the Jesse Owenses, latched onto a pass from Ted Drake and buried the ball into the Everton net in the 70th minute. Reportedly, even the Toffees’ fans applauded his goal as he was mobbed by his excited team mates. Shortly after the goal, he left the field in agony as the injury flared up again (perhaps Herbie Roberts threw him over his shoulder in the goal celebration!). He was taken to hospital after the game to reset what turned out to be a double dislocation of the shoulder. The match ball signed by both sets of players was possibly scant consolation for what, in the long run, was to be a career-threatening injury.

Frank Moss and family

With five games to go, Arsenal demolished Middlesbrough 8-0 (including another four by Ted Drake) to lead the First Division by three points. Four days later the Gunners played the same opposition away from home, this time winning by a single goal (Drake again the match-winner), opening up a five point gap with two games remaining and thus securing the title.

The Highbury faithful were treated to a magnificent 74 goals in the 21 home games of the 1934/5 season while conceding only 17 (even Micky would have been happy to attend!).  To put the cherry quite firmly on top of the cake, Tottenham Hotspur were relegated, bottom of the table.

 

 


Arsenal Top Seasons – 1932-33 our 9th Best

December 5, 2017

1932-33 turned out to be the final full season that our inspirational and creative manger Herbert Chapman would manage Arsenal; he passed away from pneumonia in January 1934. He had been instrumental in many innovations at Arsenal including getting the local underground station, Gillespie Road renamed to Arsenal, and he also introduced the now famous white sleeves in a match against Liverpool in March 1933.

The West Stand was opened in December 1932

Arsenal was the outstanding team in the Football League, early on in the 1932/33 season they battled with Leeds United for the leadership of the First Division. On Boxing Day 1932 Leeds travelled to Highbury, at the time they were six points adrift of Arsenal in the League standings and they shocked the Arsenal crowd by beating Arsenal by 2-1, Charlie Keetley scored both goals in front of a huge 55,876 crowd, Joe Hulme scored the only Arsenal goal. This set the scene for the very next day, when they played the return fixture at Elland Road where the crowd of the previous day was exceeded and a new record attendance for Elland Road was set at 56,796.  For safety reasons the gates were locked causing hundreds who were locked out to climb up on nearby house roofs as well as the Peacock Public House and various vantage points along Beeston Hill in order to get a glimpse of the action. Victory would have strengthened Leeds United’s championship hopes but they were held to a goal-less draw by the star-studded Gunners after which they faded away and by the end of the season they were in eighth position, 14 points adrift of Arsenal.

Arsenal went on to take the Football League Championship and were so dominant and overwhelming that they went on to become only the second team in Football League history to complete a treble by winning the Championship again in 1933-34 and 1934-35, Huddersfield Town had been the first team to achieve the feat by winning Championships in 1923-4, 1924-25, 1925-26. The Arsenal squad included many famous names including Frank Moss; George Male, Eddie Hapgood, Frank Hill, Herbie Roberts, Bob John, Joe Hulme, David Jack, Tim Coleman, Jack Lambert, Alex James, Cliff Bastin, Wilf Copping, Ray Bowden and Ted Drake

The shock headline of the season was —

The Greatest FA Cup Shock In History: Arsenal Lose At Walsall On This Day, 14th January 1933

On the day Arsenal had fielded four reserve players two of whom had never played a First Division game and Arsenal ended up losing the game 2-0. One of the reserve players Tommy Black kicked a Walsall player and gave away a penalty when we were losing 1-0 the resulting goal made it 2-0. On the train back to London from the Midlands after the defeat, Herbert Chapman told Tommy Black that “he would never play for Arsenal again, as he had let our reputation down, and he need never come to the ground again, his boots would be sent round with the transfer forms”! Black was deputising on his first team debut for Eddie Hapgood he’d played 26 games for the reserves, but his Arsenal career was suddenly over.

Arsenal scored 118 goals in the season (2.8 per game) a total only exceeded by the 127 we scored in 1930-31 which included scores of 6-1 against Sunderland, 8-2 against Leicester, 9-2 against Sheffield United, 8-0 against Blackburn and on November 5th Arsenal travelled to play Wolves at Molineux Stadium and they lit up the skies by beating Wolves 7-1. Cliff Bastin scored 33 goals a record for a winger unlikely ever to be exceeded.

Written by GunnerN5


Home Run to Continue?

November 29, 2017

Huddersfield Town F.C. was where Herbert Chapman won Div 1 twice before arriving at Arsenal. We owe them but the debt should be paid by allowing them a few minutes of parity before scoring a a hatful.

Unknown.jpeg

One of GN5 mates

A hatful is possible but unlikely because, as H’field showed against City, they are a very good, well-organised team. Scoring is a problem, as far as I can see, they have scored only 3 goals away from home all season and all three were in the same game! But, they have beaten Man Utd so this is unlikely to be a walkover.

Much is made of Wagner (the manager not the composer), and he does seem to be more than just Jurgen Klopp’s best friend.

Unknown-1.jpeg

Expect PTB and loads of possession, something we witness so often at The Emirates.

My Team (the one I expect to play, not the one I would pick)

Cech

Mustafi    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey   Xhaka   Kolasinac

Wilshire

Lacazette    Sanchez

If it were my choice we would play 4-3-3 with Welbeck starting and resting  Kolasinac. I don’t see the need for the extra defender when playing a side who are certain to defend in depth and play on the break.

What would be your chosen team?

We need these 3 points and to continue our wonderful home form (well results rather than form). With a hige game on the weekend we need to maitain confidence and drive.

So, welcome to the Emirates Huddersfield, it is excellent when such a small club proves money is not the only driver in football. I really hope you have the opportunity to play here next season and get beaten again 😀

COYRRG