Tag: Arsenal

Match Of The Past: Arsenal

As regular readers of this site will probably be aware, we’re filling the gaps between the end of last season and the start of next season with some great football videos from the past. This evening, we feature Arsenal. One of the great institutions of English football, Arsenal hold a record that will probably never be broken as members of the top division of English football, having been members of it since 1919, but they haven’t always been completely successful during this time. The years from 1972 to 1989 were pretty barren for Arsenal in the league, but they still put in some great performances during this time and we’ve selected six matches (starting a year earlier, in 1971) from the Arsenal archive. Prior to 1971, it had been nineteen years since Arsenal last appeared at Wembley in an FA Cup Final – their two League Cup final appearances there in 1968 and 1969 against Leeds United are best not mentioned here – and in the semi-final of the 1970/71 FA Cup they played Stoke City at Hillsborough. We then skip almost six years to the end of 1976. Arsenal had spent a club record £330,000 on striker Malcolm McDonald from Newcastle United, and the television cameras were present to see his first match against his old club. Next up is a match from the start of the following...

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100 Owners: 98. Henry Norris (Arsenal)

The formative years of professional football in England were a turbulent time, a period in which the rules – both written and unwritten – which underpin our notions of how a football club should be formed and what its reasonable constituency should be were effectively non-existent. Although football clubs in the Midlands and the North of the country tended to follow very similar lines in their formation, this was not the case in the capital city, London. There were no clubs from London amongst the original twelve that formed the Football League in 1888 and the non-league game – both in the forms of the amateur Isthmian League and the then-professional Southern League contained names that would be familar to many these days. One figure would come to dominate football in London during its formative years, a man who was involved in the histories of two clubs but ended up banned for life from further involvement in the game by the Football Association: Sir Henry Norris. Norris, originally an estate agent and property developer, attempted a merger of two of London’s clubs which was blocked by the Football Association, moved a club from South London to the north of the city and played a hugely sgnificant role in the creation of a dynasty that still exists to this day. Yet he would end up in football’s equivalent of exile...

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Match Of The Week: Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Ah, the local derby. That one time in the year when we are permitted to drop many of the vestiges of being civilised people and devolve back to our cave-dwelling, territorial roots. It’s a day for eyes to twitch, the rational to become irrational, for the stories of injustices of days gone by to be reheated and passed on to new generations. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have lived alongside each other for as long as the game has flourished in London and, while neither side is likely to win the Premier League this season, tensions at The Emirates Stadium are as high as ever. For once, it is Spurs that go into this match in the ascendency. Although they have been less than impressive away from White Hart Lane over the last couple of months, they remain comfortable in third place in the table, while Arsenal remain an increasingly distant spot on the horizon, with recent defeats in the FA Cup and Champions League having all but ended any chances of ending their recent mini-drought of trophy wins in recent years. While Harry Redknapp is being talked up as the next England manager, Arsene Wenger is under the sort of pressure that frequently results in a manager’s departure from a club. It has been a topsy-turvy sort of season in that respect. If the nerves of Arsenal supporters are...

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Football’s Winter Of Discontent Reaches Arsenal

There’s something in the air at The Emirates Stadium. Arsenal Football Club has had a difficult 2012 so far, and patience – for some, at least – is starting to wear thin, leading to a protest that has brought puzzled expressions from elsewhere. At this lunchtime’s match against Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League, a group of supporters plans to place black bin bags on seats at the ground prior to the match. But what are the reasons behind this protest, what are its aims, and are those protesting representative of the Arsenal support in a broader sense? Where Has Our Arsenal Gone has been here before, at the end of last season they protested with a march from a pub near the ground to The Emirates Stadium prior to the team’s match against Aston Villa. They have a six point manifesto – season tickets, stadium seating, commercial activity, ownership and target markets, the manager and the chairman – and it will certainly be interesting to see how many people choose to get involved in it. While the protest of the end of last season dissipated somewhat as the team’s form picked up this season, we can be reasonably certain that recent tensions have risen on account of another dip in form on the pitch. When the season began, of course, the words “Arsenal” and “crisis” seemed momentarily entwined...

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Match Of The Week 2: Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United

There remains a sense of great expectations surrounding Leeds United. To get a feel for the root cause for this, we only need to spin back four decades, when Don Revie’s team lost out on the Football League Championship to Derby County but managed a little solace in winning the FA Cup final against Arsenal at Wembley. Times have changed since then, of course. In the intervening forty years, Leeds United have been relegated, bounced back, won the last English title before the induction of the Premier League, plummeted back to the third tier of the English league system and only narrowly avoided closure before resurfacing in the Championship, their ambition thwarted, yet undiminished. Perhaps it is this sense of grandeur which, in recent years, seen the club over-perform against superior opposition. Two years ago, they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford and gave Spurs a game and a half before succumbing after a replay. This time last year, they faced a trip to The Emirates Stadium to play Arsenal and again managed a draw before slipping up at home in a replay. Whatever limitations the Leeds United teams of the last couple of seasons may have had, they always seem capable of giving those bigger clubs a game in a one-off cup match. If psychology counts for great deal in football, then it could even be argued that,...

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