Woolwich Arsenal Manager Didn’t Win Promotion

During Arsenal’s third match of this season, BBC’s Jonathan Pearce came out with this fact:

“Not since Phil Kelso in 1904 has an Arsenal manager started with just one draw from their opening three games”

He was referring to Kelso’s first three games at the start of the 1904-05 season which was Woolwich Arsenal’s first in the top flight. However, whilst putting together our latest book – Arsenal: The Complete Record – we discovered that this wasn’t correct.

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On 24 February 1934, Arsenal travelled north to play Newcastle United at St James’ Park. A 1-0 win saw the Gunners back on track to retain the Football League title which looked like it could be derailed following the untimely death of Herbert Chapman.

On the journey back to London, the train that the players were on was involved in a major accident that resulted on six of the team, including David Jack and Cliff Bastin, being tragically killed.

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“Honest” John McKenna’s Impassioned Speech

We’ve written a number of blogs on this site about Arsenal’s election to the First Division in 1919 that show that what is perceived to be the truth about the events surrounding this meeting are not what they seem. We thought that the one about the precedent of what happened when the First Division was expanded would be the last one as we believed that there were no more “facts” left to be dispelled.

However, we’ve now found another story that doesn’t appear to be what it seems.

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Been living off another man’s achievements for over 120 years!

I’m not sure what set me off on this one, I guess there was something that didn’t seem to add up. But here we are with another historical “fact” that has been corrected.

Arsenal’s 2017 FA Cup win was their seventh under Arsene Wenger which made him the most successful manager in FA Cup history. This is shown in tables plastered all over the internet and traditional media. I assume that most of these have sourced their information from that ultra-reliable source, Wikipedia.

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Pioneers of the South

On 9 May 1891 the members of Royal Arsenal Football Club caused a sensation on the London football scene when they voted to turn professional. The governing body for football in London were staunchly amateur, heavily influenced by the “old boys” network of public schools.

Royal Arsenal had been forced into this situation after losing a number of their players to the professional clubs in the Midlands and the North. Being the best club in London and the South had led to them becoming victims of their own success.

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Arsenal’s Record Transfer Fee Progression

Ever since Aston Villa broke the three-figure barrier for Willie Groves in 1893, the game has been obsessed with the value of footballers. Arsenal took a long time to join the big boys mainly due to financial difficulties caused by the Boer War at the end of the 1890s, the scaling down of the Royal Arsenal in the first decade of the 20th Century both of which resulted in reductions of attendances, and the costs incurred in the building of Highbury. Read More →