Rangers 2 Arsenal 0
Clive Allen made his debut on 1 August 1980, only played in 3 friendlies in the space of a week but was big back page news!
Purchased in June from QPR for £1.25million at the age of 19, which was the first seven-figure transfer involving a teenager, he was then shortly afterwards swapped with Kenny Sansom in a deal with Crystal Palace without playing a competitive game for the Gunners.
This was Arsenal’s first game since the awful end to the previous season when they had fought so hard but ended with nothing to show for their efforts, and had also lost their talisman Liam Brady to Juventus.
Rangers dominated the game from start to finish with their own starlet John MacDonald outshining Allen, as MacDonald scored twice in this 2-0 stroll. The first came in 30 minutes and the second in 65 minutes.
Allen hardly got a kick in the 90 minutes, and goalkeeper Pat Jennings chose this game to make a string of mistakes and was at fault for both goals. For the first he was positioned poorly and for the second he dropped a backpass at the feet of MacDonald who could not miss with an open goal.
We were asked by Andy Exley to write in last season’s Emirates Cup programme about 10 big Gunners who made their first team debut for the club during the pre-season. This was a tie in with Petr Cech who made his debut a week before the Emirates mini tournament at the 2015 Barclays Asia Trophy final
Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog (top right).
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal – crowd behaviour at the early matches