Happy Anniversary Good Old Arsenal

By Walter Broeckx

Today is the day that our beloved club becomes 128 years old. Not that becoming 128 years old is a special date compared to becoming 100 or 125. But still it is in human terms a very long time. And I don’t know how human beings will evolve in the future but a number that we as human beings usually don’t make.

So first things first today and I want to wish Arsenal a happy anniversary and wish it all the best for the upcoming year. And somehow I feel very good about the club and the way it is developing.

Let me first start with the not on the field events. As Tony has showed on the history site some 100 years ago our club was close to being bankrupt. But we survived thanks to Sir Henry Norris and then after moving to Highbury we could really become a bigger club.

Supporting Arsenal however is taking all Arsenal and all its history on board. You cannot pick a (short) period and ask that this is the way it always should be. No, I think it is important to take the whole history. The not that successful period that lasted for more than … 40 years. In that period we won nothing. Of course we may have won some tiny pots and like the tiny tots do mention them on their website like the “Norwich Charity Cup Winners: 1919/1920”just to make a bigger list of honours.

I think it is important that we look back and think of all those supporters in those odd 40 years or so who just supported a team and never really got a return. But the majority stayed loyal to the club and waited for the big things to arrive. And they did when Herbert Chapman became our manager. The good man took his time and luckily our board at the time was as determined as they are now and gave Chapman the time to build a new Arsenal.

And when the success came it was big success. Since then Arsenal has always had periods of success and then followed with periods of mediocrity. But never did we sink to being relegated in all those years since 1919. So in a few years we will be able to celebrate Arsenal being the first top club being in the top division of English football for 100 years. I really look forward to celebrating that anniversary.

We had ups and downs but never went down one could say.

But now our club has been in the top 4 of English football for….well as long as many fans can remember. You can love the man or you can have enough of him but no manager at Arsenal ever managed to do what Wenger has done. And that is keeping our club in the top 4 of English football for so many consecutive years. And that while for half of this period he had to do it with his hands being tied behind his back, sitting in a wheelchair as both his legs were kicked to pieces and having to fight money machines that had infinite incomes from outside.

Our club survived the building of a new stadium and stayed at the top. Our club survived the economic crisis and more importantly the housing crisis on a moment when we needed money to pay for the new stadium and suddenly the house market somehow collapsed right in the middle of that period. I really think it cost us a lot of money at the time. But Wenger kept us as close to the top as he could. And as nobody else could do.

But now the club is growing again and it can make new deals. And thanks to those new deals we have been able to buy us the first superstars like Özil and Alexis. So I think financially our club is in a better position than we ever have been.

On the field we have our troubles. I admit that before the start of the season I had hoped for more points at this stage. But freak injuries and lots of injuries to so many players cost us many points. And I will not really mention the referees in the costing us points table in this article.

Could we have done with a few more players? Given the injury crisis the answer is yes. But it has also given the chance to a few young kids to show what they can. Chambers would have been a bench warmer at first if Debuchy and Koscielny had been fit. But now he has had the chance to get valuable experience in many positions and we have seen the big potential he has. And the good thing is that I think he still can improve and no better manager than Wenger to improve a player. I wonder if he will be our new footballing DM in a few years when Arteta will retire?

Bellerin has shown his immense potential and I am one of his biggest fans but I am not blind to see that he also has to learn a few things before he will become the top player I have always seen in him. But the more I see him, the more I am convinced that he will become that top player.

This week we won at Galatasaray with 1-4. We went there and filled the bench with kids. Because of the injuries and because Wenger wanting to give any player that wasn’t 100% fit a rest. But this is a list of the players that didn’t take part in this match:


Koscielny – Gibbs – Monreal

Wilshere – Arteta – Özil – Cazorla – Rosicky

and we could have mentioned Diaby also.

Welbeck – Theo – Giroud – Alexis

That is 13 players without Diaby even. That is an amazing list with some great players in.  So down to the bare bones but still we got a great result away from home. I am sure that if we get most of those players back over the next weeks as we can expect we really will have a big choice and we can give players rest when they need it.

So yes things could have been better. Yes we could have had more points. But when I look at the list of players we have and the talent we have…I just feel confident that we still can do some big things this season.

So a happy birthday from me to Arsenal, long may she live and be in good health!


A PS from the Chairman of the Arsenal History Society.  

A mention of 1919 often brings out some backwoodsmen who have swallowed the propaganda of Tottenham, Liverpool and Man U over 1919, suggesting that Arsenal somehow fiddled their way into the 1st division after the war.  Such allegations ignore the match fixing scandal of Liverpool and Man U and has been investigated with reference to the newspapers of the times on the Arsenal History Blog.  We even offered a £100 reward if you can find the corruption.


The Christmas books

Some other sites from the Untold team (there is a full list on the home page)

26 Replies to “Happy Anniversary Good Old Arsenal”

  1. Bear in mind also, Walter, those of us crumblies(all wearing cardigans) who first followed Arsenal in the 1930’s when our Club was the undisputed top in England.
    In all the triumphs and disasters since those heady days, our devotion to Arsenal FC, its managers and all who wear the shirt, has never faltered.
    We who are left, continue in this fashion with
    serene confidence which will never change.

  2. Cheers to everyone one of those other founders who worked at the Arsenal (esp.Joseph Smith).
    A London cannon is always better than a country chicken.
    AHA and Amen!

  3. Happy Anniversary to my beloved Arsenal Football Club. The best and most ethically run club in England and one of the best in the world. We win some, we lose some but we never lose our values and humanity.

    Trophy or no trophy, I am extremely proud of my club, its manager, board and players.

    Congratulations on reaching 10,000,000* years!

    * to base 2 🙂

  4. Well done Walter, for this one. I lend my voice to everyone else wishing our great club a very happy birthday, good health and many trophy-laden years ahead. Let’s keep the faith, against all odds, being true to our watchword: Victory Through Harmony.
    It’s time to band together and support this great club.The future is bright, yes, the future is red and white!

  5. Thanks Walter for the heads up.

    Happy Anniversary the Arsenal !! Glad tidings and joy all round for every Gunner and Gooner all over the world. Will always cherish the good times and accept the tough times supporting the team.

  6. foreverheady, No but as he has not been involved for don’t know how long I didn’t include him.

  7. To follow up on Bootoomee.

    There are 10 kinds of people in this world: those that understand binary (base 2), and those that don’t.

  8. We also have Isaac Hayden out, I believe, which would give us a not too shabby back four. In fact
    Ospina, Monreal, Hayden, Kos, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Ozil, Cazorla, Welbeck
    An injured XI that looks pretty formidable.

    Speaking of youngsters, I see Chelsea’s 18yr old Loftus-Cheek is getting quite a few articles in the media about his debut, and yet hardly a word about the 5 teenagers we played. Same old, same old from the journowhores.

  9. So what you’re saying, Gord, is that Arsenal once went 110001 games unbeaten in the League, and that Tottenham haven’t won the League for 110101 years?

  10. @ Kenneth Widmerpool – December 11, 2014 at 10:45 am – Have you ever tried frying and eating a cannon ? You’d probably get a ‘blast’ from it and all the iron and minerals you’d ever need !
    Eating chicken – SI ! Eating crow – nein !

  11. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARSENAL FC ! May this ever grand old lady sail forever at her own pace ( or knot !)
    As we look back over that period , let us not forget those fallen giants of yesterday –
    Huddlersfield Town of the 20’s.
    Wolverhampton Wanders of the 50’s.
    Leeds United of the 60’s to mid seventies .
    Liverpool of the seventies and eighties (ok, if you insist ! The last Liverpool team to win the 1st division in 1990 ! Time flies when you’re having fun!).
    Nottingham Forrest of the mid 7o’s .
    ManUre …..what ??? 7th place is NOT a trophy !

  12. Brickfields, I havent mate,Im sure that stir- fry bloke (howtobasics) has though!
    the “ology” joke was brilliant.Cheers!

  13. ” Man – every man is an end in himself , not a means to the ends of others ; he must live for his own sake , neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself ; he must work for his rational self interest , with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life .”
    Ayn Rand .

  14. @ Kenneth Widmerpool December 11, 2014 at 5:39 pm – I’m sure I’ll find that loony trying to cook ‘heavy metals’ somewhere ,and will put it up !

  15. Bricks,I think the closest is the ‘howto build a computer’.
    Imagine one of those poncey BBC bakes offs and he turns up! Or loon versus Gordon “F’ck off as I know it all” Ramsey.Or baking the AAA!

  16. Happy 95th Anniversary to Arsenal FC Management Staff, MR Arsene Wenger, the Gunners and we the Gooners. My toast! I am back on the Arsenal comment websites as I took a day off after we trounced Gal’ to pay attention to the Nigerian APC Presidential Primary Election which took place successfully in Lagos today. And Major Gen. Muhammodu Buhari (GMB) beat 4 other contestants to pick the APC Presidential candidate ticket to face President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) in the February 15th Nigerian Presidential Election. I hope I will be congratulated when my Party won the election. And I am earnestly looking forward to the Gunners home game with the Magipbs on Saturday’s evening at the Emirates Stadium. I think the Gunners have started to change their style of play from tiki-taka to partly tiki-rugby style of play. The Gunners did not lay too much emphasise on pocceession at Galatasaray. I think Galatasaray had more pocceession of the ball than the Gunners did. But still the Gunners went ahead to win the game with some comforts. If the Gunners have actually changed their style of play as I have noticed. I think the Gunners will be better off to hold on to the change since it gave them a good victory at Galatasaray. I believe the Gunners will use the Newcastle game to start an unbeaten run in all competitions from this Saturday up to the end of the season. Let the Gunners first collect all the 3 points at stake in the Newcastle game to begin that unbeaten run journey.

  17. Not related to anniversaries, but peripherally related to another wish of Untold and base 2. There is a BOINC project at WorldCommunityGrid (in part by IBM), which among its goals, is to try and calculate information to help speed a cure for Ebola (and cancer). It was Ebola which caught the Untold reference.

    If you are running BOINC, I suspect your boinc manager will allow you to join WorldCommunityGrid.org. Once you join the project, you can pick and choose what stuff your computer will work on. The longest password allowed is 15 characters, and as my first password was 16 characters, I had some problems starting.

    If you are interested in helping the world solve cancer and ebola, and don’t understand anything I’ve written, please respond. I will make a more verbose posting.

  18. All clubs are only allowed 25 players, plus as many youngsters (forgotten the age group for this) as they wish.

    Therefore it was possible to register Different players but not MORE.

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