By Tony Attwood
Most days (when I remember, when I get up in time, and when I am not travelling or living upside down in Australia) I update the home page of Untold with a list of anniversaries of that day.
The actual files that these anniversaries come from are housed on the AISA Arsenal History site, and each of the month by month anniversary files gets an update every two or three weeks. Normally 20 to 30 newly discovered anniversaries are added to the files each week overall.
So to see if you have been paying attention, (or indeed have even noticed what’s on the home page) here are some questions, drawn from the anniversary files. The answers will be posted in the next piece. Or maybe the one after.
The questions take in the 19th century, Arsenal after the first world war, the Chapman era, the 1960s and 1970s, the early days of Wenger, and the early 21st century.
1. In 1893, the year Arsenal joined the Football League, the club was unwittingly involved in transforming the rules about player registrations with clubs, creating the Retain and Transfer system which lasted over 60 years. What triggered the change?
2. Curiously, Arsenal were also involved in the legal end of Retain and Transfer when they bought in a player who had gone on strike in protest at the system. Who was that – and when?
3. We recently uncovered the story of an Arsenal player who was transferred from Arsenal to Tottenham on the Friday and who then played for Tottenham against Arsenal on the Saturday. Who was it, and what was so odd about where he played in the match for Tottenham?
4. We also recently ran the story of the Arsenal player who later in life went on to manage Norway. Who was that, and why did he leave Arsenal?
5. One of the great traditions of the telling of Arsenal’s early history is to include a piece about a player who demanded a monkey as his signing on fee. Who was it, and what is it that makes us think the story is not quite all it seems?
6. We’ve often been critical about the way the image of Henry Norris is mostly built on the unsupported accusations made by Leslie Knighton – especially on the issue of transfers. Who was Leslie Knighton, and what was his problem?
7. Which famous Double Winning Arsenal player asked Arsenal to provide a three piece suite for his mum and dad as part of his signing on fee, and what answer did he get in response?
8. In 1997 Paul Merson left Arsenal, and recently suggested that Arsene Wenger begged him to stay. In the same transfer window Arsenal brought in two midfielders; who were they?
9. In an attempt to illustrate how one shouldn’t read too much into one particular bad performance and awful result, we chose 4 May 2003. What happened on that day, why was it bad, and then what happened?
10. In the last couple of years we’ve pieced together the various series of friendlies that Arsenal regularly played under Herbert Chapman. The most famous were those against Racing Club de Paris, and against Rangers. But during the year we also found another short series of games that have vanished from most history books.
Who did we play in that series, what specifically is the reason we think it started, and what was the historic connection that linked the clubs and Herbert Chapman?
Happy Christmas Eve from Walter, Blacksheep, Don, Bulldog, Billy the Dog, and everyone else involved with Untold – and me.
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