by Tony Attwood
I have written a little on the Arsenal History Society website comparing today’s AAA and wondering how they would have got on in the time of Herbert Chapman. Chapman, as we know railed against the antics and jeering of the “boo-boys” as the anti-Chapman gangs were called, and they took the FA Cup 3rd round defeat against Walsall as a rallying cry to up their demands for his removal.
Certainly from what we can tell from contemporary reports there were some very dubious goings on at Walsall’s ground on that day. Reports talk of the crowd being on the pitch during much of the game, and the linesman running the line on the pitch to avoid the crowds. There were even comments about objects being thrown at Arsenal players every time they got near the crowd, with the police nowhere to be seen.
But Chapman did not discuss such matters, possibly because he had been a contributor to the Sunday Express with a regular column in that paper. And the Sunday Times then as now had views on how it was presenting reality.
However after the Walsall game on 14 January 1933 Chapman moved on three players as quickly as he could.
Billy Warnes signed as a professional on 29 June 1929. He played in 25 of the 29 reserve games that season before Walsall, leaving the club at the end of the season to go to Norwich City.
Charlie Walsh signed as a professional on 11 May 1931. He played in 17 of the reserve games that season before Walsall but left the club almost immediately afterwards, joining Brentford on 27 January 1933.
Tommy Black joined Arsenal on 4 July 1931 from Strathclyde. He was by no means a regular even in the reserves, playing just 16 games that season before Walsall. He was transferred to Plymouth Argyle six days after the Walsall game.
Over the years Mr Wenger has also moved on players just as quickly in the past, sometimes giving a youngster just one substitute appearance before selling him or ending the contract, and reading his comments after the match I think we might see that again.
He is quoted as saying, “I just think we were not good enough anywhere – not up front, in the middle or at the back – and we paid for it. We repeated the same mistakes – once, twice, three times. They looked sharper. They had more chances and an outstanding performance. They were sharp, winning decisive challenges, and dangerous going forward, and overall they deserved to win, as simple as that. Overall I would like to congratulate Nottingham Forest.
“It hurts very much. We have won the FA Cup three times in the last four years. We will not win it every year and it’s a difficult competition to win but it hurts to go out in the third round. Unfortunately they were better than us. We have another big game on Wednesday and we must focus on that now. I always expect the best of my team.”
Of course it might just be coincidence that we saw a few strange refereeing decisions yesterday, leading to a few comments about Olympiakos Forest (the owner of Forest also being deeply connected with THE highly dubious Olympiakos). A referee missing a double hit penalty is odd because at that moment the ref only has one thing to look at – the kick. And the fourth goal came just after Arsenal had a very strong penalty appeal turned down. And although the guys on Arsenal.com don’t normally complain against refs here they were utterly incensed by such decisions and the paucity of added time.
Speaking of Arsenal.com, I made the point there that before this game our backup players and youngsters have played nine games in the Europa and League Cup. The results prior to yesterday were Won 7, Lost 1, Drawn 1. And that still in the darkness of this morning still seems a fairly valid point. Where (as I wondered yesterday) is the sense of context?
Here’s the record…
|14 Sep 2017||Arsenal v 1.FC Köln||W||3-1||UEFA Europa League|
|20 Sep 2017||Arsenal v Doncaster Rovers||W||1-0||League Cup|
|28 Sep 2017||FC BATE Borisov v Arsenal||W||2-4||UEFA Europa League|
|19 Oct 2017||Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal||W||0-1||UEFA Europa League|
|24 Oct 2017||Arsenal v Norwich City||W||2-1||League Cup|
|02 Nov 2017||Arsenal v Crvena Zvezda||D||0-0||UEFA Europa League|
|23 Nov 2017||1.FC Köln v Arsenal||L||1-0||UEFA Europa League|
|07 Dec 2017||Arsenal v FC BATE Borisov||W||6-0||UEFA Europa League|
|19 Dec 2017||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||1-0||League Cup|
|07 Jan 2018||Nottingham Forest v Arsenal||L||4-2||FA Cup|
So we’re out of the Cup. I wonder if the FA will now recognise on their official website that we won it last year?
- FA Cup Nottingham Forrest – Arsenal 4-2
- FA insist that Chelsea are current holders of FA Cup; last season’s final not to be counted
- May 1919: war football ends and the wonderful Alf Baker is signed