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Huddersfield v Arsenal. How the Huddersfield manager transformed Arsenal.

by Tony Attwood

We’ve played Huddersfield Town 75 times so far, and beaten them 34 times, drawn 25 and lost 16.

Of course the most interesting historic period is what happened when Herbert Chapman left Huddersfield and came to Arsenal as manager in 1925.  Chapman managed Huddersfield from 1 February 1921 until the summer of 1925 when he changed clubs, and Arsenal’s results against him during his period at Huddersfield were

Date Game Res Score Competition
22 Oct 1921 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal L 2-0 Division One
29 Oct 1921 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town L 1-3 Division One
16 Dec 1922 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town D 1-1 Division One
23 Dec 1922 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal L 4-0 Division One
15 Dec 1923 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town L 1-3 Division One
22 Dec 1923 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal L 6-1 Division One
11 Oct 1924 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal L 4-0 Division One
14 Feb 1925 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town L 0-5 Division One

Total dominance of Huddersfield over Arsenal was as we might expect given that they had Chapman and we had Highbury’s worst ever manager, Leslie Knighton.

The final match in that list is interesting historically because it is the one that was chosen by the international authorities to test out the new offside rule which reduced by one the number of defending players who needed to behind the ball when it was kicked for the attacker not to be offside.  Chapman and Huddersfield had got it right, Arsenal hadn’t got a clue.

Thus Chapman completed his rout of Arsenal with a record of having played eight, won seven, drawn one.

It is sometimes assumed that Chapman instantly turned Arsenal around, but in fact he struggled in his first few years – struggled so much that he handed in his resignation at one point.  Fortunately Sir Henry Norris, the chairman of Arsenal, turned his resignation down and told him to get on with it.

But although Chapman was not happy with what he was achieving at Highbury, if we look at the next sequence of results we see a change.  These are the first 11 matches between the two when Chapman was manager of Arsenal…

Date Match Res Score Competition
05 Dec 1925 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal D 2-2 Division One
17 Apr 1926 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 3-1 Division One
13 Nov 1926 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal D 3-3 Division One
02 Apr 1927 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town L 0-2 Division One
03 Dec 1927 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal L 2-1 Division One
14 Apr 1928 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town D 0-0 Division One
29 Sep 1928 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 2-0 Division One
09 Feb 1929 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal W 0-1 Division One
14 Dec 1929 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 2-0 Division One
19 Apr 1930 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal D 2-2 Division One
26 Apr 1930 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 2-0 FA Cup Final

That change over of managers led to six matches between the two in which Arsenal were unbeaten, concluding with Arsenal’s  second cup final – and their first trophy on 26 April 1930.  That run carried on to 1937 – a run of over 22 matches in which Huddersfield failed to beat Arsenal.  Of course by then Herbert Chapman was tragically long since gone, but what he had set up remained and the most successful Arsenal team of any decade was born: it concluded with five league titles and two FA Cup victories in 10 years.

The last ten games between the two clubs shown below, start with a defeat in the Double season during a spell of three defeats in five games.

Date Match Res Score Competition
16 Jan 1971 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal L 2-1 Division One
17 Aug 1971 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal W 0-1 Division One
22 Jan 1972 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 1-0 Division One
30 Nov 1982 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 1-0 League Cup
23 Sep 1986 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 2-0 League Cup
07 Oct 1986 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal D 1-1 League Cup
21 Sep 1993 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal W 0-5 League Cup
05 Oct 1993 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town D 1-1 League Cup
30 Jan 2011 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 2-1 FA Cup
29 Nov 2017 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 5-0 Premier League

One defeat in ten outings across 47 years.

But of course the connection between Huddersfield and Arsenal is always remembered.  It was the Arsenal History Society, which I’ve been delighted to run since its inception, that went to the club and proposed a statue of Herbert Chapman looking up at the Emirates Stadium… the exact phrase used in the proposition for the statue was “Looking up at the ground as if to say, ‘I created this’,” which of course he truly did.  Given the state of the club when he took over, it is doubtful if Arsenal would have survived as much more than a middle of the road club alternating between the first and second division, with occasional visits into the third, if Chapman had not arrived.  15 years later we were the greatest team in the world.

If you are interested in the history of the club and the period when Arsenal and Huddersfield were seen as the two greatest teams in the country you might care to glance at…

Meanwhile on Untold Arsenal…

 

 

 

 

13 comments to Huddersfield v Arsenal. How the Huddersfield manager transformed Arsenal.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Off topic but our Women have just beaten Man City by 2-1 here at Borehamwood. We made very heavy weather of it but just about deserved the win. Alex Scott came on for the last two minutes of extra time in what was her last home match.

    We are now one point behind City with two games to play for the important second European place next year

  • U know who

    I want to see Macey Chambers Holding Mavrapanos Bramall

    Niles screening

    Willock and Iwobi

    Nelson Mikhi wide

    Nketiah up front

    Huddersfield won’t kick us about and everyone else has WC to attend. Or needs a good rest.

    If we can’t field Cohen then Sead.

  • U know who

    I know Kostas (Greek abreviation) got red carded, pendants. It’s called what I want, should have been appealed. It can’t be sanctioned as a red under rulebook.

  • Gord

    That’s wonderful news Andrew.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Ordinary, I would have placed my bet on Arsenal to beat Huddersfield Town FC at the the John Smith’s Stadium in the PL tomorrow. But despite there is no Paddy Power here in Zaria town, Nigeria where I am leaving to put my money on Arsenal winning this PL match encounter with Huddersfield if I want to do that, on a serious second thought, I am not confident the Arsenal team Le Boss will put out to face Huddersfield team tomorrow will beat them to stop the losing rot by Arsenal in the League from continuing to 8 defeats on the run as this season’s campaign comes to a close for the summer break with the Huddersfield match being the Arsenal’s very last match of this season.

    I think if the Gunners who will start this match and the ones who may come on from the bench for match play the Huddersfield match will a strong winning mentality against the Terriers throughout the entire 90 minutes plus of the match, Arsenal might win the match with a draw game the 2nd possibility that could happen in the match but if the Terriers resist the attacking threats of the Gunners in the match very well, which if the Gunners have a good game day can be telling on the opposition.

    Arsenal who have lost 11 matches at away this season in the PL but managed to beat Everton, Burnley and Crystal Palace and drew 4 other matches all in the 18 matches they’ve played this season at away in the League might get a miracle from somewhe to beat Huddersfield tomorrow. But only if the rot at away matches that is against Arsenal in the PL this season will be stopped by the Gunners

  • colario

    A good link Polo. It puts the ex players involved in punditry to shame.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks for the link Polo. As colario said it puts a lot of people to shame.

  • MickHazel

    Thanks Polo, the article puts in to words exactly how I feel about Arsene.
    The likes of Adrian Durham (talksport) and his kind should read it and feel ashamed.

  • Gord

    Nice article Polo.

  • Jjgsol

    I assume that just as so many other of our records of being unbeaten for ages by various teams have fallen by the wayside this season the one against Huddersfield will do so as well.

    It seems the players have a mental block against winning away this season.

    They have my fervent hopes for a win but I suspect they will be able to conjur a defeat out of the jaws of victory for the last time.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks for that link , Polo . A true and fitting tribute to the great man , and who will be long remembered for all the right reasons and for the great football that the Arsenal played , and gave joy to millions .

  • markyb

    Mental block, can you imagine what it’s like to get the reffing they get every away game and not let it affect you.