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March 2017
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Pat Rice: a tribute from the Arsenal History Society

by Tony Attwood

Pat Rice (who was born on 17 March 1949 and who has just left Arsenal, after a lifetime’s service), made his first-team début in the League Cup match against Burnley on December 5 1967. I believe that the game against Norwich last week is counted as his last match. An astonishing […]

Are you Pat Rice in disguise?

By Tony Attwood

This is a continuation of the series of articles about players who played for the opening match of the Arsenal season 100 years ago. This piece is about a player whose career was so similar to Pat Rice’s you will be amazed! The player is…

Joseph Ebenezer Shaw – a name to […]

Arsenal players part 2: L to Z

Introductory notes (the listings start below)

You can find the player details for part 1 (A to K) here.

This is the second half what will become a complete A to Z index of every player to have played for Arsenal in a league match, along with some others, with links to the main articles […]

Arsenal in the 30s: April 1934. Joe Shaw wins the league for Chapman

This is part of a series of articles tracing the history of Arsenal through the 1930s. There is an index of all the articles in the series thus far at the end of this piece.

By Tony Attwood

The table, at the conclusion of March 1934 read:

P W D L F A GA Pt […]

Where do we go next, and where have we come from. 9 May – a big day for Arsenal.

By Tony Attwood

I’ve recently finished the series covering all the players who played in the first Arsenal league season of 1893/4, – the index to the whole series is on the home page.

Prior to that we had the Arsenal in the 70s series, and there is a full index to that series of […]

Today we honour Joe Shaw, one of the greatest servants Arsenal has ever known

Today we honour Joe Shaw who was born on this day in 1883. He became one of the most important men in the history of Arsenal spending virtually all his working life with Arsenal playing 309 times for the club, being club captain, and being reserve team manager. He is also known for being the […]

How long does it take a new manager to win the league at Arsenal?

By Tony Attwood

Below is a list of all the managers in the history of Woolwich Arsenal, The Arsenal and Arsenal FC. The second column shows when that person (or in the case of the first time around, the committee) took up the job, and what happen in their first season.

The “first season” column […]

Arsenal in the 70s, part 24 July to Dec 79. One pace forwards, one pace back.

By Tony Attwood

The pre-season started off in a most curious manner with the signing on 15 July 1979 of John Hollins who joined from QPR. He played initially for Chelsea (with a spell as captain) and in 12 years knocked up 436 appearances including 167 consecutive games and then had four seasons at QPR […]

Arsenal in the 70s part 22. July to Dec 1978. Surviving without Macdonald.

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal had finished the previous season with disappointment – slipping to 5th when for a while second place was on offer, and being beaten by a very poor Ipswich team in the Cup Final and losing in the semi-final of the League Cup to a dour defensive Liverpool.

It was these disappointments […]

Arsenal in the 70s Part 20: July to Dec 1977 – signs of recovery.

By Tony Attwood

1977 had seen the most unwelcome of records for Arsenal as on 12 February 1977 the result Man C 1 Arsenal 0 was not just the fourth consecutive game without a win, but also the first of seven consecutive defeats in the league – the worst ever run of defeats, beating the […]

Arsenal in the 70s: 19. Jan to June 77. Arsenal’s worst ever run ever. Jimmy Hill stoops low.

By Tony Attwood

Updated 8 Feb with end of season friendlies added.

Arsenal ended 1976 in sixth place, seven points behind the league leaders with three games in hand.

They began the new year at home to the much disliked Leeds United on 3 January 1977 in a match in which Alan Hudson, the man […]

Arsenal in the 70s part 18: July to Dec 1976. Neill takes control

By Tony Attwood

On 21 August 1976 Malcolm Macdonald made his league début in Terry Neill’s first game as manager, against newly promoted Bristol City.

Mee had ended his final season with this line up:

Rimmer, Rice, Nelson, Ross, Mancini, Powling, Armstrong, Ball, Stapleton, Cropley, Brady.

Neill began his new regime with

Rimmer, Rice, Nelson, […]

Arsenal in the 70s: July to Dec 1975. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse…

An index of all the articles in the series before this one is shown at the foot of this article.

By Tony Attwood

By the summer of 1975 Bertie Mee’s image was seriously tarnished. From the peak of his reputation in 1970 with the Fairs Cup Win, and then the Double in 1971, he […]

Arsenal in the 70s part 13: July 74 to Dec 74. Relegation beckons.

This is part of a series of articles not just on what happened to Arsenal in the 1970s but why it happened. There is an index to the articles published thus far at the foot of the page, and the index is updated on the site’s home page.

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal approached the 1974/5 […]

Arsenal in the 70s Part 12: Jan to June 74. Farewell Bob, hello Liam.

By Tony Attwood

We left Arsenal 16th in the League at the end of December, 16 points off the leaders, Leeds, and only 7 points above the third relegation spot – newly created for this season, plus knocked out of the League cup by Tranmere. Some serious improvement was needed – and quickly.

Unfortunately this […]

Arsenal in the 70s part 9: July to Dec 1972. The time of indiscipline and invasions.

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal returned to training in July 1972, without a new trophy in the cabinet. But in the past five years they had won the league, the Fairs Cup, and the FA Cup. They had twice been beaten finalists in the League Cup Final, and once beaten in the FA Cup final. It […]

Arsenal in the 70s, part 7: The remains of 1971/2, revival and defeat.

By Tony Attwood


Derby literally took the fight to Arsenal with O’Hare at one stage punching and kicking Graham repeatedly. As players tried to pull O’Hare off, the referee checked with the linesman and then spoke to Gemmill and Simpson. It was that sort of display.


The […]

Arsenal in the 70s, part 3. The Golden Treble

Arsenal in the 70s, part 1: the re-birth of the club. 1969/70

Arsenal in the 70s, part 2: preparing for the impossible. July to December 1970

By Tony Attwood

Thus Arsenal had finished 1970 in a solid position in the league, still in the Fairs Cup, and of course ready for the opening of another […]

Arsenal in the 70s part 2: preparing to do the impossible.

By Tony Attwood.

(Amended 10 November)

Although Arsenal entered 1970/71 season on a high having won a European competition for the first time, they were still often reminded by a belligerent press that they had not won any major domestic competition since the league trophy of 1953. Worse, they were the nearly men, the team […]

Happy Birthday Arsène Wenger; 22 October 2015

Arsène Wenger OBE is the longest serving and most successful Arsenal manager of all time. Indeed it is no exaggeration to say that he has singlehandedly created the second Arsenal Golden Age, while at the same time revolutionising English top division football.

The first Arsenal Golden Age ran of course from 1930 to 1953, encompassing […]

1980: Arsenal pre-season after trying to win nearly everything

By Tony Attwood

1979/80 ended with one of the most overloaded match schedules in the history of the club. Perhaps the most overloaded.

Arsenal got to the club’s third successive FA cup final (the only time this had ever been achieved by the club) but a combination of drawn games in the semi-final […]

2012 Pre season. Nigeria cancelled, Akpom and Bellerin make their mark

by Tony Attwood

After the chaos of the 2011 pre-season we were all looking for a spot of relief and re-assurance, and we got it with the announcement before the old season was over that Lukas Podolksi was joining. Olivier Giroud was added to the rosta in June.

The release notices came the following month […]

The pre-season in which Mr Wenger arrived

By Tony Attwood.

This article continues the series on past pre-seasons, this time dealing with the summer of 1996.

None of us knows, of course, what happened when Bruce Rioch left and Arsene Wenger arrived. We know that Rioch finished the previous season of 1995/6 in a bit of style, but had a dreadful 1996 […]

Doubles, birthdays, and our third semi final (plus Reading’s first)

17 March brings us the usual stream of anniversaries, the full list of which is given below. But among them are two birthdays: Pat Rice and Lee Dixon, plus two significant matches in Double Seasons:

17 March 1998: WHU 1 Arsenal 1, FA Cup 6 Replay. Anelka scored in the game, and Arsenal won on […]

The end of “The “Arsenal”; Knighton’s fantasies; Tom Whittaker’s glory. 22 November anniversaries

It is a varied mix for 22 November at Arsenal including a change of name from our fourth name (The Arsenal) to the fifth (Arsenal)

22 November 1899: Alexander Main signed from Hibs

22 November 1913: Last senior game for Roddy McEachrane

22 November 1913: Last senior game for Joseph Fidler

22 November 1919: Programme […]