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Opening runs: 3 wins in 10, undefeated in 7, 4 wins in 10. But for whom?

Here are the Anniversaries from 20 August – part of our regular daily look at Arsenal’s history.

Our most recent article on Arsenal’s history is The end of Woolwich Arsenal and of the first season at Highbury.


The answers to the question in the headline are to be found on 20 August 1966, 20 August 1977, and 20 August 1995.


 

20 August 1904: George Morrell, the only manager who relegated Arsenal and who also was the first manager at Highbury, took up his first post – as manager of Morton.

20 August 1913: Henry Norris used his influence as a director of both clubs to arrange for Arsenal to play a practice match at Fulham, prior to the start of the new season, as the Gillespie Road ground (Highbury) was still being built.

20 August 1938: Debut of Bryn Jones in friendly v Tottenham.  Arsenal lost 0-2.  The mantle of the world’s most expensive player did not sit easily on his shoulders, but it was primarily the war that stopped him showing his promise.

20 August 1949: Arsenal’s two-times manager Stewart Houston born in Dunoon.  He played for Chelsea, Brentford, Man U, Sheffield Utd and Colchester Utd before becoming assistant manager to George Graham in 1990.

20 August 1955: Having moved from Arsenal, Ben Marden played his first game for Watford and immediately scored two goals.  He had played 42 games for Arsenal and went on to play 41 for Watford, scoring 11 for each club.

20 August 1960: Alan Skirton played his first Arsenal league game – a 3-2 away defeat to Burnley.  It is said that he was offered the chance to play for both Arsenal and Chelsea but chose Arsenal because they had a reputation for helping to train players for their career after football.

20 August 1966: Bertie Mee’s first game in charge – Sunderland 1 Arsenal 3.  Skirton scored two and Armstrong the third.  Mee won his first three games, but then none of the next seven.

20 August 1973: Continuing the long association of Arsenal and Rangers (who at this time still owned shares in Arsenal) – Rangers 1 Arsenal 2 in the Rangers centenary match.  George and Radford scored.

20 August 1977: Pat Jennings first game for Arsenal – a 0-1 defeat to Ipswich.  Arsenal won only four out of the first ten games, but Jennings kept his place and played all 55 league, league cup and FA Cup matches that season.

20 August 1995: Arsenal 1 Middlesbrough 1. Bruce Rioch’s first game. Arsenal went seven games undefeated at the start of the season, but in the complete season won 17 of their 38 league games and scored just 49 league goals.

20 August 1996: Totally caught off guard by the appointment of Arsenal’s new manager the Evening Standard ran the headline “Arsène  who?”

20 August 2003: Jermaine Pennant loaned for the season to Leeds Utd.  He played 36 times for Leeds and scored 2 goals.   Also  Dennis Bergkamp’s first match for Arsenal. He played 33 league games in this first season with the club, scoring 11 goals

20 August 2008: Arsenal signed Mikaël Silvestre from Manchester United.  He was the first Man U player to join Arsenal since Brian Kidd in 1974 .  At 31 he put the lie to the “Wenger never signs or keeps players over 30″ story, but despite all the constant  evidence to the contrary from Bergkamp onwards the press still continued to run it.

20 August 2011: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2.  All in all it was a very disappointing start to the season with two draws in the Emirates Cup, a defeat in a friendly to Benfica and then just two victories in the first seven games.

20 August 2012: Arsenal announced the sale of Alex Song to Barcelona.  He had played 143 league games and scored seven goals.  He later went on loan to West Ham.

20 August 2015: Wellington Silva loaned to Bolton Wanderers for the season.  It was his sixth loan; he played 22 times and scored two goals.

20 August 2016: Having lost the opening match at home to Liverpool, Arsenal drew away to champions Leicester as anti-Wenger “fans” undertook a co-ordinated protest which gave Leicester renewed hope of snatching a victory close to the end.


And also on this day in 1940, having been dismissed as mere fantasy by many in the higher command of the British forces, largely because its inventor had not gone to the right sort of school, radar was finally used by the British in the second world war.  As the remarkable effectiveness of the invention became clear one of the largest propaganda exercises of the war was launched to stop the enemy from understanding how the strike rate of British pilots and defences was suddenly so much higher than previously.  The inventor Robert Watson Watt however was never seen as being quite the right sort of man, and he was excluded from involvement in radar’s subsequent applications.   His story is a perfect example of what happens when the British public school system is allowed to run government – as indeed it still does.


The current series from the Arsenal History Series being developed on this site is  Henry Norris at the Arsenal, covering all aspects off the life and work of the man who rescued Arsenal from extinction, secured the club’s future by moving it to Highbury, and then brought in Herbert Chapman as manager.

The previously untold tale of how it was that Norris came to choose Highbury as the suitable location for Arsenal’s new ground.

The series is being worked on daily, and the articles thus far are here.

Among the many other series we have run are…

There are details of many other series covered by this site on our home page.

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