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GCR Books

Arsenal may have been bad but they were not as bad as Hull

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Arsenal 0 Manchester U 0, 12 March 1910

There’s no public records of this match that I can find – and quite possibly that is just as well.  The crowd was a mere 5,000, and it took Woolwich Arsenal to five games without a win.

The bottom of the table, after the match, read

  • Chelsea 30 played,  23 points
  • Middlesbrough 28 played  20 points
  • Tottenham 27 played  20 points
  • —————————————–
  • Woolwich Arsenal 29 played  20 points
  • Bolton 30 played  18 points

Two points for a win, one for a draw, and the bottom two go down to the second division.  At this point Woolwich Arsenal had never been relegated, but it was looking like this could be the first time.

Worse, the financial crisis was now in full swing, with the club heading towards liquidation, and the “no purchase” arrangement that had been part of the club all season, meaning that all that could happen was for the existing squad to do their best.

Woolwich Arsenal’s problems were in attack where they had scored just two goals in the past five games and a mere 30 in 29 games all season.  This was the lowest in the League and less than half of the goals scored by the top club (Aston Villa who had got 63).

To get a feel for how this season was going, at the same time 100 years later Arsenal have played 30 and scored 71, while down at the bottom Portsmouth have played 29 and scored 25.

Here’s another comparison.  In 2010 we have just played Hull City – and so here’s a comparison with Woolwich Arsenal’s position 100 years ago and Hull City’s today.

Woolwich Arsenal played 29, won 7 – drawn 6 –  lost 16 – scored 30

Hull City played 29, won 5 –  drawn 9 –  lost 15 –  scored 27

Next up, 100 years ago, was Bradford City away – a club sitting in seventh place.  Each game was starting to look like a must win.

If you want to know the story not just of the football in 1910 but all that happened to Woolwich Arsenal, and how it was taken over leading to the start of the modern club, the details are in the novel, “Making the Arsenal”

Tony Attwood

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