20 February 1937: Burnley 1 Arsenal 7 (FA Cup)
1936/7 was George Allison’s third season as Arsenal manager. His record thus far had been
- 1934/5: Champions of the league, sixth round of the FA Cup.
- 1935/6: 6th in the league, winners of the FA Cup
After two such terrific opening seasons there was bound to be a year without success, and 1936/7 was that year. Arsenal came 3rd in the league and went out of the cup in the 6th round.
But the opening of the cup run during January and February 1937 was extraordinary in the sense of the number of high scoring games that occurred at the time.
From 12 December 1936 to the end of the year Arsenal had played six league games, won five and drew one, scoring 17 and letting in five.
This left Arsenal top of the league after the games on 1 January 1937
So the scene was set in the new year for some high scoring games, and this is what we got:
- 1 January 1937: Bolton 0 Arsenal 5 (Drake 4)
- 2 January 1937: Arsenal 1 Huddersfield 1
- 9 January 1937: Sunderland 1 Arsenal 1
- 16 January 1937: Chesterfield 1 Arsenal 5 (FA Cup 3) (Drake 2)
- 21 January 1937: Arsenal 3 Wolverhampton 0 (Drake 1)
- 30 January 1937: Arsenal 5 Manchester U 0 (FA Cup 4) (Drake 1)
- 3 February 1937: Derby 5 Arsenal 4 (Drake 1)
- 6 February 1937: Arsenal 1 Man U 1
- 13 February 1937: Sheffield Wednesday 0 Arsenal 0
- 20 February 1937: Burnley 1 Arsenal 7. ( FA Cup 5) (Drake 4)
But after that game on 13 February Arsenal had slipped in the league
I’ve included Ted Drake’s goals, because it is interesting that in the single goalless draw in that sequence Ted Drake didn’t play. He also didn’t play in the 6th round cup tie against West Brom on 6 March 1937, in which Arsenal went out of the cup with a 1-3 away defeat.
In fact Ted Drake only played 26 league games out of 42 that season – but he still scored 20 goals. In the cup he played three games and scored seven. Quite a decent return!
Arsenal did in fact suffer no more defeats in the league after the February 3 result until April 10, but three consecutive draws for the club in February and another four consecutive draws in March caused the downfall. Interesting that on March 26 Drake played his last game of the season, his injuries finally stopping him. And without him, Arsenal just didn’t have the way through to knock up those goals any more. Arsenal scored only eight goals in their last nine games – and four of those came in one match.