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Arsenal in the 30s: Arsenal at the start of the 2nd world war (autumn 1939)

by Tony Attwood

On 19 August 1939 on the eve of war, Arsenal beat Tottenham (away) 1-0 in a friendly – an event that was undoubtedly presaged by the same fixture as a pre-season friendly, but at Highbury, on the saturday before the first league match of the 1938/9 campaign.

Whether the clubs also […]

The players and the crowds: Arsenal 1938/9

by Tony Attwood

Arsenal used 29 players in the 1938/9 season of whom 12 played fewer than nine league games. Here is the chart, as usual, along with appearance figures for the previous two seasons by way of comparison.

Player Position 1938/9 Games 1938/9 Goals 1937/8 Games 1936/7 Games Cliff Bastin Outside Left 24 4 […]

Arsenal in the summer 1939

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal finished the 1938/9 season in fifth place (not their worst since 1930, but still rather disappointing for the reigning champions).

They then set off on a post season tour which took in six Scandinavian games and a seventh against the Belgian national side.

Writing of this tour Bernard Joy called it […]

April / May 1939: Arsenal clamber back to 5th, and achieve film stardom

By Tony Attwood

The final run-in of the 1938/9 season through April and May saw Arsenal start the (as usual) very busy schedule with the league table looking like this

P W D L F A GA Pt 1 Everton 34 23 3 8 73 43 1.70 49 2 Wolverhampton Wndrs 34 18 8 8 […]

March 1939: goalscoring and away form are the key problems

by Tony Attwood

Arsenal had finished February in ninth still 11 points off the pacemakers, and being out of the Cup as well, all that could be hoped for was an improvement to keep up the Arsenal legend of success in the 30s.

P W D L F A GAv Pts 1 Everton 30 20 […]

February 1939: Arsenal struggle to make a continuing impact.

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal ended January in 10th but as noted before they also had two games in hand over the middle clutch of teams in the upper part of the table, which gave hope for February.

P W D L F A GAv Pts 1 Derby County 26 15 5 6 46 31 1.48 […]

Arsenal in January 1939: some signs of recovery.

By Tony Attwood

On 2 January – postponed for one day since 1 January was a Sunday, Rangers and Celtic played their traditional year opener. This time however the match was of particular significance since it is recorded as having the highest attendance for a U.K. football match ever at 118,730.

Back in England the […]

December 1938: the manager makes changes and a new hero is found

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal entered December in the unfamiliar position of being in the bottom half of the table without even the consolation that they had found last year of having all the teams bunched together near the top. They were a full 11 points off the leaders, with just one game in hand. Put […]

Arsenal in November 1938: facing relegation, avoiding collisions

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal ended October 1938 in a rather unappealing 10th position, eight points behind the leaders, with a game in hand.

Here is the league table at the end of that month.

P W D L F A GAv Pts 1 Derby County 13 9 2 2 25 13 1.92 20 2 Everton […]

Joseph Szabo, his visit to Arsenal, and the way it changed SC Braga’s history.

by Brian Evans.

I am currently writing a book on British football managers in Portugal. There are a few Arsenal connections with two of the five mangers being ex Arsenal players, and I will be writing in detail on Arsenals 1948 tour which resulted in the famous Taca da Arsenal (Arsenal Cup).

However, at the […]

Arsenal in October 1938: the champions stagnating in mid-table

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal ended September in the lower reaches of the first division – way below what had been hoped for after their dramatic seizing of the Championship for the fifth time the previous May.

They were at least undefeated in the last two games however (although saying this is rather a case of […]

August/September 1938/39. The start of the end.


By Tony Attwood

Arsenal entered the 1938/39 season as Champions, having won the league for the fifth time in eight years. In the seasons they did not win the trophy they had come second, third, and sixth. Additionally they had won the FA Cup twice during the 1930s.

Rather amazingly the trophy haul for […]

George Hunt: the first ever player to move from Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal

By Tony Attwood

George Hunt was born on 22 February 1910 and died on 19 September 1996. For Arsenal supporters he will be remembered as one of the team that won the league in 1938 and also as the first ever player to move from Tottenham (then of the second division) to Arsenal (about to […]

Arsenal in the summer: 1938. The Nazi salute; the world record signing.

By Tony Attwood

After winning the league and playing their one friendly match (see the article on April and May 1938) Arsenal’s season was over. However there was, as always, other activity for the Arsenal players and the club during the summer. They may even have indulged in going to the races.

On […]

Arsenal players in the 1937/38 title winning side, and comparisons with earlier seasons

By Tony Attwood

Having completed the month by month review of Arsenal’s 1937/8 title winning season (for a full index of the series please see the foot of this article) here is the list of all the league players involved in the 1937/8 season with links to articles about them on […]

April/May 1938: from no titles to five in one decade – and the most amazing title of them all.

This is part of the series of articles which follows Arsenal through the 1930s. An index to the articles already written is given at the end of this piece.

This article updated 8 March 2017

by Tony Attwood

On 30 March 1938 the home and away league table looked like this. The team on the […]

March 1938: Arsenal at the top and a fifth title looks possible

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal and Wolverhampton had now become the form teams with four wins and two draws for Arsenal, five wins and one defeat for Wolverhampton, in the last six. Wolverhampton however had the games in hand. The table at the end of February looked like this.

P W D L F A GAv […]

Arsenal in February 1938: a true resurgence takes us top of the league.

This article is part of a series that traces Arsenal’s history through the 1930s. A full index of the articles is given at the end of this piece.

by Tony Attwood

Arsenal ended January 1938 in the 5th round of the FA Cup but were now six points behind the league leaders with two games […]

Arsenal in January 1938: two steps backwards but a new genius emerges.

by Tony Attwood

This is part of a series of articles covering every aspect of Arsenal FC throughout the 1930s. Details of all the other articles in the series are given below.

At the end of 1937 the league table looked a lot more promising from Arsenal’s point of view than it had before.

P […]

Arsenal in December 1937; a settled team and a revival

by Tony Attwood

This is part of a series of articles covering every aspect of Arsenal FC throughout the 1930s. Details of all the other articles in the series are given below.

At the end of November 1937 Arsenal were in 6th place in the league – just four points off the top of the […]

Arsenal in Nov 1937; a tactical signing changes the game

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal began November 1937 languishing in 9th place, with the football world was awash with rumours of the biggest shake up in Allison’s career as a manager about to happen.

Chapman had been known to be ruthless in his treatment of players, dropping them the moment they did not meet his expectations, […]

Arsenal in October 1937: Allison decides it is time for a total change.

By Tony Attwood

By the end of September Arsenal had raised the hopes of all their fans that another title winning season could be on the cards, but then after a perfect start had faded away and ended the month in 7th position. But they were only three points behind the leaders – Charlton – […]

Arsenal in August and September 1937: a brilliant start and a TV first.

By Tony Attwood

The 1936/7 season had ended in disappointment for Arsenal who had for a long time looked capable of winning the league. Instead Man City made a late rush to win the league for the first time.

Home Away W D L F A W D L F A GAv Pt 1 Man […]

Reg Trim: only one game for Arsenal but a varied career as a footballer

by Tony Attwood

Today, playing large numbers of matches in the Football Combination (the reserve league) would be derided, but many is the player for whom doing just this in the 1930s was a matter of significance, and the medals to be won as Arsenal regularly won the Combination league were items to be cherished. […]

Raymond Parkin: great goalscorer, five times Combination champion

by Tony Attwood

Raymond Parkin was born on 28 January 1911 in Crook, County Durham. He started his career in 1926 as an amateur, with Esh Winning FC – a team that won the Northern League in 1913 and was considered one of the leading amateur teams in that part of the country at the […]