Today of all days

Arsenal’s history one day at a time

This series takes a look at what was happening to Arsenal and in the world around them on this day at one point in Arsenal’s past.

8 December 2012: how one win can change everything

Arsenal 2 WBA 0; 8 December 2012

The score in relation to this match looks bland.   So why bother with it?

Yet to me this game is the symbol of all the turmoil of the 2012/13 season and the start of our way out of it. 

On 17 November 2012 Arsenal beat Tottenham 5-2, after only one win in the previous four games (a 1-0 defeat of QPR).  Suddenly there was some light at the end of the tunnel.

But then we had a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa on 24 November, and a 1-1 away draw with Everton on 28 November.  And “false dawn” was exactly what the Tottenham result seemed to be when we then lost at home to Swansea.

This was getting awful – and it was the moment when the Anti-Wengerians must have felt their time had come.

The league table looked like this after the Swansea game…

1Manchester United1512033721+1636
2Manchester City159602811+1733
4Tottenham Hotspur158252823+526
5West Bromwich Albion158252419+526
7Swansea City156542317+623
8West Ham United156451917+222
9Stoke City155731412+222

Passable for quite a bit of the Graham reign, and a lot better than Mee’s latter years, but still not what the Emirates crowd had got used to.   Beating Tottenham 5-2 seemed centuries away and irrelevant when the team was behind Stoke City and West Ham.  Tottenham must have thought they stood a real chance of fourth.

The gap was five points – which in one sense doesn’t seem much – except that although one might expect Stoke to lose a couple and Arsenal to win a couple – we needed to do better than all six teams above us.  It seemed unlikely.

But then something happened and it started by beating West Brom on this day. After that we beat Reading 2-5, Wigan 0-1 and Newcastle 7-3.  The defeats were not over – we still had a defeat to Chelsea and Tottenham to come, but the amazing momentum that took Arsenal through the rest of that season, ending up with Arsenal in fourth, started with the West Brom game.

After 15 games, and just before the WBA game, we were 10th and this looked to be the season when we would finally drop out of the Champions League.  After that we played 23 more league games, won 16, drew 3 and lost 4 – ending up in fourth position, claimed on the last day of the season.

Arsenal history 6-12 December

6 December 1997: the awful times just before… winning the double

6 December 2016: Arsenal beat Basel – the video

7 December 1940: Jack Lambert, record-breaking goal scorer and club coach, died in car crash

7 December 2004: Arsenal score five in Europe – the video

8 December 2012: Two penalties two goals. Arsenal v West Brom

8 December 2012: How one win can totally change a season

9 December 1973: The first-ever mention of the Arsenal back four moving in unison

10 December 1908: From The Courier, Plumstead, Thursday, December 10, 1908

11 December 1881 and 11 December 1886

12 December 1946: Ronnie Rooke signs for Arsenal

12 December 2007: Watch Arsenal beat Steaua Bucharest

6 December 2016 Arsenal beat Basel, the video

5 December: Arsenal score three vs Sunderland

Gilberto captains Arsenal to a wonderful win over Tottenham: 2 December

2 December 2006: Arsenal beat Tottenham 3-0 with two from Gilberto Silva and one from Adebayor.  It was a welcome victory after consecutive defeats and started a run of seven games without defeat.

You can watch the video through the link above.

Arsenal go five points clear at the top – the video

Arsenal history 29 Nov – 5 Dec

“This week in Arsenal’s history” is an index of articles that have appeared on during the last couple of years. New articles in the series are being added day by day.

Here are this week’s anniversary articles – where we have only one article on a day, a second one will appear on the website and be added to the index.

29 November 1924: unravelling the excuses of a failed manager

29 November 2014: Beating West Brom – the video

30 November 1925: Athletic News celebrates the coming of the new Arsenal

1 December 1992: Plotting the first ever cup double

1 December 2007: Arsenal go five points clear at the top of the league

2 December 1967: The first appearance of Pat Rice MBE

2 December 2006: Gilberto captains Arsenal to wonderful win over Tottenham

3 December 1949: Arsenal strongly refute newspaper tale that players smoke at half time

3 December 2016: Arsenal beat West Ham away 1-5 – the video

4 December 1926: Arsenal director Sir Henry Norris challenged the FA in public over its handling of the career-ending injury to Tom Whittaker while playing for England.

4 December 2010: Nasri scores a goal of utter genius…

5 December 1921: The FA declared that football was unsuitable for women and forbad league clubs from renting out their grounds for women’s matches.

5 December 2015: Arsenal score three against Sunderland – the video

Previous editions of the series

This week in Arsenal’s history: 8-14 November

This week in Arsenal’s history 15-21 November

This week in Arsenal’s history 22-28 November

25 November: the video of Arsenal’s greatest game ever!

23 November 2013: the video with the keeper