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.

The series has articles for each day from 21 October onward – just scroll down the page to find the date you want

11 September 1893 – the anniversary of our first ever league win (and remembrance of Walsall)

It is curious that Arsenal’s first ever league win should be against the team that ultimately caused our most celebrated disaster of a defeat: Walsall.

In 1893/4 when Arsenal entered the league, Walsall were called Walsall Town Swifts being an amalgamation of  Walsall Town and Walsall Swifts – both clubs pre-dating the foundation of Arsenal in 1886.

Walsall TS entered the second division of the League in its first year – one year ahead of Woolwich Arsenal.  They survived three seasons but then failed to be re-elected and so left the league, changing their name in 1896 to Walsall.

In our first season the early results were

  • September 2  Woolwich Arsenal 2 Newcastle United 2 (home – attendance 10,000)
  • September 9  Notts County 3 Woolwich Arsenal 2 (away – attendance 7000)
  • September 11 Woolwich Arsenal 4 Walsall Town Swifts 0 (home attendance 4000 – the low number being caused by the match kicking off on Monday afternoon – the crowd for the second half was considerably higher!)

Fortunately, we did not have to wait long for the second victory – for in the next game we beat Grimsby 3-1, but then lost the return match against Newcastle 6-0.  Those fans who thought that the journey through the league into the first division was going to be a simple one, were given a real wake-up call.

Woolwich Arsenal finished the season in 9th place, one place and five points above Walsall Town Swifts.  We won 12, drew 4 and lost 12.

So on to the other big match against Walsall: Walsall of the Third Division North vs Arsenal; 14th January 1933.  In the previous season we had come second in the league and were runners up in the F.A. Cup.  At the time of the Walsall game we were top of the 1st Division – and we went on to win it.   Walsall on the other hand included a fair number of amateur players in their squad and ended up 5th in the 3rd division north.  Yet they beat Arsenal lost 2-0.

So what happened?

To understand that game it is important to remember that at this time both the standard of play and of refereeing in the lower leagues was quite different from that in the first division.  Football everywhere was more of a contact sport in the 1930s, and in the third division much of the more “vigorous” conduct went unpunished.  With no broadcasters at the games and the only reporters at league matches being from the (inevitably biased) local press, refs by and large let players get on with the game, rather that blow the whistle for every infringement.  Besides there were no red and yellow cards, and name taking and sendings-off were rare indeed.

As for the ground, Bernard Joy in his report on the match speaks of how too many fans were let in (it wasn’t all ticket) and how the spectators encroached onto the pitch throughout the match.  It was not what the players of Arsenal were used to.

Meanwhile on the same day at the same time Arsenal Reserves played Northampton Town at Highbury winning 5-0.  The reserve team included Leslie Compton, Horace Cope, Ray Parkin, Alf Haynes, and Joe Hulme, all of whom played in the first team that season.

And it is this that gives us a clue as to what Herbert Chapman was doing.  He wasn’t giving first team players a rest at all.  No, he was finding out whether four of his reserves were mentally and physically strong enough to play for Arsenal first team.

One of the four (Norman Sidey) did pass the test and played 45 times for the club.  But for the other three it was both their first and last game.

Billy Warnes joined Arsenal as an amateur in 1925.  He played in 25 of the 29 reserve games that season before Walsall, leaving the club at the end of the season to go to Norwich City.

Charlie Walsh also joined Arsenal as an amateur and signed as a professional on 11 May 1931. He played in 17 of the reserve games that season before Walsall but left the club almost immediately afterwards, joining Brentford on 27 January 1933.

Tommy Black joined Arsenal on 4 July 1931 from Strathclyde.   He was by no means a regular even in the reserves, playing just 16 games that season before Walsall.  He was transferred to Plymouth Argyle six days after the Walsall game.

So for three players the experiment was a disaster, but it allowed Mr Chapman the chance to have a bit of a clear out.  Sadly however he never had the chance to try the experiment again, for this was his last Cup game before his early death.  Had he survived who knows what he might have done next?

10 September 1988: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 3. “A surreal free for all”

Think of 1988/9 and you think of the last game of the season.  (Arsenal won the title in the dying seconds at Liverpool, in case your memory is slipping!).  It was the first time Arsenal had won the league in 18 years, and the first time the League had not been won by Everton or Liverpool after 8 years of dominance.  You might even recall the murmurs of discontent about the number of late dubious penalties that there were in front of the Kop.

But there was an earlier game which at the time caused much conversation and discussion.  So for a change, let’s look at the start of 1988/9.

On the opening day of the season Arsenal beat the FA Cup holders Wimbledon 5-1 away.  Now because of that FA Cup win a few of us had thought – if Liverpool can be televised live, then the number of odd incidents in their games involving referees not seeing stuff, might be reduced.  We didn’t know just how true that was until the end of the season.

Alan Smith got a hat trick in that opening game but when we all poured into Highbury for the first home game against promoted Aston Villa, we lost 2-3.  All the fun of the pre-season and the euphoria of the opening victory against  the cup holders had gone.

Next up was Tottenham away.   Now in those days, with the media never daring once, ever to say that a game was less than stunning, Arsenal were just a side show, and London derbies were always “scrappy affairs” with the report of the match written in general terms before we even kicked off.

But the truth was that Arsenal / Tottenham games were as likely to be exciting as they were to be tense.   So although the 3-2 win for Arsenal on 10 September 1988 was not exactly commonplace it was not that unusual.  What was unusual was that all five goals came in 12 minutes in the first half.

For the first Tony Adams decided to throw away years of drilling under Graham, and waltzed 40 yards up the pitch before passing to Nigel Winterburn and scoring with a shot from outside of the boot.  Who, the pair seemed to be saying, needed forwards?

Tottenham retaliated and Chris Waddle scored.  Brian Marwood and Alan Smith gave us a 1-3 lead before Gascoigne, having somehow contrived to lose his boot, still managed to score.  2-3, and that’s where it stayed.

Man of the match however was Paul Davis who was at the time being tipped for England honours (but of course didn’t make it with his country, not least because he was the wrong sort of player for Bobby Robson).

After the game George Graham pronounced that he would sooner win a game 3-2 than 1-0.  and everyone took note.   But at that time we hadn’t had the season in which Arsenal were the lowest scores in the league, and had the meanest defence in the league.

After three games Southampton were top of the league followed by Norwich City – both on nine points.

9 September 1916: Arsenal played Tottenham at Highbury, in what was a home match for Tottenham.

Arsenal played Tottenham at Highbury, in what was a home match for Tottenham.

At some time in the summer the clubs involved in the London Combination of 1915/16 (the first season of a wartime league) had got together to consider what to do about 1916/17.  

It was clear to everyone that the war was not going to finish any time soon, and even when it did finish, it would take time to demobilise the survivors.  It would thus leave the clubs struggling to get what remained of their squads back together and find new players to replace those who tragically did not return, or returned injured.  All things told, there was obviously a need for a second season of the London Combination – which had been very hastily organised the previous season in two series of games. 

In 1915/16, 14 clubs had played in the second edition of the London Combination which ran from February to March 1916.   And so at some time during the summer of 1916 a new league was constructed, once more of 14 teams.  Croydon Common (who had been in severe financial difficulties even before the war) dropped out and I believe at this point, vanished for good – they certainly did not reappear when the Southern League relaunched in 1919. 

At some point the idea arose of each team playing every other team three times with each then having a final fourth match against one of their opponents, to make the complete 40 week season.  It was messy, but then this was wartime.

The results show that Arsenal played 12 of the 13 other teams in the League (all except QPR) once in the opening run of games.  The QPR games were organised on 25th and 26th December and a home and away basis – exactly had been the process in the pre-war leagues.

This league system did indeed last all the way through until April, but three games in the final round of matches (the “fourth games”) were not played: Crystal Palace v Luton Town, Queen’s Park Rangers v Watford and Southampton v Crystal Palace.

Even though virtually every game was a London derby crowds were to be down, and only four Arsenal games got attendances over 10,000 during the whole 40 week season (two at Highbury, the others at Chelsea and Millwall).

One other change of note was to occur at sometime in the summer: it was decided Tottenham played its home games away from White Hart Lane so that the ground could be used to test out Enfield rifles – the WHL ground being the nearest enclosed but open (to the skies) space to the Enfield factory.

Thus on this day the two north London clubs played each other in front 10,000 – an impressive crowd for a match in the wartime league.  Although at Highbury it was indeed a home game for Tottenham.

Even in the glorious 1930s Arsenal could have terrible starts to the season

Arsenal came to the 1938/9 as reigning Champions – the club that had won five league titles and two FA Cups in the decade.

They began with a friendly against Tottenham which was lost 0-2 at Highbury; an inauspicious start given that Tottenham were a resolutely second division team at the time, and Arsenal put out their first team most of whom had just won the League a couple of months earlier.

Arsenal’s team for the day was…

Swindin

Male   Joy   Hapgood

Crayston   Copping

Griffiths   L Jones   Drake   B Jones   Bastin

The following Saturday the season began in earnest with a home game against Portsmouth.  There was one change in the lineup, Kirchen replacing Griffiths.  59,940 turned up and despite all I have said above about Bryn Jones replacing non-scoring Alex James, Jones scored.  The other goal was an own goal.  Arsenal were up and running.

And then, immediately, there was a friendly to play on the following Monday – the regular fixture against Rangers in Glasgow.   Allison used this fixture to experiment, and to give some of the regular back up players, first team playing time.

1937/8 was the first season in eleven that Rangers had not come first or second in the Scottish league (they had come third) and neither had they won the Scottish Cup.  But they had regrouped and presented a team which not only went on to be Champions of Scotland but also scored 112 goals in 38 league matches in doing so.

Les Compton replaced Hapgood, which was expected, but Les Jones was tried out at right half, Collett came in to replace Copping, Bryn Jones played at outside right (!) and the rest of the forward line was Bremner, Carr, Drury and Cumner.   Arsenal lost 1-0.  But the changes are significant – Allison had no need to make these positional adjustments and it was clear he was experimenting on how to use Bryn Jones.

Back with the league in match 2 of the campaign, Jones scored again when exactly the same team as in the first league match played Huddersfield away, and gained a 1-1 draw.  It was a decent start to the league campaign.

But then on 8 September came the third league game of the campaign an away game with Brentford who had put in a strong showing last season, and looked for a while as if they might challenge to be champions.  So far they had won one and drawn one game, and the 0-1 defeat for Arsenal was a disappointment for Arsenal fans, especially as Arsenal had been able to play the same line-up for the third league match running.

Some changes were then felt to be required as on 10 September Arsenal returned to Highbury to play Everton who were now top of the league having won all three of their opening fixtures.  Everton had won the league in 1932, but had struggled for the last three seasons in the lower part of the league.  Now however they were looking like their old selves, and with Arsenal looking increasingly uncertain Everton beat Arsenal 1-2 at Highbury.

Although there was some pleasure that Bryn Jones had scored again, there had not been too much pleasure at the way Arsenal were playing as a team, and so for this match Carr came in as centre forward instead of Drake who had not yet scored, and Nelson played on the wing instead of Kirchen.   Nelson had played eight games the previous season, scoring three, and had looked like a possible long term player for Arsenal, but on this occasion it was not to be.  Everton’s perfect start continued.

7 September 1896: Arsenal 3 Rushden Town 2. The first United League match for Woolwich Arsenal.

The United League was a 19th century league set up for clubs to get a few more matches out of the season, in addition to their commitments to the Football League, Southern League or other similar Leagues in which they played.

Clubs played their first team players in the United League games, and Arsenal played their first game in the United League against Rushden on 7 September 1896 at home.  Woolwich Arsenal won 3-2.  That season Arsenal played 14 games in the league, winning six, drawing three and losing five.  They came third out of the eight teams in the league.

There is no record of the attendance at this first game, but the second United League game of the season (a 2-2 home draw with Luton Town on October 3) was recorded as having 8000 in the crowd – which was high compared with most of the games.

Other teams in the league were Wellingborough, Kettering, Tottenham, Loughborough Town, and Millwall Athletic.  It is interesting to note that the Tottenham games only drew crowds of 2,000.  The derby against Millwall A. however showed 15,000 in attendance for the home game.  Tottenham was clearly seen as being of as much interest as the further afield clubs.

Also, of interest is the collection of Northamptonshire clubs.  Rushden, Wellingborough and Kettering were all in that county, and although Rushden and Diamonds did rise up to play in the third tier of the Football League they then collapsed along with Kettering, who also lost their ground.

Only Luton, of the non-local teams, gained high attendances for matches against Arsenal.   The top crowd was 12,000 against Millwall (for both the home and away games), and 14,500 against Tottenham away.

In the second season of the United League Southampton joined the league and Arsenal once again came third.

By the third season there were 11 clubs in the league, with Reading and Brighton United now in the league. Arsenal this time came 4th.

The final match for Woolwich Arsenal in the United League was a 2-3 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur on 29 April 1899 in front of 7000 spectators.  The following season Arsenal entered the Southern District Combination, a competition that lasted for just one season.

This competition also ended with a game against Tottenham on 24 April 1900 at Plumstead.  The match was abandoned after 65 minutes due to abusive language from the crowd.  The club was ordered to post notices instructing the crowd to behave properly, but the referee was also criticised for his handling of the game.  The game was not replayed.

5 September 1921: After three straight defeats at the start of the season, Arsenal won their first game.

That victory was over Preston 1-0.  What made it rather extraordinary was that Preston were unbeaten in their three games up to that point. 

1921 was a time of utter turmoil in UK with mass strikes, demonstrations, revolt in Ireland, unemployment on huge scales…  And on 1 September one more action was taken which shook the country, as the Borough Council of Poplar in London refused to collect part of its rates in protest against the way rates were calculated: an unprecedented form of rebellion by those representing a poor working class area.  30 councillors were sent to prison over the affair and an Act was rushed through Parliament to try and help resolve matters. 

And so it seems was Arsenal – at least it was in the third post-war season: 1921/2, for it was a disastrous start to the season.

By the third match on 3 September Arsenal had five players in the lineup who had not played in the first game just one week before.  The match was a return of the opening day’s game, away to Sheffield United.  They had won 2-1 at Highbury, and now the Blades won 4-1 on their own ground.

Not surprisingly the fourth game of the season, late on Monday afternoon, 5 September, attracted only half the crowd of the game on the opening day, and those who failed to turn up must have been most frustrated, for after three straight defeats, Arsenal won, beating Preston 1-0.  What made it all the more extraordinary was that Preston were unbeaten in their three games up to that point.

White scored, meaning he had scored in all four matches, and thanks to two against Preston in the earlier game, had five goals to his name.  McKenzie came in as the third choice inside right of the season.  He was another player who had had a few games at the end of last season; once more, not a new signing.

Meanwhile the turmoil in the country at large continued.  Ireland was the prime issue of course as the government met to discuss the finer points as to post-separation Ireland’s relationship with the Empire.  But there were diversions too.  Charlie Chaplain returned to London on 9 September and was greeted by huge cheering crowds.

4 September 1956: Final Arsenal match for Don Roper

Donald George Beaumont Roper was seen as a schoolboy by Southampton, playing for Bitterne Nomads, in the Hampshire League and soon turned professional with Southampton in 1939, (and not 1949 as Brian Glanville wrote in a rather eccentric obituary in the Guardian).  He started playing for the club during the second world war – including some games alongside Ted Bates who later became his manager and was the source of a life-long rift between Roper and Southampton.

After one post-war season, and having played a first class cricket match for Hampshire against Cambridge University in the summer of 1947 Arsenal signed Don Roper, with George Curtis, Tom Rudkin plus £10,000 going in the opposite direction.

The transfer was a very difficult one, not least because Arsenal absolutely did not want to lose George Curtis.  It is reported that Arsenal manager Tom Whittaker went to Southampton eleven times during the war years and during Roper’s one post-war league season at the Dell to watch the player and to try and ease the negotiations along.

Roper immediately became a first team player, playing 40 league games and scoring ten league goals (plus one in the cup) in the amazing 1947/8 season as Arsenal won the league under Whittaker.  This was the season in which Arsenal went the first 17 matches unbeaten, playing most of the home games in front of 60,000.

But on 29 January 1949 he was injured in a cup match against Derby and although the team initially did well without him (winning the next three games scoring 13 goals with only one against) and a run of seven games without a win took its toll, as Arsenal ended up 5th.

1949/50 was a season of shuffling the team and Roper started the first match as centre forward before moving to left wing, and then back to centre forward.  But injury struck again and he only played one match in the run to the Cup Final and just a smattering of games in the second half of the season.   (Interestingly many reports seem to copy each other by saying that he was moved from right wing to left wing, and that he was “dropped” for the cup final, but the situation is far more complex than that).

By 1951/2 he was back to his wing position – playing sometimes left wing sometimes right, and he played in Arsenal’s cup run to the FA Cup final – in which the team was disrupted by an injury to Walley Barnes.

But finally in 1952/3 he got his second league winner’s medal, and played 41 of the 42 league matches.

He continued playing as a regular for Arsenal until 3 December 1955 and played 321 matches for Arsenal in total, scoring 95 goals and then (mistakenly as it turned out) went back to Southampton (then of Division III South) in January 1957 as club captain, playing in a team with Terry Paine.

But in his third season back at the club a split arose between Roper and Ted Bates after Bates reneged on a pledge that Roper should have a job as a trainer with the club at the end of his playing career.  It was a nasty end to a relationship between the club and one of its top players of all time, and with Southampton refusing to back down, it was never healed.

He finished his career by moving from Hampshire into Dorset playing for Weymouth and Dorchester Town, finally retiring from football in 1963 and moving on to work for an engineering company.  In his later years he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and died in 2001 aged 78.  

3 September 1921: Arsenal lost their third successive match at the start of the season.

The club was not bottom of the league since Cardiff City had also lost three and had a fractionally different goal average.  The bottom five of the first division also included Manchester City and Manchester United.

The papers reported that the team was “decimated by illness and injury” although I can’t find what the illness was that spread through the club.

As a result Arsenal included five players in the lineup who had not played in the first game just one week before.  The match was a return of the opening day’s game, away to Sheffield United.  They had won 2-1 at Highbury, and now the Blades won 4-1 on their own ground.

Not surprisingly the fourth game of the season, late on Monday afternoon, 5 September, attracted only half the crowd of the game on the opening day, and those who failed to turn up must have been most frustrated, for after three straight defeats, Arsenal won, beating Preston 1-0.  What made it all the more extraordinary was that Preston were unbeaten in their three games up to that point.

But the disasters for Arsenal were relentless, as with the next game on 10 September which was away to Manchester City.  Arsenal was, for the first time in the season able to field the same XI as had appeared in the previous match.  It didn’t help matters much however as Arsenal lost 0-2 to the club that Knighton later claimed had offered him the job as manager prior to the start of the season.

At this time the Islington newspapers at the time were not particularly enamoured with the notion of publishing readers’ letters criticising the local football club.  Such a situation pertained throughout the country: criticising the club was thought to be the preserve of the “expert” commentator on the newspaper’s payroll.  Much as now.

But one did appear under the name “Well Wisher” on 23 September.

The central criticism was the team selection, and the letter asked why the club hadn’t worked harder to replace several players who were (in the writer’s view) obviously reaching the end of their careers. 

The letter also mentioned that the club had to pay good fees to bring in good players.   Certainly Arsenal were alert to this given the amount of money Cardiff had paid them for Fred Pagnam.  But they would also be alert to how Pagnam had failed to live up to his goalscoring record once he had moved.  Pagnam was certainly one of the players who was coming to the end of his career when Arsenal sold him for a record fee for the club.

But it wasn’t so much the goalscoring that was Arsenal’s problem because in the lead up to the next round of matches on 24 September Arsenal had scored 10 goals and were in 10th position in terms of goals scored in the league.  The problem was in the defence where only one club (Stoke) had let in more than Arsenal.

A subsequent article on 24 September criticised Well Wisher’s commentary but attacked in a different direction, saying that Arsenal did not bring through enough of their own young talent. On that day Arsenal played Everton away, and got a 1-1 draw, and at last someone other than White got a goal: it was Bradshaw.

Interestingly in this latest public criticism the writer was especially scathing of Arsenal’s policy of playing men out of position and the letter ended with a warning that much more of the kind of displays they’d been forced to watch recently and supporters would go elsewhere.

The Islington Daily Gazette called the line up for this last match of the month a “reconstructed forward line” and at least Arsenal got a draw: Everton 1 Arsenal 1.

2 September 1893: Arsenal’s first ever league game.

On 2 September 1893 Woolwich Arsenal FC played their very first game in the league.  And just like this season it was against Newcastle United.

Here’s a match report, from the Newcastle Daily Journal found by Newcastle blogger Eddy McKenzie.  The local paper couldn’t get Arsenal’s name right (the name was changed from Royal Arsenal to Woolwich Arsenal when the league insisted that the club had to be a limited company – and limited companies were not allowed to use the word “Royal” in their name.

Royal Arsenal-v- Newcastle United.

At Plumstead, London in beautifully fine weather, before 6,000 spectators. It is the first League match that has ever been played in London. The ground was in splendid condition.

Arsenal won toss and had a light wind behind them. They had considerably the best of the play in the first half. Which was not of high order. Both showing want of practice. Shaw scored a very soft goal for Arsenal 8 minutes after the start. And kept the visitors pressed, till just before the change, when Newcastle rallied, and had bad luck in not scoring.

With the wind in their favour, Newcastle played better and 20 minutes later Graham scored from a scrimmage. Sorley equalised and play in the last 10 minutes very exciting. But nothing further was scored. Newcastle had decidedly the best of the second half.

The Second Half: Newcastle United 2 Royal Arsenal 2.

———————

Now for the team.  All were born in England apart from those noted.   And there are links to each one on this site if you want to know more.

So four Scots, seven Englishmen.

1 September 1923: Arsenal lose their third match in a row at the start of the season.

I don’t normally commemorate losing matches but in the light of the opening of 2021/2 season it seems relevant. In fact Arsenal lost all four opening games in 1923/4 and were bottom of the league. The manager survived one more season and was then replaced by Herbert Chapman.

After a home defeat to Newcastle by 1-4 and a 0-1 away defeat to West Ham in August 1923, Arsenal played the return game with Newcastle on this day, and in contrast to Arsenal, Newcastle had won both their opening matches and if so anything the 1-0 victory against a clearly struggling Arsenal side was something of a disappointment to the locals.

For the third game in a row Knighton kept the same back six as had served the club so extremely well in the last part of the previous season, and made just one more change bringing in Ernest Wallington who had joined the club from Watford.  He replaced Young and it was his one and only game for Arsenal, which suggests it was not a success.

The game against Newcastle was commented on by the press as being a “bad-tempered” game with the referee repeatedly lecturing players on their behaviour.  The result meant that Arsenal were now at the foot of the table going into their fourth game of the season, away to West Bromwich who were unbeaten and in fourth.

Meanwhile, Arsenal, the Football Combination champions of the previous season lost to Brighton, a club that had not even had a side in the Combination last season.  It was not a good omen.

Worse was to come on Saturday.   Arsenal lost 0-4, and thus had played four, lost four, scored one and conceded 10.  Eight players (the six defenders, Woods and Turnbull), had played in all four games.  Eight other players had been used in the remaining four positions.

Finally a change was made in the defence for match number five, at home to West Ham with Butler dropping out being replaced by Graham who had played 17 games the previous season, mostly at centre half.  Voysey who had been playing at inside right dropped out and was replaced by Earle, who had had one game in that position at the end of the previous season.

West Ham had made a decent start to their first season in the top division with one win, two draws and one defeat thus far.   But the goal tally (scored one, conceded one) told a story of a club defending like mad, anxious to concede nothing at all.  Their one goal had been in the victory over Arsenal, and Arsenal had learned the lesson: attack strongly from the off and get an early goal, as it was unlikely that West Ham would be able to change shape and start attacking.

As a ploy it worked.  1-0 up in ten minutes and 2-0 up at half time Arsenal went on to win 4-1 with two from Stan Earle, and one each from Woods and Graham. 

On 15 September, with Arsenal having moved one place up the table after their win over WHU, there was another home game – this time the return against West Brom, and a second victory was clocked up, by 1-0 with Clem Voysey scoring.

It is at this point that Sally Davis reveals a point about the organisation of the directors of which I was not aware before: that each year one of the directors took on the responsibility of being the director for the Reserve team – the team that we may recall won the London Combination for the first time in 1922/3.   She suggests that Henry Norris had taken on this task one season while chair of Fulham, and now was doing it again for Arsenal.

I find that a very interesting thought, for it shows a different side of the man.  The image of the autocratic wealthy businessman with his chauffeur driven car, with his knighthood and his rank of Colonel in the army, balanced here against the man who would take on the role of going not to the first team games but to the reserve matches.  Indeed we have already found him at one of the youth team games this season. Quite an insight I feel; and I wonder how many Arsenal directors of the present day take on such duties.