Arsenal v Sheffield United – June 28th.
Will the FA Cup, once again, be the salvation of a poor League campaign for Arsenal?
We have a glorious history in the FA starting in 1927 when we lost to Cardiff- 0-1 when the ball slipped under our Welsh goalkeeper Dan Lewis’ body with only 15 minutes left in the game. Community singing was first introduced in the 1927 final, there was doubt about what the response would be – but it was so enthusiastically received that it created one of the biggest organised choirs of all time as the crowd of 91,206 joined in – it has since become an annual FA Cup Final ritual.
Our first win came in 1930 (a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield) it was known as “Chapman’s Final” as it was a meeting of the two clubs that he had fashioned and inspired to greatness. He had won the League championship three years in a row with Huddersfield in the 1920’s and went on to achieve the same extraordinary feat with Arsenal in the 1930’s.
The final was interrupted by the roaring engines of Germany’s pride – the giant silver airship the Graf Zeppelin when it flew over Wembley and dipped its nose in a salute to King George V – this was immediately greeted by loud boo’s from the crowd.
We played in two more Finals in the 1930’s – losing 2-1 to Newcastle in 1932 and beating Sunday’s opponents, Sheffield United, 1-0 in 1936, the winning goal was scored through the left foot of Ted Drake who had recently returned to the team after a cartilage operation.
It was Arsenal’s sixth success in League or Cup in seven seasons, but their triumphs did not get the coverage they deserved due to a dispute between Wembley and the newsreel companies – which led to a ban on film cameramen inside the stadium. The companies therefore took to the air in air-gyros but they were scrupulous in remaining on the outside of the stadium.
I will stop right there but I will continue with our FA Cup History if we progress to the semi final.
And so the Story Goes….
Preston North End confidently asked to be photographed with the Cup before the 1888 final but Major Francis Marindin, the president of the FA, replied, “Hadn’t you better win it first?” Preston lost 2-1.
Aston Villa and Everton each booked into a “secret” hotel for the 1897 final, only to discover they were staying in the same place – Villa won 3.2.
With the score tied 0-0 at half time Derby County began the second round tie at Lincoln in 1902 by surrounding the ball. They prevented their opponents getting near it, steered the ball into Lincoln’s area, scored and went on to win 3-1.
Portsmouth received 20 pounds a man and shared a bonus of 550 pounds for beating Wolverhampton 4-1 in the 1939 final. They then discovered that the massed bands at Wembley were paid more, Ted (later Lord) Carter wrote in an article in the Tribune entitled “They would have been better off playing the cornet”.
Referee E.D.Smith of Sunderland said on BBC radio before the 1946 final (Derby County beat Charlton Athletic won 4-1) that the odds of the ball bursting were a million to one. The ball burst then and again the following year when Charlton beat Burnley 1-0.
Derby County had not won the Cup before 1946 because, it was said, gypsies had put a curse on then long before for training on their encampment. A Fleet Street reporter, however, had a bright idea. He persuaded the Derby captain to visit a gypsy camp near London, during the week before the final. The curse was lifted in return for silver and Derby duly won the Cup for the first time.
Manchester United had a flap before leaving their dressing room to face Leicester City in the 1963 final. Pat Crerand, their Scottish international wing-half, was missing. He was discovered in the tunnel, wearing only a jock-strap, Singing “abide with me”.
Our current team have a lot of history to live up to – we own the record of most FA Cup wins with thirteen, closely followed my Manchester United with twelve. Three wins and we could increase our record – is it possible with our current squad?
|Arsenal FA Cup Final History|
TA’s Team to smash the Blades
A rest for Mustafi and Bellerin, Ceballos and Pepe would make sense. Big Sok and AMN, Willock and Nelson to start instead. Maybe Kola could start instead of Tierney but the sturdy Scot is the better defender and he is enjoying this run of games. Oh and Eddie to come off the bench this time and score the winner. 🙂 Also happy for Luiz to return but Holding deserves another game after THAT performance against the Saints. Maybe Luiz will start instead of Tierney… But the above would be my preferred team.