Arsenal Hit 26 (Yes, Twenty-Six) Against French Team On This Day, 5th December 1904

Tiredness is not a modern footballing phenomena, Arsenal “only” led 8 – 1 at half-time before the visitors conceded 18 (yes, eighteen) in the second forty-five minutes. Think about that. Every 2½ minutes, the Parisian goalkeeper was picking the ball out of the net.

Whilst it is tempting to claim this as a record high score by the Arsenal first XI, it was very much the equivalent of a League Cup team with less than half the team made up of players who could be described as regulars. Robert Watson, for example, scored seven in this match but played in just 10 full fixtures for the club and scored one goal in them.

Parisian XI 26 - 1

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2 thoughts on “Arsenal Hit 26 (Yes, Twenty-Six) Against French Team On This Day, 5th December 1904

  1. Arsenal goalkeeper Jimmy Ashcroft kicked the ball to one of the French players and the rest of the Arsenal team let him score (a la David O’Leary in his testimonial v Man Utd). The referee had a word with Ashcroft about his ungentlemanly behaviour and the Frenchies weren’t allowed any more freebies.

    The best of the French team was actually an Arsenal reserve player who replaced one of the French team who fell ill shortly before the game. He was wrongly credited with scoring the French goal by Brian Glanville in his 1952 book “Arsenal”.

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