Whenever talk turns to the first North London Derby to be held at Wembley, this one is conveniently overlooked. Yes, it was only a pre-season tournament but it was the first hint that Arsenal might have a half-decent season. The second match against Bayern Munich would take place the following day.
Start the video at 1’02.
During WWI, the Hostel was turned over to help servicemen blinded on duty. More can be found here.
Ordinarily a single goal victory in the North London Derby would not have been high on the list of games to cover in only the second year of the site but one that left Tottenham needing a win over Leeds United in their last game and Chelsea or Luton to fail to win?
As it was, Tottenham beat Leeds 4 – 2 on the final day of the season whilst Chelsea and Luton both drew 1 – 1 in their matches; it meant that Spurs stayed up. We would have to wait until 1976-77 season before they finished bottom of the table and were relegated.
Arsenal travelled to White Hart Lane for the penultimate game of the 1909-10 season three points clear of the relegation zone, sitting in 14th place. They needed to avoid defeat for safety, to fight another season in English football’s top flight.
Tottenham were on 27 points, 17th and only out of the final relegation place with a goal average of 0.73 compared to 18th placed Chelsea with 0.70 and in 19th, Bristol City with 0.66.
At the final whistle, the 1 – 1 draw left Arsenal safe. Come the season’s end, it looked more uncomfortable than the reality, relegation avoided by two points. Every cloud – Tottenham staying up as well – has a silver lining; Chelsea occupied 19th place.
I was going to have a brief lull in posting anything relating to the North London Derby but this one was just too good an opportunity to miss. It remains Arsenal’s biggest win over Spurs in a competitive match and it happened at White Hart Lane. There was a 10 – 1 friendly win over Spurs in 1889, that match covered here.
The 103rd first team meeting in the North London Derby was the first in the FA Cup. There had been other cup meetings in local and wartime cup competitions but this was the fixture’s bow in the premier domestic cup competition. It remains the most decisive scoreline in the (to date) five meetings between the two clubs.
In 1977, perhaps even more so than now, a groundshare between the two north London clubs seemed unthinkable yet the respective boards of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur seriously considered the idea of a super-stadium at Alexandra Palace, even if the travel facilities at the potential site were only marginally better than White Hart Lane at the time.
Whilst the Italian clubs have used shared stadia for decades and are quite comfortable with the notion, the lack of replication across the top leagues of Europe highlight how unique the idea is to that country. I am sure that over time we would become used to it but that would be one hell of a leap.