And a manager’s transfer record being criticised by Arsenal supporters. It just goes to show that there is frankly nothing new about the current mood of supporters. Neill had less than six months left in charge, the decision to sack him laid squarely at Dein’s door in the Irishman’s autobiography.
James Marshall wasn’t the first doctor to play for Arsenal, James Paterson had not long left the Marble Halls. He had arrived amid a flurry of speculation (by the standards of the time), hailed as the successor to David Jack when he signed in July 1934. It didn’t work out that way, Marshall made just 5 appearances for the club and scored his only goal in the Charity Shield of that year, a 4 – 0 win over Manchester City.
I seem to recall at the time there was some nostalgia in the media for Portsmouth’s return to the top flight. Little could those scribes – any of us – have foreseen how their Premier League adventure would end in the next century.
As it was, former Arsenal captain Alan Ball saw his charges destroyed by Alan Smith’s first hat-trick for the club following his £800k transfer from Leicester City and subsequent loan spell with his old employers. It would precede the same goal tally for Smith in George Graham’s first title-winning season, almost twelve months to the day later.