The nature of football is speculation about the manager’s future, it always has been, always will be. There had been speculation over Jack Crayston’s future but the manner of his departure was a surprise in its suddenness.
As a player, Crayston joined Arsenal in 1934 from Bradford Park Avenue, scoring on his debut in the 8 – 1 victory over Liverpool at Highbury; Ted Drake and Ray Bowden with hat-tricks and Cliff Bastin were the other scorers that day. He would go on to make 190 appearances for the club, winning two League titles and the FA Cup before the war intervened. By the time it ended, he was in his mid-thirties and his playing career had been finished by an injury in a wartime match against West Ham.
Appointed Assistant Manager when the war ended, he took over from Tom Whitaker upon his untimely death in 1956. He was fighting a losing battle as the club’s fortunes were declining and he bore the brunt of the criticism. That the Board offered no reluctance to accept his resignation is telling as to the conversations which must have taken place.
Having finished fifth in both of the previous seasons, twelfth was disappointing. Perhaps a good cup run would have made a difference but having exited the FA Cup in the Quarter-Finals in his first two seasons, defeat in the third round at the hands of Northampton Town would not have helped his cause.