Sunday, January 4, 2009

Classic shirts # 5 - Arsenal 1935

The team that Herbert Chapman built at Arsenal in the 1930's was the first team from south of Birmingham to win the league and the first team to win 3 titles in a row since Chapman's previous club, Huddersfield had achieved the same feet in the 1920s.

Without Chapman it has been argued that arsenal wouldn't be the dominant force they are today and one of his other innovations was to add the now familiar red sleeves to the kit, although a lot of gooners have been disappointed that the kit is missing purely white sleeves this season.

Arsenal originally settled on red kits when they were donated some shirts from Nottingham Forest, but it was Chapman who spotted someone working in the ground wearing a tank top that led to him adding the now familiar white sleeves.

Chapman, as a footballer had played for 10 different clubs. As a manager he started out at Northampton Town who were in the Southern League in 1907. when he took over the club they were bottom of the league, but after 2 years he had won the championship with them. He then moved to Leeds City , who he got promoted, but his management creer was then curtailed by World War 1. After 1919 Leeds City were disbanded due to illegal payments and Chapman was banned for 2 years before taking charge at Huddersfield.

In 1922 Huddersfield won the FA Cup and then went on to win the championship 2 years later. In 1926 they made it 3 in a row, but by then Chapman had already absconded to the Arse

Chapman saw the potentiol of a club in London and revolutionised tactics at the club. He also has to thank the board of Arsenal who had the patience to give him the 5 years to build a decent team. Their first major honours coming in 1930 when Arsenal beat his old club Huddersfield in the FA Cup final.

Chapman died in 1934 when Arsenal were on their way to the second of the 3 titles. However, Chapman's spirit lives on and the colours are the one's he had envisaged the club wearing

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