This Month in History:
The 1979/80 was a strange sort of season for Arsenal. After the euphoria of winning the FA Cup with the last kick of the previous season we’d had shock of Liam Brady announcing that this would be his last year at Highbury.
A 3-1 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool in the Charity Shield had shattered any illusions of a title challenge but we had a reasonable start in our league campaign. 3 defeats in our first 13 games but 4 wins and 6 draws (it was only 2 points for a win back then so draws were regarded as good results) saw us sitting near the top of the table. We’d also successfully navigated our way through the opening rounds of the League Cup and European Cup Winners Cup.
And so into November…..
We’d beaten Brighton 4-0 on the opening day and we very nearly repeated the result at Highbury. Graham Rix, Liam Brady and Alan Sunderland scoring the goals as a Brighton team containing Mark Lawrenson were beaten 3-0.
A midweek trip to East Germany to play Magdeburg saw us move into the last 8 of the ECWC. A vital second away goal from Liam Brady, after David Price had got our first, saw us overcome a very well drilled team 4-3 on aggregate.
Terry Venables’ Team of the 80’s, newly promoted Crystal Palace, beat us 1-0 down at Selhurst Park the following Saturday. Terry Neill’s strange decision to start Steve Gatting (a midfielder) upfront as a replacement for the injured Alan Sunderland didn’t exactly help in our quest for an equaliser but the team looked tired after their trip abroad.
We bounced back by thrashing Brighton again on the Tuesday night. Paul Vaessen and Frank Stapleton got a brace each as we progressed into the 5th round of the League Cup with a 4-0 win at Highbury.
Everton visited Highbury the next weekend and another couple of goals from Stapleton saw us pick up a very handy win, although an injury to Liam Brady took the gloss off it a little.
November finished with us entertaining Liverpool at home. Nearly 56,000 fans watched a brilliant performance from David O’Leary as a Bradyless team got probably our best result of the month by securing a goal-less draw.
As written by Libertine, Goonersworld member