In the absence of anything new going on at Arsenal today, or indeed for what seems like ages, here’s a report from the Daily Express on New Year’s Eve 1991. It’s amazing how many big Arsenal stories they’ve fitted into a few paragraphs here.
Firstly, City boss Peter ‘Monkey’s Heed’ Reid was after Steve Bould for £750k. George Graham rebuffed him, but Reid was thinking about a higher offer – and apparently Arsenal were in need of funds to bolster the midfield at the time – a midfield that only a couple of short years later was the subject of widespread ridicule. Perhaps Graham should have sold Bouldie to buy some decent midfielders, but in summer 1992 he spent his midfield budget on John Jensen, which didn’t really work out as planned.
As usual for the time, Arsenal players were in disciplinary trouble. Ian Wright banned from the upcoming FA Cup third round match at Wrexham, which of course Arsenal went on to lose to the club at the time bottom of the old Fourth Division, while Arsenal were top of the First. Perhaps if Wrighty hadn’t racked up so many points and got banned, Arsenal would have been spared that embarrassment.
The next story is that Wright, along with David Seaman and Paul Merson, had been charged by the FA with various offences including spitting at fans, following trouble in Arsenal’s away match against Oldham. Two of the three were later found guilty – no prizes for guessing that Seaman was considered an innocent party while Wright and Merson were guilty.
Then they announce that Craig McKernon, a full-back purchased from Mansfield two years earlier for the princely sum of £200,000 had been forced to retire through injury. I have to confess I have no memory of Craig McKernon at all, and even Wikipedia has no entry for him.
In Icelandic news, the slightly higher profile Siggi Jonsson, who I do remember, had also quit just a week earlier due to back problems.
From a few days later, 5 January 1992, comes a report of more disciplinary problems for Arsenal, but this is a far stranger case – this time it was the fans who were accused. Nigel Winterburn was abused by a section of the crowd, and Arsenal complained to the police! Winterburn had to be led away from a section of the crowd after receiving the abuse, but came back out for the second half obviously still annoyed and wagging his finger at the perpetrators.