A year after tasting glory for the first time in the 1930 FA Cup Final, Arsenal continued their meteoric rise with their first league title. And they did it in style.
Herbert Chapman's team was blessed with an irresistible front line of Jack Lambert, David Jack and Cliff Bastin and opposition defences simply had no answer to their combined talents. Lambert scored 38 goals in 34 matches, Jack 31 in 35 and Bastin 28 from 42. Joe Hulme also chipped in with 14 goals as Arsenal racked up 127 league goals, a club record for a single season.
Arsenal produced some breathtaking football and, as their goal tally suggests, they handed out a number of thrashings. Grimsby Town were on the end of a 9-1 hiding although they could consider themselves slightly unlucky. The game against the Mariners was originally scheduled for December 6, 1930, but that match was abandoned due to fog after 63 minutes. At the time Grimsby were still very much in the game, just 1-0 behind.
Blackpool were beaten 7-1 at Highbury, Derby conceded six on their visit to North London, and Chapman's side won 7-2 at Leicester. It was an exciting time to be an Arsenal supporter.
Arsenal's title triumph was the first by a team south of Birmingham and heralded five titles in eight seasons for the Gunners, the period that elevated them to the highest echelons of the game.
The 1930/31 season also saw the debut of the Gunners' first overseas player, Dutch goalkeeper Gerry Keyser. He played in the first 12 matches of the campaign. Another notable debutant was George Male who made his Arsenal debut against Blackpool in December and went on to serve the Club until 1948.
Male's first appearance coincided with a hectic Christmas period for Chapman's team. They played three games in three days from Christmas Day to December 27, and won them all scoring 14 goals in the process.
Arsenal had ended their long wait for silverware a year earlier, but the 1930/31 title success showed the world that this was a group of players capable of consistent excellence. And so it proved.23 Aug 2007