28. Herbert Chapman's first game in charge

Herbert Chapman's first game - 1925

Herbert Chapman takes charge for the first time 29 August 1925

Few men have influenced a football club - or the sport in general - as much as Herbert Chapman.

The legendary manager inspired a new era for the Gunners. Put simply, Chapman took them from First Division also-rans to world beaters within a decade.

On August 29, 1925 arch rivals Spurs visited Highbury for the opening game of the season. It was Chapman’s first in charge.

Leading the Arsenal team out that day was Charlie Buchan, making his debut. He was Chapman’s first signing, an experienced England international and a very valuable player.

During the close season the Football League Management Committee changed the offside rule which came into effect for the first time that same game.

Previously, to stay onside a player needed three members of the defending side between him and the goal. This was now reduced to two. The reasoning behind the change was to combat dull tactics and encourage entertaining games with more goals.

The three factors which came into play on that day at Highbury combined to change the fortunes of Arsenal.

Chapman was to become one of Arsenal’s greatest mangers. Buchan went on to have a significant influence over the fortunes of the club in the coming years and the new tactics, championed by Buchan himself, would benefit the Arsenal style of play and lead to glory.

It took time however - Spurs won that game 1-0.

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