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ARSENAL IN 2008: Losing at Stoke and beating the champions

PUBLISHED: 10:02 28 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:44 07 September 2010

OCTOBER Wins over Everton and West Ham get the league back on track while Aaron Ramsay scores his first for the club as Arsenal run riot at Fenerbahce, winning 5-2. Gallas is fined after being photographed smoking while on a night out. In France we all s

OCTOBER

Wins over Everton and West Ham get the league back on track while Aaron Ramsay scores his first for the club as Arsenal run riot at Fenerbahce, winning 5-2.

Gallas is fined after being photographed smoking while on a night out. "In France we all smoke," said Wenger, "I did smoke [when I was younger] but never a lot and never when I played."

Arsenal lead Tottenham, under new boss Harry Redknapp, 4-2 in the north London derby with only three minutes remaining - only to concede twice to draw 4-4.

"There was no Redknapp factor with two minutes to go," snapped an irate Wenger, "You have seen the game like I have seen it. I let you judge that - I believe we were closer to scoring goal number five than we were to conceding two in the last three minutes."

Arsenal legend Tony Adams replaces Redknapp as Portsmouth manager.

NOVEMBER

A busy, and topsy-turvy, month. A 2-1 loss at Stoke leaves more questions than answers, but the Gunners fight back with a 2-1 win over champions Manchester United the following week in one of the finest games in Premier League history.

After a 3-0 win over Wigan in the Carling Cup, league defeats follow at home to Aston Villa (0-2) and at Manchester City (0-3).

Walcott dislocates his shoulder while training with England ahead of their friendly win over Germany. He won't return until the New Year. Wilshere becomes the youngest Gunner in European history at 16 years and 329 days when he comes on as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev.

The deeply unpopular Gallas is stripped of the captaincy after publicly criticising his team-mates. Fabregas is appointed new club skipper, a popular choice.

Arsenal appoint Major League Soccer deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis as the club's new chief executive. "Ivan's credentials are first class," says chairman Peter Hill-Wood. He takes up the post on January 1.

The month ends magnificently. Robin van Persie scoring both goals in a 2-1 win at Chelsea.

DECEMBER

Arsenal's youngsters are beaten 2-0 at Burnley in the Carling Cup and a 2-0 loss for a scratch Gunners side at Porto leaves them finishing second in Champions League Group G - they later draw AS Roma in the last 16.

Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, one of Arsenal's largest shareholders, leaves the board of directors with immediate effect. It ends her family's 50-year association with the club.

Arsenal's kids win 3-2 at Aston Villa in the FA Youth Cup and will meet Wolves in the fourth round.

The seniors earn a 1-0 win at home to Wigan as their league form remains patchy. The Arsenal crowd uncharacteristically turn on hapless substitute Emmanuel Eboue who is later substituted himself. It opens up a national debate on the right to boo players.

There's stunning praise for 16-year-old Wilshere from his manager Wenger: "I believe he will end up a central midfielder, just off the striker in the Bergkamp role - already he has so much power," he said. "You give him four more years and he will be massively strong."

The best news of the month comes from Barnet's Underhill, where Eduardo returns to action for the first time in 10 months where he played 45 minutes for the reserves in a 2-0 win over Portsmouth. He targets a new year return to the first team.

editorial@hamhigh.co.uk


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