Arsenal Beginnings Part 6: Tottenham rivalry begins

1919-1925: Arsenal under Leslie Knighton

Following the club’s return to the First Division, ‘The’ was dropped from the club’s name and it began to be referred to as Arsenal, the name we know today. Tottenham and Arsenal had already grown into rivals owing to their physical proximity since Arsenal’s move to Highbury, but Norris’ act of getting his club into the First Division at the expense of Spurs is considered to be the definitive act of the famed North London rivalry. As ardent Gunners fans will know, Arsenal have never fallen out of the top division since their promotion in 1919.

Norris appointed Leslie Knighton as the new manager although ultimate control of the club remained in the owner’s hands. Knighton was known for having an eye for young talent and with Norris still reeling from the expenses of building Higbury, the new manager invested his limited funds wisely to snap up a number of young players and turn them into stars at Arsenal, the most notable among them being Bob John and Jimmy Brain. Arsenal finished their first season back in First Division in 10th place and the subsequent season in 9th place. Continue reading