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Arsenal win their first major trophy

Story Highlights
  • Herbert Chapman's innovative W-M formation
  • Arsenal's first major trophy in 1930
  • George Allison's commentary during Arsenal's 1930 FA Cup match
  • Alex James' decisive goal in the 17th minute
  • Jack Lambert's winning goal in the 1930 FA Cup
  • Herbert Chapman's five-year plan to build a winning Arsenal team
In 1930, three years after the painful loss in the 1927 FA Cup Final to Cardiff, Herbert Chapman steered Arsenal back to Wembley. The match against Huddersfield Town was pivotal as it led to Arsenal’s first major trophy, marking the beginning of the club’s success story. Interestingly, Huddersfield Town was the club Chapman left to join Arsenal in 1925. Both teams adopted Chapman’s innovative W-M formation, a tactical strategy with wing halves and inside-forwards. However, with Chapman now guiding Arsenal, they executed this strategy more effectively.

Arsenal’s first major trophy in 1930!

The historic day was April 26, 1930. The two teams entered the field side by side, the first time this had happened before a significant game. This was a transformational moment for Arsenal, signaling their rise from underdogs to becoming one of the most successful clubs globally.
Alex James’ decisive goal in the 17th minute.skycleat.com

The commentary for this iconic match, only the fifth live football game broadcast, was provided by future Arsenal manager George Allison. King George V, who had recently recovered from an illness, was also present and was introduced to the players.
Jack Lambert’s winning goal in the 1930 FA Cup! skycleat.com
On the pitch, Arsenal’s solid defense countered Huddersfield’s early attacks. The Gunners took the lead in the 17th minute with a goal from Alex James. A piece of intelligent play led to Cliff Bastin receiving a quick free-kick from James; Bastin cleverly drew his marker and slipped a return pass to James, who found the corner of the net. Despite intense pressure from Huddersfield in search of an equalizer, Arsenal held firm. In the last seven minutes of the match, a long clearance from James found Jack Lambert in the center circle. Lambert skillfully bypassed two defenders and ran half the field length to beat the Huddersfield goalkeeper. This secured the FA Cup victory for Arsenal, laying the groundwork for numerous future successes. Upon joining Arsenal in May 1925, Chapman declared it would take five years to build a winning team. True to his word, Arsenal’s victory in the 1930 FA Cup marked the realization of his prophecy.

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