A well-trodden path
Callum Maclean is the latest to feature on these not-so-hallowed halls, what with my busy schedule of late. But fear not – I’ll be back soon. But for now, enjoy Callum’s excellent piece about players who have played for both Arsenal & Chelsea. You can find his blog here.
Since Roman Abramovich came to Chelsea, rivalries have changed, and the main rival now, according to a football fan survey online is Arsenal. Not only to be the best team in London, but now for domestic and European success. Some great games have come up, and as a Chelsea fan, I’ll never forget Wayne Bridge’s goal at Highbury in the closing stages of that Champions League quarter final, seeing John Terry getting lumped in the face by Abou Diaby in the Carling Cup Final, or Emmanuel Adebayor having a fit after being sent off in that very same game.
Though what I thought I’d take a look at was those players have moved from Highbury Park/Drayton Park to Fulham Road, or vice versa. The first player to make that move was Sandy MacFarlane. Doubt it made too much of a fuss though, as he only made a handful of appearances at Arsenal between 1896-’97 and played for other clubs before moving to Chelsea to make a few appearances between 1913-’14.
Ted Drake made his name at Arsenal, and spent 11 of his 14 year career with the Gunners, winning three trophies, two first division championships and one FA Cup. He then became a Chelsea legend when he moved into management, seven years after finishing his playing career with Arsenal, in 1952. Less than three years later, the team had transformed from being First Division strugglers to First Division Champions in the 1954/’55 season. He also won the Charity Shield, beating Newcastle United 3-0. After that however, success couldn’t be matched, and Drake was sacked in 1961.
From 1945-’47 Tommy Lawton made 42 club appearances and scored 30 goals for Chelsea. After spells at Notts County and Brentford, Lawton moved to Arsenal during the 1953-’54 season and scored 13 goals in 27 games before leaving during the 1956/’57 season.
After Ted Drake, the man who took over from him, Tommy Docherty, who is more well-known for his managerial exploits, spent a season at Chelsea. He came directly from Highbury, scoring one goal in 83 First Division games between 1958-’61. All the appearances he made for Arsenal came from the start.
Another Chelsea manager, John Hollins, played at Arsenal too. Bit of a running theme here. Before becoming manager, Hollins spent 12 seasons at Chelsea, as an integral part of the team winning the Cup Winner’s Cup, the League Cup and the FA Cup in his first spell. After four seasons with West London rivals QPR, he made a move north to Arsenal for another four seasons, before playing his only league season in the Second Division after returning to Chelsea before announcing his retirement. Two seasons after retiring, Chelsea made him manager of the club, finishing sixth, 14th and 15th before moving on to QPR.
The next player who crops up in the list of players who have moved between Chelsea and Arsenal is George Graham. The man who’s manager game I accidentally brought for the Playstation as a kid (Don’t waste your time with it, it’s rubbish), started his career at Aston Villa before moving to Chelsea in 1964, costing £5000 before moving onto Arsenal in the 1966/’67, where he played in 196 games, scoring 60 goals. This obviously left him in good stead with the squad, as 14 years later, Graham was appointed Arsenal manager, winning the First Division twice, FA Cup once, the League Cup twice and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup before getting sacked after a run of poor results. He also received a tidy sum of £425,000 from Rune Hague after the transfers of Pal Lydersen and John Jensen to Arsenal, which lead to him being banned from football management for a year.
A man maybe known more for his off the field doings, Graham Rix started his career with Arsenal, spending 14 years there, making 447 starts and scoring 51 goals. He then finished his career against Arsenal, for Chelsea, on the 14th May 1995, taking part in a 2-1 win, his first and last game for Chelsea. After an off the pitch scandal that resulted in a jail spell, he came back to Chelsea, won the FA Cup in 2000 and then left the club when Gianluca Vialli was sacked.
Though he never played a competitive fixture for Arsenal, Clive Allen, now probably famous for his work on ITV, also was in Arsenal’s squad, for all of two months, after paying £1,250,000 to QPR for his services in June, and then selling him to Crystal Palace for the same sum two months later. After journeying through London with a brief stop in Bordeaux, Allen was sold from Man City to Chelsea for £1,000,000 less than what both Arsenal and Crystal Palace paid for him, making 21 competitive appearances and scoring nine goals between December 1991 and March 1992.
The late David Rocastle started his career at Arsenal, as a gifted midfielder, pulling the strings for nearly eight years, before being sold by George Graham to Leeds for £2,000,000. His career stopped and stalled due to injury, and one of England’s most promising players moved to Chelsea, making only 40 appearances in four years, though during that time he made 11 appearances at both Norwich City and Hull City. After Chelsea, he scored eight goals in 13 games for Sabah, a Malaysian team before being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in February 2001. He passed away on the 30th March 2001.
The first time I saw the Chelsea first-team play was away to QPR in a pre-season friendly in 2001. Sitting in the School End, we lost 3-1, after taking an early lead, and I remember, as a nine year old, crying at half time because of the language being used around us. I also remember after the game, as we were walking out, a fair few police officers coming in to sort out fan trouble. I also remember being given polystyrene cups to put our 25p cans of Coca-Cola in, which had the QPR badge on one side, and a Wasps badge on the other side. I remember seeing heroes such as Gianfranco Zola, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Ed De Goey, alongside one Emmanuel Petit, who had just made a transfer after a season at Barcelona. After this shocker of a pre-season fixture Petit then went on the spend three seasons at the club scoring two league goals in 55 appearances. At Arsenal, he played in 85 league games and managed nine goals, and scored the third goal in the World Cup Final against Brazil in 1998. After Chelsea, he finished his career, yet he is still known worldwide for his trademark blonde ponytail.
The Incredible Sulk comes up next. For those who don’t know, this is Nicolas Anelka, who, as a youngster, after being signed for a mere £500,000, made his name with Arsenal in the 1997-’98 season, helping Arsenal win the double. After a lacklustre season, Wenger shipped him off on the 2nd August 1999 for £22,500,000 more than he bought him, to Real Madrid. Five clubs later, and Anelka is still worth, according to Avram Grant, £15,000,000. After a poor half season with Chelsea, missing in THAT penalty shoot out. The following season though, Le Sulk had turned into a different player, banging in 25 goals in 54 appearances, which may have spurred Didier Drogba to become top scorer the season after (I hope so). A regular fixture in the team up until the arrival of Fernando Torres, Anelka seems content to now sit on the bench and come on on the 70th minute, probably until a nice big pay-cheque comes in at a Middle-Eastern or American club.
I think this pairing should be done together, as they did swap clubs at the same time. William Gallas, until he threatened to score own goals, was one of my favourite Chelsea players. When he left for Arsenal with Ashley Cole (Who for the rest of this piece will be known as ‘Cashley’) coming the other direction, that the Gunners had got the better side of the deal, getting rid of an upset player in return for a world-class defender and £5million. However, since then, Gallas made mischief again, as he became Arsenal captain, criticised team mates and then was stripped of it, and hasn’t won any trophies since leaving Chelsea for Arsenal, and then onto North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Cashley, however, has won the Premier League, Community Shield and Carling Cup once, and the FA Cup three times, as well as being England’s player of the year for 2010.
The final player to make this list is Lassana Diarra, the man who has possibly had the best luck as a footballer ever, that after being at Portsmouth for a season in 2008/09, the season before it went went Pete Tong for them, getting a 20 million Euro move to the biggest club in the world, Real Madrid. Before all of this though, Diarra, who was dubbed the new Claude Makélélé when he came to Chelsea, spent two seasons at the club between 2005-07, before moving onto Arsenal, where he made 11 appearances in his only season there before moving to Pompey and then Madrid.
I’m sure there will be, in the future, more to add to this list. Maybe under the edition of 17YearOldGooner? Or maybe this season, if those Torres and Diaby rumours ever come to fruition… Ha.