Arsenal conquer the Anfield side


September 2, 1919
Last night at Anfield a team previously beaten by Newcastle at Highbury conquered Liverpool, whose win over Bradford City had buoyed us into false hopes. Again 3-2 was the verdict, as at Everton on Saturday, and again the home side took the lead and retired beaten by a better side. Have we judged our teams too high as a result of games versus Southport, Bury, and Co? It would seem like it, though it is too early to be quite certain.

A friend who was at Bradford warned me that the game there was scrappy and un-impressive. Well, last night’s exhibition was something like a blow to those who had been in the habit of watching Anfield’s successes in war time. The reason of defeat – it wasn’t hard to find. Liverpool got a goal – it seems fatal to let them think they are winning easily. They dwadle. Jock Rutherford centred, Bert White took the centre first time, and equalised.

Still Liverpool believed in themselves, but they kept the greasy ball far too close and played right into the hands of Frank Bradshaw and Joe Shaw, two stunning good backs on last night’s showing. Rutherford centre, White scored again first time. Liverpool instantly got nervy. They did not play their normal game, and with Tom Miller and Jack Sheldon unable to do the right thing, although the latter centred truly a fair number of times, Arsenal – who had been out of the hunt in the first half – saw their chance and went in and won.

Rutherford centred, Billy Blyth scored a – first-time shot – and although Fred Pagnam scored after Harry Chambers had practically made the goal complete on his own, Arsenal were worthy victors.

The day of the veteran.
You will notice Rutherford centred three times, and three times did a first-time shot get home. It was the only way. Yet Liverpool’s forwards wanted to wade through all barriers ere shooting. Kenneth Campbell as a consequence had much more work than Tim Williamson, who must not be confused with the Middlesbrough man of that name.

Rutherford was the practical forward of the day. He had had a bad first half through lying too far up. Afterwards he took great care not to undo attacks by this failing. His exhibition was ideal for a winger, and showed the old hand at his brainiest. He did not court the touch-line, as witness his taking cup centre forward position when Liverpool were “all out” in their opponents’ goal. The ball was swept up the field, and Rutherford was not too stereotyped to refuse to race to the outside left position – football, my sirs.

His partner Dick Burgess, was a deadly shot and a keen forager, so that Donald Mackinlay had a rough passage in the second half, and Billy Jenkinson fell away in his kicking, as also Sam Speakman, whose first-half game no one could complain about.

A rot had set in, and only William Lacey of the back lines kept up his normal game. Walter Wadsworth’s good work being undone by faulty placing. A half back must use the ball when he has taken it from an adversary. It must be remembered that the best Arsenal forward was a man who played in a final tie against Everton as far back as 1906, and an Everton cast off.

Bradshaw had no superior in defence, his kicks being timely and his scheme for running forward when an opening presented itself proving that he is not in the meshes of cut-and-dried football. Bradshaw once paid me the compliment of saying I was one who would speak up for a player who was doing well what e’er befell him. I am glad, therefore, to have the opportunity of giving him his due for last night’s big say in the victory.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: September 2, 1919)

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