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Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-04-16 14:32:31
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When the history of Association football is read in ages to come there is at least one name that will stand out shining like a star. I refer to Walter Arnott, Scotland's greatest full-back, and perhaps the most gifted defensive player ever known to the game.
Reference to a great international between England and Scotland which saw a magnificent performance from William Gunn who was exceptional, but constantly thwarted by the brilliance of Arnott.
Not only was he the best defender, but he was also the most artistic back I have ever seen. I may name Oakley, Lodge, Dunn, Harrison, the brothers Walters, Nick Ross, Forbes, Spencer, and all the best of the moderns, but none of them ever equalled Arnott in the ease and elegance of his methods.
Arnott, as I remember him, was about medium height, thick set, with a magnificent back and chest, and legs that were made to kick. For a man of his stocky "build", his pace was remarkable. He seemed to have no difficulty in keeping pace with the fastest forward, and when he made a sudden rush at an opponent, he moved like a whirlwind. He was, I believe, one of the first backs to make a habit of placing the ball accurately to his forwards. I have seen him kick with such precision with his back turned towards his objective, that he seemed to have eyes in the back of his head.
Perhaps the best point about the fame of Arnott is not his ability as a back, supreme as it undoubtedly was, but rather it was his fair and chivalrous behaviour to his opponents at all times. He was never known to do a mean action; he has on the contrary, frequently been known to let an opponent down lightly.
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