Manager – Arsene Wenger
Chairman – Sir Chips Keswick
Captain – Mikel Arteta
Rivals – Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Chelsea and West Ham United
Stadium – Emirates Stadium
Nicknamed “The Gunners” Arsenal FC is one of the most successful clubs in English football having the won the English First Division title 13 times and the FA Cup a record 11 times.
They have also won the the League Cup twice. In the 2003/04 season Arsenal became only the second time in English football history to finish a season undefeated. They played twice as many games as the first Invincibles – The Preston North End team of the 1888/89 season.
Arsenal have one of the largest fan bases in world and is fifth most richest football club in the world as per Forbes 2014. Arsenal plays their home matches at the Emirates Stadium in Holloway, London since 2006.
History of Arsenal FC
Arsenal FC was founded in the year 1886 by workers of the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich and were initially known as Dial Square. The team was soon renamed Arsenal but was renamed again to Woolwich Arsenal in 1893.
In 1893 Arsenal became the first club from the South of the country to join the Football League.
The Gunners initially started out in the Second Division but won promotion to the First Division in 1904 almost a decade after their debut.
The club went Bankrupt in 1910 and was taken over by businessmen William Hill and Henry Norris, Hill wanted to move the club elsewhere due of the lack of audiences to their matches.
The club was moved to the Arsenal Stadium in Highbury after the team got relegated back to the Second Division in 1913. The following year the club decided to scrap Woolwich from their name and from then on were known as “Arsenal”.
Arsenal finished 5th in the second division in the last season before the First World War and when the action resumed on the pitch in the 1919/20 season they were elected back to the first division over their rivals Tottenham Hotspurs. Some record indicate that this “promotion” was achieved by dubious means.
*Check out this awesome fan-made designs of Arsenal!
Chapman turned Arsenal in a genuine title contender. Arsenal won their first major trophy in the 1929/30 season when they won the FA Cup by beating Huddersfield Town 2-0 in the finals.Arsenal Appointed Herbert Chapman as manager for the 1925/26 season. Chapman had already won the First Division title twice with Huddersfield Town in the previous two seasons before coming to Arsenal.
Arsenal won their first league title in the 1930/31 season and followed it up with a second one in the 1932/33 season. Chapman died on January 6th, 1934 due to pneumonia and was succeeded by his assistants Joe Shaw and George Allison as the co-managers of Arsenal.
Arsenal dominated English Football for the rest of the 30’s winning the First Division three more times in 1933/34, 34/35 and 37/38. They also won an FA Cup in the 1935/36 season. Second World War soon followed and the league was suspended for a number of years.
The duo of Shaw and Allison was replaced by Tom Whittaker in 1947, he led the club to two more league titles first in 1947/48 and the second time in 1952/53.
They also won the FA Cup under him in the 1949/50 season. The club started to struggle by the start of the 50’s and went trophy-less for the rest of the 50’s and the first half of the 60’s.
Glory Days Again
In 1966 the then Arsenal manager Billy Wright was sacked by the club and an unknown entity in Bertie Mee who was working as a physiotherapist was brought in as his replacement.
Mee along with his assistants Dave Sexton and Don Howe brought the club back to its glory days. Arsenal won their first European trophy under him winning the 1969/70 Inter Cities Fairs Cup by beating Anderlecht convincingly in a two-legged final.
In the 70/71 season Arsenal recorded its first double by winning the League and the FA Cup.
The Era of Near Misses
The club remained a major player in English Football for the next few years finishing as FA Cup runners-up in 1971/72 season and First Division runners-up in the 1972/73 season.
Mee left the club in 1976 and was replaced Terry Neill. Neill who was just 34 at that time became the youngest Arsenal manager till date. Neill’s reign turned out to be an era of near misses with Arsenal reaching three consecutive FA Cup finals and losing two of ’em and winning just one (1977/78, 1978/79 and 1979/80).
Their 1978/79 3-2 FA Cup final victory versus Manchester United is widely regarded as a Cup classic. Arsenal also lost the 1980 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final against Valencia 5-4 in penalties.
George Graham Era
Arsenal started finding their feet again when former player George Graham was appointed as manager in 1986.Arsenal won the League Cup for the first time in their history during Graham’s first season in Charge (1986/87).
Arsenal won the First Division in the 1988/89 after winning the title on the final day with a last-minute goal. Arsenal played fellow title contenders Liverpool on the final day (based on pure luck of the draw) and needed to win by atleast two goals to win the title.
Arsenal scored the first of their two in the 52nd minute and won the title in the 90th minute thanks to a goal by Micheal Thomas. The same Micheal Thomas became a Liverpool player later on in his career.
Arsenal vs Liverpool – Final day of the 1988/89 season :-
Under Graham Arsenal went on to win the League again in the 1990/91 season, The double of the League and FA Cups in the 1992/93 season and their second and last European trophy till date – The European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1993/94 beating Parma 1-0 in the final.
Graham’s nearly nine year reign at Arsenal was brought to an end when he was sacked from the job. Graham was found guilty of accepting 425,000 Pounds as commission from a agent and was even banned for an year by the FA.
Graham was replaced by Bruce Rioch but he too left the club after a single season.
*Learn more about English club´s, Newcastle history.
Arsene Wenger Era
Arsene Wenger officially took on the job of Arsenal manager on 30th of September 1996. Wenger was a relatively unknown entity at that time and his appointed was greeted with a question in the Evening Standard – “Arsene Who?”
Arsene won the double of FA Cup and the Premier League in the 1997/98 season. They lost to Galatasaray in the finals of the 1999/00 UEFA Cup. Won their third FA and League double in the 2001/02 season and followed it up with two more League Cup wins in the 2002/03 and 2004/05 seasons.
The crowning achievement of Arsene’s reign so far at Arsenal has been achieving the almost impossible feat of finishing a season unbeaten. Arsenal earned the nickname “The Invincibles” for achieving this feat in the 2003/04 season.
For much of Arsenal’s success early on in Wenger’s reign they went on a trophy-less run after their 2004/05 FA Cup win. They came close to winning the 2005/06 Champions League season but lost to Barcelona 2-1 in the finals.
The Club moved to Emirates Stadium in 2006 ending their 93yr old stay at Highbury. Arsenal finally ended their trophy drought which lasted almost 10 seasons with a FA Cup win in the 2013/14 season after a 3-2 win against Hull City in the finals.
Arsenal’s 2013/14 (3-2) FA Cup final win over Hull City :-
The 2014 – 2015 Season
Arsenal are currently 4th in table with 48 points from 26 games (As of 28th February, 2015). They qualified for the Champions league after narrowly beating Besiktas 1-0 over two legs in the Champions League play-off round.
The progressed to the round of 16’s of the Champions League after finishing second in their group behind Borussia Dortmund. They produced a horror in the first leg of the round of 16’s versus Monaco and lost 3-1 at Emirates and now need to score atleast three goals in the second leg to go through to the quarter-finals.
In the league the top 4 fight has been the closest as it has ever been with 5 teams including Arsenal contesting for the 3rd and 4th Spot. Arsenal has had a reasonable season in the Premier League so far and needs a strong finish to ensure a top 4 berth.
They are still alive in the FA Cup and will play Manchester United in the quarters. They had earlier been knocked out of the League Cup in the third round.
Most Appearances – David O’Leary (722)
Top Goal scorer – Thierry Henry (228)
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