Arsenal are a North London-based club playing at the Emirates Stadium, the third largest stadium in England, and are previous champions of the country. They were formed in 1886 by munition workers, and have gone on to be a very successful club with a lot of talent and currently have a world class manager in control in Arsene Wenger, who is the current longest reigning manager in English Football. Arsenal have won 13 league titles as well as 13 domestic trophies. Their former ground, Highbury, was referred to by fans as the ‘Home of Football’, signifying the class of football that has been shown over the years. They are one of the powerhouses in English football as well as compete in European competitions consistently. The Gunners are one of just a few teams to go an entire league season unbeaten which is an outstanding achievement and earned the title, ‘The Invincibles’.
Arsenal were originally known as Dial Square, after the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex. Arsenal were the first team from the South of England to join the Football League in 1893 and were then known as Woolwich Arsenal. Woolwich was dropped from the name two decades later in 1913, becoming The Arsenal, which was gradually dropped so the club has become known simply as Arsenal since.
During the 1930s Arsenal built a strong team having been promoted to the top flight in the 1920's. This provided the club with the ability to buy better players which encouraged better attendance figures at the ground, slowly making Arsenal become one of the biggest clubs in the country. Arsenal became the second club in history to win the top-flight league title on three consecutive occasions, 1932-33, 1933-34 & 1934-35. Only three other clubs have achieved this feat, which shows the difficulty of it, and it has never been bettered. Huddersfield Town were the first team to achieve the consecutive league titles 1923-24, 1924-25 & 1925-26, with Liverpool managing this 1981-82, 1982-83 & 1983-84 and Manchester United achieving this 1998-99, 1999-2000 & 2000-2001. No team has yet won the title four times in a row.
Arsenal however struggled in the 1950’s until the 70’s, after failing to attract top quality players. They eventually triumphed one again in the 1970’s with FA Cup wins. Prior to the appointment of one of the most successful managers in the club’s history, it used to be 1-0 to Arsenal most weeks, but that all changed in 1996, as Arsenal owners took a risk and France’s Arsene Wenger was appointed as the new manager, and it was a risk that paid off, shown in the fact over the first eight seasons the club ended the season either first or second in the Premier League meaning automatic qualification for the Champions League. Despite struggling in arguably the toughest competition in World football, they did eventually reach the final in 2005-06, only to be narrowly beaten by Barcelona.
Arsenal triumphed, winning the League and Cup double in 1997-98 and 2001-02, for a second and third time in their history, as well as winning the 2003 and 2005 FA Cups. Wengers successes in club the continued as Arsenal went undefeated during the 2003-04 season, earning the nickname ‘The Invincibles’ as Patrick Viera, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry helped Wenger’s side go on an astonishing 49 league match unbeaten run. This record carried over into the following season until Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United knocked them down to earth by ending the run in October 2004, toppling the Gunners 2-0. Arsenal fans are known as Gooners, this stems from the team nickname “The Gunners” which is because of the history and being founded in a munitions factory.
Arsenal moved to their new home, the Emirates stadium, in 2006. However, in a way to afford the stadium, they were forced to sell key players for profits, with the likes of Nicolas Anelka moving to Real Madrid, and Mark Overmars and Emmanuel Petit to Barcelona, for combined fees of £50m. The new stadium investment also meant they were unable to spend big, and were forced to put faith in youth and players that didn’t have the ‘world class’ tag, in hope that Wenger could turn them into the best in the world. Arsenal did not win a major honour from 2005 until 2014, where they won the FA Cup once again, before doing the same the following season.
Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League in the 2016-17 campaign, a position unfamiliar to the fans as it was the first finish outside of the top four under Wenger. Arsenal that season however did still triumph by once again winning the FA cup against league champions that season, Chelsea. The free-flowing passing game that Wenger brought to the club is a major factor to them receiving their honours, and it has been followed by the likes of Barcelona.
Arsenal brought in some real talent over the years to help put the club where it belongs, spending big on world class players such as Mesut Özil and record signing, Alexandre Lacazette from Olympique Lyon for around £50m. They are one of the biggest and well-known clubs in the world, managed by one of the world’s most well-known and quality managers in Wenger. With an average attendance of around 60,000, there is always an atmosphere, especially with the talent on display which contributes to getting the fans nosier.
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