Arsenal is one of the most prominent names in English football. The story of Arsenal is extraordinary and inspirational as the club was formed by mere 16 workers. Arsenal holds the longest unbeaten streak and longest top flight in English Football. Only Manchester United and Liverpool have won more trophies than Arsenal.
Formation of Arsenal :
It all started in South East London where David Danskin a football enthusiast started a club with his 15 co-workers who used to build cannons and thereby the name “Gunners” came into form. A group of 18 men put 6 pence Danskin put in three shillings, and this way Arsenal was established. Back then David Danskin and his crew didn’t know what to name the club after, so they named it after a workshop (Dial Square). David and his other associates used to meet at Royal Oak Pub which was next to Woolwich Arsenal Station.
The founding fathers of Arsenal were not happy with the first name (Dial Square) so they came up with the idea of a new name which was a mix of their working place and the pub they used to meet at (Royal Arsenal). In the first four years, Royal Arsenal won the Kent Senior Cup and London Charity Cup.
One of the first problems of Arsenal was low attendance and bankruptcy. Businessman Henry Norris saved Arsenal in 1910 and changed their home ground to North London in 1913. In North London, Tottenham was already well established and for that reason, the North London derby is famous to date. In the following year, Woolwich Arsenal was renamed Arsenal.
Arsenal was promoted to the First Division with heroic efforts from Henry Norris in 1910. After World War 1 the First Division decided to expand to 22 teams from 20 teams. Chelsea and Tottenham were at the last and the second last position in the previous season and were going to be relegated. Chelsea managed to stay in the First Division leaving one spot to grab. Arsenal got the vacant spot but not on footballing performance but votes.
Herbert Chapman Era:
Herbert Chapman is the man who brought Glory and Prestige to the club. Chapman was a Huddersfield Town manager before applying for the Managers position for Arsenal. Chapman joined Arsenal as a manager in 1925. In just 5 years since his arrival, Arsenal won their first National Title (The FA Cup) and two League titles in 1931 and 1933. The white sections which we see in the Arsenal FC kit were first suggested by Herbert Chapman as he had the notion that white on reds makes it easier for players to see each other on the field. The Chapman Era was the most fruitful era for Arsenal as they won a total of 5 League Titles and The FA Cup.
Post World War 2 Success:
During WWII all the footballing activities were paused for seven years. The whole world was in turmoil including the world of football. Arsenal continued their winning ways after WWII, they won two League Titles (1948, 1953) and The FA Cup (1950). Many Arsenal players died during WWII and financially they were a disaster at that time. After enjoying great success after WWII the club didn’t win anything until 1970 where they secured a double (The First Division 1970 and The FA Cup 1970).
Reformation by Arsene Wenger:
Arsene Wenger the French Genius shaped the club with new ideas and techniques. Under his management, Arsenal reached their climax with Wenger by conquering 3 Premier League titles and 4 FA Cup titles in just 8 years of his arrival. Wenger being a Frenchman was tender over French players and it worked perfect. Arsenal signed Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry. Arsenal with the help of exceptional players came close to winning the UEFA Cup in 1999 and lost in the final to Galatasaray. Wenger pulled off something which seems impossible in the Premier League.
In the 2003-04 season, Arsenal marched towards victory without a single loss throughout the season. Wenger made a National Record of 49 matches unbeaten. Thierry Henry the club’s legend scored 30 goals in 37 matches that season. The Premier League commissioned a unique gold trophy to commemorate this achievement.
The songs about Arsenal’s glory were all over England and consequently, fans started pouring in huge numbers. The Highbury Stadium was small for a club like Arsenal, Wenger was denied to expand the Highbury stadium to their requirements as the stands were historically listed buildings. Soon after the construction of The Emirates Stadium in 2006 Arsenal moved to Emirates as their new home ground which has a capacity of 60,000.
Since 2005 Arsenal was dealing with a tough time which led the fans to criticize Wenger. Arsenal was always in the top 4 but didn’t manage to win The League or The Champions League. The fans took solace from their triumph in the FA Cup. After 22 years Wenger decided to depart from the club. Wenger’s departure was a blow to many Arsenal fans, many of his players praised him for making and shaping them. In his final match, Arsenal won 5-0 over Burnley.
Since the departure of Arsene Wenger, the Board of Arsenal decided to elect Unai Emery as the club’s head coach. Unai didn’t manage to win anything during his tenure and was later sacked. Mikel Arteta a former player and Captain of Arsenal is elected as the head coach. Premier League is unquestionably the toughest League and Arsenal fans should give their head coaches time to settle in and make their plan work. Mikel uses young talent with a different playing style but he is still struggling.
Arsenal’s badge always comprised Cannons. The Royal Arsenal’s Badge displayed 3 cannons pointing Northwards. In 1930 the badge was changed to a single cannon pointing Westward and since then the design is pretty much the same. In 1949 the club decided to use the Club’s name on top of the Cannon as their latest badge. Arsenal has one of the most meaningful Badges in the world of football as its history goes deep down to the founders of this great club.
Honours Of Arsenal:
First Division / Premier League
Winners (13): 1930–31, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1937–38, 1947–48, 1952–53, 1970–71, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04
League Cup / EFL Cup
Winners (2): 1986–87, 1992–93
League Centenary Trophy
Winners (1) (record): 1988
The FA Cup
Winners (14) (record): 1929–30, 1935–36, 1949–50, 1970–71, 1978–79, 1992–93, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2016–17, 2019–20
FA Community Shield (FA Charity Shield before 2002)
Winners (16): 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1991 (shared), 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2020
UEFA Cup Winners Cup
Winners (1): 1993–94