Arsenal F.C.

Arsenal F.C. (also known as Arsenal, The Arsenal or The Gunners) is a north London football team founded in 1886. They play at Arsenal Stadium, Highbury.

Table of contents
1 History
2 New stadium
3 Crest
4 Famous players
5 Achievements
6 External links

History

Arsenal FC's Old Crest ()

Arsenal were originally called Dial Square. The club later changed its name to Woolwich Arsenal, since the original founders were arms makers at the Woolwich armaments factory in south London. From 1893 to 1904, Arsenal (the Woolwich was dropped sometime after 1891), played in the 2nd division professional of the Football League. They were promoted to the first division in 1904.

Arsenal were relegated in 1913, the same year they moved from their south London home to Arsenal Stadium (sometimes referred to as Highbury) in north London. Arsenal rejoined the first division in 1919 and have remained in the top division since that time, a record which no other English club can come close to matching.

This unbroken stretch of top-flight football has come much to the chagrin and longstanding enmity of Tottenham Hotspur (or 'Spurs', for short) and their supporters, who arguably lost their first division place thanks to Arsenal. The first division was to be expanded and the decision to promote Arsenal, (who came fifth in the final league season before the war) rather than Barnsley or Wolves (who finished third and fourth), or to not relegate Spurs (who finished bottom of the first division), has been linked to dubious back room deals.

In 1925, Huddersfield Town manager Herbert Chapman took over at Arsenal. Under his leadership, a successful drive to rename the local tube station, Gillespie Road station, to Arsenal took place (the old name can still be seen picked out in tiles on the wall of the station). Chapman's Arsenal won the FA Cup in 1930 and the League in 1931. It can be said that Arsenal dominated the league during the decade of the 1930s. During the postwar era, Arsenal won several more trophies, but headed towards a decline in the late 1950s through the 1960s.

Arsenal's performance in the 1970s was characterized by a few moments of brilliance, separated by long spells of disappointment. The highlight during this period was their first "Double win in 1970/71. One need only read Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch for a taste of the life of an Arsenal fan, or Gooner (after the team's nickname The Gunners), during the late 1960s through the mid-1980s.

Under the management of George Graham, Arsenal once again rose to a regular spot at the top of the table, winning six major trophies in eight years. Arsenal's offside trap was known throughout the world (and provided a joke in The Full Monty), as was the paucity of their scoring rate and propensity for winning games by a single goal. This led to a standing joke amongst English football fans about the terrace chant "1-nil to the Arsenal" (to the tune of the Village People song "Go West") being a song consisting of a single verse.

The rise of Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson provided a constant threat to Arsenal and, in fact to any team aiming at gathering silverware. Graham left Arsenal in 1994-1995 after being embroiled in a kickbacks for transfer contracts scandal. With his departure, Arsenal floundered under the management of Bruce Rioch and Stuart Houston, although Houston did lead the Gunners to the Cup Winners' Cup final. With the advent in 1996 of Arsène Wenger as manager, Arsenal began a rebuilding program. The team has improved consistently under Wenger's management, although not without hiccups and transfer decisions that leave some fans wondering. The 2001-2002 season put any doubts to rest, however, as Arsenal won "the Double for the second time under Wenger.

New stadium

Arsenal are currently in the process of building a new 60,000 seater stadium at Ashburton Grove, about 500m South-West towards Holloway Road (map). While this project has been delayed somewhat due to bureaucratic red tape and rising costs, the club hopes that its new stadium will enable it to continue to develop and compete at the very highest level of English and continental football.

Crest

Throughout the years the Arsenal crest has modified slightly now and then, resulting in a crest which had no author who could claim the copyright. At the beginning of the 2001-2002 season when Arsenal changed sponsor from Sega/Dreamcast to mmO2, they also introduced a new 'modern' crest. It received a mixed response from fans, some claiming that it had ignored much of Arsenal's history by removing the gothic text, latin motto (Victoria Concorida Crescit), and coat of arms.

Famous players

Achievements

Three "Doubles": 1971 1998 2002
One Domestic Cup Double: 1993

For more details, including Arsenal's youth and ladies trophies see (for example) http://www.arseweb.com/history/honours.html

External links


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