Saturday, 17 May 2014
Arsenal Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Holloway, London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, they have won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups. Arsenal hold the record for the longest uninterrupted period in the English top flight and would be placed first in an aggregated league of the entire 20th century. They are the second side to complete an English top flight season unbeaten (in the 2003–04 season) and the only one to do so across 38 matches.Arsenal Football Club were formed as Dial Square in 1886 by workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, south-east London, and were renamed Royal Arsenal shortly afterwards. The club was renamed again to Woolwich Arsenal after becoming a limited company in 1893. The club became the first southern member of the Football League in 1893, starting out in the Second Division, and won promotion to the First Division in 1904. The club's relative geographic isolation resulted in lower attendances than those of other clubs, which led to the club becoming mired in financial problems and effectively bankrupt by 1910, when they were taken over by businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall. Norris sought to move the club elsewhere, and in 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, North London; they dropped "Woolwich" from their name the following year. Arsenal only finished in fifth place in the second division during the last pre-war competitive season of 1914–15, but were nevertheless elected to rejoin the First Division when competitive football resumed in 1919–20, at the expense of local rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Some books have reported that this election to division 1 was achieved by dubious means.
Arsenal appointed Herbert Chapman as manager in 1925. Having already won the league twice with Huddersfield Town in 1923–24 and 1924–25 (seeSeasons in English football), Chapman brought Arsenal their first period of major success. His revolutionary tactics and training, along with the signings of star players such as Alex James and Cliff Bastin, laid the foundations of the club's domination of English football in the 1930s. Under his guidance Arsenal won their first major trophies – victory in the 1930 FA Cup Final preceded two League Championships, in 1930–31 and 1932–33. In addition, Chapman was behind the 1932 renaming of the local London Underground station from "Gillespie Road" to "Arsenal", making it the only Tube station to be named specifically after a football club.
Chapman died suddenly of pneumonia in early 1934, leaving Joe Shaw and George Allison to carry on his successful work. Under their guidance, Arsenal won three more titles, in 1933–34, 1934–35and 1937–38, and the 1936 FA Cup while also becoming known as the "Bank of England club." As key players retired, Arsenal had started to fade by the decade's end, and then the intervention of the Second World War meant competitive professional football in England was suspended.
After the war, Arsenal enjoyed a second period of success under Allison's successor Tom Whittaker, winning the league in 1947–48 and 1952–53, and the FA Cup in 1950. Their fortunes waned thereafter; unable to attract players of the same calibre as they had in the 1930s, the club spent most of the 1950s and 1960s in trophyless mediocrity. Even former England captain Billy Wrightcould not bring the club any success as manager, in a stint between 1962 and 1966.
Arsenal began winning silverware again with the surprise appointment of club physiotherapist Bertie Mee as manager in 1966. After losing two League Cup finals, they won their first European trophy, the 1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. This was followed by an even greater triumph: their first League and FA Cup double in 1970–71. This marked a premature high point of the decade; the Double-winning side was soon broken up and the following decade was characterised by a series of near misses, starting with Arsenal finishing as FA Cup runners up in 1972, and First Division runners-up in 1972–73.
Terry Neill was recruited by the Arsenal board to replace Bertie Mee on 9 July 1976 and at the age of 34 he became the youngest Arsenal manager to date. With new signings like Malcolm Macdonald and Pat Jennings, and a crop of talent in the side such as Liam Brady and Frank Stapleton, the club enjoyed their best form since the 1971 double, reaching a trio of FA Cup finals (1978,1979 and 1980), and losing the 1980 European Cup Winners' Cup Final on penalties. The club's only success during this time was a last-minute 3–2 victory over Manchester United in the 1979 FA Cup Final, widely regarded as a classic.FAN SINCE EARLY 60,S
Arsenal were founded in 1886 in Woolwich and in 1893 became the first club from the south of England to join the Football League. In 1913, they moved north across the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury. In the 1930s they won five League Championship titles and two FA Cups. After a lean period in the post-war years they won the League and FA Cup Double, in the 1970–71 season, and in the 1990s and first decade of the 21st century won two more Doubles and reached the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final.
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