Arsenal Football Club
Arsenal Football Club is one of the biggest football clubs in England, has now competed in the nation’s top-flight since 1919. Nicknamed ‘The Gunners’, Arsenal was founded back in October 1886, though they were then called Dial Square and later changed the name to Woolwich Arsenal, before eventually shortening it to Arsenal in 1913, which also saw them move to a new ground, Highbury. This would be their home for the next 93 years before the club then moved into their current home in the Emirates Stadium, which currently holds a capacity of 60,704.
Arsenal is one of the most successful teams in English football, boasting an impressive honours list that includes 13 First Division titles (3 in the Premier League era), 2 League Cups and a record 13 FA Cup wins. The club has also won the Community Shield on 15 occasions, as well as the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. The North London outfit has also completed the prestigious league and cup double on three separate occasions, doing so in 1971, 1998 and 2002.
The club has had a number of successful managers take charge in their long history including Herbert Chapman, Bertie Mee and George Graham, but none had a more fruitful reign than Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman took the reigns in 1996 and was an unknown figure to most in England at the time, but the appointment helped make Arsenal the domestic and European powerhouse that they are today. Wenger spent 22 years at the helm, overseeing the transition from Highbury to the Emirates in that time, and won three Premier League titles alongside a record seven FA Cups. No manager has won more FA Cups than Wenger, who lifted the trophy three times in his final five seasons as Arsenal manager. His time at the club came to an end in May 2018 when he took charge of his 1,235th game away at Huddersfield Town, where Arsenal came away with a 1-0 win. He was replaced later that summer by Unai Emery.
Undoubtedly the greatest achievement of the Wenger era and perhaps in the history of Arsenal Football Club was the title-winning season of 2003/04, which saw the Gunners go 38 games unbeaten en route to lifting the title. Their record of 26 wins and 12 draws saw them win the title with an 11-point margin over closest rivals Chelsea, whilst they also wrapped up the league with a 2-2 draw at the home of arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur. This achievement led to the team being nicknamed ‘The Invincibles’, with the side featuring a number of iconic players such as Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieria, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.
Henry is considered by many Arsenal fans to be the club’s greatest player of all-time, having surpassed Ian Wright as Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer with 226 goals in 369 appearances between 1999 and 2007. A list of the ‘Gunners Greatest 50 Players’ was released and featured Henry at the top of the pile, where he was closely followed by Bergkamp and iconic captain Tony Adams in second and third respectively. Wright, Vieria, Pires, David Seaman, Liam Brady, Charlie George and Pet Jennings all round off the top 10. There are five statues currently outside the Emirates Stadium honouring some of the club’s most legendary figures, with Henry, Bergkamp, Adams, Chapman and Ken Friar all recognised for their services to the football club. It is widely anticipated that Wenger will become the sixth man to be honoured with a statue in the near future following his 22 years with the club.