Arsenal Football Club is one of the world's top clubs, having been in the top flight of English football since 1919. During the 2003/04 season, they did what no team since Preston North End in 1889 had done and completed an unbeaten season.
Manager Arsene Wenger has been at the helm since October 1996, introducing a new style of management, with the emphasis on nutrition and innovative training methods. The Frenchman won the double during his first full season.
The club was formed in 1886 by a group of employees of the Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory, calling themselves Dial Square in honour of the sundial on top of the factory entrance. Soon afterwards, the club was renamed Royal Arsenal. Their first home pitch was Plumstead Common.
Later renting the Manor Ground, they made their FA Cup debut in 1889/90. They bought the Manor Ground and remained there until moving to Highbury in 1913. Soon afterwards, they successfully applied to join the Football League’s Second Division.
After the first world war, Arsenal joined the First Division after it was increased to accommodate two more clubs. They have remained in the top flight ever since.
Under legendry manager Herbert Chapman who joined the club in 1925, Arsenal won their first trophy in 1930 - they won the FA Cup, beating Huddersfield Town. Chapman is credited with shaping Arsenal into the club it is today. The team won the league trophy the following season and went on to lift it a further four times during the 1930s.
Professional football resumed after the second world war and Arsenal won the league title again in the 1947/48 season. On 17th January 1948, their match against Manchester United attracted one of the highest-ever attendances for an English league game - 81,962.
Arsenal have won the FA Cup a total of 13 times, including their most recent win when they beat Chelsea 2-1 in 2017. They won the European Fairs Cup in 1970, the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1994, the Community Shield 13 times and the League Cup twice. They have been league champions 13 times, the last time being in 2004.
Highbury Stadium was their home until 2006. It enjoyed many developments and refurbishments during the club’s 93-year residency, surviving bombing during the second world war. It closed its gates for the final time on Sunday 7th May 2006.
Arsenal then moved to their current home ground, the 60,432-capacity Emirates Stadium, which also hosts the Arsenal Museum, concerts and other events and the Arsenal Armoury flagship store.
Managers and players
Arsene Wenger was virtually unknown in English football when he arrived at Highbury Stadium in 1996, coming from Japanese club Japanese Grampus Eight. His management style - and winning the double in his first full season in charge - soon endeared him to the fans. He is multi-lingual, speaking English, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. He has won 10 major trophies so far, including a record seven FA Cups. Wenger was awarded the OBE for his services to football in 2003.
Arguably the most notable player ever to have worn the Arsenal shirt is French international Thierry Henry. The Arsenal legend joined the club in 1999 and scored a club record of 226 goals, before leaving for Barcelona in 2007. He returned for a short loan spell in 2012, scoring twice more. He won three FA Cups, two league titles, four Golden Boots, five Player of the Year awards and of course, he smashed the club's goal-scoring record.
Wenger has just signed a new deal with Arsenal after speculation that he was to leave at the end of the 2016/17 season. Whatever the future holds, he will always be remembered for transforming Henry from a skilful winger into a superstar striker.
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