Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, London, England. The club was founded in 1886 as Dial Square and was later renamed Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, in 1891.
The club was renamed again to its current name, Arsenal, in 1914. Arsenal has played in the top division of English football for most of its history and is one of the most successful clubs in English football.
The club has won 13 First Division/Premier League titles, 14 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, and 15 FA Community Shields, among other honors. Arsenal has a long and storied history and is one of the world’s most popular and well-known football clubs. Let’s review the Arsenal history and trophies won in more detail below.
Foundation to First World War
The Arsenal Football Club was formed in late 1886 by workers at the Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory. Dial Square was the name of the club.
The team’s first game was a 6-0 victory over Eastern Wanderers on December 11, 1886. In the years that followed, the Club played in friendlies and local cup competitions under the name Royal Arsenal.
It was in 1893 that Woolwich Arsenal joined the Football League that the Club turned professional and changed its name to Woolwich Arsenal. As a Second Division club, the Gunners moved to Highbury in 1913.
Arsenal Football Club joined the newly expanded First Division following the First World War, where they remain.
The Glorious Thirties
With Herbert Chapman at the helm of Arsenal in 1925, they won their first trophy in 1930 when they beat Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup Final.
Arsenal won their first championship the following season. Three league titles were won by the Club between 1933 and 1935 (only four teams have achieved this feat in the top flight). By the time Chapman died, his reputation had already become legendary.
The dominance continued under George Allison for the rest of the decade, winning another FA Cup in 1936 and another league title in 1938.
One of the greatest sides in the Football League played during this time with Alex James, Ted Drake, Cliff Bastin, David Jack, Eddie Hapgood, and George Male among the players.
The First Double
With Tom Whittaker as manager, Arsenal achieved more success after the Second World War. Among Arsenal’s achievements, they were champions in 1947/48 and 1952/53, FA Cup winners in 1950, and runners-up in 1952.
Little silverware was found at Highbury in the 1960s, with two losses in the League Cup Final in 1968 and 1969 as the closest to success.
A two-legged Fairs Cup Final between Arsenal and Anderlecht was won by Arsenal 4-3 in 1969/70 after Bertie Mee took over at the club in the late 1960s.
It would have been better to follow the following season. Charlie George, George Armstrong, Ray Kennedy, and Frank McLintock were part of an Arsenal team that won the league and FA Cup in the same season.
In addition to winning the title at White Hart Lane, they also won the cup after extra time at Wembley. Three successive FA Cup Finals were played at Wembley under Terry Neill at the end of the decade, with the second game ending in a 3-2 victory over Manchester United. It became known as the ‘Five Minute Final.’
Graham Rix, Frank Stapleton, Pat Rice, David O’Leary, and Liam Brady played for the Gunners in the 1980 Cup Winners’ Cup Final, but they lost on penalties to Valencia.
Taking over from Don Howe in 1986, George Graham, a 1971 ‘double’ winning team member, led the team to further glory. In 1986/87, he led Arsenal to their first-ever League Cup victory, beating Liverpool 2-1.
Michael Thomas’ famous last-minute goal clinched the title with a 2-0 win at Anfield two years later. With just one loss in the league, the team won another title in 1990/91.
There was more silverware to follow. As a result of winning both domestic cups in the 1992/93 season, Arsenal became the first team in history to achieve this feat. On both occasions, Sheffield Wednesday lost. The following season marked the end of Graham’s era of success.
In Copenhagen, Alan Smith’s goal led to a 1-0 win over Parma in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup. In 1995 final, Arsenal lost to Real Zaragoza, failing to retain the trophy. George Graham had already left the club by this point. Bruce Rioch followed him for one season, signing Dennis Bergkamp.
The Arsène Wenger Era
During Wenger’s first full season at Highbury, Arsenal achieved the League and FA Cup’ double’ for the second time in the Club’s history, earning the Frenchman the Carling Manager of the Year Award.
The Football Writers’ Association (FWA) and Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) also named Dennis Bergkamp Player of the Year. French Internationals Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira rounded off a phenomenal season by playing an integral part in France’s World Cup victory.
In 2000, Arsenal reached the UEFA Cup Final but lost on penalties after three consecutive league runners-up medals. Valencia knocked the Club out of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals in 2001.
The Club, however, reverted fortunes in 2001/02 by beating Chelsea in the FA Cup and ending their league campaign with a 13-game unbeaten run and a memorable 1-0 win over Manchester United.
For the entire season, Arsenal remained unbeaten at home. As a result, the Football Writers’ Association named Robert Pires Player of the Year and Arsène Wenger Manager of the Year.
With their 1-0 victory over Southampton at Cardiff, Arsenal became the first English club in over 20 years to retain the FA Cup. The PFA and Football Writers’ Association voted Thierry Henry player of the season in a season during which he became the 100th Arsenal goal scorer, joining Dennis Bergkamp in the elite club.
With Arsenal going undefeated throughout the entire league season in 2003/2004, the team regained the title in unbeatable fashion. On their way to winning their 13th league title, Arsenal smashed several records. At 16 years and 177 days, Spanish youngster Cesc Fabregas became Arsenal’s youngest player by the end of the season.
The FA Cup Semi-Final defeat by Manchester United and the Champions League Quarter-Final defeat by Chelsea ended any hopes of a remarkable treble.
Arsenal continued their unbeaten league streak the following season, and in August 2004, they broke Nottingham Forest’s record for the longest unbeaten streak in English league history. Then, in a penalty shootout victory over Manchester United, the Gunners won their fifth trophy in four seasons.
As the Club’s last season at Highbury, the Final Salute celebrations proved to be a fitting end to 93 years at the ground. A 4-2 win over Wigan Athletic on the season’s final day secured fourth place and Champions League football (coupled with Tottenham’s loss to West Ham United).
Arsenal played 2,010 competitive games at Highbury, won 1,196, drawn 475, lost 339, scored 4,038 goals, and conceded 1,955.
In 2005/06, the Club reached the Champions League Final in Paris, which was the season’s highlight. On May 17, Arsenal faced Barcelona in the Final at the Stade de France after a 12-game unbeaten run, including ten consecutive clean sheets.
As a result of Jens Lehmann’s dismissal after only 18 minutes, the Gunners scored first through Sol Campbell. Then, however, the Spaniards broke the hearts of Arsenal fans with two late goals in the second half.
Into Emirates Stadium And Beyond
Officially called The Arsenal Stadium, the Emirates Stadium is located in Holloway, London, England, and has been home to the Gunners since 2006. It is the fifth largest stadium in England, boasting a seated capacity of 60,704.
During the first season, 2006-2007, the average attendance for home fixtures was 59,837. As of December 2022, the highest home attendance record for an Arsenal competitive home fixture at the Emirates is 60,383, set against Wolves on 2 November 2019.
The lowest attendance was recorded on 7 December 2017, with 25,909 fans watching the Gunners host BATE Borisov in a UEFA Europa league game.
Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg scored the first competitive goal at the Emirates before Gilberto Silva scored Arsenal’s first in the same match.
In February 2007, Jay Simpson scored Arsenal’s first hattrick at the Emirates against Cardiff City. In January 2008, Emmanuel Adebayor netted against Newcastle United to record Arsenal’s 100th goal at the Emirates.
Trophy-wise, the Emirates Stadium is yet to reach the highs of Highbury.
The club has yet to win the domestic title since its 2003-2004 invincible season and title victory at Highbury, finishing runners-up once in 2015-2016.
In the same period, Arsenal finished 3rd four times in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2015, took 4th six times, and finished in 5th three times (2017, 2019, and 2022). The Gunners also finished 6th in 2018 and twice ranked 8th in 2020 and 2021.
There were no European triumphs either, with the club coming closest in 2008-2009 when they reached the Champions League semis. The Gunners also appeared in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals twice in 2007-2008 and 2009-2010.
On 29 May 2019, Arsenal lost its first European final since the 2006 Champions League final loss to Barcelona. In his last game for Chelsea, Eden Hazard scored twice and created one as the Blues won 4-1 in the UEFA Europa League final held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Gunners manager, Unai Emery, was criticized for selecting former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech for the final in his last game before retirement and scheduled return to Chelsea as an advisor.
Domestically, Arsenal endured a 9-year trophy drought after their 2003-2004 league triumph. This ended when Aaron Ramsey scored an extra-time winner in a 3-2 victory over Hull City to clinch the 2014 FA Cup.
Arsenal has since won three more FA Cups, beating Aston Villa 4-0 in 2015 to defend their crown successfully. On 27 May 2017, Arsenal defeated league winners Chelsea 2-1 to win their third FA Cup in four years. On 1 August 2020, the Gunners repeated the trick by beating Chelsea 2-1 again at Wembley.
How Many Trophies Have Arsenal Won In Their History
In terms of major honors, the club has won 13 First Division/Premier League titles, 14 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, and 15 FA Community Shields. The club has also won several minor trophies, including the Football League War Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
List Of Domestic Arsenal Achievements
- Premier League (Old First Division) Winners: 13 Times (1930–31, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1937–38, 1947–48, 1952–53, 1970–71, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1997–98, 2001–02, and 2003–04)
- FA Cup Champions: 14 Times (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, and 2019–20)
- FA Charity Shield/FA Community Shield: 16 Times (1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1991 (shared), 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2020)
- League Cup/EFL Cup: 2 Times (1986–87, 1992–93)
List Of Arsenal Achievements In Europe
- European Cup Winners’ Cup: Once (1993–94)
- Inter-Cities Fairs Cup: Once (1969-70)
Rhett is an Australian-born, globe trotter who is a UEFA ‘A’ Licence Soccer Coach. With his family, he has traveled and coached soccer in more than 30 countries, while attending World Cups, European Championships, and some of the biggest local derbies in the world!