Alternative Titles: Arsenal Football Club, Woolwich Arsenal, Royal Arsenal, the Gunners
Arsenal is an English professional football club based in London. It is one of the most successful squads in the history of English football, having played in England’s top division (Football League First Division to 1992 and Premier League thereafter) each season since 1919. During the process, Arsenal has captured 13 league titles.
Arsenal was founded in 1886 and took the name Royal Arsenal after its first match. In 1891, the name was changed to Woolwich Arsenal, and after the 1912–13 season, Woolwich was dropped from the name since the club moved its home stadium to the Highbury section of the London borough of Islington. The team played at Arsenal Stadium (popularly referred to as Highbury) until 2006 when it relocated to a new stadium in the Holloway district of Islington.
Arsenal has a long rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur, another North London club, against whom it plays the North London derby game nearly every year. When the Football League replays in 1919 after World War I, Arsenal – having finished fifth in the Second Division before the war – was promoted controversially to the First Division over higher-placing Tottenham Hotspur after Arsenal’s chairman argued that his team deserved promotion thanks to its long history, further spurring the rivalry between the two clubs.
Arsenal’s periods of great achievements have been dispersed widely while it has remained in the top division since its contentious promotion. The team won 5 league championships in the 1930s but only 3 total in the 50 seasons from 1938 to 1988. In 1996, Arsène Wenger became Arsenal’s manager and has served longer in that role than anyone else in the team’s history. Having been undefeated in the 38 matches of the 2003–04 season, Arsenal became the second top-division English football club to do so. In addition to its league championships, the club has also won the Football Association Cup 13 times, the League Cup twice, and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994. Among the standout football players who have played for Arsenal are goalkeeper Pat Jennings, defender Tony Adams, midfielder Liam Brady, forwards Cliff Bastin and Dennis Bergkamp, and arguably its greatest player, striker Thierry Henry, who netted 226 goals for the club between 1999 and 2007.