Arsenal Facts: 18 Things You Didn’t Know About the Gunners

We all know they won the title at White Hart Lane, that they went 49 league games unbeaten, that they were blessed with footballing royalty like Henry, Bergkamp and Adams, that they had a world-class manager in Arsene Wenger until their fans told him he wasn’t that anymore.

But here’s 18 Arsenal stats, including Arsenal firsts and the history of Arsenal itself, that you might not previously have been aware of:

  1. Arsenal were the first southern club to join the Football League when they did so in 1893. (Wikipedia)

  2. Arsenal were formerly known as ‘Dial Square’, ‘Royal Arsenal’, ‘Woolwich Arsenal’ and ‘The Arsenal’ before landing on their current title in 1915. (Bleacher Report)

  3. They are nicknamed ‘The Gunners’ because the club were formed in 1886 by 16 munitions workers in the Royal Arsenal factory in Woolwich. (Goal)

  4. Contrary to popular belief, Arsenal have been relegated before, albeit only once in 1913 and under the title of ‘Woolwich Arsenal’. Still, theirs is the longest streak of successive seasons in the top-flight. (Wikipedia)

  5. When the English football pyramid was reorganised after the end of World War One in 1918, Arsenal were voted into the top-flight at the expense of Tottenham, who were relegated from the First Division. (Sky Sports)

  6. Arsenal contested the first football match involving shirt numbers, a 3-2 loss to Sheffield Wednesday on August 25, 1928. Back then, one team wore numbers 1-11 and the other 12-22. (Arsenal.com)

  7. Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United on January 22, 1927 was the first live radio broadcast of a football match by the BBC, which had formed five years earlier. (Arsenal.com)

  8. A decade later, the Gunners were also involved in the first live television broadcast of a football match by the BBC, when they faced Arsenal Reserves at Highbury on September 16, 1937. (The History of Arsenal)

  9. Arsenal were also involved in the first football match to be broadcast live on TV in 3D, when Sky screened their 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on January 31, 2010. (TechRadar)

  10. No England team has involved more players from the same club than Arsenal’s seven when the Three Lions beat Italy 3-2 in the ‘Battle of Highbury’ on November 14, 1934. They were Frank Moss, George Male, Eddie Hapgood, Wilf Copping, Ray Bowden, Ted Drake and Cliff Bastin. (Arsenal.com)

  11. Arsenal were also the first English team to name a full matchday squad – including substitutes – of foreign players, when they beat Crystal Palace 5-1 on February 14, 2005. (Bleacher Report)

  12. Despite being Arsenal’s record goalscorer with 228 strikes, Thierry Henry almost didn’t sign for the Gunners at all. As it happens, he and Wenger met by chance at a Huey Lewis and the News concert before his signature. (All Football App)

  13. Under a Frenchman in Wenger, Arsenal became the first club in English football history to win the league with a foreign manager at the helm. (The Football Database)

  14. Arsenal were the first English side to beat Real Madrid at the Bernabeu (2006), AC Milan at the San Siro (2008) and Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena (2013). (The Football Database)

  15. Arsenal were also the first and only English team to-date to have beaten both Milan clubs at the San Siro; AC Milan in 2008, but also Internazionale in 2003. With a new stadium in the pipeline, the Gunners may forever remain the only English side to do so. (Arsenal Mania)

  16. Arsenal hold the record for consecutive clean sheets in the Champions League – en route to the 2006 final (which they lost 2-1 to Barcelona), they managed ten straight shut-outs. Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann holds the personal best having been responsible for nine of these. (UEFA.com)

  17. But after a 5-1 drubbing to Bayern Munich in February 2017, Arsenal also became the first English team to concede 200 Champions League goals. (Opta)

  18. Due mostly to the coronavirus-enforced suspension of football from March to mid-June, 2020 was the first year Arsenal went unbeaten in the first five months of the calendar year since 2004. (Richard Jolly)

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