Arsenal brief history

Arsenal was originally formed in 1886 by a group of workers at the Woolwich armaments factory in south London, and the club was first known as Dial Square. The name was soon changed to Royal Arsenal, though when the club turned professional in 1891 the name changed again to Woolwich Arsenal. The prefix was later dropped and the club became Arsenal Football Club. For a period it was popularly known as The Arsenal though this was never the club's official name. Arsenal was elected to the 2nd division of the Football League in 1893, and gained promotion to the 1st division in 1904. The club survived in the first division for nine years, high points of that period coming in 1906 when the semi-final of the FA Cup was reached, and in 1909 when a 6th place finish in the league was achieved.

1913 is coincided a major landmark in the club's history. Having played for the previous 27 years at various sites in Plumstead, South London, the club moved to Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, North London. The move was instigated by the then chairman, Sir Henry Norris who foresaw greater potential for the club in the north London catchment area.

Promotion back to the 1st division was engineered by the colourful Sir Henry under somewhat contentious circumstances when the Football League resumed in 1919, and Arsenal has not been relegated since, thus holding the record for unbroken tenure in the top division of English football. Spurs had finished the 1915 season at the bottom of the 1st division, but after the war the league was expanded to include an extra 2 teams in division 1, so Tottenham expected to stay up after the top 2 teams in Division 2 were promoted. However, Norris somehow managed to get Arsenal elected in their place, and elements of the Tottenham support have nursed a grievance ever since.

The first turning point

In 1886 Arsenal began as a works team for the Woolwich Armaments they played their first match at Plumstead Common.

The second turning point

In 1915 the move to the present sit was completed the club dropped the Woolwich from its name to become Arsenal. In 1919 Arsenal won electionto the First Division when it was expanded to 22 clubs.

The third turning point

The appoint of Herbert Chapman as manager. Chapman built a new stadium complete with marble halls, set up under-soil heating so that matches could be played in all weathers, set up the best medical facilities in the country to treat players, and began youth schemes to train young players. His proposals to number shirts and have floodlights were rejected by the football authorities. His innovations showed he was a man ahead of his time. Tactically, Chapman was astute enough to attack the weaknesses of other teams while playing to Arsenal's strengths.