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Arsenal's 125th Anniversary

Arsenal Football Club celebrated 125 years of existence on December 1st and will celebrate the anniversary before their game with Everton on December 10th. The Gunners have had a long and successful history as they have won 13 First Division and Premier League titles, 10 F.A Cups and 2 League Cups. Arsenal also holds the record for the longest uninterrupted period in the English top flight and is the only side to have completed a Premier League season unbeaten. In this post I have picked out some of the most important parts in the club's long history.

Starting Out:
Arsenal FC originally started out as ''Dial Square'' in 1886 when they were founded by workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich. Shortly after, the club was renamed to ''Royal Arsenal''. In 1893 the club was then renamed again, this time to ''Woolwich Arsenal''. In the same year Woolwich Arsenal became the first southern member of the Football League, starting out in the Second Division and then winning promotion to the First Division in 1904. However their football was watched in lower attendances than those of other clubs. This led to the club being faced with financial problems and effectively bankrupt by 1910. They were then taken over by businessmen. The take over wanted to move the club and in 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, they dropped "Woolwich" from their name the following year to become just ''Arsenal''. Arsenal only finished in fifth place in 1919, but were elected controversially to rejoin the First Division at the expense of local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.  

The club under Herbert Chapman:
Herbert Chapman
Herbert Chapman, one of Arsenal's most famous managers was appointed in 1925. Chapman had experienced previous success having won trophies with Huddersfield and brought Arsenal's first period of success and led them to dominate English football throughout the early 1930's. He guided the club to victory in the 1930 FA Cup Final and also won two League Championships in the seasons 1930/31 and 1932/33. In addition to the success that Chapman brought to Arsenal he was also key in the renaming of the local London Underground station from ''Gillespie Road'' to ''Arsenal'' which made it the only tube station to be named specifically after a football team. However Herbert Chapman's time at Arsenal was ended suddenly as he died in 1934, from pneumonia, aged just 55. This left assistants Joe Shaw and George Allison to carry on with Chapman's success. They were successful in continuing his work as they won more titles with Arsenal.
The Club under Bertie Mee:  
Bertie Mee was also another manager to achieve huge success with Arsenal. He was manager at the club for ten years between 1966 and 1976. He started off his success with winning the Gunners first European trophy, The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. The following season the clubs European achievement was followed by a greater triumph, their first League and FA Cup double in 1970–71. Arsenal managed to beat Leeds to the championship with a victory over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Arsenal then went on to beat Liverpool after extra time to win the FA Cup at Wembley.

Recent Times: 
After former player George Graham's successful time managing Arsenal and Bruce Rioch's one season in charge, Arsene Wenger was appointed manager in 1996. This was to be the start of something special. Under the Frenchman's reign so far, he has guided the club to three League titles, four FA Cups and 3 Community Shields. One of the three league titles came in the season of 2003/04 in which they went unbeaten for the entire league season. Arsene Wenger also guided Arsenal to the 2006 Champions League final, however they lost 2-1 at the hands of Barcelona. Wenger has managed many great players during his 15 years in charge but none better than Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp who played a pivotal role in the Gunners success. Arsene was vital in his teams move to the Emirates Stadium in 2006 after 93 years at previous ground Highbury. During his time as manager of the club he has also turned young players into fantastic players that are still becoming better. Players such as Cesc Fabregas(now at Barcelona), Robin Van Persie, Bacary Sagna, Alex Song and Theo Walcott all started out as not very well known players. They are certainly well known now. More recently though players such as Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny are all players that are becoming greater players due to Arsene's work.
Arsene Wenger
To read more about Arsenal's 125th anniversary celebrations click here.

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