On 21st of April 2016, Arsenal won 2-0 against West Bromwich Albion: our 500th Premier League win since it was formed in 1992.
This major accomplishment couldn’t come at a better time when most fans are displeased with current atmosphere in the club. The fact a half empty Emirates Stadium watched this match speaks for itself.
In the few days between this and our next match, the best any Gooner can do is look back at our 24 years in the top league in England (and maybe the world?) and see how great our club is, how it always overcame “bad times”. When doing research for this infographic, I felt much better. Hopefully, you will too.
Our first win didn’t come long after the new Premier League was formed. On August 23rd, Arsenal were playing at Anfield and beat Liverpool 2-0. Both teams kind of slipped off in the last season of the former First Division, with us finishing 4th (yay!) and Liverpool 6th, and were probably excited for the new league.
In the first 3 seasons of Premier League, there were 22 teams competing and 42 matches played. That changed for season 95/96 when it was cut down to 20 clubs and 38 matches – same as we have today.
The number of wins was pretty low in the early seasons of Premier League, dropping down to 13 in 1994/95 with Arsenal finishing in a miserable 12th place. The club and players pulled themselves together and wins started growing, especially after Arsene Wenger was appointed as manager.
In season 1997/98, when there was 23 wins for Arsenal and a title to celebrate at the end, our 100th win came. It was also in April, close to the end of the season, a 3-1 home win against Newcastle, with a young Anelka scoring a brace.
Our number of wins have stagnated since then, always 20 or above and fans have gotten used to winning. We reached (a record that remains to this day) 26 wins in a season in our double winning season 2001/02. The same amount was achieved in the Invincibles season 2003/04.
Somewhere in between, in 2002/03, we managed a 200th Premier League win. It was at the beginning of the season, in September, a nice home 2-1 win against Bolton. The 300th win came in 2006/07 which had us move from Highbury to Emirates Stadium and saw a somewhat low number of wins, only 19. The 300th also came at home, on 2nd of January 2007, against Charlton. It was a big 4-0 win.
Arsenal saw 19 wins again in 2010/11 while all other seasons in between and after were all 20 or more. The 400th win came in 2011/12, also against West Bromwich Albion and at home once more. It wasn’t quite identical, though, being a 3-0 win in November.
As many could have guessed, our most scoreline has been 1-0, with exactly 100 matches ending with that result. Other popular ones were 2-0, 2-1, 3-0, 3-1. Our biggest win in the Premier League is 7-0 and it happened twice, against Everton in 1004/05, and Middlesbrough in 1005/06. And we all remember the win with the most goals, 7-3 against Newcastle not so long ago, in 2012.
Arsenal have a few favorite opponents in 24 years with a lot of wins collected against them. We have most wins against Everton, 29. After them, there are 3 teams who lost 25 times against us – Newcastle United, Aston Villa and West Ham United. Interestingly, Arsenal have 23 wins against Manchester City, who only became a top 4 club in recent years. Against our neighbours Spurs, we collected 18 wins.
Another thing that is pretty much obvious is that Arsene Wenger has the most wins as Arsenal manager, as he has been in charge for the longest time. He earned 432 wins out of the 500, a stunning 86%. George Graham was in charge in early seasons when it wasn’t looking so good so he got only 42. Bruce Rioch wasn’t in charge for long and got to 17 wins in one season. Two others mentioned were temporary solutions, Stewart Houston won 6 out of 18 matches he led, while Pat Rice has a 100% win ratio, winning all three of his league matches in charge.
I already mentioned, and we all know, that Arsenal moved from Highbury after 05/06 to brand new Emirates Stadium. Out of 292 home wins overall, 171 happened at Highbury, and 121 at the Emirates. Not that big of a difference, I might say! Arsenal are also good at away games, winning 208 of those, and 12 times at Villa Park. Who knows when will we win at that stadium next.
One other thing changed in these 24 years, and that is our club crest. We saw 4 versions of it overall, with 2 being used in only 1 season each. Club crest that was used when the new league was formed saw 169 wins. In season 01/02, it was changed only a bit and brought us amazing 26 wins and a double. Starting from season 02/03, Arsenal is using the same crest as we have today, and Gunners have won 284 league matches while wearing it on their chest. Season 11/12 marked 125 years of our club and it was celebrated with a unique crest. That one saw 21 wins.
A lot of memories down the line, and a lot of good things to remember. Bad times come and go and our club always gets back on its feet. Let’s not forget we are only the second club to get to 500 wins, after Manchester United. We have always been one of the greatest and that won’t change anytime soon.
Enjoy the graphic, and share it around if you like it. Special thanks to @OptaJoe for stats!