What league is arsenal in ? Arsenal are still top of the table and a Premier League crown appears on the horizon. There’s plenty more work to be done before the title is secure, and Manchester City will be salivating with every slip the Gunners make. Yet as it stands, there appears to be a clear frontrunner for the eventual trophy winners — and it’s Mikel Arteta’s side.
Should they emerge victorious, it would be the first Premier League title for Arsenal since The Invincibles won in 2004, a monumental achievement for a club that has dipped somewhat from their historic highs.
The Sporting News brings you a look at all the league titles in Arsenal’s history, both in the current Premier League era and the English First Division prior to that.
Premier League titles in Arsenal history
The Gunners have three Premier League titles since the current inception of the league in 1992, all coming in the first 12 years of the league’s existence.
1997/98 Premier League title
Five years after the Premier League was established, Arsenal won their first title in the new era of the English top flight. They became the second team in the Premier League era to win the double, lifting both the Premier League and FA Cup titles.
The Gunners weathered a rough six-match stretch through November and December where they fell to four defeats, but outside of that and defeats in their final two matches of the season, they were unbeaten across the year.
Denis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars, and Ian Wright combined to score 38 league goals across the season. Overmars bagged a vital goal at Old Trafford in March to secure a 1-0 win over second-placed Manchester United, and the Gunners beat Everton 4-0 to secure the title with two games to spare, capping a 10-match winning streak in the process.
2001/02 Premier League title
With just three defeats across the entire campaign, Arsenal won their second Premier League crown with room to spare, topping second-placed Liverpool by seven points by season’s end.
The Gunners went unbeaten on the road that year, dropping just 10 total points away from home. After falling to Newcastle on December 18, Arsenal went unbeaten the rest of the way, finishing the season with an outlandish 18 wins and three draws from that point on, including a 13-match winning streak to end the season.
Thierry Henry scored an incredible 24 goals that year, establishing himself as the league’s top goalscorer through the campaign, while Robert Pires won the Footballer of the Year award from the Football Writers’ Association. Tony Adams and Lee Dixon both retired at the conclusion of the season.
2003/04 Premier League title
The last Arsenal top flight league title is perhaps the most famous of them all — known as “The Invincibles” as the club became the only team in Premier League history to go an entire season unbeaten, and first in the English top flight since Preston North End in 1888/89, the first-ever season of competition.
The club sported an incredible will to survive, securing 26 victories and 12 draws throughout the season. They often dropped points from winning positions, and while that saw them suffer an early Champions League exit at the hands of Chelsea after squandering a 1-0 lead in the second leg, they managed never to fall to defeat in league play even while up against waves of pressure.
Thierry Henry’s 30 goals saw him secure the Premier League Golden Boot, and he was awarded the Footballer of the Year award as well.
Arsenal First Division titles
The Premier League was established in 1992, but the Gunners were a top English club long before that, and have thus celebrated titles in the old First Division prior to the start of the modern Premier League era.
In all, Arsenal have celebrated a total of 13 league championships in the club’s illustrious history. Three of those have come in the Premier League era, while the rest came prior to the modern era of play.
Arsenal won five league titles in the 30’s, but have spread the rest out over the club’s history, proving a consistent presence near the top of the English top flight. Since 1930, Arsenal won a league title in every single decade except the 1960’s and the 2010’s.
Arsenal drop to third in the Premier League’s all-time table
As every sports fan knows the past is the past and what matters is current results. However, I stumbled across an interesting statistic that said a lot about the 30-year history of the Premier League since it was established in 1992-1993. It’s a chart that lays out what the table looks like based on the all-time Premier League records. As an Arsenal fan, I was not surprised to see the club near the top of the table.
Yet, the gap between the Gunners and current rivals is evidence that Arsenal is losing ground.
There have been 50 different clubs that have played in the top-flight since the top division was launched under its current mould in 1992. Of those 50, only six have been a part of the league every season. This elite group includes Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton and Tottenham.
It’s no surprise to find Manchester United atop the all-time standings. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, United was the preeminent Premier League side and won a record 13 titles. While United has slipped a bit in recent years, all that winning gives them an all-time record of 2,332 points in 1,129 EPL matches. The club’s goal differential is a staggering +1120.
Things have certainly changed since then and much of that is down to money and new ownership.
Chelsea has always been one of the top teams in the league, but the club truly became a powerhouse side when Roman Abramovich purchased the Blues in the summer of 2003. At that point, Arsenal had a cumulative total of 770 Premier League points (and two league titles) to Chelsea’s 662 points and zero championships.
Abramovich and the Blues immediately began spending big money and since then Chelsea has passed Arsenal in the all-time standings with 1,435 points (and five league titles) while Arsenal won just one more title while accumulating 1,325 points.
At the time of this writing, Chelsea has gone past Arsenal in the all-time overall standings with 2,100 total points to the Gunners’ 2,098 points. The gap is getting bigger. This season, Chelsea currently leads Arsenal by ten points.
Another club moving up the cumulative standings is Liverpool. Under Jurgen Klopp’s leadership, Liverpool finally won its first Premier League title in 2019/2020 and has become one of the most consistent teams in the league since. Liverpool now sits fourth all-time with 2,054 points; a total of just 44 behind Arsenal.
Manchester City has moved up the table quickly. The club sits sixth all-time above Everton by the solitary point. What makes this feat so impressive is the fact that Everton has spent 30 years in the top-flight. At the same time, Man City was an inconsistent yo-yo team that spent a total of five seasons outside of the Premier League. In fact, the club was relegated to Division Two for the 1998/1999 season. It wasn’t until Sheikh Mansour took over ownership in 2008 that a new powerhouse side was born.
Over the past twelve campaigns, City has qualified for the Champions League every season, while winning five EPL titles. And, despite the club’s past, Manchester City has accumulated 1,572 points from just 940 top-flight matches.
Of course, the table is constantly evolving. From an Arsenal point of view, however, the club needs to concentrate on improving its current form and not resting on laurels from its past successes.
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