The early days
1. The Isle of Dogs. The Isle of Dogs is not actually an island but a peninsula on the north side of the River Thames. It is where Millwall started out, but just as Arsenal moved from south of the river to north London, so Millwall moved from north of the river to south London, where they remain today. (Although to be clear we didn’t play Millwall – the club we played on the Isle of Dogs was Eastern Wanderers of whom very little is now known).
2. Invicta Stadium was in Plumstead. When Arsenal joined the Football League in 1893 the club changed grounds but stayed in Plumstead. At the same time the name of the club changed from Royal Arsenal to Woolwich Arsenal.
3. Players initially had to work in The Royal Arsenal armaments factory in Woolwich.
4. The ground occupied by Woolwich Arsenal was the Manor Ground. They moved to Highbury in Islington, north London in 1913.
5. Arsenal’s chairman, who organised Arsenal’s move in 1913, was Henry Norris. In 1910 he had taken over Woolwich Arsenal FC as it didn’t have enough funds to pay its debts – nor indeed to pay the players. He was a property developer who was also chairman of Fulham, and he used his own money to pay off all of Arsenal’s debts, and then later he guaranteed to cost of moving the club to North London.
Henry Norris played a very important part in recruiting soldiers to fight in the 1 st world war, and as a result of this work he was given a knighthood, and as a member of the War Office was promoted several times to the rank of Colonel. Thus he ended the war as Lt Col Sir Henry Norris.
The Wenger years
6. Arsene Wenger joined Arsenal on 1 October 1996.
7. He had been managing a club in Japan. He wanted the work to the end of the Japanese season, hence his non-arrival until October.
8. Arsenal signed French midfielders Remi Garde and Patrick Vieira in the weeks before Arsene Wenger’s official appointment, but these transfers were clearly made under his instructions. 17 year old Nicolas Anelka was his first official signing after his arrival.
9. Arsene Wenger’s teams won the League three times, and the FA Cup seven times. Two of his league titles were “doubles” – seasons in which the club won both the FA Cup and the League, and his total number of FA Cup wins is an all time record for any manager in the history of the Cup.
10. Under Wenger, Arsenal achieved nineteen consecutive seasons in the Champions League. The only club to exceed this is Real Madrid.