Notable English Football Records Held by Arsenal

Over the past two Premier League seasons, no side has come closer to toppling Pep Guardiola’s winning machine than Arsenal. Alas, second place counts for little in the win-at-all-costs professional game. Despite the huge strides taken under Arteta and several exhilarating displays, the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons may be remembered by fans, only to be forgotten by the cold facts and stats of the football history books.

Disappointing as that may be for the statistically minded Gunner, they needn’t lose too much sleep over it, as, over the years, their beloved north London outfit has compiled a list of notable records which is more than a match for most. Here, we pick out a selection of the Gunner’s most impressive records

Premier League/First Division

Premier League trophy
Premier League trophy (Jason Jones | – CC BY 2.0)

We’ll start with the top flight of English football, somewhere Arsenal have spent a very long time!

Most Successive Seasons in the Top Flight – 98

Eschewing the commonly used method of promotion, Arsenal made the leap from the old Second Division to the old First Division via a vote – proving to be the winning choice of the panel ahead of the 1919/20 season, despite having finished only fifth in the second tier in 1914/15 (the subsequent four seasons were abandoned due to WWI).

Unlikely to have been popular with Barnsley and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who missed out despite finishing above Arsenal in 1914/15, the Gunners nevertheless made the most of that opportunity – so much so that they have remained in the top-flight of the English game ever since. That tally of 98 seasons (six having been lost to War and abandonment) is the longest continuous streak in the history of the English game – 28 clear of second-placed Everton.

Arsenal sit fourth in terms of the most cumulative top-flight season but are ahead of both Manchester United and Spurs, which is all that really matters. Their tally of 13 titles also places them third in the all-time list – miles ahead of Spurs, but not the men from Old Trafford (who have 20).

Fewest League Defeats in a Season – 0

Of course, the Invincibles of 2004 earn a place on this list, with Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, and co carving a place in footballing legend in that remarkable season. However, you may be surprised to learn that Arsenal can’t claim this record as their own, with Preston North End (1888/89) and Liverpool (1893/94 – albeit in the second tier) registering unbeaten seasons in the distant past.

The record may be shared, but Arsenal deserve top billing due to the magnitude of the task. Whereas Arsenal were unbeaten in 38 Premier League games, Liverpool’s 28-game run without loss came in the Second Division, whereas the 1888/89 First Division season was only 22 games long. Another notable fact is that Arsenal picked up 90 points in 2003/04 – only one more that Arteta’s charges in 2023/24.

Goal Crazy on the Road

A visit from Arsenal during the title-winning campaign of 1930/31 must have had opposing goalkeepers waking up in a cold sweat. The Gunners total of 60 away league goals set a new record, which stands to this day (as of 2023/24).

Gunners Can’t Stop Scoring

The Arsene Wenger era is remembered fondly for the thrilling attacking brand of football, which lit up first Highbury and then the Emirates. It was during this period that Arsenal set another impressive milestone – scoring in 55 consecutive Premier League games between 19 May 2001 and 30 November 2002.

Other League Records

  • Highest Scoring Draw – 6-6 away at Leicester in 1930 (tied with the 6-6 Charlton vs Middlesbrough from 1960)
  • Youngest Top Flight Player (as of the 2023/24 season) – Ethan Nweri – 15 years and 181 days vs Brentford 18 September, 2022
  • Most Goals by One Player in a Top Flight Game – Ted Drake – 7 at Aston Villa in 1935
  • Fastest Goal by a Substitute – 6 seconds – Nicklas Bendter vs Tottenham Hotspur 2007

FA Cup

The FA Cup
The FA Cup (Carlos yo | – CC BY-SA 4.0)

Now we’ll turn to the FA Cup, a competition in which Arsenal have excelled over the years.

Most FA Cup Wins

Arsenal may sit only third when measured by top-flight league successes, but when it comes to the world’s oldest cup competition, they have no equals. First successful in 1930 and most recently in 2020, Arsenal have raised that famous trophy aloft on 14 occasions – more than any other side, with Manchester United second on 13.

Wenger the Architect of Half of Those Wins

A tally of three Premier League titles during the Wenger era may have been less than some Arsenal fans hoped for, but was no mean feat, nonetheless. However, where the Frenchman thrived was in the FA Cup. Guiding his side to the trophy in 1997/98, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2004/05, 2013/14, 2014/15, and 2016/17, Wenger is the most successful manager in the long history of the competition.

Almost Perfect in Finals

Losing out to Liverpool in the 2000/01 Final was a rare blip for Arsenal when making it to the Wembley showpiece. Appearing at nine finals between 1997/98 and 2019/20, the Gunners won eight of them, with their unbeaten sequence of seven from 2001/02 onwards tying for the most in the history of the competition – Tottenham are the other side to achieve the feat, between the significantly longer period of 1901 to 1982.

Other Arsenal FA Cup Records

  • Most FA Cup games played – 485
  • Most FA Cup games won – 271

League Cup

League Cup trophy
League Cup trophy (MacMoreno | – CC BY-SA 4.0)

Glorious in the FA Cup, Arsenal haven’t been anything like so dominant in the League Cup – a fact which reflects the place of the competition in the list of the Gunners priorities over the years. Arsenal do have two League Cup wins to their name – coming in 1986/87 and 1992/93 – but their League Cup-related records aren’t likely to inspire too much jealousy amongst opposing fans…

  • Most Defeats in a Final – Arsenal (1968, 1969, 1988, 2007, 2011, 2018)
  • Most Goals by a Losing Side – Reading 7-5 (aet) Arsenal, 30 October 2012