What Is the Most Goals Arsenal Have Scored in a Season?

At the time of writing, with just a few games left of the 2023/24 season, Arsenal are flying high at the top of the Premier League and scoring for fun. Over the course of the season to date, Mikel Arteta’s men have scored five or more goals in six league matches and have a goal difference that is at least 10 better than any other side in the division. If they keep going as they have been, they have a real chance of setting their best-ever goalscoring total in the Premier League era. Of course, they’d rather just win the title, but it would be a nice cherry on top of that particular cake.

Let’s put talk of the title race aside for now though and focus instead on Arsenal’s best-ever seasons in terms of the number of goals they’ve amassed. We’ll be looking at league goals only here and we’ll cover both the Premier League and those ancient times of the pre-EPL era. Before we drill down into the stats, let’s first answer a question that could spring to mind: have the Gunners ever hit a century of league goals?

Have Arsenal Ever Scored More Than 100 League Goals in a Season?

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Arsenal have scored more than 100 league goals three times in their history, at least in single leagues. It’s worth noting that in their early history, the Gunners competed in the Football League and regional leagues at the same time. But for the purposes of this article, we’ll only count the goals scored in a single league in any given season. As such, the three seasons in which Arsenal hit a century of goals are as follows:

  • 1930/31 – 127 goals scored in 42 league matches
  • 1932/33 – 118 goals scored in 42 league matches
  • 1934/35 – 115 goals scored in 42 league matches

As you can see, Arsenal’s three highest-scoring seasons all came in the 1930s, the first two of which were when Gunners legend Herbert Chapman was the manager. Chapman’s influence lasted long after his untimely death in January 1934, so the high-scoring 1934/35 campaign can be at least partly attributed to him too.

The ludicrously high-scoring season of 1930/31 saw the Gunners win their first-ever Division 1 title. To put their scoring feat in context, their average of 3.02 goals per game is significantly better than the 2.79 goals per game achieved by Manchester City in 2017/18 (when they scored the Premier League record total of 106 goals in 38 games).

Jack Lambert was Arsenal’s top scorer in the 1930/31 campaign with 39 goals in 34 league matches. He was still a good way behind the division’s leading scorer that season, Aston Villa’s Tom Waring, who scored a whopping total of 49 goals. Still, Arsenal won the title ahead of Villa by seven points (a pretty sizeable margin when a win was worth just two). Arsenal’s biggest win of the campaign was a 9-1 home drubbing of Grimsby Town.

Arsenal’s Other High-Scoring Seasons

Based on league goals alone, Arsenal’s three best goalscoring seasons all came way back in the 1930s. But have they got anywhere near those astronomical goalscoring totals since? Well, they haven’t been too far off on occasion. Here are Arsenal’s top 10 goalscoring seasons, including the three mentioned above.

Season Goals Scored No. of Games League Position
1930/31 127 42 1st
1932/33 118 42 1st
1934/35 115 42 1st
1952/53 97 42 1st
1931/32 90 42 2nd
1963/64 90 42 8th
1958/59 88 42 3rd
2022/23 88 38 2nd
1925/26 87 42 2nd
2004/05 87 38 2nd

As you can see, most of Arsenal’s best-scoring league seasons came in the pre-Premier League era, with just two EPL seasons making it into their top 10. It’s interesting to note that none of the Gunners’ six title-winning seasons since 1952/53 saw them score more than 79 league goals. That includes their double-winning campaign of 1970/71 (71 league goals) and their ‘Invincibles’ campaign of 2003/04 (73 league goals). It remains to be seen how many Arteta’s men will have scored by the end of the current campaign, but given they have 82 after 34 games, it’s very possible they’ll set a new Arsenal record for the number of goals in a Premier League season (currently 88 from 2022/23).

Fewest Goals Conceded in a League Season

Of course, scoring goals is just one half of the equation and stopping your opponent from scoring can be also an effective way of achieving success. Here are Arsenal’s best seasons in terms of conceding the fewest league goals.

Season Goals Conceded No. of Games League Position
1998/99 17 38 2nd
1990/91 18 38 1st
2003/04 26 38 1st
1968/69 27 42 4th
1993/94 28 42 4th
1970/71 29 42 1st
2007/08 31 38 3rd
2005/06 31 38 4th
1947/48 32 42 1st
1996/97 32 38 3rd
1995/96 32 38 5th

Arsenal’s defences have been exceptionally good at times over the years, and although Arsene Wenger was more known for his attacking philosophy, it was under his stewardship that the Gunners conceded the fewest league goals in a single season.

That came in 1998/99 when the north London side enjoyed the defensive solidity provided by David Seaman in goal and the fearsome foursome of Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Tony Adams and Martin Keown, with Steve Bould deputising as required. With Patrick Viera providing protection in front of the back line, it’s no surprise so few teams could break them down. Unfortunately, the Gunners weren’t as impressive at the other end of the pitch and after scoring just 59 league goals, they finished second in the title race, a point behind Manchester United.

The only other season in which Arsenal have conceded fewer than 20 league goals came in 1990/91 when the more defensively minded George Graham was at the helm. The back five was almost the same as it was in 1998/99, with Seaman, Winterburn, Dixon, Adams and Bould playing most matches, with David O’Leary and Andy Linighan also chipping in. This time, defensive stinginess paid off and Arsenal won the top-flight title ahead of Liverpool.