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Arsenal's 9 Decades of Triumph

An admittedly minor, but historically interesting record, frequently misquoted by some, is the sequence of footballing achievement in historical decades. The reason for it`s incorrect portrayal is the failure to appreciate that the Gregorian calendar, that`s the one much of the world uses to celebrate anniversaries, holidays etc., doesn`t have a year zero. The first year of the Gregorian calendar is year one. Thus a historical decade starts with year 1 and ends in year 10. The first decade of the last century, the 20th in our calendar, is therefore 1901 to 1910 and the last 1991 to 2000. Correspondingly the first decade of this current century starts in 2001 and ends in 2010.

When we look at the decades of footballing achievement while playing in the top flight, and record these correctly, we find that Arsenal achieved it`s first significant honour in the final year of the 3rd decade of the last century by taking the FA Cup in 1930. That began an unbroken sequence of honours in every decade, narrowly sustaining the record in the 6th decade by virtue of winning the Fairs Cup, forerunner to the Uefa Cup, in 1970. Closest to this achievement is Manchester United who have taken a trophy in each of the last 7 successive decades starting with their 1948 FA cup win. Tottenham follow them with a sequence of 6 decades, a feat that could be matched by Aston Villa if they manage to pick up a trophy before the end of the 2009-2010 season.

Though it sets the record straight, set against our other far more significant achievements this is no more than a statistical quirk of course. A mere footnote in the annals of footballing history. It isn`t likely to have us dancing on the tables in celebration. But purely in the interests of historical accuracy, and perhaps also those of pub quiz aficionados and trivial pursuit devotees, it`s as well to get these things right. At the same time we wouldn`t want others to labour under the misapprehension that their record is better than ours would we.



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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday July 14 2008

Time: 8:23AM

Your Comments

another arsenal victory
anonymous
As soon as you start reading this article, you just know that the writer of this piece was Amos :).
prits
More information than is needed you mean??? It's as well to cover all the bases though!!!
Amos.
That was a compliment, Amos. Just enough information to whet the appetite AND leave one satiated ;).
prits
You'll know that it's been a slow news weekend to make post about such an obscure record. But next time someone asks - as they do in casual conversation - you'll be able to give an informed answer.
Amos.
Nigel winterburn has joined Paul ince at blackburn as the defensive coach. Thats the best news i have found today.
paul_ownz
When i say best, i dont mean it like im really happy that he has joined blackburn. I mean its the best news out of all the articles i have read arsenal related. Oh you know what i mean...
paul_ownz
Yeah Amos's fingerprints all over this one. One more reason for us to be proud and one more thing to brag about at the pubs! :D
Lou the Gunneress
Pretty damned fine record, seems to me. Here's something I've never understood, and it's due to my patchy knowledge of European football pre-1970. Arsenal won the Fairs Cup in 1960--as you say, it was a precursor to the UEFA cup. Now I understand that today the Fairs Cup is regarded as just a minor trophy (not that I know much about the Cup myself to make that judgment, just that that's the impression I get from the way it's always talked about). But it was a European trophy. Yet the spuds and others always go on and gloat about Arsenal never having won a European trophy. Is the Fairs Cup just not worth counting in that regard?
jaelle
The Fairs Cup (or Inter-cities Fairs Cup) was superseded by the Uefa Cup in 1971/72. In terms of status at the time it was viewed on much the same level as the Uefa Cup is now. Arsenal won it in 1970 but it isn't our only European trophy as we also won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.
Amos.
i like the idea of the cup winners cup better than the uefa cup
paul_ownz
Oh yes, I knew about the Cup Winners Cup, just spaced it out completely while thinking about the Fairs Cup. But again, I'm always hearing the spuds and mancs and others gloating over Arsenal's failure to ever win a European cup when that is clearly not the case.
jaelle
But it's true that we haven't won the top-flight European Cup, or now called the CL. That's what they keep talking about. True enough, it's the only big trophy that we truly crave..
Lou the Gunneress
Arsene Wenger is the only manager in football history to finish runner up in every competition open to him, Carling Cup - Chelsea, FA Cup - Liverpool, UEFA Cup - Galatasary, CL - Barcelona, Premier league - Man Utd, now doesn't that suck piles! :o/
LondonGooner
 

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