Form, as they say, is temporary. Class is permanent.
According to the form books, Barcelona are pretty good at the moment. And Chelsea have had a decent run over the last few years. Manchester United have had a great 20 years and we all know about the Liverpool heyday in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
But if you want a team and a club that has exuded pure, unadulterated class for its entire history then there’s only one: The Arsenal.
And here’s why:
Which team has spent the most consecutive seasons in the English top flight (90 years and counting)? ARSENAL
Which team holds the longest unbeaten sequence in the English top flight (49 games, from May 7th 2003 to October 16th 2004)? ARSENAL
Which team has the longest unbeaten away sequence in English league football (27 games, April 5th 2003 to September 25th 2004)? ARSENAL
Which team has the longest consecutive scoring run in league games in England (55 games from May 19th 2001 to November 30th 2002)? ARSENAL
Who scored the most away goals in an English league season (60 goals in 1930/31)? ARSENAL
Which team has scored the most goals in an English league season (127, in 1930/31)? ARSENAL
Which team has the record for most goals scored by a single player in an English top flight game (Ted Drake – seven goals away at Aston Villa, December 14th 1935)? ARSENAL
Which club holds the record for having the highest number if players in an England starting eleven (seven players, versus Italy in 1934)? ARSENAL
Which club has the highest attendance in English league football (83,260 for a game against Man Utd at Maine Road in 1948)? ARSENAL
Which team has featured in all three of the highest-attendance league games in English football? ARSENAL
Most away points in a top flight English season (47 in 2001/02)? ARSENAL
Most consecutive Champions League matches without conceding a goal (October 18th 2005 to April 26th 2006)? ARSENAL
First team to use numbers on the back of their shirts (1927)? ARSENAL
First team to play a match broadcast live on radio (versus Sheffield United, 1927)? ARSENAL
First team to play in a match broadcast live on TV (versus Arsenal reserves, 1937)? ARSENAL
First team to play a match broadcast live in 3D (versus Man Utd, January 31st 2010)? ARSENAL
There you have it.
The Arsenal is not just a club with history.
It’s a club that writes history, shapes history and makes history.
Others may have their moments in the sun, but only one side has endured in such a way for such a long time.
I look at the supporters of all other teams and feel only pity.
So thank whichever God watches over you (or if you ascribe to the new religion of Dawkinism, thank the mindless tinkering of the blind watchmaker) for one simple fact:
You are lucky enough to have been BORN TO SUPPORT THE ARSENAL.
- With thanks to this fantastic Wikipedia page and the nameless Gooner(s) who compiled it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arsenal_F.C._records_and_statistics