Search

All Guns Blazing: A look back at Arsenal’s best opening day results

10:59 12 August 2014

Arsenal

Arsenal's Charlie Nicholas (r) tries to slip the ball past the tackle from Manchester United's Kevin Moran (l). Picture: S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

In the Gazette’s weekly Arsenal fan column, avid Gooner and journalist Layth Yousif looks at the club’s recent success and recalls their best opening day results

Welcome back! If your summer has been anything like Arsene Wenger’s you’ve had a good one so far.

As I haven’t penned this column since the Cup Final – wasn’t it a superb day/weekend? For someone who’s watched us lift nearly every piece of silverware since 1987 in the flesh, Saturday May 17 is up there with the best of them. Success tastes sweeter after a drought and believe me 2005-2014 seemed an eternity.

Such was the joyful release I thought Arsene Wenger looked as emotional as we’d ever seen – simply because it meant so much to him, to the players, to us.

My eldest daughter was six months old in the summer of 2005. I took her to dear old Highbury for a photo with the FA Cup. I remember saying: ‘We’ll make this a yearly tradition.” Forget financial constraints preventing us win silverware – I was convinced it was my hubris which ensured those barren years.

Yet judging by our equally enjoyable performance at Wembley against Manchester City it appears the players have now got a taste for silverware.

Speaking of players, I recently interviewed Perry Groves for The Gooner. It was instructive to hear him say the Arsenal squad would have learned from fans’ Wembley celebrations, and the 250,000 at the victory parade - explaining it would make them realise how much the club means to supporters. He was also keenly anticipating Alexis Sanchez, as we all are - even if my luck saw me attend the Monaco game rather than Benfica.

So to Crystal Palace, and in keeping with the club’s jubilatory mood, I thought I’d look back at some of our most joyful opening day victories here.

Who remembers Charlie Nicholas’s late goal against United in 1986? Or the 1988 5-1 trouncing of Wimbledon at Plough Lane heralding our never-to-be-forgotten Anfield-89 league win? Or the 4-0 at Middlesbrough in 2001 on Sol Campbell’s debut, signalling a double? Or 4-1 and 6-1 wins at Goodison in 2004 and 2009? If Palace is half as entertaining, we’re in for a treat to start 2014/15.

Finally, I’m humbled to see such interest in my book ‘Arsene Wenger: 50 Defining Fixtures’. I’m having a book launch at Piebury Corner from midday this Saturday. It’d be great to see you there to chat all things Arsenal.

Follow Layth on twitter @laythy29

Pre-order Layth’s book, Arsene Wenger: 50 Defining Fixtures, here

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 20:11
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Dawid Malan celebrated his first game as Middlesex’s T20 skipper with a classy knock of 93 as his side hammered Hampshire by 69 runs.

Yesterday, 07:15
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum hits out against England in 2015

James Franklin has warned that Middlesex cannot expect his former New Zealand team-mate Brendon McCullum to single-handedly transform their fortunes in one-day cricket.

Thu, 12:00
Rugby league player Aston Stephenson

There aren’t too many boys who grow up in north London and go to university in rugby union’s heartland – and then become rugby league internationals.

Thu, 10:00
Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins

While it may be a cliché, to get a first-class hundred for the first time at Lord’s – the home of cricket – was an absolute dream come true.

Wed, 17:14
St Aloysius' RC College U14s won the ESFA PlayStation Cup at the Madejski Stadium, Reading

Left-back Prosper Keto headed in the only goal at Reading’s Madejski Stadium as St Aloysius’ Under-14s collected their first national 11-a-side trophy for 16 years.

Wed, 16:52
Summer Eytle-Rock (left) of Activities4U U12s

Summer Eytle-Rock produced another big game for Activities 4U Under-12s as the Islington side defeated Hackney Jedis 26-14 to book their place in the Community Basketball League play-off semi-finals.

Wed, 16:52
Beth Potter (right) is pursued by her British rivals Kate Avery and Jessica Andrews (second from left), who eventually won the race on the Parliament Hill athletics track. Pic: Mark Shearman

Former world record-holder Dave Bedford says Highgate Harriers’ Night of the 10,000m PBs is a “fascinating event” which is “of great value” to the world of athletics.

Wed, 13:27
Hornsey spinner Johnny Fawcett (left) exchanges high fives with Sam Solia

Hornsey spinner Johnny Fawcett blew away the Indian Gymkhana batting with the division’s first six-wicket haul of the season to put his side top of the Division Two table.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe