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 Sport Stories

Yesterday, 15:21
Hassain Shabbir hit a crucial 60 as North London beat Kenton. Pic: Max Flego

Hussain Shabbir might have been on a food fast, but he feasted on runs instead as basement boys North London finally recorded their first win of the season in Division Three of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Yesterday, 14:56
Connor Nurse took 6-26 as North Middlesex defeated Indian Gymkhana. Pic: Max Flego

Connor Nurse’s spin wizardry bamboozled Indian Gymkhana to earn North Middlesex a fifth win of the season and take them within 13 points of the summit in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Friday, July 3, 2015
Monaco defender Ricardo Carvalho(left) challenges Olivier Giroud during the 2014 Emirates Cup

Arsenal return to action on English soil for the first time since their FA Cup triumph when they host the annual Emirates Cup later this month.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Middlesex's James Franklin

Hapless Middlesex remain rooted to the foot of the table after a seven-wicket thrashing by Sussex Sharks – their sixth straight NatWest T20 Blast defeat.

Most read sport

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder