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, 07:00
Benham & Reeves' David Price (centre) presents this season's shirt to North Middlesex's captain Tom Nicoll (left) and new coach Dave Robson. Pic: Max Flego

Skipper Tom Nicoll has challenged North Middlesex’s top-order batsmen to give last season’s talisman Evan Flowers more support as the Crouch End club bid to maintain their progress in the Premier Division.

Thu, 13:15
Islington BC's Cherrelle Brown shows off her England Boxing Elite Championship belt with coaches Jerry Mitchell (left) and Lenny Hagland (right).

Islington BC light-welterweight Cherrelle Brown made a small dent in Leicester’s triumphant sporting weekend as she retained her England Boxing Elite Championship crown.

Thu, 12:01
Paul Weekes of Hornsey CC

Hornsey batsman Chetan Patel believes the appointment of Paul Weekes as captain is a huge boost to their promotion prospects.

Thu, 10:01
Highgate celebrate after clinching promotion from Middlesex County League Division Three last season. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Highgate are readying themselves for new challenges after going through last season unbeaten as they cruised to the Division Three championship.

Thu, 09:01
North London CC captain Sam Bardon

North London’s new captain Sam Bardon is hoping his side can pick up where they left off at the end of last season.

Thu, 07:05
Middlesex batsman Stephen Eskinazi. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Stephen Eskinazi’s route to Lord’s has certainly been a roundabout one – but now the South African-born Australian-raised Englishman is right where he wants to be.

Wed, 17:04
Leicester City's Wes Morgan (centre) celebrates after scoring against Manchester United

It’s funny how tribalism can consume you in football. Over the last few years, I imagine that most of us have been guilty of retreating into our respective corners of fandom, and with good reason: there isn’t a lot else to like.

Wed, 16:53
Islington Police Warthogs RFC

Karl Latham gave Islington Police Warthogs belated cause for celebration by becoming their only try-scorer at the Commissioner’s Cup Sevens tournament on Sunday.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

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!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! 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