By Tony Attwood
Arsenal have gone to the top of the league 19 times since August 2000, and from that position have won the league twice. The last time before the Sunderland match on 14 August 2013 was on 4 December 2010 when Arsenal beat Fulham 2-1. It was however a short lived period at the top – Arsenal were only there for one week.
|Season||Match no||Date||Against||Result||Weeks at top|
|2002/03||5||10/09/02||Man City (h)||2-1||5|
Of the 19 times Arsenal have gone top of the league since 2000/01, on nine occasions they have been in that position for just one match. Only on four occasions have Arsenal stayed at the top for over 10 weeks.
But if you believe in history repeating, it is interesting to note that the on one of two occasions when the club hit number one at this time of year was September 2001 – a season when we won the league. The other occasions was in 2007/08 when we beat Tottenham 3-1 and stayed at the top for 14 weeks.
The chances are therefore that Arsenal will have a number of weeks at the top. Only have three times out of the 19 occasions on which the club has reached the top of the league have we just been top for one week during the season. But of course Liverpool could win their fourth match in a row and so knock us off after just two days.
I’m going to add each of the dates that Arsenal have reached the top of the league in the 21st century to the Anniversary files, and then explore what happened to the club each time, as that date comes around.
But for now let’s remember:
Fulham 1 Arsenal 3 15/9/01
Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3 – 15/9/07
Both 3-1 away wins, just like Saturday, both just one day out from Saturday’s win – and the first heralded winning the league.
OK, I know that is stretching things a bit, but even historians are allowed to dream.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches