The Dial as they were originally known in 1886 was formed by the employee's - notably, David Danskin, of a munitions factory in Woolwich, London. The Dial adopted various names, these included Royal Arsenal and in 1891 when they turned professional, they became Woolwich Arsenal. In 1893, they decided to sign up to the Football League and spent their first 11 years in the second Division. In 1904 saw them promoted to Division one where they stayed for a further 10 years but the Club financially was in a mess. In 1910, their saviour came in the form of a Mr Henry George Norris, a business man and Politian who made his money from property development. Unfortunately though in 1913 they were relegated back to Division 2. It was around this time that the shrewd Henry Norris's desire to move the Club to a new ground in a superior location was realized. Highbury also known as “The Home of Football” became The Arsenal or Arsenal, as they were now known, new home. With this move also created a rivalry with local Football Club Tottenham Hotspurs, which is a strong today as it was back then. Other factors made this bitterness between these two Clubs even more raw, with allegations made towards Henry Norris, but these just remained as rumours.
Huddersfield's ex and well-respected Football Manager, Herbert Chapman took control of the Arsenal squad in 1925. Despite the fact that Chapman was an ex player himself but on a smaller scale it was his Managerial skills he will always be remembered for. His ideas and philosophy brought success to Arsenal in winning the FA Cup during the 1929/1930 season then came the League Championship twice in 1930/1931 – 1932/1933. Sadly, in 1934 Herbert Chapman died of suspected pneumonia. His legacy and football gifts did carry on in the hands of George Allison with further League wins in 1933/34 – 1933/35 plus the FA Cup again in 1935/36 and yet again the League 1937/38. With Allison in charge, The Gunners became the best English Club in the 1930's and George Allison is one of the longest serving Managers Arsenal has had to present day.
When World War II started all football competitions were subsequently stopped and for many clubs up and down the country their form dwindled due to players been drafted or more commonly having to retire.
Post war years saw Arsenal FC have there ups and downs with Managers coming and going. Their success in the 30's eluded them but they did mange to win the League under Tom Whittaker in the 1947/48 season and then in 1952/53. The 50's and 60's were over-all tough decades for The Gunners who struggled, the football gifts in quality players they were once accustomed to no longer existed and finding replacements wasn't forthcoming. Wolverhampton Wanderers and England legend Billy Wright took the Managerial reigns in 1962-1966 but that also was to no avail.
Their fortunes turned when in 1966 the football gifts of, Bertie Mee, was selected as new Manager. Mee had good football history, with both himself and his younger brother players but through injury, Mee had to opt for early retirement. Joining the Royal Army Medical Corps, he made sergeant 6 years later and it was also here that he trained in physiotherapist. This gave him the ideal occupation for football work. The success Arsenal craved for was just around the corner. In 1969/70, they won the Inter Cities Fairs Cup a European Trophy. This was just a small token in comparison to what followed when in 1969/70 The Gunners achieved their first double win- The League and FA Cup. Even though lifting another trophy was a few years down the line, they still managed to book three FA Cup Finals in the 70's but came off in 2nd place until 1979/80 beating Manchester Untied FC 3-2 in what can only be described as a classic.
The early 80's for Arsenal FC were just middle-of-the-road in terms of success but they were in for another good spell. In 1986 saw the return of former player George Graham as Manager. The Club won the League Cup in 1986/87; Grahams first season in charge as Manager, followed by a League Title win in 1988/89 season. Then another big double, the FA Cup and League Cup in 1992/93. More was to come when they lifted the European, Cup Winners Cup in 1993/94. The Club had gone from strength to strength under Graham. In 1995 all that was shattered when he was sacked for dubious dealings in player transfers to the Club.
In 1996, French Manager Arsen Wenger was appointed new Manager of The Gunners. Bringing with him his football gifts, European style and foreign signings and a much-needed discipline to the Club, Arsenal achieved great triumph under him. In 1997/98, they won another League Cup double plus reached the UEFA Final in 1999/2000 but just missed out against Galatasaray on penalties. Another double was making its way to Arsenal in the 2001/02 season. The Gunners again won the FA Cup in 2002/03 and the Premier League. In winning the Premier League that season, they did it in awesome style – not loosing a single game throughout which totalled 49 matches. This is a record in itself in Premiership Football that still stands today (2009). The 2004/05 saw The Gunners once more lift the FA Cup. Up until 2005/06 Arsenal hadn't had much luck when it came to the Champions League, this season they reached the final but were just beaten past the line by Barcelona 2-1. For 93 years Arsenals home had been Highbury but this ended when they moved to the new impressive £430 million Emirates Stadium in July 2006, one of the largest football stadiums in the UK. One more record was added to Arsen Wenger's collection – the longest ever Manager of The Gunners.