Whenever a new Arsenal player makes his debut, the question “how many players have played for Arsenal?” usually gets asked. Well, here is the answer – every player that has played for Arsenal’s first team in a competitive game in chronological order.

Any player that has an asterisk (*) next to his name scored on his Arsenal debut, and any names underlined will show a picture of the the player if you hover your mouse pointer over the name. We’ll add these as and when we can, but bear with us as it’s a time consuming process.

Where two or more players made their debut in the same game, they are given the same chronological number. If two or more players came on as a substitute in the same game, they are given consecutive chronological numbers dependent upon the order in which they came on.

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Despite it being only the middle of July, Arsenal’s pre-season preparations are well under way with a tournament in Singapore already completed and the Emirates Cup and Community Shield still to come before the very early start to the Premier League season.

Arsenal’s preparations for the season ahead haven’t always been this hectic. For many years it was a case of some running around the pitch to shake off the excesses of the Summer and a couple of kickabouts.

The earliest records of the team playing prior to the start of the season are in 1888, two years after the club was founded. Two games, advertised as the Probables v Improbables, were played on 1 September and a week later. Unfortunately no records of the outcome of these two games exists, nor of the players involved. However, with the club gaining a reputation as one of the leading clubs in London, it is likely that a fair number of trialists had put their names forward to the committee that ran the team. And don’t be fooled by the dates. In the early days of the game, the season started in September with cricket, still being the more senior sport, taking precedence.

Kentish Mercury 21 September 1888

Kentish Mercury 21 September 1888

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Back in September 2014 we wrote a blog about Arsenal’s reserves beating Tottenham’s first team in 1970. Most Arsenal fans already knew about the time this happened in 1980.

However, at the recent Arsenal Supporters’ End of Year Event, whilst we were chatting to Martin Hayes he reminded us of yet another time that Arsenal’s reserves beat Tottenham’s first team. This game took place on 29 March 1983. The teamsheet is shown below, and that is how the teams lined up.

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Anyone with the vaguest interest in football cannot have escaped yesterday’s news of the arrest of seven top FIFA officials on a multitude of corruption charges. For the vast majority of football fans the arrests were a shock, not because of the revelations but for the fact that it had actually happened. For years, FIFA has been the subject of many accusations of corruption, with the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals being the highest profile.

The organisation’s president, Sepp Blatter, has always managed to keep himself distanced from any alleged wrongdoing and continued to be supported by a large majority of members. However, yesterday’s arrests has to see him fall from grace. He has tried to spin the situation by saying that, although this is not good for football, it is good for FIFA that these alleged misdemeanours have been brought into the open so that they can be acted upon. He has tried to distance himself from the men that have been arrested but, and this is a big but, he has a big problem.
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On Friday 22 May I received a surprise invite to Arsenal’s FA Cup media day on 27 May at the club’s training ground. I didn’t need too much time to consider whether or not I would be attending! This is my story of the day.

The itinerary stated that the first event would be Arsene Wenger’s press conference at 9am. I arrived about 20 minutes before this and was pleased to see some familiar faces in Tim Stillman and Goonerholic. Shortly after, Dave Seager and Darren Berry (a fellow warbler on the Arsenal unofficial 2015 FA Cup final song) turned up to form a quintet of bloggers.

Someone to talk to during the quiet moments

Someone to talk to during the quiet moments

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Last year we thought it would be a good idea to put together a compendium of information relating to all of Arsenal’s FA Cup final appearances on one page so you don’t have to trawl all over the internet to find out the answers to all of those nagging questions.

We’ve updated the article and made some additions. We’ve added a brief match report for each game which we wrote for the Arsenal magazine last year, and most of the programmes for the games. We were hoping to have all of them ready in time for this blog but the later years take ages to scan as they are so big. We’ll add them as we scan them in. Be aware that these later programmes are huge, physically and electronically. With this in mind we’ve shown the file size for each one so you know what you are letting yourself in for.

Weekly Illustrated 25 April 1936.

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The crowd celebrate the Triple Championship win in fine style: 4 May 1935

It is just over 80 years and three weeks to the day that Arsenal’s season ended as champions for the third time in succession.

On 22 April 1935 Arsenal travelled to Ayresome Park and won 1-0. Consequently this defeat of manager George Allison’s old club, Middlesbrough, meant Arsenal had managed to win their third consecutive First Division league championship.

Huddersfield were the only team to achieve the hat-trick previously, and they too had been shaped by Herbert Chapman, though after Chapman’s untimely death Allison had taken charge of Arsenal for the start of this campaign.

Earlier in the season, in March 1935, the anticipated ‘match of the season’ drew an all time home club record of 73,295 as Arsenal entertained eventual runners-up Sunderland who were vying with the Gunners for top spot.

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Arsenal win consecutive Charity Shields

In the 1930s Arsenal appeared in seven Charity Shields, winning five of them outright. Due to the intervention of the War the Charity Shield of 1939 was not played, meaning Arsenal competed in all but two of the games during that decade highlighting the club’s pre WW2 dominance. This game was the second of the seven the Arsenal played overall.

Arsenal FC with their  trophies April 1931  (Photo by S. R. Gaiger/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Arsenal FC with their trophies April 1931 (Photo by S. R. Gaiger/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

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