Arsenal are one of the most successful football clubs in England and have a worldwide following, but there are some things you will only understand if you are a Gunners fan.

Few teams can rival the fanbase that Arsenal boast. The Emirates Stadium outfit enjoys great support in all four corners of the globe with football fans appreciating their attractive style of football. While Arsenal’s history as a club also pulls at the heartstrings for many of their fans.

The north London giant’s story dates back to 1886 when several munitions workers from the Royal Arsenal founded them as Dial Square. Since then, a raft of Arsenal legends have added and added to their trophy cabinet. But here are 10 things only Arsenal fand will understand…

Having trouble keeping a lead… no matter how big

Newcastle United's Ivorian midfielder Ch
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Why Pele Is Overrated.

One thing about Arsenal that you will only understand if you are a Gunners fan is the club’s trouble holding onto a lead. No matter how big the margin, the north London giants have a tendency to let a result slip away. But it has resulted in some spectacular matches, as well.

Newcastle United supporters, much more so than Arsenal fans, will fondly recall February 5, 2011. The Gunners stormed into a four-goal lead at St James’ Park after just 26 minutes. Yet the Toon struck back on 68’, 75’, 83’ and 87 minutes to draw 4-4 after scoring two penalties.

The 2022/23 term also featured some poor collapses as Arsenal failed to see out their lead to win the title. Liverpool came back from 2-0 down after 28 minutes for a 2-2 draw in the 87th minute. West Ham United then did the same despite trailing 2-0 after just 10 minutes.

Believing the Premier League title is coming back to north London

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Arsenal letting the 2022/23 Premier League title slip through their fingers was another thing that only a Gunners fan will understand. The Emirates Stadium club held an 11 point lead to Manchester City at one point. Yet the Citizens still secured the title with one game to spare.

Go back to February 2016 and Arsenal fans believed a first Premier League title since 03/04 was coming back to north London, too. Danny Welbeck scored in the 95th minute to give the Gunners a 2-1 win over Leicester City. Yet it was the Foxes who would take the title in 15/16.

‘If only’ our star player was not injured all the time

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There is regularly a sense at Emirates Stadium that Arsenal are often only a game or two shy of suffering an injury crisis. But there is an even greater feeling of ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ when it comes to injuries in north London. Arsenal have far too often seen star players get injured.

Many Arsenal fans will still remember the third minute at Birmingham City in February 2008 when Eduardo broke his leg. Martin Taylor’s rash foul left the Croatian forward with a broken left fibula and open dislocation. The injury also derailed Arsenal’s title hopes that campaign.

Eduardo was at the top of his game at the time and firing Arsenal to the top of the table. But he was never the same player again once the striker ultimately returned to fitness a year on.

Arsenal fans have since seen a string of star players suffer an endless flow of injuries. Abou Diaby was destined for greatness as the box-to-box player in line for Patrick Vieira’s throne in north London. But the Frenchman spent 2,156 of his 3,435 days at Arsenal out with injuries.

Jack Wilshere, too, could have become a Gunners legend having emerged out of Arsenal’s academy to put himself in the mix to be a future England captain. But his ankle injury in a pre-season friendly in 2011 was the beginning of the end as he would rarely stay fit again.

Fearing the festive slump

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Arsenal fans have come to fear the festive period when the football calendar in England is packed with fixtures. The Gunners have all too often suffered a drastic slump in form near the end of the year. And their results in this period have regularly proven season-defining.

‘Boring, boring Arsenal’

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Opposition fans have often sought to taunt Arsenal over the years but Gunners supporters can easily flip the script nowadays. Back in the 1980s and 90s, rival fans would often chant ‘boring, boring Arsenal’ in retort to the rather turgid displays the Gunners strung together.

While the north London club’s move from Highbury to Emirates Stadium in 2006 brought a new chant for rival fans. Supporters in the away section often blurt ‘is this a library?’ given the stadium’s quieter levels. But Arsenal fans can and do flip the chants back on their rivals.

Arsenal fans have chanted ‘is this the Emirates?’ on away trips up and down the county as home crowds fail to create an atmosphere. While Mikel Arteta guiding Arsenal back into a title fight in 22/23 also helped Emirates Stadium have one of the best atmospheres around.

Wembley is like a second home for the Gunners

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While Emirates Stadium became Arsenal’s home in 2006 after 93 years playing at Highbury, Wembley is like their second home. The north London side enjoy one of the best records at the national stadium. Even if Tottenham Hotspur rented it as their home from 2017 to 2019.

Including at the stadium in its original form, Arsenal have won 11 of their 14 FA Cup titles in Wembley finals. The Gunners have also lifted the English Football League Cup (EFL Cup) title there twice, plus seven of their 14 Community Shield – formerly the Charity Shield – titles.

How Arsenal entered the top-flight at Tottenham’s expense

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Arsenal sparked the club’s fierce rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur when the Gunners moved to north London in 1913. They had initially played in Woolwich and would further rile their new neighbours in 1919 when the Football League promoted Arsenal into the old First Division.

The Football League reshaped its set-up following WWI and adopted an expanded 22-team top-flight from the previous 20. It also made provisions for Chelsea to keep their seat at the top table, despite ending the most recent season in 1914/15 in 19th to endure relegation.

Tottenham were also due to endure relegation in 1914/15 after finishing the First Division term in 20th. While Arsenal had only finished the 1914/15 Second Division season in fifth place. But Henry Norris, the Gunners’ then-chairman, pushed for his club to earn the spot.

Norris campaigned at the Football League’s Annual General Meeting that Arsenal merited one of the new First Division places owing to the club’s history. His speech proved enough and he swayed the votes for Arsenal to then join the First Division at Tottenham’s expense.

Celebrating St Totteringham’s Day

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Arsenal’s rivalry with Tottenham continues to be one of the fiercest in football anywhere in the world. But the Gunners’ regular record of finishing ahead of Spurs in the league table made St Totteringham’s Day. It started in the early 2000s with Arsene Wenger’s dominance.

Arsenal fans created St Totteringham’s Day for the day when it is mathematically impossible for Tottenham to finish above the Gunners in the Premier League standings. Spurs managed to lessen its frequency during the 2010s with the celebrations on mute from 2016 to 2023.

Arsenal always seem to receive confusing red cards

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One thing that Arsenal fans will understand is the Gunners’ tendency to earn confusing red cards. Most seasons seem to throw up an incident where the club’s supporters are only left scratching their heads, from Robin van Persie’s at Barcelona to Gabriel Martinelli’s at Wolves.

Swiss referee Massimo Busacca showed Van Persie a second yellow card at Barcelona in a Champions League last 16 tie in March 2011. He felt the former Arsenal captain had kicked the ball away to delay the game whilst already on a yellow card for a foul late in the first half.

Yet Van Persie did not kick the ball away, but rather played on and took an attempt at Victor Valdes’ net having not heard Busacca whistle for an offside call. Camp Nou was rocking with a feverish atmosphere to make it impossible for the Dutch striker to hear the whistle blown.

While more recent seasons have seen Molineux play host to two perplexing red cards for an Arsenal player. Craig Dawson sent David Luiz off in February 2021 after Wolves striker Willian Jose’s heel grazed the Brazilian’s knee as he shaped to shoot with the defender inches away.

Martinelli has also been on the wrong end of a perplexing red card at Wolves in recent years. Michael Oliver sent the forward off for two yellow card offences in the same phase of play in February 2022. He fouled Chiquinho after pushing Daniel Podence to try to delay a throw-in.

Broadcast networks love making history with Arsenal

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Broadcast networks seem to love making history hand-in-hand with Arsenal. The BBC chose the Gunners for its first live radio broadcast of a league fixture on January 22, 1927. Arsenal hosted Sheffield United at Highbury with Charlie Buchan scoring the first goal in a 1-1 draw.

The BBC also selected Arsenal when it broadcasted the first football match on TV. It showed sections of a fixture between Arsenal and their reserves on September 16, 1937. Sky Sports also picked Arsenal vs Manchester United for the first game live in 3D on January 31, 2010.

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