Arsenal Football Club holds a significant place in the domain of English soccer, reflecting a rich heritage through its collection of honors and trophies.
Arsenal FC has amassed a remarkable total of 49 well-recognized trophies for the men’s first team, both on domestic and international soil.
This is from trophies won from each of these tournaments:
- 13 First Division/Premier League titles
- 14 FA Cups
- 2 Football League Cup/EFL Cups
- 17 FA Charity Shield/FA Community Shields
- 1 Football League Centenary Trophy
- 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
- 1 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Arsenal has a trove of trophies on English soil, particularly in the First Division/Premier League, FA Cup, and Community Shield.
In this article, I’ll dive a bit deeper into the Gunners’ trophy history to uncover their significance in the beautiful game.
Sticking to the English soil, first of all, Arsenal has been most successful here with over a dozen First Division, Cup and Shield wins in their catalog.
Let’s look at their domestic success where the team have played out some extraordinary games at the Emirates stadium and away.
English First Division/Premier League Titles
Arsenal’s journey in the English First Division and Premier League has been nothing short of triumphant, having secured the title 13 times across the last century in each of these seasons:
The early 1930s saw the emergence of Arsenal as a dominant force in English soccer under the managerial helm of Herbert Chapman and later George Allison.
The team won three league titles in a row from 1932 to 1935, showing a dominance that was a rare sight in the early decades of soccer.
It set Arsenal up for a winning culture and lofty expectations from the fanbase and the club itself.
Later, the Gunners secured the domestic ‘Double’ by winning both the First Division title and the FA Cup in the same year, during the 1970/71 season. A testament to their manager at the time, Bertie Mee, who expertly balanced the squad from game to game.
Close to the millennium, Arsenal brought in the French manager Arsène Wenger in 1996 who revolutionized the team’s tactics for the modern game.
Wenger led the squad to three Premier League titles during his reign, including the club’s second and third ‘Double’ in 1997/98 and 2001/02.
To this day, Arsenal and Wenger’s greatest achievement might be the 2003/04 season when the club secured the Premier League title without losing a single match, dubbing them “The Invincibles.”
Arsenal FC has a decorated history in the FA Cup, having won this prestigious domestic trophy a record 14 times.
These are the years they won along with who they defeated in the final:
- 1929/30—def. Huddersfield Town 2-0
- 1935/36—def. Sheffield United 1-0
- 1949/50—def. Liverpool 2-0
- 1970/71—def. Liverpool 2-1 after extra time
- 1978/79—def. Manchester United 3-2
- 1992/93—def. Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 after extra time on replay
- 1997/98—def. Newcastle United 2-0
- 2001/02—def. Chelsea 2-0
- 2002/03—def. Southampton 1-0
- 2004/05—def. Manchester United 5-4 on penalties after extra time
- 2013/14—def. Hull City 3-2 after extra time
- 2014/15—def. Aston Villa 4-0
- 2016/17—def. Chelsea 2-1
- 2019/20—def. Chelsea 2-1
Arsenal’s journey in the FA Cup includes many momentous victories, dating back to 1929, and maintaining the record for most FA Cup wins from a single club.
Despite a nine-year trophy drought, the Gunners displayed the grit to overcome a determined Hull City side who were reaching the FA Cup final for the first time.
A 2-2 scoreline forced the match into extra time where Aaron Ramsey scored the winner and was declared man of the match.
Most recently, Arsenal have snagged the FA Cup twice from the clutches of Chelsea, raising the cup victoriously in both 2016/17 and 2019/20—each time winning 2-1.
The 2019/20 victory was led by a stellar performance from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he helped the team secure qualification to the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.
That trophy helped build trust in the recently appointed head coach (and former player) Mikel Arteta who continues as manager to this day.
Football League Cup/EFL Cup
Arsenal’s journey in the Football League Cup, also known as the EFL Cup or Carabao Cup, saw them winning this competition twice.
The club won it in these years:
- 1986/87—def. Liverpool 2-1
- 1992/93—def. Sheffield Wednesday 2-1
In the 1986/87 season, Arsenal celebrated their centenary year with a significant victory in the League Cup.
It was their first-ever success in this competition, with manager George Graham orchestrating the victory.
The cup final clash against Liverpool was significant since the Reds were already on the ‘Double’ with the First Division and FA Cup under their belt in the 1986/87 season.
Arsenal successfully stalled their attempt at the ‘Treble’ with the help of Charlie Nicholas’ brace for a 2-1 winning scoreline.
Once again, the Gunners won the League Cup (known as Coca-Cola Cup at the time) by another 2-1 scoreline, this time over Sheffield Wednesday, and was part of a domestic ‘Double’ for Arsenal as they won the FA Cup in the same 1992/93 season.
Arsenal FC’s journey in the FA Charity Shield/Community Shield shows their tenacity, having lifted the Shield 17 times.
These are the years that the club won this competition:
- 1930/31—def. Sheffield Wednesday 2-1
- 1931/32—def. West Bromwich Albion 1-0
- 1933/34—def. Everton 3-0
- 1934/35—def. Manchester City 4-0
- 1938/39—def. Preston North End 2-1
- 1948/49—def. Manchester United 4-3
- 1953/54—def. Blackpool 3-1
- 1991/92—shared with Tottenham Hotspur after a 0-0 draw
- 1998/99—def. Manchester United 3-0
- 1999/00—def. Manchester United 2-1
- 2002/03—def. Liverpool 1-0
- 2004/05—def. Manchester United 3-1
- 2014/15—def. Manchester City 3-0
- 2015/16—def. Chelsea 1-0
- 2017/18—def. Chelsea 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw
- 2020/21—def. Liverpool 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw
- 2023/24—def. Manchester City 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw
The FA Charity Shield wins in the 1930s display the early strength of Arsenal FC.
Particularly, the back-to-back victories in 1930/31 and 1931/32 set a precedent for the club’s potential. The decisive results, like the 4-0 triumph over Manchester City in 1934/35, highlighted Arsenal’s potential for dominance.
The late 1990s and early 2000s saw Arsenal reigniting their spark in the FA Community Shield. A draw in 1991/92 with Tottenham Hotspur created their taste for the trophy.
Their rivalry with Manchester United was evident in 1998/99 and 1999/00 as they defeated The Red Devils back-to-back to lift the Shield.
In recent years, Arsenal’s resilience shone through in penalty shootouts in their last 3 Shield final victories over tough teams Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City.
With their fresh victory over Manchester City in the 2023/24 season for the Shield, Arsenal could be on their way to a resurgence to cup-winning ways.
Football League Centenary Trophy
Arsenal FC was victorious for the one-time event celebrating the 100th birthday of The Football League, named the Football League Centenary Trophy or the Mercantile Credit Centenary Trophy.
They won it on this date:
- 1988—def. Manchester United 2-1
The top eight teams were plucked out of the 1987/88 season of the First Division to participate, from which Arsenal had finished 6th.
Top of the league were Liverpool and Manchester United who were both front-runners to win the trophy.
But Arsenal pulled out a surprising run to defeat three teams placed above them on the league table and emerge the trophy winners. That included Queens Park Rangers (5th), Liverpool (1st) and Manchester United (2nd) for the final.
A performance of slick teamwork throughout the tournament, Arsenal showcased their tenacity at this time despite a disappointing qualifying placement from the league season prior.
The trophy win was the start of a highlight year for the club as after winning this trophy at the start of the 1988/89 season, they also went on to win the First Division League title by snatching it away from Liverpool on goal difference.
A rare ‘Double’ for Arsenal, only being possible every one hundred years.
Now we get to reach across the continent to learn of the Gunners’ wins in Europe. While there haven’t been many, they’re adding to this North London club’s legacy.
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
Arsenal has won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup once, a cup tournament held between domestic cup winners.
These are the years that the club won this competition:
- 1993/94—def. Parma 1-0
The club qualified to enter based on their 1992/93 season FA Cup win and had to overcome four top teams from Europe over two legs each.
A 3-2 aggregate over Odense, 10-0 over Standard Liège, 1-0 over Torino, and 2-1 over Paris Saint-Germain got the Gunners into the final for the chance to lift the cup.
It was the final against Italian side Parma that truly epitomized the Gunners’ mettle defensive excellence at the time.
One solitary goal by Alan Smith secured the silverware for Arsenal in a tightly contested match held at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Arsenal FC showed their competitive edge in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, bagging the trophy once in their history.
These are the year that the club won this competition:
- 1969/70—def. R.S.C. Anderlecht 4-3 on aggregate
Sometimes referred to as the European Fairs Cup, this competition was a European trophy between 1955 and 1971, often considered the predecessor to the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League.
Played over two legs, both matches offered nail-biting action where Anderlecht went 3-1 up on the first leg with the home advantage at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.
But Arsenal managed to snag a late consolation goal in the first and brought it through to their home advantage in Highbury, London as the Gunners racked up three goals to lift the cup with a single-goal advantage.
The victory came at a notable time when English clubs were still yet to pave much of the paths to success across Europe.
Arsenal, in their own way, contributed to the foundations of confidence for English teams to find more success at a higher level of competition across the continent.
Interesting Facts About Arsenal FC’s Trophy Efforts
Now that you know about all of Arsenal’s trophy successes, let’s highlight a few of their most memorable moments.
The Remarkable Double of 1970-71
The season of 1970-71 was a hallmark in Arsenal’s history as they achieved their first League and FA Cup Double.
This double victory showcased a fresh blend of knockout competition prowess, propelling Arsenal into the limelight of English soccer.
The ability to sustain performance in the league while also conquering the knockout stages of the FA Cup painted a picture of a well-rounded and formidable team.
The Invincibles of 2003-04 & Unbeaten Streak
The 2003-04 season of the Premier League saw Arsenal earning the nickname “The Invincibles.”
Under the management of Arsène Wenger, the team went undefeated in all 38 league games, a feat that stretched to a record 49 games unbeaten streak.
Continuous European Presence
Between 1998 and 2017, Arsenal showcased their European competency by qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for nineteen consecutive seasons.
This continuous presence on the European stage reflected the club’s quality and competitiveness at the highest level of club soccer.
Although the elusive Champions League trophy remained out of reach, the consistent qualification highlighted the potential and has helped to attract some of the top talents from across the globe.