1988–89 Arsenal F.C. season

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Arsenal
1988–89 season
Chairman England Peter Hill-Wood
Manager Scotland George Graham
First Division 1st
FA Cup Third-round
League Cup Third-round
Top goalscorer League:
Alan Smith (23)
All:
Alan Smith (25)
Highest home attendance 54,029 vs. Liverpool (9 November 1988)
Lowest home attendance 17,885 vs. Hull City (12 October 1988)
Average home league attendance 34,477

The 1988–89 season was Arsenal Football Club's 84th season in the top flight of English football.

Arsenal participated in the First Division, the FA Cup and the League Cup.

Arsenal finished the season as champions of the First Division, their first championship in 18 years. It was also the first time in eight years that the title had been won by a club outside the city of Liverpool, with the last seven seasons having seen Liverpool win the title five times and Everton twice.[1]

However, Arsenal failed to improve on their attempts during the previous season in League Cup and FA Cup where they reached the final and sixth round respectively, exiting both competitions in the third round - to West Ham United and Liverpool.

Arsenal's highest scoring league win was the 5–0 success over Norwich City at the beginning of May, a margin of victory which proved to be vitally important come the end of the season.

Season Summary[edit]

The season began with a 5–1 away win over FA Cup holders Wimbledon, in which striker Alan Smith scored a hat-trick. The next game was disappointing, as the Gunners went down 3–2 at home to newly promoted Aston Villa. Then came a 3–2 win over local rivals Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. By 22 October, Smith had reached the 10-goal mark in the First Division in a 2–1 home win over QPR which saw the Gunners occupy fourth place in the league, with the unlikely trio of Norwich City, Millwall and Coventry City ahead of them, though they had the upper hand over the Liverpool and Manchester United sides who were seen as their key title rivals for the season.[2] By Christmas, Arsenal were second in the league, two points behind leaders Norwich City and with a game in hand. Millwall and Coventry City remained in close contention, with Liverpool and Manchester United starting to slip out of contention.[3] The year ended with a 3–0 win at Aston Villa and Arsenal were now top of the league on goal difference.[4] Arsenal maintained their lead with a 2–0 home win over Tottenham in the first game of 1989, which was followed by a 3–1 win over Everton at Goodison Park. On 11 March, Arsenal lost 3–1 at home to Nottingham Forest, but still led the league with Norwich City second and Millwall third. Liverpool were in fourth place and 13 points adrift of Arsenal but had three games in hand.[5]

Just before the transfer deadline in late March, manager George Graham made an offer to Celtic for striker Frank McAvennie, but the player opted to end his 18-month stay north of the border to return to West Ham United instead.[6]

By the final game of the season on 26 May 1989, Liverpool had overtaken Arsenal to establish a three-point lead and ironically the two sides would face each other for the title decider at Anfield. A draw would be enough to keep the league title in Liverpool for the second season running. Arsenal had to win by a margin of at least two goals to seal the title, and their hopes were raised with an early lead thanks to a goal from Alan Smith, his 22nd league goal of the season.[7] With only a minute remaining, midfielder Michael Thomas scored to make it 2–0 to Arsenal and clinch the title for them on goal difference.[8]

First team squad[edit]

Name Nationality Position(s) Since Signed from Transfer fee
Goalkeepers
John Lukic England GK 1983 England Leeds United £50,000
Alan Miller England GK 1984 Apprentice N/A
Defenders
Tony Adams England CB 1980 Apprentice N/A
Steve Bould England CB 1988 England Stoke City £390,000
Lee Dixon England RB 1988 England Stoke City £375,000
Nigel Winterburn England LB 1987 England Wimbledon £350,000
David O'Leary Republic of Ireland CB 1973 Apprentice N/A
Midfielders
Paul Davis England MF 1977 Apprentice N/A
Perry Groves England MF 1986 England Colchester United £50,000
Martin Hayes England MF 1982 Apprentice N/A
David Hillier England MF 1984 Apprentice N/A
Brian Marwood England MF 1988 England Sheffield Wednesday £800,000
Paul Merson England MF 1984 Apprentice N/A
Kevin Richardson England MF 1987 England Watford £200,000
David Rocastle England MF 1982 Apprentice N/A
Michael Thomas England MF 1982 Apprentice N/A
Steve Morrow Northern Ireland DF/MF 1987 Northern Ireland Bangor Apprentice
Forwards
Kevin Campbell England ST 1985 Apprentice N/A
Alan Smith England ST 1987 England Leicester City Unknown
Niall Quinn Republic of Ireland ST 1983 Republic of Ireland Manortown United Apprentice

Transfers[edit]

Summary[edit]

Arsenal's only transfer activity during the season saw two goalkeepers depart Highbury. Rhys Wilmot left the club he joined as a trainee in 1977 after failing to usurp John Lukic as first choice, and Andy Marriott left to join Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest in a deal worth £50,000.

Out[edit]

Position Player Transferred to Fee Date
GK Wales Rhys Wilmot England Plymouth Argyle £100,000 23 February 1989
GK England Andy Marriott England Nottingham Forest £50,000 20 June 1989

Squad statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals[edit]

No. Nat Pos Player Total First Division FA Cup League Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England GK John Lukic 45 0 38+0 0 2+0 0 5+0 0
England DF Tony Adams 43 4 36+0 4 2+0 0 5+0 0
England DF Steve Bould 36 2 26+4 2 1+0 0 5+0 0
England DF Gus Caesar 2 0 2+0 0 0+0 0 0+0 0
England DF Lee Dixon 39 1 31+2 1 1+0 0 5+0 0
Republic of Ireland DF David O'Leary 28 0 26+0 0 2+0 0 0+0 0
England DF Nigel Winterburn 45 4 38+0 3 2+0 0 5+0 1
England MF Paul Davis 16 1 11+1 1 0+2 0 2+0 0
England MF Martin Hayes 21 1 3+14 1 0+0 0 0+4 0
England MF Brian Marwood 38 10 31+0 9 2+0 0 5+0 1
England MF Paul Merson 43 14 29+8 10 2+0 2 4+0 2
England MF Kevin Richardson 41 1 32+2 1 2+0 0 3+2 0
England MF David Rocastle 45 7 38+0 6 2+0 0 5+0 1
England MF Michael Thomas 44 7 33+4 7 2+0 0 5+0 0
England FW Perry Groves 25 4 6+15 4 0+2 0 1+1 0
Republic of Ireland FW Niall Quinn 3 1 2+1 1 0+0 0 0+0 0
England FW Alan Smith 43 25 36+0 23 2+0 0 5+0 2

Top scorers[edit]

Place Position Nationality Name First Division FA Cup League Cup Total
1 FW England Alan Smith 23 0 2 25
2 FW England Paul Merson 10 2 2 14
3 MF England Brian Marwood 9 0 1 10
4 MF England Michael Thomas 7 0 0 7
MF England David Rocastle 6 0 1 7
6 DF England Tony Adams 4 0 0 4
FW England Perry Groves 4 0 0 4
DF England Nigel Winterburn 3 0 1 4
9 DF England Steve Bould 2 0 0 2
10 MF England Paul Davis 1 0 0 1
DF England Lee Dixon 1 0 0 1
MF England Martin Hayes 1 0 0 1
FW Republic of Ireland Niall Quinn 1 0 0 1
MF England Kevin Richardson 1 0 0 1
TOTALS 73 2 7 82

Competitions[edit]

Pre-season & Friendlies[edit]

Mercantile Credit Centenary Trophy[edit]

Football League First Division[edit]

Classification[edit]

Results summary[edit]

Overall Home Away
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts W D L GF GA GD W D L GF GA GD
38 22 10 6 73 36 +37 76 10 6 3 35 19 +16 12 4 3 38 17 +21

Source: statto.com

Results by round[edit]

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
Ground A H A H A A H A H A A H A H A H A A H A H H A A A H H H H A A H H H A H A A
Result W L W D L W W D W W W W L D D W W W W W D W W D W W D L D W D W W W W L D W
Position 1 8 6 5 7 6 4 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Source: Competitive matches
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: D = Draw; L = Lose; W = Win; P = Postponed.

Matches[edit]

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1988-89 FA Cup

Football League Cup[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]