1990–91 Arsenal F.C. season

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Arsenal
1990–91 season
Chairman Peter Hill-Wood
Manager George Graham
Stadium Highbury
First Division 1st
FA Cup Semi-finals
League Cup Fourth round
Top goalscorer League:
Alan Smith (22)

All:
Alan Smith (27)
Highest home attendance 42,393 vs. Queens Park Rangers
(23 April 1991)
Lowest home attendance 22,890 vs. Chester City
(9 October 1990)
Average home league attendance 36,865[1]

The 1990–91 season was the 93rd season of competitive football played by Arsenal.

Arsenal finished the season as league champions for the second time in three seasons, losing just one of their 38 league games.

The season began with two major signings at Highbury. After more than a year of trying, Arsenal finally landed goalkeeper David Seaman from QPR before the start of the season. Arsenal's previous first choice goalkeeper John Lukic was sold to newly promoted Leeds United. Swedish winger Anders Limpar was signed from Italian side Cremonese, quickly prompting the departure of two other players in the same position - Brian Marwood and Martin Hayes. Manager George Graham also strengthened his defence with a move for Norwich defender Andy Linighan, although Linighan was not a regular player in his first season at Highbury. Making their debuts this season were midfielder David Hillier and striker Andy Cole. Although Cole made just one appearance for the Gunners this season as a substitute, Hillier played 22 games in all competitions and picked up a league title medal.

The season began with a 3-0 away win over Wimbledon, followed by a 2-0 home win over Luton Town. This good form continued and by the end of October, the Gunners were unbeaten in the league, along with defending champions Liverpool and North London rivals Tottenham in what was beginning to look like a very exciting title race. Tottenham soon fell away in the league, however, and so for much of the season it appeared likely that it would be a two horse race for the title between Arsenal and Liverpool.

On 20 October, Arsenal travelled to Old Trafford for a league match with Manchester United, which they won 1-0, but the match was marred by a 21-player brawl which resulted in Arsenal being deducted two points and their opponents one point.

Arsenal's League Cup hopes ended on 28 November when they lost 6-2 at home to Manchester United in the fourth round. Four days later however, Arsenal beat Liverpool 3-0 in the league at Highbury, ending the visiting side's unbeaten start to the league campaign, although they did not overtake Kenny Dalglish's men and go top of the league until the new year.

On 19 December, the club was stunned when captain Tony Adams was jailed for four months for drink-driving following a car crash seven months earlier. Adams was released after two months behind bars, during which Arsenal suffered their only league defeat of the season - a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea in their 24th game. Before the end of the February, the title race was thrown into fresh uncertainty when Kenny Dalglish suddenly announced his resignation as manager of Liverpool, who were the only remaining serious threat to Arsenal's lead of the First Division. Ronnie Moran was placed in temporary charge until the arrival of Graeme Souness two months later, but by then Arsenal were looking all set for the league title.

Confirmation of Arsenal's league title triumph finally came in their penultimate game of the season, on 6 May, when they triumphed 3-1 at home to Manchester United in a match where top scorer Alan Smith scored a hat-trick. Anders Limpar then scored a hat-trick in Arsenal's final fixture, a 6-1 victory over Coventry City at Highbury.

Arsenal had also been in contention for the double, which would have made them the only team in English football to have won the double twice, but these hopes ended in the semi-final at Wembley, where they beaten 3-1 by Tottenham, who went on to win the trophy for a record eighth time.

Pre-season and friendlies[edit]

Date Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
22 July 1990 Varbergs BoIS A W 2–0 Merson, Rocastle ?
24 July 1990 Västra Frölunda A W 4–0 Linighan, Smith, Merson (2) ?
26 July 1990 IFK Värnamo A D 2–2 Merson, Limpar ?
3 August 1990 Wolverhampton Wanderers A W 1–0 Smith ?
10 August 1990 Aston Villa N W 2–0 Limpar, Campbell ?
11 August 1990 Sampdoria N L 2–0 ?
17 August 1990 Brighton & Hove Albion A D 2–2 Rocastle, Smith ?
13 October 1990 Tottenham Hotspur H L 2–5 Smith, Will 14,806
27 April 1991 Liverpool H L 1–3 Campbell 18,224
13 May 1991 Barnet H W 4–2 Adams, Campbell, Merson, Groves 7,724
17 May 1991 Liverpool H D 1–1 Winterburn 60,000

Source: [1]

Football League First Division[edit]

Date Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance Ref
25 August 1990 Wimbledon A W 3–0 Merson 57', Smith 59', Groves 90' 13,733 [2]
29 August 1990 Luton Town H W 2–0 Merson 37', Thomas 69' 32,723 [3]
1 September 1990 Tottenham Hotspur H D 0–0 40,009 [4]
8 September 1990 Everton A D 1–1 Groves 58' 29,919 [5]
15 September 1990 Chelsea H W 4–1 Limpar 52', Dixon 58' (pen.), Merson 62', Rocastle 73' 40,475 [6]
22 September 1990 Nottingham Forest A W 2–0 Limpar 28', Rocastle 83' 26,013 [7]
29 September 1990 Leeds United A D 2–2 Limpar 39', 50' (2) 30,085 [8]
6 October 1990 Norwich City H W 2–0 Davis 26', 31' (2) 36,737 [9]
20 October 1990 Manchester United A W 1–0 Limpar 42' 47,232 [10]
27 October 1990 Sunderland H W 1–0 Dixon 75' (pen.) 38,485 [11]
3 November 1990 Coventry City A W 2–0 Limpar 83', 88' (2) 15,336 [12]
10 November 1990 Crystal Palace A D 0–0 28,282 [13]
17 November 1990 Southampton H W 4–0 Merson 21', Limpar 33', Smith 37', 59' (2) 36,229 [14]
24 November 1990 Queens Park Rangers A W 3–1 Merson 78', Smith 84', Campbell 86' 18,555 [15]
2 December 1990 Liverpool H W 3–0 Merson 21', Dixon 47' (pen.), Smith 88' 40,419 [16]
8 December 1990 Luton Town A D 1–1 Smith 44' 12,506 [17]
15 December 1990 Wimbledon H D 2–2 Merson 31', Adams 35' 30,164 [18]
23 December 1990 Aston Villa A D 0–0 22,687 [19]
26 December 1990 Derby County H W 3–0 Smith 4', 77' (2), Merson 26' 25,558 [20]
29 December 1990 Sheffield United H W 4–1 Dixon 50' (pen.), Thomas 70', Smith 84', 86' (2) 37,810 [21]
1 January 1991 Manchester City A W 1–0 Smith 59' 30,579 [22]
12 January 1991 Tottenham Hotspur A D 0–0 34,753 [23]
19 January 1991 Everton H W 1–0 Merson 47' 35,349 [24]
2 February 1991 Chelsea A L 1–2 Smith 89' 29,094 [25]
23 February 1991 Crystal Palace H W 4–0 O'Leary 3', Merson 41', Smith 60', Campbell 61' 42,162 [26]
3 March 1991 Liverpool A W 1–0 Merson 66' 37,221 [27]
17 March 1991 Leeds United H W 2–0 Campbell 77', 86' (2) 26,218 [28]
20 March 1991 Nottingham Forest H D 1–1 Campbell 32' 34,152 [29]
23 March 1991 Norwich City A D 0–0 20,131 [30]
30 March 1991 Derby County A W 2–0 Smith 7', 84' (2) 18,397 [31]
3 April 1991 Aston Villa H W 5–0 Campbell 37', 84' (2), Davis 55', Smith 59', 61' (2) 41,868 [32]
6 April 1991 Sheffield United A W 2–0 Campbell 10', Smith 73' 26,920 [33]
9 April 1991 Southampton A D 1–1 Smith 74' 21,200 [34]
17 April 1991 Manchester City H D 2–2 Campbell 5', Merson 14' 38,412 [35]
23 April 1991 Queens Park Rangers H W 2–0 Dixon 58' (pen.), Merson 72' 42,393 [36]
4 May 1991 Sunderland A D 0–0 22,606 [37]
6 May 1991 Manchester United H W 3–1 Smith 19', 41, 58' (pen.) (3) 40,229 [38]
11 May 1991 Coventry City H W 6–1 Peake, 13' o.g., Limpar 31', 79', 86' (3), Smith 77' 41,039 [39]

Classification[edit]

Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Arsenal (C) 38 24 13 1 74 18 +56 83 European Cup 1991–92 First round
2 Liverpool 38 23 7 8 77 40 +37 76 UEFA Cup 1991–92 First Round
3 Crystal Palace 38 20 9 9 50 41 +9 69
4 Leeds United 38 19 7 12 65 47 +18 64

Source: [40]
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
*Arsenal deducted 2 points, Manchester United deducted 1 point

Round 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
Result W W D D W W D W W W W D W W W D D D W W W D W L W W W D D W W W D D W D W W
Position 1 1 3 5 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Source: [41]
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: D = Draw; L = Loss; W = Win; P = Postponed.

Football League Cup[edit]

Arsenal entered the Football League Cup in the second round, where they were drawn against Chester City in a two-legged tie.

Round Date Opponents Venue Result Score Scorers Attendance Ref
Second round
first leg
25 September 1990 Chester City A W 1–0 Merson 59' 4,135 [42]
Second round
second leg
9 October 1990 Chester City H W 5–0 Groves 10', 26' (2), Smith 41', Adams 67', Merson 83' 22,902 [43]
Third round 30 October 1990 Manchester City A W 2–1 Groves 50', Adams 64' 26,825 [44]
Fourth round 28 November 1990 Manchester United H L 2–6 Smith 48', 68' (2) 40,884 [45]

Colour key: Green = Arsenal win; Yellow = draw; Red = opponents win. Arsenal score ordered first.

Squad statistics[edit]

Arsenal used a total of 19 players during the 1990–91 season and there were nine different goalscorers. There were also two squad members who did not make a first-team appearance in the campaign. Seaman, Winterburn, Dixon and Bould started in all 38 league matches. The team scored a total of 86 goals in all competitions. The top goalscorer was Smith, with 28 goals – 22 of which were scored in the league.

Key

Numbers in parentheses denote appearances as substitute. Players with name struck through and marked Left club during playing season left the club during the playing season.

Pos. Nat. Name League FA Cup League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England David Seaman 38 0 8 0 4 0 50 0
DF England Nigel Winterburn 38 0 8 0 4 0 50 0
DF England Lee Dixon 38 5 8 1 4 0 50 6
DF England Tony Adams 30 1 3 1 4 2 37 4
DF England Steve Bould 38 0 8 0 4 0 50 0
DF England Andy Linighan 7 (3) 0 3 (1) 0 0 0 10 (4) 0
DF Republic of Ireland David O'Leary 11 (10) 1 5 (1) 0 (1) 0 16 (12) 1
DF England Colin Pates (1) 0 0 0 0 0 (1) 0
MF England David Rocastle 13 (3) 2 (1) 0 2 0 15 (4) 2
MF England David Hillier 9 (7) 0 3 (1) 0 2 0 14 (8) 0
MF Sweden Anders Limpar 32 (2) 11 5 2 2 0 39 (2) 13
MF England Paul Davis 36 (1) 3 6 (1) 0 4 0 46 (2) 3
MF England Michael Thomas 27 (4) 2 8 1 4 0 37 (4) 3
MF England Perry Groves 13 (19) 3 3 (1) 0 4 0 20 (20) 0
MF Iceland Sigurður Jónsson 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
FW England Paul Merson 36 (1) 13 8 1 4 2 48 (1) 16
FW England Alan Smith 35 (2) 22 8 2 4 3 47 (2) 27
FW England Kevin Campbell 15 (7) 9 4 (2) 1 (4) 0 19 (13) 10
FW England Andy Cole (1) 0 0 0 0 0 (1) 0

Source: [1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Arsenal first team line up (1990–91)". The Arsenal History. Retrieved 17 February 2013.  Note: Information is in the section 1990–91. Attendances of friendlies not taken into account in average.
  2. ^ "Weekend results and goalscorers". The Times. London. 27 August 1990. p. 22. 
  3. ^ "For the record". The Times. London. 30 August 1990. p. 37. 
  4. ^ "Weekend football results and tables". The Times. London. 3 September 1990. p. 36. 
  5. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 10 September 1990. p. 38. 
  6. ^ "Weekend football results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 17 September 1990. p. 43. 
  7. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 24 September 1990. p. 33. 
  8. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 1 October 1990. p. 36. 
  9. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 8 October 1990. p. 38. 
  10. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 22 October 1990. p. 36. 
  11. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 29 October 1990. p. 36. 
  12. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 5 November 1990. p. 34. 
  13. ^ "Weekend results and tables". The Times. London. 12 November 1990. p. 34. 
  14. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 19 November 1990. p. 34. 
  15. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 26 November 1990. p. 34. 
  16. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 3 December 1990. p. 33. 
  17. ^ "Weekend results, goalscorers and tables". The Times. London. 10 December 1990. p. 36. 
  18. ^ "Football results and tables". The Observer. London. 16 December 1990. p. 20. 
  19. ^ "Weekend results, tables and scorers". The Times. London. 24 December 1990. p. 26. 
  20. ^ "Yesterday's results, tables and goalscorers". The Times. London. 27 December 1990. p. 26. 
  21. ^ "Weekend results, tables and goalscorers". The Times. London. 31 December 1990. p. 28. 
  22. ^ "Yesterday's results, tables and goalscorers". The Times. London. 2 January 1991. p. 21. 
  23. ^ "Weekend results, tables and goalscorers". The Times. London. 14 January 1991. p. 32. 
  24. ^ "Weekend results and tables". The Times. London. 21 January 1991. p. 32. 
  25. ^ "Weekend football results and tables". The Times. London. 4 February 1991. p. 32. 
  26. ^ "Weekend results and tables". The Times. London. 25 February 1991. p. 34. 
  27. ^ "Weekend football results and tables". The Times. London. 4 March 1991. p. 32. 
  28. ^ "Weekend results and tables". The Times. London. 18 March 1991. p. 30. 
  29. ^ "For the record". The Times. London. 21 March 1991. p. 39. 
  30. ^ "Weekend football results and tables". The Times. London. 21 March 1991. p. 32. 
  31. ^ "Weekend football results and tables". The Times. London. 1 April 1991. p. 21. 
  32. ^ "For the record". The Times. London. 4 April 1991. p. 39. 
  33. ^ "Weekend football results and tables". The Times. London. 8 April 1991. p. 32. 
  34. ^ "Last night's results". The Times. London. 10 April 1991. p. 39. 
  35. ^ "Last night's results". The Times. London. 18 April 1991. p. 39. 
  36. ^ "For the record". The Times. London. 24 April 1991. p. 47. 
  37. ^ "Weekend football results and tables". The Times. London. 5 May 1991. p. 26. 
  38. ^ "For the record". The Times. London. 7 May 1991. p. 35. 
  39. ^ "Weekend football results and tables". The Times. London. 13 May 1991. p. 35. 
  40. ^ "English Division One (old) 1990–91". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  41. ^ "Arsenal – 1990–91". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  42. ^ "Last Night's Results". The Times. London. 26 September 1990. p. 43. 
  43. ^ "Last Night's Results". The Times. London. 10 October 1990. p. 47. 
  44. ^ "Last Night's Results". The Times. London. 31 October 1990. p. 43. 
  45. ^ "For the record". The Times. London. 29 November 1990. p. 43. 

External links[edit]