UK Football Team - Arsenal FC 1989

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. 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. 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. y 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.

The year ended with a 3–0 win at Aston Villa and Arsenal were now top of the league on goal difference. 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. 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. 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. Wacth this historic goal :

And now have a look of all the Gunner players in the Panini Book of the 1988-89 season with the original comments

Manager. Former Arsenal, Villa, Chelsea, Manchester United and Portsmouth player who took over at Highbury in 1986 after four years in charge at Millwall. Was nick-named "Stroller" in his playing days.

Goalkeeper. Born Chesterfield. Joined the Gunners from Leeds in 1983 and became the regular first-choice keeper in succession to Pat Jennings. Former Under-21 England International.

Defender. Born London. Tall central defender and former Highbury apprentice who made his league debut against Sunderland in 1985 and is already a regular choice for club and country.

Born Stoke. Made his League debut for Stoke City in september 1981 and soon settled into the first team, clocking up nearly 200 League games before joining Arsenal in 1988. (More stickers of Steve BOULD)

Defender. Born Manchester. Full-back who made his league bow for Burnley against QPR in may 1983 and later played for Chester, Bury ans Stoke before joining Arsenal in January 1988

Defender. Born Nuneaton. Was on the books of Birmingham and Oxford before making his league debut for Wimbledon in 1983. Spent four seasons at Plough Lane before signing for Arsenal in 1987.

Michael THOMAS
Defender. Born Lambeth. Another product of the Highbuty youth scheme who made his first laeague appearance in 1987 and is now a regular member of the squad. Has also played on loan for Portsmouth.

Midfield. Born London. Cultured midfielder who made his league debut for Arsenal againstSPurs in April 1980 and has since clocked up over 250 League apperances. Widely tipped for a full England cap.

Midfield. Born Seaham Harbour. Snapped up by Arsenal from Sheffield Wesnesday just before the 1988 transfer deadline, having started his career with Hull City. Nearly 300 League appearances in total.

Midifeld. Born Newcastle. Tricky midfielder who served his apprenticeship at Goodison Park and made over 100 league appearances there before moving to Watford in 1986 and on to Highbury a year later.

Midfield/Forward. Born Lewisham. Brilliant attacking midifelder known affectionately by the Noth Banks as "Rocky", this former Highbury apprentice is surely on the verge of full England honours.

Forward. Born London. Promising young striker who made his League bow in November 1986 and was given his chance as the first choice partner for Alan Smith at the start of the 1988-89 season.

Forward. Born Birmingham. Earned a reputation as a prolific goalscorer during five seasons at Leicester, netting 76 times in 200 League games, and joined Arsenal in summer of 1987.

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