As the Premier League kicks off its 2023/24 season, Arsenal find themselves in a familiar yet invigorating position: starting their campaign in front of their passionate supporters against Nottingham Forest. With the exhilaration of a new season building up, let’s delve into the historical performance of the Gunners on their opening matchdays:
Tradition of Performance: Arsenal’s journey through 119 opening games of various league seasons has yielded a record of 55 wins, 23 draws, and 41 losses. Notably, an intriguing pattern emerges: the club has never clinched the league title after a loss in the inaugural game.
- Goals Galore: As the team steps into this season’s opener, they stand at the brink of netting their 200th goal in opening games. This milestone, however, contrasts with the 168 goals conceded during the same period.
- Home Advantage: The upcoming match marks a return to Arsenal’s traditional starting ground. Throughout the club’s history, they have launched the season at home more often than not, with 67 home games versus 52 away. This pattern experienced a sequence of seven consecutive home starts before the recent string of four away matches.
- Premier League Presence: As the Premier League embarks on its 32nd season, the North London outfit’s unbroken presence means they have played 31 times on the competition’s opening weekend. This impressive record boasts 17 wins and six draws, reflecting an average of 1.84 points per game since the division’s inception in 1992—surpassing the overall average of 1.58.
- Premier League’s London Welcome: The 2023/24 season continues the Reds’ trend of beginning Premier League campaigns with London-based matches. Saturday’s showdown against Nottingham Forest marks the 11th instance in the last 12 seasons that Arsenal has commenced its journey within the confines of London.
🤩 Record-breakers on Merseyside
❤️ Dennis at the double
🤯 Seven-goal thriller
📚 Six classic @PremierLeague openers to whet your appetite ahead of the new season 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 10, 2023
- Omen of Drawn Openers: Arsenal’s opening day draws have historically foreshadowed commendable campaigns. The six seasons that started with a stalemate have culminated in an average finishing position of 3.5 in the league table—a trend that seemingly bodes well for consistent performances.
- Prominent Scorer on Debut: Dennis Bergkamp boasts the title of Arsenal’s top scorer on Premier League opening days, having netted five goals. Thierry Henry trails closely, with four of his goals serving as the club’s inaugural strike in four out of five seasons from 2001/02 to 2005/06.
- Record Holders: The club’s highest-scoring opening day occurred in August 2009, with a resounding 6-1 victory against Everton at Goodison Park. Impressively, the Merseyside club is the opponent the Gunners have faced the most often on opening days, securing victories in all three encounters.
- Uniqueness in Lacazette: Alexandre Lacazette occupies a special niche in history, being the sole player to have opened two consecutive Premier League seasons with the first goals—a remarkable feat.
- Nottingham Forest Connection: Arsenal’s meeting with Nottingham Forest on the opening day evokes memories of a 1998 encounter. Following a successful Charity/Community Shield campaign at Wembley, the Reds’ Double-winning squad secured a 2-1 victory through goals by Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars.
As the anticipation mounts and the Emirates Stadium reverberates with hope, Arsenal’s opening day legacy underscores the rich history and captivating narratives woven into each new Premier League season. I think the team is ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
This season could be one of the best ever!
Writer – Yash Bisht
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