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Football Reporting


What is Arsenal’s worst-ever Premier League finish?

The Gunners have struggled in recent years, but when was their worst season? Goal takes a look

The 2020-21 season saw Arsenal set an unenviable record as they got off to their worst-ever start to a Premier League season.

Mikel Arteta’s side lost five and drew one of their opening 10 games, gathering just 13 points, and their form heading into the turn of the year prompted much concern among the Gunners faithful.

They suffered disappointing losses to the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and arch-rivals Tottenham, as well as defeat to teams such as Wolves and Burnley, who they would ordinarily be expected to beat.

Words like “crisis” and “meltdown” have been used to describe the situation in north London, while doomsayers are even panicking about potential relegation form.

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So, with anything possible, Goal brings you a reminder of Arsenal’s worst-ever Premier League finish.

What is Arsenal’s worst-ever Premier League finish?

Arsenal’s worst-ever Premier League finish (since 1992-93) came in the 1994-95 season when they ended the campaign in 12th place in the division.

It was the season which spelled the end of George Graham’s tenure as Gunners boss as he was relieved of his position in February after a terrible start in which they lost four and drew two of their first 10 games.

Their form in the league never really recovered as they managed just 13 victories all season, losing 17 matches and drawing 12 in the 42-game campaign.

That year, Arsenal also suffered defeat in the UEFA Super Cup, succumbing to AC Milan – and while they reached the final of the Cup Winners Cup, they were beaten by Real Zaragoza.

Arsenal’s finish in 1994-95 PL season

Pos. Team P W D L GD Pts
10 So’ton 42 12 18 12 -2 54
11 Chelsea 42 13 15 14 -5 54
12 Arsenal 42 13 12 17 +3 51
13 Sheff. Wed. 42 13 12 17 -8 51
14 West Ham 42 13 11 18 -4 50

It truly was a season to forget as they were eliminated from the FA Cup at the first hurdle, going down to Millwall in a replay, and they were knocked out of the League Cup – then the Coca-Cola Cup – by Liverpool.

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Prior to 1994-95, their 10th-place finish in the 1992-93 season – the first year of the Premier League as we know it – was Arsenal’s worst performance in the competition.

After the 1994-95 campaign, Arsenal went 22 seasons without finishing lower than fifth in the Premier League, with Arsene Wenger ushering in an era of success. 

However, things have been in gradual decline since the tail-end of Wenger’s tenure. Their sixth-place finish in 2017-18 was a low point in the modern era and it was the final year of the French coach’s stewardship.

That disappointment was then eclipsed by their eight-place finish in 2019-20, a season in which the only sheen came in the form of a successful FA Cup campaign.

When was the last time Arsenal were relegated?

Arsenal have never been relegated from the Premier League, but they have been relegated from England‘s top tier. However, it happened at the beginning of the 20th century, during the 1912-13 season.

Then known as Woolwich Arsenal, they spent two seasons in the Second Division before football was officially postponed in England following the outbreak of World War I.

Interestingly, the Gunners were promoted to the First Division when football resumed in 1919-20, despite the fact that they had finished fifth in the Second Division back in 1914-15.

They were promoted to the new league along with Derby County and Preston North End, leapfrogging Barnsley and Wolves, who both finished ahead of them in third and fourth.

In the Premier League era, the Gunners have never really come close to relegation, though it is true that they were only six points from safety in their worst-ever season in the competition, back in 1994-95.

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Arsenal posted a total of 51 points in that season and Crystal Palace were relegated with 45 points.

The 1994-95 campaign remains the only season in which the Gunners finished in the bottom half of the table.

Before the low point of the mid-nineties, the closest Arsenal came to relegation was 20 years earlier, in the mid-seventies, finishing 16th in 1974-75 and 17th in 1975-76.

They were four points from safety in 1974-75 when they ended up in 16th place and six points from relegation in 1975-76 – notably, the same margin as in 1994-95 – when they finished 17th.

Read more about the last time Arsenal were relegated here.

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