The Noughties - the great and the good
It's been a hell of a decade for the Gunners, with highs and lows that make the game so entertaining. Saying farewell to Highbury, moving into a new stadium, the Invincibles season, reaching our first Champions League final and the emergence of a new era of players and goodbye to some old friends.
Here at Arsenal Addict, we're commemorating the end of the first decade of the new century by giving our own take on the best and worst we've experienced over the past ten years.
Today, we select our Favourite Moments of the past 10 years
1. Farewell to Highbury. Winning our final home game against Wigan may not be as glorious to some, but it was such a memorable occasion for so many reasons. A game we expected to win took twist after twist and the fact that T*tt*nh*m lost as well, gifting us the final Champions League spot after an indifferent campaign made it all the sweeter. As expected, Arsenal put on a fantastic show to say goodbye to the old stadium and start a new chapter in the club's history.
2. We won the league at Wh*te H*rt L*ne. Forget the fact that Jens Lehmann lost his head and somehow the home side drew level and danced as if they had won the title. For the second time in our history, Arsenal won the league at the home of our nearest and dearest neighbours. Doesn't get much better than that.
3. We won the league in Manchester. It was all set up nicely - but we hardly dominated against a United side who were desperate to stop us winning the title at their place. Cue Freddie Ljungberg getting behind the defence, his shot parried by Fabien Barthez and Sylvain Wiltord wrote his name in Arsenal folklore.
4. Theirry Henry at the Bernabeu. Winning at Real Madrid is a big ask for any side, but Arsenal were such heavy underdogs that it seemed we should be focused on damage limitation. Mathieu Flamini at left back and Phil Senderos in the middle - could we repel the might of the most successful side in European Cup/Champions League history? One of Theirry Henry's greatest ever goals and a fantastic rearguard action saw us win and take a slender lead back to Highbury.
5. Cardiff 2002. The first all-London FA Cup final for 20 years, Manu Petit facing his old team and as hard to call a final as it gets. 'It's only Ray Parlour' said a hapless Tim Lovejoy as Pele from Romford lashed one into the top corner. Freddie's second after running from within his own half and the cup was ours...
6. Jens Lehmann saves Juan Roman Riquelem penalty. Going back to Spain and on the verge of a first Champions League final, the last thing we needed was to concede a last minute penalty. Up stepped the player of the tie, Riquelme, only for Big Jens to read the spot kick and send us to Paris.
7. Cardiff 2005 - daylight robbery. Winning a trophy through mesmeric football is always the ideal, but to win it on penalties against our arch rivals after being battered for 120 minutes and deserving nothing for our lack of adventure, well that's just priceless. Poor old M*nure...
1. The Invincibles season 2003/04. Winning the league without losing a single game was unprecedented and the team that Arsene Wenger guided to the league was arguably his best with Thierry Henry being in the best form of his career and Arsenal fans knowing that if you were even a few minutes late for kick off they were likely to miss a goal.
2. Paris, May 2006. We may have returned empty handed from the club's first Champions League final three years ago, but the achievement in reaching that final was fantastic and the sheer ecstasy I got from Jens Lehmann's penalty save in the last minute of the semi against Villareal and Sol Campbell's strike in Paris will live long in the memory.
3. Highbury, November 2002. Another North London derby another win for the Arsenal, but what made this one so special was Thierry Henry's solo run from deep in his own half, speeding past a mesmerised Spuds defence before hammering the ball low into the net at the old North Bank end. His celebration took him back across the half way line, sliding on his knees in front of the away fans as if to say 'That's the difference between the clubs - sheer class!' I'm lucky enough to have the photo of Henry's celebration, signed by the great man and it's among my most cherished possessions.
4. Highbury, May 2005. My favourite player to ever wear the Arsenal strip is Dennis Bergkamp and one of my fondest memories of him was a game against Everton where he orchestrated a 7-0 victory. I was in the box next to the one occupied by Bergkamp's family and as he notched a goal himself and had 30,000-plus Gooners begging the club to give the maestro "One more year" it was great to see his wife and kids joining in with all the Arsenal songs.
5. Milan, March 2008. Arsenal became the first English club ever to beat AC Milan at the San Siro courtesy of a superb long range strike by Cesc Fabregas and a late second from Emmanuel Adebayor to win the club a place in the semi final of the Champions League. The manner of the victory was more pleasing than the scoreline as the Gunners outplayed and outclassed the ageing Italian champions.
6. Emirates Stadium, July 2006. Arsenal bid farewell to the Home of Football, Highbury and opened their brand new state-of-the-art Emirates Stadium with a testimonial game for Dennis Bergkamp - probably the best player ever to grace British football. Ajax were the obvious opposition but the legends who graced the pitch including Johan Cruyff, Frank Rijkaard and Marco Van Basten said it all about a man who helped transform the game as we know it in this country.
7. Charlton, September 2006. There are moments in football that just place you in the right place at the right time. Charlton had taken the lead in this game at the Valley before RvP had restored parity. But his second goal is amongst the best I've ever seen. A seemingly impossibly high cross was met by van Persie on the edge of the area and I was standing with a mate half way up the terracing. RvP's strike initially started heading directly for us, prompting some protective gestures, but mid-way through its trajectory, the ball dipped and almost broke the back of the Charlton net to hand us a vital victory and ensure that I could barely speak I was so hoarse for the next 48 hours. Brilliance!
What do you think? What rank as your favourite moments as a Gooner?
Let us know in the comments section below.