Arsenals Top Seasons 1990-91 – Our 5th Best

On 6 May 1990, the day he was expected at Heathrow to join his team-mates on an end-of-season tour of Singapore, Tony Adams was uninjured when he crashed his car, but after subsequent breath tests he was charged with reckless driving and driving with excess alcohol, but despite the ruling was told he was free to leave the station. A trial would be arranged and he would be required in court at a later date.

 After the heights and dramatic finish in the 1988-89 season Arsenal were disappointing in 1989-90 finishing just fourth. However in Graham’s mind Arsenal were edging closer to being ready to compete with the best throughout the coming year. In the weeks leading up to the 1990-91 season he added three new players to a squad he believed needed updating. He spent £4 million and purchased QPR goalkeeper David Seaman, Norwich City defender Andy Linighan and Swedish winger Anders Limpar from Cremonese.

Arsenal, were able to kick off their season in style, away at Wimbledon’s Plough Lane, they sauntered to a 3-0 victory, soon to be followed by a 2-0 win at home to Luton. Concerns were raised with successive draws at home to Tottenham and then away at Everton, but they bounced back emphatically when Chelsea arrived at Highbury only to be sent back to South West London on the wrong end of an assertive 4-1 loss. Two more wins were quickly earned, away to Leeds and at home to Norwich, before the unbeaten Arsenal team travelled to Old Trafford.

Arsenal fans had high hopes and confident that their squad, with their very stubborn defence (just four goals against in their opening eight league fixtures) could come away victorious. They did just that but the game had an intensity that was typical of encounters between Manchester United and Arsenal and as the hour mark approached it spilled over into an all out brawl.

Despite both clubs openly admitting their wrongdoing and fining a selection of the players involved, three days after the game the FA fined both teams £50,000 for their misconduct and for their roles in bringing the game into disrepute and both clubs had points deducted. Manchester United was deducted one point while Arsenal were handed a more severe two-point deduction.

Moving on from their success at Old Trafford Arsenal remained unbeaten with 5 wins and 3 draws including the December 15th draw against Wimbledon. Tony Adams drunken driving trial took place at Southend County Court on 19 December 1990.

He was fined £500, had his driving licence revoked for two years, and was sentenced to nine months at Chelmsford Prison; five months suspended for reckless driving and a concurrent three-month sentence for driving with excess alcohol. He was stunned by the verdict. Not once had he actually considered he could end up going to prison. On 18 February Adams’ absence came to an end as he was released from prison, his initial sentence commuted due in large part to his good behaviour while inside.

 In total he missed eight fixtures; draws against Villa and Tottenham, imposing wins against Derby, Sheffield United, Manchester City, Everton, Crystal Palace, and his side’s only loss of the entire league campaign: a tragic 2-1 defeat away at Chelsea.

He made his return to action in front of 7,000 fans at Highbury during a reserve team game against Reading the reception he received from the home fans almost reduced him to tears. After a handful more fitness-finding run-outs he made the team sheet once again, just in time for his team’s trip to Liverpool which ended in a 3 -0 win.

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.

This was a season that was personified by our obdurate defense who only gave up eighteen goals, the lowest against in our history until our 1998/99 team let in only seventeen.

Division One appearances

Seaman 38, Dixon 38, Bould 38, Winterburn 38, Davis 36+1, Merson 36+1, Smith 35+2, Limpar 32+2, Adams 30, Thomas 27+4, Campbell 15+7, Groves 13+19, O’Leary 13+19, Rocastle 13+3, Hillier 9+7, Linighan 7+3, Jonsson 2, Cole +1, Pates +1.

Division One goals

Smith 22, Merson 13, Limpar 11, Campbell 9, Dixon 5, Davis 3, Groves 3, Rocastle 2, Thomas 2, Adams 1, O’Leary 1, own goals 2.

Also that season…

English sides were readmitted to European competition after serving a five-year ban, following the crowd disturbances at Heysel Stadium during the 1985 European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool.

And… John Major succeeded Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in November 1990, bringing to an end her 11 years in office.

Written by GunnerN5


106 Responses to Arsenals Top Seasons 1990-91 – Our 5th Best

  1. chas says:

    Great stuff, GN5, cheers.

    In some ways, 1990/91 is the forgotten season.
    We didn’t win it spectacularly at an opponent’s ground. In fact we won it when not even playing, if I remember rightly.

    Liverpool had to beat Forest in an early kick off to keep the pressure on us playing Man U later in the day. The dippers only drew or lost so we’d won the title before kick off at Highbury.

    The game was played in a party atmosphere as a consequence, with multiple renditions of ♫ ♬” You can stick your two points up your arse”♫ ♬. Happy Days.

    The one defeat to the chavs was disappointing but maybe fate decreed that the unbeaten achievement would keep for a different Arsenal team at a later date. 🙂

  2. LB says:

    Another great read, and what better memories to start a day.

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks GN5, that brought it all back to me ….. In those days the success of the best teams was built on the quality of their defence .. .and we were magnificent in that department. In fact the bones of that defence did go on to have the unbeaten season.

    It was mad that the FA chose to make an example of GG when bungs and brown paper bags were rife in those days …. most notably Brian Clough who was given a pass due to his health. The likes of Venables got off scot free.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    GN5, thank you once again.

    It was a strange season. I attended every home game and a few away fixtures following a team that had heart, passion but little creativity‚ only Limpar and occasionally Merson able to get us truly excited.

    I remember the end of the previous season (89/90), standing on the North Bank singing the praises of John Lukic, angry at the huge sum paid for Seamo but Seaman was a huge signing for us and without question our best GK in my Arsenal years. Back 4 was secure but Back 5 was impregnable.

    We won the title whilst I was watching the Dippers in the Gunners pub.

    Happy days indeed.

  5. RA says:

    Spot on, GN5, a wonderful piece of work, for which many thanks indeed.

    I need to read it 2 or 3 more times to savour it. 😀

  6. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all, thank you for the positive comments.

    The one thing that jumped out at me, although I never mentioned it in the post, was that the only games missed by our famous back 5 were the 8 games when Tony Adams was indisposed. Seaman, Dixon, Bould and Winterburn all played the full 38 games.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Notable that from his Xmas low point TA resurrected his life. Chapeau to him.

    Also, the effectiveness of Alan Smith prior to Wright’s arrival. (could be a post in there)

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Micky Didit is alive and well. Just taking a well-earned AA breather.

  9. chas says:

    He was just bored with me putting up posts every day, that’s all.
    I got the message.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Cobblers. Your posts kept the site alive.

  11. Eddie says:

    what a post!! Just tell the truth GN5 – do you really remember all the facts or did you need a refresher? I did, all I could remember that I voted for John Major, first and last time such horror it was.

    Did TA stop drinking after the prison sentence?

    only 17 goals, bloody hell, and it wasn’t that long ago, just seems like ages

  12. Eddie says:

    the man is weak Raddy. What well deserved rest? Like he got tired of reading or writing?

    He cannot take the heat, that’s all. The club is not doing too well, so he abandons us. The country is in tatters with Russians poisoning people on the streets, the Brexit is bringing economical disaster, we are being watched by Zuckenberg and Didit is relaxing. Relaxing, when the club and the country need him most.

  13. Gööner In Exile says:

    Should have been here sooner, that season are some of my most evocative as a teenage Arsenal fan, as a 14 year old I spent a lot of the season in the heart of the North Bank. (At both Highbury and the Boleyn, my best mate was a Hammer, he came to The Home of Football regurlary too).

    The game against United was an all ticket affair as was from memory the Coventry game.

    That was just me and Dad on the exposed corner of the North Bank. His favourite spot, behind one of the walkway trenches. And United clapped us on to the pitch as Champions as Forest had beaten Liverpool earlier in the day.

    The most memorable moment was the Arsenal fans telling the FA where they could stick their two points 🙂

  14. chas says:

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:


  16. mickydidit89 says:

    Look, to be honest, Erik contacted me yesterday simply to update the dead or alive file. Quite rightly, he wasn’t bothered either way, just that he’s quite control freaky in that dept.

    Anyway, just refreshing batteries. Don’t like international friendlies. Thought I was doing well, until I learnt first game was Stoke. Can’t we extend the interlul and give the fixture a swerve

  17. chas says:

  18. chas says:


  19. chas says:

    Monday’s 6:43 was BR, BR.

  20. mickydidit89 says:


    Ha ha re yesterday 6:12

    Delighted you’re still keeping ahead of current affairs via Breakfast tv news and the Daily Mail 🙂

    Honest though, I’m seriously busy.

  21. chas says:

  22. mickydidit89 says:


    When you “one word me”, My first thought is I’ve cocked up spelling

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Talking of The Weak, Chas, how’s that darts watching Ants fella (aka, joint best dressed man on the blog)

  25. chas says:

    Ants is fine, Micky.
    Looking forward to going down on the train to see Stoke on Sunday. ☺

  26. Eddie says:

    aha, DidIt is back, lovely jubbly

    never read Daily Mail, but I suspect you know that, just your weak revenge for being called feeble 🙂 🙂

  27. Eddie says:

    matchdays would not be the same without photos of Ant on a train turned off licence

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    No darts on telly sunday then 🙂

    Thing that always disappoints me about the whole Ants ‘n Duck stuff is that we follow them keenly as they wade through ponds of cheap alcohol, but never get the images of them being totally….urrr, how do we put this delicately…. cerebally inflamed

  29. Eddie says:

    ey?? what do you mean??
    Are you saying that the photos of C&A that we are seeing are them being stone cold sober?? no fucking way

  30. Eddie says:

    mary says to paddy, “Why is there a lable saying “L” in one of your wellies, and “R” in the other?”

    Paddy says “That’s so I know which way round they go, “L” is for left, and “R” is for right”

    Mary says “Oh, now I know why there’s a label in me knickers saying C & A”

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    So my concern for one of our own is turned into my being a control freak. Bloody typical.

    It is strange that the A&D pics are always pre-game.

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    very good Eddie 🙂

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Passport superb. Wish I had such imagination and the ability to carry a graphic idea to fruition

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    All good Erik, good up to date filing is essential

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Thank you. Not heard that joke since school. Does C & A still exist?

  36. Eddie says:

    only in Poland, Raddy

    old jokes are best 🙂

  37. Eddie says:

    look Didit – you quit smoking, a time consuming hobby. All the time you spent outside puffing on a fag you can dedicate to this side. No excuses

  38. mickydidit89 says:


    Quit the fags, yes, but since then taken up viola, crypto nearly full time and owning a wretched dog!!

    Here’s the rub. I could do all the above while smoking

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Apologies GN5

    Only just read your very fine piece. Many thanks.

    That was my final peak season and the penultimate as a season ticket holder, so holds many fine memories that you bring back to life so eloquently

  40. chas says:

    I have put up photos on previous occasions from our journey home, but they always seem a little incongruous interspersed with every tom mick and barry trying to have their opinion of the game heard (read).

    Before the game no-one gives a shit, because there are so few comments anyway.

  41. GunnerN5 says:


    The Vine travel log is a vital part of our football experience, it does my heart good to see two drunken grown men acting half their age.

    Seriously I, for one, really enjoy being taken along on your journey’s.up and down the country (pubs).

    Plus your morning shows are great to see and incredibly unique.

  42. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well on Sunday I shall have a GiE & G travelogue to compete with the A&D show. Have sorted train plans and all being well should arrive at Fins Park with the little man around 12ish.

    Where is everyone drinking these days…..fruit shoot and bag of crisps for the little chap.

  43. GunnerN5 says:

    That’s super – rival travel logs.

  44. Big Raddy says:

    I expect Ant & Duck will outdrink GIE & G.

  45. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think you may be right BR, especially as I am the only responsible adult there will be no beers on way down 😦

    And I’ll be monitoring the little buggers consumption too because as well as having to watch my language in Family enclosure I am buffered if I am going to be missing half the game with trips to the loos!

  46. chas says:

    The FFB looks favourite at the moment for a pre-match beverage, though with it being an early kick off on a Sunday, it might be a bit problematic.

  47. Eddie says:

    the responsible adult 🙂 does that mean you will not lead the masses walking up to the stadium with your customary ‘Whaddya think of Tottenham?!’

  48. Gööner In Exile says:

    Haha probably not Eddie, don’t want to scar him for life when he hears me bellow that out. Might do Red Army though 🙂

  49. mickydidit89 says:


  50. chas says:

  51. chas says:

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie, Eddie, Eddie…£9M lotto winner…quick…lovely eyes…or su’ink

  53. Eddie says:

    typical man, split from a partner just weeks ago and already advertising himself

  54. Eddie says:

    thank you micky, but I am ok. i am not materialistic. I will wait for you 🙂

    talking about tired – I have been popping sleeping pills for a long time now. But recently I developed some serious side effects, so I had to stop talking these meds. The result – 3 completely sleepless nights, I think I am going to go mad soon

  55. Eddie says:

    not talking, taking. That’s how tired I am. Why are you tiiiiiired?

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    hang on, you’re already waiting for Erik and Chas and Wayne

  57. Eddie says:

    …and dating a lovely man, a Gunner :):) And frankly being happy on my own 🙂

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    anyway Eddie, I think you are being a little harsh on the fat lotto winning skinhead

    He hardly needs to advertise. All he has to do is sign up to one of those meet a hot russki sites and he could land an absolute scorcher. Better still, he could stipulate “speaks no english whatsoever”

  59. Eddie says:

    who speaks no english, him?

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    no, no, in an ideal world her

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Yikes, I feel myself plunging into the soup here

  62. Eddie says:

    i doubt he speaks english, so it might not matter if she is fluent

    Did you lot read about racist abuse in Russia of Dembele and Pogba? And we are going to the capital of scum. No, not N17, worse, bloody Moscow

  63. Eddie says:

    chas, I saw the article about gonorrhea yesterday, but didn’t read it as it is of absolutely no interest to me. Why did YOU think it significant enough to post here?

  64. Eddie says:

    Top scorers in England squad:

    Danny Welbeck (??!!)
    Jamie Vardy
    Ashley Young
    Eric Dier

    God help England

  65. mickydidit89 says:


    Our english god is known to take a fairly dim view of professional sport, so the fa can expect little backing from him this summer

    I tend to sympathise with the almighty on this one

  66. Eddie says:

    I find it very odd. Surely in a country with at least 17 million little Englanders there should be 11 fit footballers

    Mind you, I am not the one to judge, Poland has no chance.

    Neither has Russia with 144 milions.

    And on the subject of Russia – the world had a perfect opportunity to teach Putin a lesson by not going to the world cup. I am truly surprised that all european countries are attending

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    So maybe he doesn’t have lovely eyes. On the other hand, does have…urrr.. nice trees behind him

    ok, must dash.

  68. LB says:

    I can feel Sunday’s pre-match tension building………….

  69. chas says:

    I didn’t read it either.
    Just thought the headline was funny.
    Not something you’d want to be famous for.

    Put it on here so you’d have something to whine about. ☺

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I enjoyed the tribute to Doddy 6.55. I saw him do stand-up and the man was hilarious. 90 minutes of non-stop jokes and one-liners.

    8.17. Eddie the man has it all. Charm, wit, good looks, questionable morality and a stack of money which he will blow in less than 18 months. Surely worth a punt…

  71. Eddie says:

    thanks chas, it’s done the trick

    Raddy – who? DidIt?

    LB 🙂 🙂 tension building 🙂 🙂

  72. Rasp says:

    Morning all … good to have some proper footie to look forward to.

    I’ve been fortunate to source a ticket for Sunday so will be around for a beer and hopefully see GiE and GG’s …. Vines’ and their favourite blogger GoonerB … where does LB drink these days … The Twelve Pins?

  73. Rasp says:

    Arsene’s lost his voice, SB takes the press conference

  74. Rasp says:

    Who knew Steve Bould could speak that well …. top bloke …

  75. GunnerN5 says:

    Bould in training as our next manager?

  76. LB says:


    As I am not a beer drinker so I don’t normally go to a pub. I used to go to the 12 Pins when a game wasn’t on the telly which costs £9 now I think and they give you two coloured tickets to exchange for two drinks.

    I have tried the wine there but the best thing I can say about that is that it was my own fault for ordering it in the first place. So I get a pint of soda water and lime and give the other card away which causes some funny looks. There are a lot of mistrusting people out there.

    Anyway, I am waffling, that said, I like seeing you guys and would join you on Sunday but I am committed to cycling first thing with my usual group of friends in Regents Park and when finished, go straight home and then straight to the game.

    There, you see Eddie, excitement is mounting for Sunday’s must see game……………rolls eyes

  77. LB says:

    Steve Bould has a great smile.

    By the way folks for those who do not know what I look like, Steve Bold is pretty close — although I am not as tall

  78. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha 🙂 tension is becoming unbearable here 🙂

  79. Gööner In Exile says:

    “I have tried the wine there but the best thing I can say about that is that it was my own fault for ordering it in the first place”

    🙂 ahhh wine from a tap or a half opened bottle that has been there since the last time the house red was ordered. You know you are in a proper boozer when it’s that bad and is only palatable as a spritzer

    I’ll go wherever everyone else is so let me know, probably have to leave earlyish for ground unless I decide to carry the little bugger on shoulders.

  80. chas says:

    FFB at the moment, GIE.

  81. chas says:

    Rumour has it that even Fred’s been here but, alas, there have been no confirmed sightings. 🙂

  82. chas says:

    Batshitcrazy ☺

  83. Ant says:

    I can see Fred in the second picture..or is it Saturday night under a plastic palm tree!

  84. Eddie says:

    fred and RA do not exist.

  85. Eddie says:

    what a surprise, the incompetent biased and stupid got found out:

    “There will be no British referee at the World Cup this summer for the first time since 1938.

    Fifa has chosen 36 officials for the tournament in Russia but none from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.”

  86. Eddie says:

    chas, ant, lb, rasp, vp, raddy and didit don’t exist. Obviously.

  87. mickydidit89 says:

    They are all holgrams from the fourth dimension, Eddie

    Except Ant

    And Me

    We are well dressed gentlemen from very much now

  88. Eddie says:

    GN5 – i have just checked Tony Adams. He continued to drink after he was released from prison for 6 more years and until Wenger’s arrival at the club.

    The car TA crashed was a Ford Sierra, that is exactly the car I was driving in the 90s 🙂 And a lovely car it was

  89. Eddie says:

    Chag Sameach and Happy Easter to all !!

  90. Eddie says:

    3D prints 🙂 yes, one couldn’t replicate you or Ant

    micky, what do you make of the australian cricket cheating, it was disgusting, what the hell possessed them to be so fooking obvious and stupid??

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    Time to be frank, Eddie. I care less about cricket than I do fake Russia news 🙂

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Are we expecting our superstars to star on Sunday?

  93. mickydidit89 says:

    “star” works, but I meant start

  94. Eddie says:

    i don’t give a damn about cricket, you are right, why should I?

    I am going to miss the game and I am strangely not bothered. What superstars – Ozil and…?

  95. chas says:

    Anyone fancy a ‘new’ old post?

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    Not really 🙂

    But, defy me, Chas

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    The important game is thursday, but I don’t suppose Arsene will give up on top half of the league until it’s mathematically impossible

  98. chas says:

    More to turn a page than anything.


  99. mickydidit89 says:


    Of course if you really feel the urge then all i’d say would be only draw from the Rocky or Dandan files

  100. chas says:

    Is what you’re really mean?…….. ‘don’t pick one of mine’ 🙂

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