Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are currently winning football matches with the flamboyance and authority of the club’s apex under Arsene Wenger.

Wenger steered the club to stratospheric heights during his lengthy tutelage and, following years of underperformance in the wake of his departure (a decline that began towards the end of his reign), the Gunners have stumbled upon a manager capable of building on Wenger’s unquestionable legacy.

But there was once a time when Arsenal didn’t win with the panache or style of their current iteration. In fact, the Gunners were so boring not so long ago, that supporters even sung in irony to celebrate their dreariness.

Here’s how the ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ chant came about.

One-nil to the Arsenal,
One-nil to the Arsenal,
One-nil to the Arsenal,
One-nil to the Arsenal,
One-nil to the Arsenal!

‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ dates back to the latter stages of George Graham’s tenure as manager at the turn of the 90s. Some believe the chant began amid a 1-0 victory over Manchester City in September 1992, while others suggest it wasn’t until March 1994, when Arsenal took on Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final, that the chant was sung into existence.

Graham’s emphasis upon a stringent defence meant the Gunners weren’t exactly the most free-flowing of sides, and they picked up the knack of winning games by a 1-0 scoreline. The chant has been sung by supporters both in irony and celebration since.

The tune of the chant is Go West by the Village People, first released in 1979. The Pet Shop Boys revived the song at around the time the chant became popularised at Highbury (1992/1993) and it subsequently became a big hit.

The Pet Shop Boys’ version of the song is said to have played at half-time of the aforementioned contest against PSG, in which Arsenal were leading 1-0 thanks to an Ian Wright goal in the first half.

The tune sparked a sequence of ingenuity among the away support as they began to chant ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’. The Gunners won the second leg 1-0 at Highbury before claiming victory in the final by, you guessed it, a 1-0 scoreline.

So, from then on, the chant became firmly embedded in the Gooner psyche.

Credit: 90min.com

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