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The Top 10 Football Teams in London
For those interested in football in London, there is plenty to see. Just to clarify for any non-UK readers of this article, soccer means “the beautiful game” which is commonly called soccer around the world.
London has a proud tradition of famous football teams with great competition to become the best club. There are generally four or five London teams in the Premier League and there are many commentators who believe this is one of the biggest obstacles to any of them winning the league. A ‘local derby’ between two London football teams could create an electrifying atmosphere and turn current form on its head.
Premier League tickets are sometimes difficult to come by, but a little persistence often pays off. There are a number of travel agencies that can get them for a price.
In the last decade, both Arsenal and Chelsea have won the prestigious Premier League title twice and reached the final of the European Cup.
Here are some details about the top 10 football clubs in London and to avoid accusations of partisanship they are listed in alphabetical order:-
The Gunners, Arsenal have played in the top division of English football in consecutive seasons since the 1919–20 season. They were champions on 13 occasions and achieved a unique record in the modern era in 2003–04 when they went an entire season unbeaten.
Arsenal won the coveted ‘double’ (winning the league and cup in the same season) three times, in 1971, 1998 and 2002
In recent years they have moved to a new venue, The Emirates Stadium, with a capacity of 60,000. The Arsenal Museum is well worth a visit and is open every day.
The Bees Football Club, Brentford currently play in the Football League I. They were founded in 1889 and have played their home games at their home stadium, Griffin Park, since 1904. Brentford’s most successful spell came in the 1930s when they placed in the in the first six places in a row. first division.
Since the war they have spent most of their time in the third and fourth tiers of English football. Brentford were FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions and were runners-up in the Football League Trophy twice.
Addicks, Charlton Athletic have seen better days. The halcyon days were in the 1930s and 1940s. They have struggled in recent years after being relegated from the Premier League in 2005 and then from the Championship in 2008.
They play in The Valley south of the River Thames in Greenwich. The club was founded in 1905.
Charlton’s most successful periods historically were the 1930s, when the club’s highest league finishes were recorded, including runners-up in the league in 1937, and after the Second World War, when the club reached the FA Cup final twice, winning in 1947.
Pensioners or Blues Football Club, Chelsea was founded in 1905 and plays in the Premier League. Chelsea were champions three times (1955, 2005, 2006) and won the FA Cup five times, the League Cup four times and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup twice. In 2008, they reached the final of the UEFA Champions League
Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge in West London and their ground capacity is 42,000. The Chelsea Museum is open most days and is well worth a visit for those interested in museums and football history.
Eagles Football Club, Crystal Palace was founded in 1905. The team plays its home games at Selhurst Park, where it has been based since 1924. The club currently competes in the second tier, The Championship.
Crystal Palace’s last successful spell began in 1988-89 when the club finished third in the Second Division and were promoted to the First Division. Reaching the FA Cup Final in 1990, only to lose the replay against Manchester United and finish 3rd in the First Division in 1990-91.
Since then, Palace have been relegated and promoted to the FA Premier League several times, their last relegation from the top flight being in the 2004–05 season. All this despite the club almost going bankrupt in July 2000.
The Cottagers Football Club, Fulham was founded in 1879, celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2004 and is in the top tier of English football, the Premier League. Fulham is the oldest professional football team in London.
In 2009, Fulham achieved their highest ever Premier League finish when they qualified for Europe in 7th place.
The club produced many great British footballers including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and Alan Mullery and Jim Langley. They play at historic Craven Cottage, their home since 1896, on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham.
Queens Park Rangers
The Hoops or just QPR, Queens Park Rangers Football Club based in Shepherd’s Bush, West London. They currently play in the Football League Championship and their honors include winning the League Cup in 1967 and finishing as runners-up in the old First Division in 1975-76 and the FA Cup in 1982.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club was founded in 1882 and its traditional colors are blue and white. Due to their proximity to other West London clubs, QPR maintain a long-standing rivalry with several other clubs in the area, most notably Chelsea, Brentford and Fulham, with whom they compete in a derby known as the West London.
In 2007, QPR was taken over by Italian tycoon Flavio Briatore and became one of the 10 richest sports clubs in the world. Other major shareholders include Lakshmi Mittal and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. So watch this space!
The famous ‘Spurs’ side of 1961 is still regarded by many football enthusiasts as one of the best football teams in the history of English football. They achieved a ‘double’ which at the time had not been achieved since Aston Villa won it in 1897.
That has given recent Spurs teams a lot to catch up on. But Spurs have a long tradition of playing good football, so there are plenty of exciting games at White Hart Lane, especially with their close north London rivals Arsenal.
In 1963, Spurs became the first British club to win Europe’s major trophy, the European Cup Winners’ Cup. In the 1970s, they won the Football League Cup twice and were the inaugural UEFA Cup winners in 1972. In the 1980s, Spurs won several trophies: the FA Cup twice, the FA Community Shield and the 1983-84 UEFA Cup. They won the FA Cup and the Football League Cup in the 1990s and beat Chelsea in the 2008 Football League Cup final. The win means Tottenham have won the trophy in each of the last six decades – a feat matched only by Manchester United.
Spurs plan to have the new stadium completed by 2012 and it is expected to be one of the best stadiums in the UK.
Hornets Football Club, Watford based in Watford, Hertfordshire. They are playing for the championship. The club was founded in 1881 and played at several grounds before moving to a permanent location on Vicarage Road in 1922, where they remain to this day. They have shared the stadium with Saracens Rugby Club since 1997. Watford have a long-standing rivalry with Luton Town.
The club is best known for two spells under former England manager Graham Taylor. The first lasted from 1977 to 1987, when the club rose to the old First Division from the Fourth Division. Once in the top division of English football, Watford finished second in the league in 1983, reached the FA Cup final in 1984 and competed in the UEFA Cup in the 1984–85 season.
The second period ran from 1997 to 2001, with Taylor taking the club from the rebranded Second Division to the Premier League in consecutive seasons. Taylor is currently the club’s non-executive director and honorary life president, along with Sir Elton John, who owned the club during both of these eras and continued his long association with the club.
West Ham United
The Hammers, West Ham United Football Club have played at Upton Park (Boleyn Ground), East London since 1904 when they were founded in 1895.
They featured in the first FA Cup final held at Wembley in 1923 against Bolton Wanderers. The club won the FA Cup three times: in 1964, 1975 and 1980. They also finished as runners-up twice, in 1923 and 2006.
In 1965 they won the European Cup Winners’ Cup and in 1999 they won the InterToto Cup.
Their players are considered to be an important factor behind England’s 1966 World Cup triumph as England’s captain at the time was West Ham’s Bobby Moore and both goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters were West Ham players.
West Ham currently compete in the Premier League, their highest Premier League finish was 5th in 1998–99.
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