In previous articles we have looked at both Everton and Manchester Utd’s all time best Premier League XI. As it’s another slow news day we’ve decided to take a look at the Arsenal equivalent. Perhaps unsurprisingly, unlike the other two teams we’ve done, no current Arsenal players feature in the team. The highlight of Arsenal’s time in the Premier League is undoubtedly the ‘Invincibles’ season, and a few of the players from that team feature. Here it goes, lining up in the traditional 4-4-2 formation:
GK – David Seaman (1990-2003) – With over 300 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, second only to Ray Parlour, David Seaman has to take the Goalkeeping position in our all star team. Wenger is reportedly very high on Seaman, describing him as one of, if not the best Goalkeepers he has ever worked with. He left on a high note in 2003 captaining the side to a 1-0 win in the FA cup final, remarkably the 1000 match of his career. In the semi-final that year he also made one of the best saves FootballDons have ever seen. Seriously check it out.
RB – Lee Dixon (1988-2002) -We like Lee Dixon. A lot. He doesn’t suit the typical Footballer mould, his Punditry is decent and he seems intelligent. Before his punditry career though, he was a bloody good right back. Himself, Adams, Bould and Winterburn were the mean Arsenal defence of the 90′s, the kind of defence that would crunch anyone and everyone.
CB – Sol Campbell (2001-2006, 2010) – Sol Campbells move to Arsenal in 2001 was one of the most shocking in the last 20 years. He left Tottenham to join their biggest rivals on a free transfer. To rub salt into the wound, he went on to be a key part of the invincibles team, sealing the title with a win at White Hart Lane in 2004. Campbell left in 2006, only to come back in 2010 where he played several times following injuries in defence.
CB – Tony Adams (1983-2002) – When you play for only 1 club in your entire career, you can safely think of yourself as a club hero. When you make over 500 appearances, you can be considered a legend. When the club you captained for many years put up a statue in your honour…that’s cult status right there. Cut this guy open and he bleeds red…one of the true Arsenal greats.
LB – Nigel Winterburn (1987-2000) – He scored surely the best goal ever scored by a left back? You know the one. When Winterburn wasn’t scoring thunderb*stards he was busy being a brilliant left back for Arsenal over a 13 year period at the club. Is it just us or were full-backs better in the 90′s? You had Winterburn, Dixon, Neville and Irwin. Nowadays you’ve got Steven Warnock and Alan Hutton.
RM – Freddie Ljungberg (1998-2007) – As if Ljungberg was still playing for Arsenal up until 2007! A true Arsenal favourite and was recently voted 11th favourite Arsenal of all time on the official Arsenal website. He signed for Arsenal for £3 million after being watched by scouts for over a year. Wenger then finally decided to go ahead with the transfer after watching him in a televised match against England that year. That’s how FootballDons does it scouting for our Football Manager team. (We’ve just signed Alexis Sanchez for our Bolton career).
CM – Patrick Vieira (1996-2005) - Vieiraaaaa wo oh oh Vieiraaaa! What. A. Player. Vieira vs Keane was probably one of the best modern day battles on a football pitch. One that we loved. Full of passion, pain and genuine competitiveness plus proper quality from both players. Vieira similiar to Makelele kinda made his own role. He was the bossman of the middle third. He wasn’t just a house to get past, he was an athlete and very dangerous when going forward. One of the best centre midfielders in the world at his time, a World Cup Winner, European Cup Winner and general Don. Now plying his trade as Board member Don bringing through the next best batch at various clubs including Man City. A true Arsenal legend that will probably never be forgotten.
CM – Emmanuel Petit (1997-2000) - The long haired sidekick of Vieira was a player that went slightly unsung during his career as players around him were the bigger stars of the current side. Petit though was a very decent player. Playing as a holding midfielder alongside another holding midfielder worked very well for the Arsenal side at this time. He distributed the ball very well, broke up play like a trooper and occasionally used his hammer left foot to add to the scoring. A player we rate, and an essential member of one of the best midfield units the Premier League has seen.
LM – Robert Pires (2000-2006) - My mum’s 2nd favourite Arsenal player behind Henry. Why? Probably because he’s French. We’re going to look past that small line of beard under his bottom lip and look at what he brought to Arsenal. He was a class player, pure class. One of the best right footed left wingers at the time, and probably really changed Manager’s thoughts about deploying this system. He wasn’t renowned as a fast winger, but he did have, he used very well. He glided well between the lines of forwards and midfield, cut in consistently well and had a good finish on him. He could come from either wings and was a perfect provider for Henry and others as well as a great contributor. Youtube Pires for Arsenal and you will see exactly why he was such a brilliant player for Arsenal.
STR – Thierry Henry (1999-2007,2012) – Arsenals all time Premier League goalscorer and surely their greatest ever player? FootballDons don’t support Arsenal but we love Henry and everything about him. He gave us a tingling sensation when he did the ‘va va voom’ advert. He made us moan in pleasure when he scored that turn n volley against Utd. Then he gave us goosebumps when he returned to score against Leeds in his second spell at the club. Just an absolute legend.
STR – Dennis Bergkamp (1995-2006) – We’re still not convinced Bergkamp isn’t some sort of wizard. Ever since he scored this, we’ve had our doubts about the human nature of this bloke. One of the most technically gifted players of his generation, thinking back his partnership with Henry was the stuff of dreams. A fitting end to his time at Arsenal was that the first ever game at the Emirates stadium was for his testimonail.