Posted on Saturday, 25th September 2010 by Tony Merakli
Here is my all-time Arsenal XI
David Seaman (Goalkeeper)
David Seaman was arguably one of, if not, the best ever goalkeepers in Arsenal’s history and English football. The Englishman was bought to the club by George Graham for a fee of £1.3 million (a record British signing for a goalkeeper at the time) in 1990. Seaman spent 13 years at Arsenal where he made a total of 478 appearances and holds the current clean sheet record in the Premier League with 130. The former England international was also named in the team of the decade (from 1992/3-2001/2) and holds 75 caps for his country, which makes him England’s second-most capped keeper behind Peter Shilton. David Seaman managed to pick up 9 trophies whilst at Arsenal, which includes 3 First Division/Premier League titles and 4 F.A. Cups. The 6’ 3’’ shot-stopper became widely known around the world and enhanced his skills and reputation whilst at the North London club until 2003 when he left for Manchester City. David Seaman was one of the Premier Leagues finest goalkeepers alongside Peter Schmeichel and without a doubt deserves his place in my all-time XI.
Ashley Cole (Left-Back)
Although he may be hated by the Arsenal faithful these days, Ashley Cole still remains one of the clubs best full-backs, ahead of Kenny Sansom and Nigel Winterburn in some fans eyes. I was really torn as to whom to put down in this position, but considering impact, skill and movement Ashley Cole does rank higher amongst the other two contenders. Ashley Cole was arguably one of the brightest English players to ever come out of the famous Arsenal youth academy, who adapted well to the Arsenal first-team and made the full-back position his own. Cole possessed great pace, movement as well as attacking prowess, and actually revolutionized the full-back position for aspiring players in the designated role. The past full-backs at the North London club didn’t push up as much, yet Cole was able to attack and defend to the same capacity. The England international signed his first professional contract in November 1999 and spent 7 years at Arsenal enhancing his abilities. Cole made a total of 224 appearances for the Gunners and managed to bag 9 goals along the way. The speedy full-back picked up 2 Premier League titles and 3 F.A. Cups and was apart of ‘The Invincibles’ in the 2003/04 season. A great player for the club…it’s just a shame he didn’t stay longer and left in the way he did.
Tony Adams (Centre-Back)
Mr. Arsenal himself, Tony Adams epitomized what a centre-back was all about, strong, dedicated and vigorous. The famous Arsenal no.6 spent his entire 19 year career at the North London club where he made an outstanding 672 appearances for the Gunners and netted 48 goals as well. At the tender age of 18, Adams became a regular starter for the Gunners from the 1985/86 season onwards. Along with Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon and Steve Bould, Tony Adams was part of the ‘famous four’ that lined up in the Arsenal defence…probably the most famous back line in the English game. In 1988 he became the clubs captain and remained it until his retirement in 2001. The resolute defender captained his beloved Arsenal to 4 Premier League titles (2 First Division titles), 3 F.A. Cups, 3 League Cups and a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1993/94 season. Arguably Arsenal’s best ever defender, hence why all the clubs fans refer to him as Mr. Arsenal.
Sol Campbell (Centre-Back)
The Sol man had to be in the line-up purely for the fact that the Englishman was a beast of a defender in the Arsenal back-line. Arsenal brought in the former Spurs player in 2001 and was arguably one of the most controversial transfers in the history of the Premier League, but what a decision it was from Mr. Wenger. Campbell was an absolute rock in the Arsenal defence and was voted by tens of thousands of fans worldwide as the 15th greatest Arsenal player of all-time. The 6’ 2’’ defender spent 5 years at Arsenal from 2001 to 2006, where he picked up 2 Premier League titles, 3 F.A. Cups and was apart of the invincible side in the 2003/04 season and was also in the team who took part in the clubs only Champions League final. Sol Campbell resigned for Arsenal in January 2009 and proved to doubters that the Englishman can still cut it in the top-flight. Campbell has made 209 appearances for the club and also netted 10 goals as well, not bad for a centre-back. A real rock of a defender, and it was a shame him and Adams were not in the same Arsenal line-up, I don’t think they would have conceded a goal! Ok that maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but still what a force that would have been.
Traditionally Lauren was a right sided-midfielder but When Wenger acquired him in the summer of 2000, the Frenchman thought it would be best to convert the former Cameroonian international into a right full-back. Wenger’s decision proved to be a first-rate one as Lauren went onto to become one of the clubs best in the designated position…certainly the best foreign player to play in the specified slot. The Cameroonian was a consistent performer, who possessed good pace, stamina and agility and proved to be an intricate part of ‘The Invincibles’ in the 2003/04 season. Lauren spent 7 years modelling the Arsenal shirt where he made a total of 238 appearances for the Gunners. The tenacious right-back managed to pick up 4 major trophies (2 Premier League titles and 3 F.A. Cups) and was also a crowd favourite. Without a doubt, his consistency and determination eclipsed the likes of current Arsenal full-backs Emmanuel Eboue and Bacary Sagna. Lauren was the best foreign player ever to play in the Lee Dixon and Pat Rice role.
Tags: Adams, Arsenal, Ashley Cole, Bergkamp, Campbell, Cesc Fabregas, Cole, David Rocastle, David Seaman, Dennis Bergkamp, Emirates Stadium, England, Fabregas, George Graham, Henry, Kenny Sansom, Lauren, Nigel Winterburn, Patrick Vieira, Pires, Premier League, Robert Pires, Rocastle, Seaman, Sol Campbell, Thierry Henry, Tony Adams, Vieira, Wenger
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