My Arsenal Best XI
So Arsene is well under way with building his new-look Arsenal side, full of style, creativity and passing supremacy. The Gunners have enjoyed a much better start to the season compared to last and the promotion of Steve Bould has added an extra dimension to the Arsenal side.
They are much stronger defensively and are very much enjoying their attacking creativity. But who are the best players for me, in my years of supporting the Gunners to have ever put on the famous shirt?
This is my Best XI based upon the players of my era. The men that have played for Arsenal during my time as a supporter. Of course this is subjective, so please don’t bother with, ‘Are you mad’ type responses. Perhaps instead leave your Best XI and remember: the team MUST be comprised of players from your era as an actual supporter and this is NOT repeat NOT an all-time top ten.
- Goalkeeper – David Seaman
Who else? The safest pair of hands. Arsenal have failed to find a replacement ever since the pony-tailed keeper from Rotherham hung-up his gloves. Many have come and gone, but no-one has come near Seaman. Thirteen years as Arsenal’s number one and 75 England caps under his belt, Seaman would win three league titles, four FA cups, League Cup and the Cup Winners Cup. Seaman was an excellent shot-stopper and always dominated his area.
- Left-back – Ashley Cole
Still leaves a bitter taste, but no doubt one of the best left-backs for the Gunners. Cole was blessed with an abundance of pace and was a fantastic crosser of the ball. He built a formidable partnership with Robert Pires on the left and picked up two league titles and three FA cups. Cole was part of the double winning side of 2002 and also the invincibles of 2004. Once again he is yet to be replaced. Gael Clichy came close to but eventually made the move to the Etihad.
- Centre-back – Tony Adams
He had his well-documented personal troubles off the field, but Tony Adams was arguably the best centre-back to play in famous red and white. Affectionately known as ‘Mr Arsenal,’ Adams was made club captain at the age of 21 and would remain so for another 14 years until his retirement in 2002. His presence on the football field was immense. Adams was an absolute master when it came to tackling and formed formidable partnerships with Bould, Keown and Campbell. Adams will forever remain in the hearts of all Arsenal fans.
- Centre-back – Sol Campbell
A difficult choice with the calibre of defenders to play alongside Adams, but for me it has to be Sol. Campbell was strong and dominant. He was powerful in the air and was a real class act for the Gunners. He is also one of very few England players to be named in an All Star World Cup XI. Also someone who scored a few important goals (against Barcelona in the Champions League) Campbell was simply brilliant.
- Right-back – Lee Dixon
Arsene Wenger inherited one of the best right-backs to play for Arsenal. He was part of the famous back four along with Adams, Winterburn and Bould and has four league titles, three FA cups, a League Cup and the Cup Winners Cup to his name. He was a fantastic crosser of the ball and certainly one of the most reliable players to play for Arsenal.
- Left-wing – Robert Pires
Of course. Cool and classy, Bobby would dazzle his opponents and was truly class. Part of the invincibles, Pires was deadly with the ball at his feet and formed an unstoppable bond with Thierry Henry.
- Centre-midfield – Patrick Vieira
A fantastic player. A fantastic captain. A bargain at £3.5 million, Vieira would go on to become an Arsenal legend. Tall and strong, Vieira was one of the most assured players on the ball and has passing to suit. He captained and guided the invincibles and was the last captain to lift a trophy for the Gunners after scoring the penalty against United. His legendary tunnel bust-ups with Roy Keane, further endeared him to the Arsenal fans.
- Centre-midfield – Cesc Fabregas
The young boy from Barcelona who came to replace Vieira. The Catalan-born midfielder is a sublime passer of a football, has excellent vision and am absolute genius at times. Add to that a World Cup and European Championship at such a young age and you can see why he is so highly regarded.
- Right-wing – Freddie Ljungberg
Fantastic player and a great eye for goal. Scored on his debut against United, which will always go down well with the Arsenal faithful. He was no doubt a fan’s favourite.
- Striker – Thierry Henry.
What a legend. Arsenal’s record goalscorer too. Insane speed to go with his finishing ability, Henry would be a pick for any Arsenal fan. He would probably make many people’s all-time Premier League XI too. Pure class, with every type of finish in his locker, what an eight years Henry enjoyed in North London.
- Striker – Dennis Bergkamp
An absolute master with a football. Cheeky, delicate, sublime. The Dutchman was sheer class. Memorable goals include his exquistite finish against Newcastle and his hat-trick against Leicester. And who can forget his ridiculous goal for Holland against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup. One of the most gifted players ever. What a hero.