Today’s Arsenal players are a soft bunch of wallies ain’t they? Gone are the days when you had to be a right proper mental geezer to play for the Arsenal. Tough tackling, dodgy dealing, drug taking, prostitution, demolition derby driving, it’s all here as we look through the rogues gallery of The Gunners top 5 proper rotters!
5. Patrick Vieira – One of the many French players to fall in the bizarrely large category of oddly aggressive French blokes, Vieira was an on the pitch rotter of the Midfield General variety before Arsene Wenger decided tackling was ruining all the fun. Still remembered fondly by feud aficionados for his long standing Battle Royal with Roy Keane, and his instigation of the Battle of Old Trafford skirmishes by trying to kick Ruud van Nistelrooy in the groin. 10 Premiership red cards stands as an impressive legacy to his on field rottenness.
4. Paul Merson – Loveable tooth spraying Merse was a right rotter in his time. Not of the hard man “bites your legs” variety, but of the soft man “takes all your coke and booze and then scampers off to get paralytic in a cupboard somewhere with them” variety.
3. George Graham – A tough tackling, uncompromising midfielder for the Arsenal in his playing days, George became known for his stingy style as a manager, eking out 1-0 wins with his dreaded famous four backline of Adams, Bould, Winterburn and Dixon, and their party piece offside trap routine. It’s a reputation that continued off the pitch and he was sacked in 1994 after it was revealed he’d illegally accepted £425,000 from an Agent following the transfer of John Jensen Pål Lydersen. Bungy Graham was banned by the FA for a year to wander television studios and think about what he’d done.
2. Tony Adams – Combined being a hard man to best on the pitch, with being a hard man to drink under the table – or avoid on the road – off it. Even now it looks like Ol’ Tone might be missing a few brain cells from his heavy drinking days. Frequently involved in nightclub tear ups he was banged up in 1990 for drink driving himself into a wall. He eventually overcame his addiction by attempting to learn the piano. Even now the sound of chopsticks reduces Mrs. Adams to tears.
1. Peter Storey – A great advocator of the two footed tackle, something that would no doubt fill the current Arsenal manager with pride, At first a full back and then a defensive midfielder, after he worked out he could hurt more people if he was in the middle of the pitch, Storey was a consistent offender both in and away from football. In 1979 he was fined by the Old Bill for running a brothel and spent a fair amount of time banged up during the 80s for a string of offences, which included counterfeiting coins, stealing cars and illegally importing porn. Now that’s a proper rotten rotter son! He ran a pub called the Nag’s Head post retirement but now lives on a farm, slightly dampening his rotter reputation.