Football

Arsenal: Greatest XI of all-time

Arsenal have had some world-class players down the years (©GettyImages)
Arsenal have had some world-class players down the years (©GettyImages).

Over the years, Arsenal have presented some of the best footballers of all-time - and not just in the Premier League, but in world football.

Many young footballers these days might not remember how successful Arsenal were 10-or-so years ago, but they were not just arguably the best team in England, they were near enough the best footballing side in the world.

With several Premier League titles, FA Cup trophies and going a whole season unbeaten, Arsenal have had many great sides and many great players, but who would make Arsenal's all-time XI?

It is clear that Arsenal have been at their best during their time under Arsene Wenger and it will come as no surprise that the starting 11 is full of players that he coached.

So, here is my all-time Arsenal XI. Do you agree? Have you say and leave a comment below.

Goalkeeper: David Seaman

A phenomenal goalkeeper who has never really been replaced at Arsenal. He was the Gunners' No. 1 for 13 straight years and helped them win three league titles, four FA Cups, a League Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup.

He is perhaps most fondly remembered for his sensational FA Cup save against Sheffield United, where he seemed to stop the ball in mid-air and then pull it back away from the goal. A stunning save from a true Arsenal great.

Right-back: Pat Rice

A true Arsenal great and the only player to get into the all-time team who did not play during Wenger's tenure at the club.

By making over 400 appearances for Arsenal and then becoming their assistant manager, Rice became a true legend at the club. He is only one of three Arsenal players to have featured in five FA Cup finals.

Centre-back: Tony Adams

Very easy choice for one of the centre-backs. 'Mr Arsenal' is how he is known and he is a true-club legend.

Captain at the age of 21, Adams went on to stay as skipper for another 14 years and guided the club to four league titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups and the Cup Winners' Cup. Now honoured with a statue outside the Emirates Stadium, Adams will always be a great.

Centre-back: Sol Campbell

A tough fight between Campbell and Martin Keown, but for the fact Campbell left Tottenham to join Arsenal, this gives him the edge.

At the heart of the Invincibles defence, Campbell is the only Arsenal player to score in a Champions League final. After leaving Arsenal's fierce rivals, Campbell helped the Gunners win two Premier Leagues and three FA Cups.

Left-back: Ashley Cole

Despite leaving on a sour note and now being hated by nearly every Gooner, there will be no-one arguing that he deserves to be in the all-time great line-up.

Probably the best left-back of his generation, Cole helped Arsenal win two league titles and three FA Cups in north London. If he stayed at Arsenal, he would have been one of the best players to ever play for the club.

Right-wing: Freddie Ljungberg

An absolutely sensational midfielder on his day - and still a good one even off it. Scoring on his Arsenal debut was just the start of the Swede's glittering career at the club.

Known for his bright red hair, Ljungberg was a war-horse for the club and fully deserves his spot in the line-up.

Centre-midfield: Patrick Vieira

This man was Wenger's first signing at the club and what a steal for £3.5m.

Strong, powerful, quick, a great passer and could even keep his cool in front of goal - attributes that made Vieira become a club legend.

A perfect replacement for Tony Adams as the club captain and a fitting end as his last touch was to beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final back in 2005 (unfortunately the last piece of silverware for the Gunners).

Centre-midfield: Cesc Fabregas

The teenage sensation brought over from Barcelona captured the hearts of all Arsenal fans and despite not winning any trophies during his captaincy, he will always be a club legend.

Dubbed as the replacement for Patrick Vieira, the Spaniard certainly lived up to that tag and didn't let the fans down. A joy to watch on the pitch and one of the greatest players to come out of Arsenal.

Left-wing: Robert Pires

This man could dribble, pass, score, cross, tackle and just do anything on the football field.

One of the best midfielders to play for Arsenal and even scored a goal that made a match commentator stand up and applaud whilst on the air. A star performer back in 2002 and key in the Invincibles team and will always be a club legend.

Forward: Dennis Bergkamp

Not only would he make an all-time Arsenal XI, he would get very close to a world XI and easily walk into a Premier League all-time XI.

The Dutchman was able to do anything on the football field and dazzled fans each and every week. Remembered the most for his incredible goal against Newcastle United and also his sensational hat-trick against Leicester that saw him win first, second and third in Match of the Day's Goal of the Month competition.

Forward: Thierry Henry

It was a toss-up between Henry and Francis Jeffers, but the Frenchman got my vote. (Yes, that was sarcasm you detected).

I don't really feel I can write in words how good this player was during his time at Arsenal. Very much like Bergkamp in the way that he could do anything and make something out of nothing as well. Captain of the club, a sensational finisher, brilliant passer and a passionate lover of Arsenal.

Henry will always be a club legend and will always be remembered as one of the best ever not just in Arsenal colours, not just in the Premier League, but also in world football. 

The problem with doing an all-time XI is that some sensational players miss out on getting into the team just because others were a little bit better. So much like a football team, this all-time XI deserves a seven-man substitutes' bench.

Subs: Jens Lehmann, Martin Keown, Ray Parlour, Marc Overmars, Charlie George, Liam Brady, Ian Wright.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League

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