The north London derby is without doubt one of the most entertaining local clashes in European football.
While Jose Mourinho will likely look to put a dampener on things when Tottenham host Arsenal in the Premier League this Sunday, historically this derby has involved two sides that simply love to score goals, even if it occasionally comes at their own detriment.
Right now though, there’s such a big gap between table-toppers Spurs and the 14th-placed Gunners that a combined XI of current players would a largely futile exercise.
So instead, we’ve looked back at the greatest talents to represent both clubs throughout the Premier League era.
Here’s GIVEMESPORT’s Ultimate North London Derby Combined XI – Premier League Edition…
Goalkeeper – David Seaman
Jens Lehman may have been the Invincibles’ No.1 and Hugo Lloris may have reached a Champions League final with Spurs, but David Seaman lifted the Premier League twice with the Gunners – and who can resist that iconic ponytail?
Right-Back – Kyle Walker
Often loathed by Spurs fans and yet one of the most successful right-backs in Premier League history. With more staying power than Lauren – who only had six seasons in England – and more silverware than Steven Carr, the ever-divisive Walker gets the nod at right-back.
Right Centre-Back – Sol Campbell
We know you’ll hate us for this Spurs fans, but let’s face it, Sol Campbell is one of the greatest centre-backs to ever don the Lilywhite shirt. He’s also one of a rare few players to have represented both north London clubs in the Premier League era, which earns him place in our combined XI almost by default.
Left Centre-Back – Ledley King
The King. The Rolls Royce. So good he could play without knees or even without going to training sessions. Ledley King’s story makes him seem like a mythical creature from the Premier League dark ages but he was indeed very real, and easily one of the best ball-playing centre-backs around in his era.
Left-Back – Ashley Cole
Arsenal fans may grimace at the mention of his name, and Spurs fans surely hate him as well having also turned out for their other bitter rivals, Chelsea. But Ashley Cole was arguably the greatest left-back of his generation and despite both clubs boasting some decent ones since – Danny Rose, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Gael Clichy, for example – none of them are in the same category.
Defensive Midfield – Patrick Vieira
To this day, Patrick Vieira remains something of a unique entity. Built like a centre-half yet blessed with the grace of a No.10, Vieira’s best position ended up being bombing around in between, breaking up opposition attacks and then starting his own. An Arsenal legend and the captain of the Invincibles team, the French World Cup winner was one of the first names on the team sheet.
Right Central Midfield – Cesc Fabregas
Having followed the same career path as Cole, albeit by way of Barcelona, not many Arsenal or Spurs fans will be pleased to see Cesc Fabregas make our combined XI. Nonetheless, the Spaniard is a World Cup winner, a Premier League winner and a La Liga winner, and for much of his career has been one of the best playmaking midfielders in the world.
Left Central Midfield – Luka Modric
Speaking of the best playmaking midfielders in the world, Luka Modric’s inclusion doesn’t need any further justification than the fact he was the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner. However, that does mean there’s no place in our midfield for some huge talents, including Gilberto Silva, Rafael van der Vaart, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen, Samir Nasri and even Mesut Ozil.
Right Forward – Gareth Bale
Throughout the Premier League era, very few players have produced individual campaigns as stunning as Gareth Bale’s 2012/13 season, immediately paving the way for a move to Real Madrid. So step aside Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Heung-min Son and Alexis Sanchez – you’re all going to have to make room for the former most expensive player in the world.
Left Forward – Thierry Henry
One of the Premier League’s all-time greats, a four-time Golden Boot winner, a two-time Player of the Year and a striker who personified Arsenal’s debonair style under Arsene Wenger, surely even Spurs fans wouldn’t begrudge Thierry Henry a place in our combined XI.
Striker – Harry Kane
Arsenal and Spurs have boasted some phenomenal front-men down the years – Ian Wright, Emmanuel Adebayor, Robbie Keane, Dimitar Berbatov, Teddy Sheringham and of course, Dennis Bergkamp. But Harry Kane is such a generational talent who almost transcends the role of being a mere centre-forward that the final spot in our combined XI was almost a foregone conclusion. Unquestionably a legend in the making, if he isn’t one already.