Is Parlour RIGHT on Alexis class and Arsenal lacking a leader?

The football media and the Arsenal fans, players and manager have been feeling more and more optimistic as the current Gunners side continues to look better and extends the great run of form that has seen Arsenal climb steadily up the table, enjoying a nice early St. Totteringham’s day in the process and having the best form of any team in the top European leagues since the start of 2015.

But this air of confidence and belief does not seem to have seeped through to our former midfield star Ray Parlour, at least not yet anyway. As reported by The Mirror, the ex Gunner has poured a bucket of cold water on all the talk of Arsenal being back to our best, or at least slipped a couple of ice cubes down its back.

Parlour gave a pretty damning verdict on the current crop as compared with the best Arsenal team he played in, the famous invincibles of 11 years ago. He claims that only Alexis Sanchez would have got into that team, and even then it would have been as a midfielder rather than a striker. Parlour makes a case of Koscielny instead of Toure at the back as well but he is clearly not too bl;own away by the rest of the team.

Parlour does not see that as our main problem though, as it is the lack of a leader like Tony Adams that he thinks is the most important thing for the manager to find in order to bring back the glory days.

The 42-year old said, “I don’t think the full-backs would be good enough. Lauren was a great underrated player, and Ashley Cole was fantastic.

“I really like Laurent Koscielny; he’s improved so much. I could maybe see him getting a game instead of Kolo Toure, alongside Sol Campbell. You could make an argument for that, anyway.

“In midfield, Vieira and Gilberto did a great job and Pires was a very good player. The only one I could really see getting in would be Sanchez, on the right side of midfield.

“As for up front, none of them would have any chance of replacing Bergkamp or Henry. Not a chance.

“If I could pick one Arsenal player I played with to put back into the side now, who would make the biggest difference to the current team, it wouldn’t be Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira or Pires. It would be Tony Adams.

“It’s not just that he was a great defender, he was a real leader too. Sometimes you need that on the pitch.”

So do you agree with Ray? And who could be that leader for Arsenal?

Tags Adams Alexis Koscielny


  1. About leadership he’s definitely right. Wilshere would be that guy but he spends more time on medical table than pitch.

    Hummels would be a great addition to be the “Sol Campbell Tony Adams” hybrid.

    1. A tad bit harsh to compare this current team with probably one of the greatest to grace English football. In today’s football, bar Messi, CR7, Aguero or Suarez no one else would’ve got a sniff at getting in over Dennis or Thierry. Likewise, name me a better DM in the modern game than Gilberto Silva – only Mascherano and Lahm could give it a shout. Hazard (debatable) & Terry would be the only ones to get into that starting XI also, yet they won the PL. I think we should stop looking at the past and start comparing with the present.

  2. Great honesty from the Romford Pele, alexis would have got in the team ahead of him. But then again I think, Ramsey would have aswell. I also think coquelin would have given Gilberto a run for his money, not sure who he has as keeper? But if it’s between lehmann and ospina that is also a very close call.

  3. Can every1 give arsenal a break…what is it… Yes we need one or two additions but pls let’s enjoy this great run of form hope we start d season on fire next season

    1. We need more than one or 2 mate,and we also need a clearout.Its this kind of complacent attitude that has stopped us challenging for major trophies for the last 10 years.Look at how Chelsea have handled business,we need to follow suit an clear out the deadwood(Arteta,Flamini,Diaby etc) an bring in players lie Henry was saying.In football like in life you don’t get anywhere unless you have that thirst for more,people like you Wenger and the board have lost that thirst,thats why the Champions League trophy is as far away as ever.

  4. I don’t think leadership
    is a big issue for this team.
    I think its quality.
    The top X1 we have now is very good.
    But in most positions we are 5% down
    on the invincibles.
    Leehman Ospina.
    Lauren Bellerin
    Cole Monreal
    Campbell Koscielny
    Toure Mertz
    Vieira Coquelin
    Gilberto Ramsey
    Parlor Cazorla
    Bergkamp Ozil
    Pires Sanchez
    Henry Giroud

    If these two teams played five games
    I would back the 2004 team to win 4/5
    I think Ospina Bellerin Ramsey Ozil Sanchez + Cazorla
    are close to the invincible standard.
    The other 5 positions would need an up grade.
    Do we buy in or do we put our faith in
    Szcz Debuchy Mertz Gabriel Gibbs Monreal
    Coqu Flamini Diaby
    Wilshere Ox Wallcot Campbell Gnabry Ryo Rosicky
    Giroud Podolski Wellbeck Sanogo Akpom ?

    1. Sorry take away Ramsey,Ospina an Bellerin they clearly aren’t close.Sanchez,Ozil an Cazorla at their best would get close

  5. I think Hummels is the leader at the back we need. It’s difficult to say if Wenger will break the bank for him though Sol was the highest paid player in Britain when he transfered to us. It will be interesting and a massive f@#k you to United if we do get him.

  6. Hate him or like him,metersacker is a leader in that team. What about konscienly? Sometimes it is better to ignore what ex-player and pundit are saying

  7. We must be ruthless.
    Chelsea replaced
    Eto, David Luiz 40 mill
    Cole, Lampard, demba ba 5 mill
    Lukaku 28 mill Torres 25 mill?
    Shhurrle 22 mill Bertrand 10 mill

    They brought in
    Fabregas 27 mill
    Costa 32 mill
    Filipe Luis 15 mill
    Remi 10 mill
    Cuadrado 23 mill

    Profit 18 mill and the league title.

    1. I must admit that Sky’s recent crusade to promote the greatness of Chelsea (I think they were reacting to the negative publicity of the champions of a league they had just invested £5B in) was nauseating enough but the on-screen graphic “demonstrating” Chelsea’s new found financial “prudence” since 2013 was proper gut-gnawing stupor. Yes they had the lowest net spend (a trifling £65M if I remember correctly) but the awkward fact that they had still spent the most (£222M) was not mentioned. They off-loaded 40+ players that they had stock-piled and cashed in on selling some of their purchases they had invested in the years immediately prior to 2013 – and in some cases for jaw-dropping sums. This was a one-off freeze frame of Chelsea finances – calculated at the most advantageous date in their recent 12 year history. Put in context, this net spend is more than Arsenals entire 10 year net spend prior to 2013.

      I think the quantum difference in spending can be seen most easily on the pitch when compared to ours. Us Gooners have gotten madly excited with 2 £30M+ buys in the past 2 years. Chelsea’s entire front 6 are £30M purchases (OK exaggerating a bit with Matic but they bought him twice for an outlay of nearer £25M).

  8. The Invincibles team can make any football player on this planet to look good. That includes Ray Parlour.

  9. Hummels + Schneiderlin + Lacazette = A team that can actually challenge for 1st place.

    Tot cost around 80M

    Sell Wilshire to City for 40m and for a net spend of 40m we have the right balance in the team.

    With Arteta – Flamini – Rosicky – Diaby also on their way we won’t even have to increase our wage bill.

    1. The only people that say sell wilshire are clueless Fifa playing bell rods . He British talented and is one of our homegrown players ! It would make absolutely no logical sense to sell him . Jack was class when he came on against hull

    2. You know what i definitely agree that we should get rid of Arteta,Flamini,Diaby and Rosicky(probably),but im not sure Wenger will do it,from what ive heard they want to give Arteta a new contract.
      Selling Wiltshere is an interesting idea,but it is a big gamble assuming we could get 40m for him,i can understand your thinking,the fact that hes never fit.But my instincts tell me that we should keep Jack,an for sure Wenger won’t sell him at this stage

  10. Wigan, Hull and Reading took us to extra time, before we got the better of them, that is evidence that sometimes our mental approach is wrong in games. Then you look at our last 5 exits in UCL, we always play good in the second leg.

  11. invincibles were our best team ever, obviously only one or two of our current players would be considered good enough to be in that XI. This team has only won FA Cup. Long way to go but hopefully we get there.

  12. Ray Parlour will know because he wasn’t good enough for a regular starting slot. Clearly a better side than the present one – very good players as they were, the only ones I could possibly see having any pressure at all on them by the present crop would be Lehmann (never totally convinced tbh – lucky to be behind that back 4), Toure and Ljungberg.

    For what it is worth, I honestly believe however that we have a better 25 man squad now than in 2004. Graham Stack as back-up GK, Cygan, Aliadiere, Hoyte, Bentley, Senderos just signed, Jeffers (left mid-season).

  13. and where would ray parlour fit in this present team, in truth we love to compare our present players against the past players, but , we would have to also compare them with past and present oppositions, past and present rules of the game, and refereeing.

    There are so much possibilities and probabilities to look at, would the invincibles have won the league this season, i would love to think so but highly unlikely, so Mr Parlour do not go judging players base on your era which has past, football has changed over the pass years, with more serious contenders, its only recently our arsenal have seem to be catching up

  14. He’s right and wrong. The invincibles were insane in terms of quality but it came at a time where we had a settled squad and had finally added those missing components. We were playing a football style England hadn’t seen too much of, we had the world’s best strike partnership and had quality in virtually every position except depth in the defence. We didn’t suffer huge injuries and we were well balanced. One of the most noticeable things is our central midfield…Gilberto, Edu and Vieira. We were playing 4-4-2 and that is the most noticeable thing is we used 3 CMs. ALL SEASON. Our attacking play came from wide (Pires, Ljungberg) and our attack was virtually unstoppable once you got Henry and Bergkamp involved. Our goals in the league were almost entirely focused on Henry (Pires got 14, nobody else cracked above 5) and we only used 22 players all season in the PL. THAT tells a story.

    The first 11 of the Invincibles could probably have used Alexis over Ljungberg…maybe. Koscielny beats Toure. Nobody else would get in because of the sheer quality of the invincibles first team. As a squad though? Virtually our whole team would get in because we had no other options. The only position we had lots of good options for was up front (Kanu, Wiltord, Reyes as bench men!).

    The question is, how do we go about adding back in the sheer quality of the invicibles? Is Kondogbia as good as Vieira? No…but he could be. Is Lacazette as good as Henry? HELL NO…but maybe he could be? It’s going to be hard to add those super stars into the team because there aren’t many of them. Right now we have a quality squad which the invincibles arguably didn’t have. SO what can we do to improve.

    What we need is to add 2 players (preferably 2 like the ones I just named) and then we need to keep others fit. Ramsey is arguably the best leader on the pitch we have. He needs to get our captaincy. Jack needs to stay fit and grow up. Walcott needs to be given time on the pitch (ever watch how he can lift a team? His head is in the right place and we never talk about that). We need Cazorla and Ozil and Alexis to keep improving. We are NOT far off having a bloody awesome team.

    Let me just say one last thing. We now spread the goals around our team better then anyone else. We have rotation for near every position where the other option is still deadly. We have ways to change our formation and our tactics. We have a mix of youth and players hitting their prime. We don’t over rely on any one player and every player has a mix of qualities and not just one or two strings to their bow. EVERYONE can play in our system and we can adapt our system and see different results. We’re the most versatile team in the PL. If we add the right mix, it won’t matter we don’t have an Henry – we’ll have a whole team you can’t play against.

    1. 1 question if Ramsey is captain,how will we get him,Ozil,Sanchez an Cazorla into a balanced team when ever1 is fit?I disagree i think Kos should have been our captain years ago,because he is assures of his place in the team Ramsey isn’t.By making him captain it could create an Arteta type situation, where hes not good enough to get in the team but he must play cos he’s captain.Although i have to say Ramsey is good enough to get into the team,but in central area not on the wing,it might work against the average epl team but against the better teams it doesn’t work,like wen we tried that a couple of seasons ago.

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