Who is your Arsenal GOAT from your era as a Gooner?

Who’s Your GOAT 🐐? By Dan Smith

Yesterday I was reading an article on the BBC comparing GOAT ‘s from various eras. This has inspired this piece.

It’s left me thinking when it comes to Arsenal, who do I view as the Greatest Of All Time?

I want readers opinions as well as I think it will be fun to see which names pop up the most in the comments. This of course might be subjective in terms of your age. You might choose a player that others were not old enough to ever see play live?

Maybe you are a younger gooner who only has recent memories?

This is how I thought we could break things down to formalize my final list.


Take the decade you were born in and from then to now, make a choice from each 5-year period (you can repeat a name if you see fit)

For example, my criteria will be,










1980-85 – Kenny Sansom

So I was born in 1987. Going by my own rules I have had to do some research (which is part of why I set it up like this). It came down to a choice of three for this time frame

Pat Jennings – simply because I love the idea of Spurs thinking the keeper was going to retire, only to jump to the red side of London.

David O’Leary – no one has played more times for the Arsenal then him.

Yet this wasn’t our most successful period, and in truth both of these contenders had better years then these. So maybe purely for consistency I have picked Kenny Sansom.

He moved to Highbury at the start of the decade and for the next 7 consecutive years was voted the best left back in the League by his peers (8 if I count his last year at Crystal Palace). In many ways the full back was ahead of his time.

He had a burst of pace which made him an attacking threat but also had great timing defensively.

Only one full back has played more times for England then Sansom (another Gunner in Ashley Cole), playing in two World Cups and a European Championship.

The transition of George Graham wanting to rebuild his back 4 saw him depart in 1988.

I actually became aware of the player in unfortunate circumstances, with details emerging over the years about his battle with addictions and being homeless. He was in hospital seriously ill a few months ago. On behalf of Just arsenal, I hope he’s doing better


1985-1990 David Rocastle

He was like the predecessor to Ian Wright. The kid who grew up on a poor estate and did good. If you ever get to hear Ian Wright talk about staying up all night listening to his friend talk about ‘The Arsenal’ it brings tears to your eyes.

He has such a connection with the fans it almost overshadows how good he was. At the time of ‘boring boring Arsenal‘, this was the closest we had to skill and flair.

He played every league game in the memorable 89 campaign, for the second time being chosen as the League’s best youngster.

Since his sad death in 2001 Arsenal have honoured him by naming their indoor training facility after him. At only 33 Rocky was taken from us too soon. We wish he were here but that’s me being selfish, as I know heaven is a better place for having him.


1990-1995 Tony Adams

Okay I had to have a shower. That’s how dirty I feel for not picking Ian Wright, but I had to pay homage to our famous back 4 and Adams was the leader of that.

The captain’s arm up, informing his defence when to step up for offside is so iconic it was copied in the Full Monty Movie.

He lifted the League, League Cup, FA Cup and Cup Winners Cup during this time frame. That’s all the more amazing when you consider this was the same period, he claimed to be an alcoholic.

He spent the first two months of 1991 in a prison cell for drink driving.

Anyone who understands the illness that is addiction will know how mentally strong he had to be to still deliver at the highest level while facing this daily battle.

He has written two books about his sobriety and in 2000 founded the Sporting Chance Clinic.

One of only 4 men to have a statute outside the Emirates yet the person Adams has become is better than any medals he won.


1995-2000 Bergkamp

Wasn’t signed by Arsene Wenger but represented the transition of ‘Boring Boring Arsenal’ to what we would become under the Frenchman.

It was like when Mr Wenger arrived, the Dutchman found someone who completely shared his footballing ethos.

Bergkamp wasn’t your typical striker, he was selfless. Instead of scoring goals, he preferred to create for others. He was crucial to the clever movement we had off the ball, almost like the link which made everything else tick.

He would drop deep into the number 10 role, and then pick out the runs of others due to his world class vision and passing ability.

First, he formed a great partnership with Ian Wright and as we approached the millennium, Pires, Ljungberg and of course Henry.


2000-2005 Henry

Quite simply these were the years you could with a straight face argue we had the best player in the world.

Henry’s understanding with Cole and Pires on our left-hand side was instrumental to the most successful period in our history.

Arsenal Wenger had taken a winger and taught him how he could start on the wing, cut inside, and score 30 times a season.

His relationship with Arsenal became unique.

While many players will kiss the badge and claim to love a club, I believe Henry’s affection for the Gunners was and is very real.

I credit that to the likes of Adams, Dixon and Keown, who did such a fantastic job of teaching the French connection the value of the crest and what it means to wear the shirt. Once they retired, the likes of Viera and Henry taught those standards to the next crop of youngsters


2005-2010 Fabregas

As we moved from Highbury to the Emirates, Fabregas became the face of the ‘new Arsenal’.

Arsene Wenger decided to break up the ‘Invincibles’ (too soon) and replace them with youth. First, he sold Viera largely due to the development of Fabregas then made him captain when Gallas had his famous meltdown

Mr Wenger also changed the type of player he was recruiting, replacing physicality with shorter players with more emphasis on technical ability.

The truth was due to pressure to pay off the stadium debt, we had to sell an asset every summer, meaning at key moments in seasons we lacked the experience to get over the line.

It’s no exaggeration to say there were moments where Fabregas led us the closest we have come to winning the title since we last did.

The Spaniard was so good (including assisting the winner in a World Cup Final) it was a case of when and not if he would return to Barcelona.


2010-2015 Van Persie

The hardest 5 years to judge as this was when we learnt the ambition was to be nothing more than a team who just about managed to squeeze into the top 4.

Some might also argue Van Persie only played two of the seasons in which I’m saying he was better than anyone else at the club.

But look at his body of work

With 22 goals and 37 goals respectively, his last two seasons with the club were easily his most productive.

When we faced Birmingham in the 2011 League Cup Final, we were top of the League by 5 points and had just beaten Barcelona. It was a case of how many, not if, we would end our trophy drought. When we lost that final, we again lacked the leadership and our campaign melted.

When Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy left, Van Persie single handedly carried one of the worst squads in recent memory to the Champions League.

I can’t remember another season where we were so grateful to one player.

You know how some say without Auba’s goals we wouldn’t have finished 8th, well Van Persie took a team who were losing 8-2 at Old Trafford and got us third.


2015-2020 Sanchez

When thinking who to pick, wow it sums up how we have been in decline in the last 5 years .

Whoever I chose they look out of place

Ozil started well but hasn’t been the same player since Arsene Wenger left, Sanchez was good for two years but wasn’t the leader he needed to be.

I felt that as soon as he realised we were out of a title race he would go missing. If you think about the year we finished second to Leicester, he was poor when it was squeaky bum time. When youngsters had lost confidence he wasn’t helping by his tantrums.

Still though provided us some happy memories. Scored in two FA Cup Semi Finals and Finals and took us close to winning the Premiership.

So those are the names who got to my Final.

My final order ……









So my Goat 🐐 Thierry Henry


Play along





  1. I was born 1980 so only am started watching and supporting in 88 so I’ll go from there
    85 -90 Micheal Thomas
    90-95 Tony Adams
    95 -00 Dennis Bergkamp
    00-05 Henry
    05-10 Abou Diaby
    10-15 Santi
    15-20 Auba
    Goat -Bergkamp

    1. @Dan kit. Obviously you know your football. AW knew the value of both Abou Diaby and Santi because he held on to them for so long after their injuries. Abu Diaby was the only player I know who ran straight at the defense despite his long strides. He was such a graceful player.

  2. GOAT – my time as an AFC fan has to be Mesut Ozil.
    GOAT to have a go at the club, and do what is never expected of a footballer.
    GOAT playing the victim card, “honoring” contract, insulting the coaches, making footballing statements contrary to the club’s ethos, etc.etc.etc.

    GOAT footballer – DB seconded by Freddie Lumborg.

    1. Wow ,why try spoil a good Article which was a bit of lighthearted fun ,all you’ve done is make yourself look stupid.

      1. I know
        Peeps complain about Ozil articles
        Then when you do something where we can get involved it’s …..ozil.
        Yet he be first to complain about ‘another Ozil.article ‘

      2. Another one can’t post without having to bring in others to the conversation ,it’s like you need to have some kind of backup for you Petty views .
        Regarding me being a troll it’s only you and not others as you put it that refer to me as one .
        And lastly on the Diaby one that is my opinion ,I didn’t see you make a list ,but I would have imagined if you did it would be full of edgy players just so you would look to be different ,probably your van persies ,Nasires or Sanchez’s.
        There was another fans list below that had Diaby did you call him stupid also for picking him .

    2. Alexandre Dumas — ‘Hatred is blind; rage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.’

          1. lcw and Kev82, my favourite book; Edmund Dante used his enemies foibles to cause their own destruction. A brilliant read.

        1. I was born in 1965 and saw my first Arsensl match in 1970 my first favourite player was George Graham but going by the formula ser out.
          1970-75 Alan Ball
          1976-80 David O’leary
          1981-85 Kenny Sansom
          1986-90 Tony Adams
          1990-95 Ian Wright
          1996-2000 Dennis Bergkamp
          2001-05 Thierry Henry
          2006-10 Cesc Fabregas
          From that point on no Arsenal player has stood out for me Honourable mentions to David Rocastle Patrick Vieira Lee Dixon Robert Pires and Alexis Sanchez Most over rated players I’ve seen are Merson Van Persie and Wilshere Favourite of all time has to be Thierry Henry

          1. Great choice Stuart and I was born 15 years before you. I would add SANTI though to 2010-15 though his best years crossed over two sections . Not saying I totally agree with all your choices but there is nothing with which I could seriously disagree either. Always a matter of opinion of course and yours proves you know your football.

            It is artificial to only have ONE player in each five years and we could well have had at least six in Wengers first decade. I agree there have been no real contenders in the last five years. Auba in two but not long enough yet.

            1. Thank you and I agree others like George Armstrong and David Seaman should not go unrecognised either and I went for O’leary over Brasy as O’leary had big offers to leave but chose to stay In went for Ball over a few members of the 71 double squad as Mclintock McNab Radford Storey were past their best within three years of the double whilst Ball along with Jimmy Rimmer was instrumental in Arsenal staying in the top flight between 74 and 76 when the team were struggling There have been many others including Charlie George Michael Thomas who deserve their hero worship but they were never able to sustain their performances over lengthy period of time

        2. Kev, I remember seeing the Count of MC on TV well before you were born. And the three Musketeers, those FOUR men with SWORDS. Always thought that strange! The five water catapult men would have been no more inaccurate!

          1. No doubt about that Jon, although I do love the classics including the three musketeers… Haha yeah the 4 musketeers would have been less confusing for the viewer

      1. 70÷75 ,Charlie George ,75-80,Liam Brady, 80-85,Charlie nicholas, 85-90,David rocastle 90-95,ian Wright, 95-00,Patrick Vieira, 00-05,Thierry, 05-10 abou diaby, 10-15,van Persie,15-20 ,Sanchez

          1. But, one of my favourite players of all time is Supermac, always wanted to score so whenever he had the ball wherever he was he would shoot, 10 shots a game…… and a few goals.

  3. Chris Kiwomya is the 🐐😂 on a serious note Ian Wright and Lee Dixon were my favourite players until the non flying Dutchman arrived and the rest is history 🇳🇱🔴⚪

        1. Yes, Kiwomya all day long 😜
          I sure am… was hoping to see Benrahma! Hammers had a good first half. Jeez, i’ll be rooted to the spot – the sofa – until tonight then!!

          1. Full time Sue, so City drops points again, let’s hope we can take advantage tomorrow 😄 wasn’t Glenn Helder your favourite? 😆 Yeah some good games on Sue Chelsea and Penchester later on as well 👌

            1. Penandes against Jorginho – pretty obvious who we’ll see taking a penalty with a lil skip 🙄
              Shh don’t tell everyone 😂
              The hammers are on a roll…another weekend so far which hasn’t disappointed….

              1. That skip really gets on my nerves, maybe I’m just old school but I don’t like it and I don’t like playing out from the back, on occasion ok but not every time 😩 my lips are sealed 🤐 you know what they’ve done well Sue, came back against spurs, beat Leicester 3-0 away, deserved something away to us, your nephew must be happy surely?

                1. Me too, on that stupid skip and playing out!! Does my head in haha..
                  Fabianski had a good game today I thought..
                  Yes, he’s very happy!!
                  Are you streaming El Classico? La Liga TV is 5.99 a month… and we’re expected to pay 14.95 for one game!!!

                  1. Great minds Sue 😉 I don’t know who’s more annoying Penandes or Jorginho I think the Portuguese just wins on that one 😆 In a way Sue I have IPTV on every TV in the house so I get everything lol.. not a chance I would pay 15 quid to watch a game of football on TV a big boxing fight maybe 😄 flappyhandski actually had a good game 😳

            1. That’s the one Dan I think I watched that a hundred times… For a manager/coach he must have been a joy to work with.. my old man always said Bergkamp would have slotted into the great dutch teams of Cruyff, Neeskens etc

                1. Yeah how right you are Sue the back of my TVs look like something out of NASA control center but it’s necessary 😛 I’m sure your the same 😉

                  1. For all the money Chelsea spent they do not impress me Sue 😯 how bad is Barca? I wouldn’t mind taking Ansu Fati though 🤪 I thought united were getting ANOTHER pen 😆

                  2. That was so dire!!! 😂 Ha, smarty pants.(😂) well I’m flabbergasted they didn’t get a penalty, dare I say it – probably be against us 😫 That Havertz hasn’t been much cop, has he?!

  4. I’ve been a fan of the mighty Arsenal for over half a century.
    We have had some terrific players in that time and all deserve to be mentioned but, for me there is only 1 player who truly stands out, what he offered on the pitch, what he set up with helping bring on other players of quality over his career with us.

    And THAT goal against Newcastle, he was pure class and a total pleasure to watch.

    Yes its that Iceman, the non flying dutchman

    Denis Bergkamp!

      1. I was seated behind the Newcastle goal when he scored, proper drab game overall but that goal was just pure class and I have never seen a goal scored in the same way EVER!

  5. My GOAT of all time has to be Tony Adams, apart from being a terrific player, leader and inspiration he was a one club man. I’m sure he had a few opportunities to leave, seem to remember Fergie being desperate to sign him, but he stayed loyal, a true legend.

  6. Away from the topic a bit, who else thinks Bellerin is finally getting back to his best form? His decision making in the final third seems to have improved massively.

    1. Hector has been back for quite a while. People are now noticing that he’s putting assists on the board, but he’d been creating big chances just after we returned from lockdown. I feel like Arteta realizes he’s not the best defender, so he’s doing his best to get him involved upfront where he’s more adept. In my eyes however, he’s been on the up for longer than people seem to have noticed.

  7. So many players worth mentioning….
    Been a gooner since 91, thanks to Mr Wright, Wright, Wright…
    Loved so many – Wrighty, Adams, Bergkamp….. my goat has to be Henry
    Haven’t we been blessed over the years?

  8. And the unstoppable force called Man City, that we apparently aren’t supposed to be getting points against, draws with West Ham. But hey, 1-0 losses are good I’m told 😆

    1. 😂👍 Good one, RSH….
      Sterling’s decision making was rather poor today, yet against us he always manages to bloody score!!

      1. Its not just Sterling. Without De Bruyne and David Silva, their main attack is just cut backs from the side. West Ham knew Sterling always likes to cut in with the ball.

        1. As does Mahrez. The hammers did well, they were up against it in the second half….
          Shout out to Foden though, only played the second half and got motm!!

    2. Them folks think it was a good result to lose 1-0 against city… apparently according to them still one of the best teams in Europe.

      No one is scared to play them except Arsenal.

      If we hadn’t played Sheffield or Fulham already, we would’ve been among bottom 6 right now.

    3. To be fair every game is different RSH Villa beat the pool 7-2 who beat Leeds and they beat Villa.. spurs smashed utd at OT and utd go and beat PSG away who are much better than spurs… Every game has different outcomes.

      1. oh i totally agree Kev. I just think it’s fair to want more than a 1-0 loss to City. The nature of football is that results will not always go your way of course. But keeping the losing streak going against City was in no way positive.

        1. Oh yeah RSH definitely.. but it’s still no shame losing away to them as many teams will but I would fully expect a much better effort at home and certainly more attacking, as they’re defence is an area of weakness. It’s the old Trafford game I’m looking at and thinking if we don’t perform there then big questions need to be asked

    4. My issue with our game against man city goes beyond the result. It actually about our timid approach to the game. The same approach Arteta adopted against Rapid that almost caused us the match. I hope he now realized when he allows the boys to play to their strength they will do wonders.

    5. RSH how I wish we can play that match again, man city are seriously out of form but Arteta was just too scared to play attack them. Lets hope we see some nice attacking football tomorrow.

  9. Our attack made Kyle Walker at Cb look like world class.

    West Ham could’ve gone on to win today if Antonio played all 90.

    1. One thing not being taken into consideration is how much of a tactical battle our game was. Walker was played on the same side as Cancello to cancel out(pun intended) our speed down that side. The game was however lost on efficiency grounds. When you create 3 chances against City, you better score. We created four or five good ones. I placed my blame for that game square on the attackers shoulders. Saka,Pepe,Auba all had really good opportunities. City scored from what would typically be called a half chance.

  10. And the worst players since 2008(when i started to support Arsenal FC) are Andre santos, chamack, Francis Copuelin, Peter Cech and Kim Kallstrom

  11. 80-85: Sansom. Always good in a mediocre overall team.
    85-90: M Thomas. There is nothing that beats that M Thomas moment at Anfield.
    90-95: Ian Wright. Honorable mention: T Adams.
    95-2000: Dennis Bergkamp. The GOAT!
    2000-2005: T Henry. He was simply unstoppable.
    2005-2010: Cesc. Pity he did not show us any loyalty!
    2010-2015: Santi. How I would love him back in this current team!
    2015-2020: No one in particular. The Ozil-Sanchez axis was great for about three years. Then Auba has been great since he joined; great striker, but that’s pretty much all he is good at. He is no Henry!
    I will add the seventies.
    70-75: Charlie George for the winner against Liverpool and the iconic celebration.
    75-80: L Brady.
    The GOAT: Dennis Bergkamp.

  12. Thiery Henry can never be my GOAT…he conspired with barcelona&cost us the 2006 champions league.Dennis bergkamp,Tony Adams&David O’leary for me in that order

  13. I just finished watching our match against galatasaray we played 4:1, ooh what a player poldolski was for us, I wish Arsene would have played him more, and that performance from Ramsey is one of the best solo performances I’ve seen in sometime, can’t still believe we let him go for free.

  14. Only one GOAT for Arsenal n that is Theiry Henry. The way he dominated the EPL in his era no other Arsenal player did. There have been some great players who have played for us but the aura and atmosphere he created in his first club spell had no match. I remember the time when we started the match with 1 goal advantage because we knew king Henry will score for sure. There was always a Henry goal coming every match. No Arsenal player excited the fans and neutrals as he did specially at Highbury were he has scored all kind of goals from all kinds of angels.

  15. Seeing as everyone has picked my favourites. Lol. Of all time, my greatest Arsenal player has to be the non flying Dutch man, Bergkamp. He was the definition of Football. I’m glad his son did trials with arsenal this week. If he can replicate half of his father’s qualities, I’ll be overjoyed.

  16. I was born in 1999 but started watching Arsenal in 2010, so sorry if I did not do proper research while compiling my list. My sources are only YouTube, Wikipedia, and some Arsenal books that I found online.
    1990-1995- Tony Adams/ David Seaman
    1995-2000- Dennis Bergkamp (My all-time favourite! Can’t remember how many times I have tried to recreate that goal against Newcastle in the local ground. The disappointment from the failure was so great that I changed from forward to a defender, LOL1)
    2000-2005- Thierry Henry
    2005-2010- Cesc Fabregas and also, to a lesser extent, Rosicky
    2010-2015- Santi Cazorla and Robin Van Persie
    2015-2020- Alexis Sanchez, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil, in that order.
    GOAT- Dennis Bergkamp ( King Titi coming a close second.)

    1. Although football is a team sport, my favourite players were:
      1960-65 George Armstrong/George Eastham
      1966-1969 Jon Sammels/John Radford/Frank McLintock
      1970-75 George Graham/Peter Simpson/Alan Ball
      1976-79 Liam Brady/Malcolm Macdonald/David O’Leary
      1980-85 Brian Talbot/Pat Jennings
      1986-89 David Rocastle/Michael Thomas
      1990-95 Tony Adams/Lee Dixon
      1996-99 David Platt/Ian Wright/Dennis Bergkamp.
      2000-05 Dennis Bergkamp/Thierry Henri/Patrick Viera
      2006-09 Gilberto Silva/Cesc Fabregas
      2010-15 Robin Van Persie/Thomas Rosicky
      2016-20 Alexis Sanchez/Santi Cazorla
      The greatest all round and complete footballer I have seen for professionalism, skill, vision, work ethic and commitment to be the best he could be, toughness and unselfishness is Dennis Bergkamp.

      1. An amazing list
        George Eastham would be before my time but George Armstrong I remember I’d forgotten about Peter Simpson!
        TH and DB I agree we’re outstanding, loved Santi and although it went pear shaped I thought Alexis was a great signing

        1. SueP, if we couldn’t get another “Gilberto Silva” to play DM with Thomas Partey, another “Peter Simpson” would be my next choice.

  17. My tenure supporting the best club in the world began 2006. Throughout no player has excited me more than ALEXIS SANCHEZ.
    Literally carried us on his shoulders many matches.
    Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal. His greatest match to me
    And all in 3 seasons.

  18. Some of my favourites not mentioned much:
    Chippy Brady, simply the most naturally gifted player to wear the shirt.
    Paul Merson; a wasted talent. Anyone see him playing with the team of England has-beens? I almost cried at what we lost.
    GOAT candidates: Wrighty, Tony Adams, Denis Bergkamp.
    And by a whisker of a goats-beard my GOAT is:
    Dennis Bergkamp

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