Who is in your Arsenal Team of the Decade? by Gurgit
Its pretty fair to say that over the last decade we have not had quite the success we would’ve liked and no squad we have put together has been able to match the ones we fielded in the 2000’s – one of which was known to be rather good, holding a record no team has since managed in the Premier League. Ahh… its still good to be invincible.
That said though we have had some pretty decent footballers playing for us who have helped me stay in love with the club and below is my pick of who would be in my “Team of the decade”. My choices do change with the weather so I have given a brief description of why I would pick them. Its worth bearing in mind though that my choices would probably change daily and if you catch me at the right time I may even be convinced that Andre Santos should be in the starting 11.
I will be choosing a 4-3-3 formation for today’s picks:
GK – Leno
We aren’t spoiled for choice when it comes to goalkeepers over the last 10 years and realistically the choice here was between Leno and Cech. As good as Cech was at Chelsea he wasn’t quite that player for us, and given what I’ve seen since he retired I think Leno may just be the best keeper we have had in some time.
RB – Sagna
If anyone says otherwise I would be shocked. Sagna was a leading RB in the league for quite a while and one of our most consistent players in the back 4, so I cant see Bellerin challenging him for this spot. The only other RB’s we have had have not really nailed down their role quite as well as Sagna did though I hope with time Bellerin still can.
CB – Vermaelen
The two toughest positions to pick. See the problem here is that we seem to have had so many injury problems in this position, along with a lack of a quality. that it really is tough to pick. I almost chose Mertesacker and on another day probably would have – but for today I’ve pick Vermaelen for being more mobile and a little tougher than the crop of CB’s we have had over recent times.
CB – Koscielny
He was weak and error-prone when he joined us, and you could probably argue that he didn’t leave us in a better state. Though Koscielny in the latter part of his time with us was a very good CB and maybe even briefly, world class – yes it wasn’t a particularly long time that he kept up this form. Maybe sometime around Euro 2016 until 2018 but you can certainly argue he has been our best CB over the last 10 years.
LB – Monreal
I hope this one is as clear to everyone else as it is to me. He was a somewhat unexpected signing in my eyes and didn’t make an instant impact but he is probably the most consistent and solid LB we have had this last decade. Clichy, Gibbs, Kolasinac, SANTOS have not been able to bed themselves into the LB position quite as well as he did. I have high hopes for Tierney though, he could be a real star and can actually cross a ball into the box which makes a nice change.
CM – Cazorla
He has to be in there doesn’t he. How unexpected was it that moving him from his advanced positions wide on the pitch to being at the base of our midfield would be a good move. He did it though because as well as being able to control and set the tempo of a game he could just as easily put in a tackle to win us the ball back. He made the players around him play better and that kind of midfielder is something we have not been able to find since his departure. Ceballos is the closest to being that kind of player having shown hints of it but we’ve yet to see if it is the real deal or whether he will even remain with us. It’s a huge disappointment that Cazorla’s career was hampered by such a severe injury but I couldn’t be happier for him that he is now back on a pitch.
CM – Fabregas
He was one of the players that kept me in love with Arsenal and his loss was huge for the team. He was a key part of how we played football and his passing range was quite unmatched in the league, being able to weight a pass so perfectly. The advanced role he played at Barcelona was not one that I liked to see him in as I much preferred him a little deeper, playing as a traditional playmaker – admittedly Barca had one of their own already.
AM – Ozil
Perhaps this one is more contentious than it should be. All I need to remind you is that although you may not be pleased with how he is now, the first few years after he arrived he looked like and was one of the most creative players in Europe. His arrival also coincided with us managing to win some silverware in the years following with FA cups. I think sometimes we forget how good he really was and that it was a huge coup that we got him just because now he is not what fans want from our squad.
RW – Sanchez
Could win a game on his own. Never give up attitude and bags of ability to make things happen. I wasn’t happy about how he left, often felt he sulked and was averse to passing a ball when he really should – but he was truly world class.
LW – Aubameyang
A world class striker who I’m still not sure how we managed to sign. He isn’t the best dribbler of a ball but his pace and ability guarantee goals especially from having more space out wide.
ST – Van Persie
He didn’t have many good seasons and was often hampered by injury but I think he is the most gifted striker we have had in the last decade. Aubameyang is a finisher but Van Persie had everything, He could head a ball, hold up play, assist, and score the most technically challenging goals you could imagine. I hate to say it but he probably did make the best decision for himself to leave the club.
Noteable mentions – Mertesacker, Ramsey, Rosicky, Arshavin, Nasri
Who would you pick?