Do you agree with The Times Top 50…?

Morning All,

It’s Monday (again) and the weeks post season are certainly flying past… If you’ve been watching the Confederations Cup, then you may have seen Arsenal target Filipe Melo in action again alongside Gilberto Silva for Brazil as they beat Italy 3-0 to progress to a mouth watering tie against the hosts, South Africa in the semi-finals. All three goals coming in an eight minute spell at the end of the first half with a Luis Fabiano double and an own goal from Liverpool player Dossena. It’s been an exciting tournament so far and a test run for next year’s World Cup. With USA and Spain the other semi final, it could be a Brazil vs Spain final and that would be a match not to be missed.

Back home, the Times newspaper has released the “Top 50 Arsenal players” and it’s a list that makes for interesting reading…

The top five being:

5. Thierry Henry

4. Patrick Vieira

3. Alex James

2. Dennis Bergkamp

1. Tony Adams

Personally, as I scrolled through the pages, I really thought I’d see Thierry Henry as number one and was actually quite surprised to see the ex-Portsmouth manager as number one. No discredit to Tony but Thierry would have been my number one – the years he gave us were simply amazing, some of the best football I’ve watched in my life. But at the same time, Tony Adams was a rock at the heart of the Arsenal defence for many a year.

The notes alongside Thierry read:

How can a player who smashed practically every club goalscoring record at the club be as low No 5? Well mostly because the four players above him had a greater impact on the history of the club, laying the foundations to lift Arsenal to new heights. Henry joined a side that was a penalty miss and a point or so away from back-to-back doubles. Mind you, there were times when watching him that you could believe you were watching the best player in the world.

And Tony:

Four Championships, three FA Cups, two league cups, one European Cup Winners Cup. An impressive haul that doesn’t even come close to describing the influence Adams had over the best part of 20 years as an Arsenal player. George Graham built his team around him, he was the man Arsène Wenger had to win over to ensure that his French Revolution didn’t flounder immediately. At his best, Adams was a superb defender and, most importantly, a fine organiser of a defence with the ability to get the best out of those around him on the pitch (but it would seem, not in the dugout). He would easily be the first name on the Greatest Arsenal XI teamsheet, so makes an obvious No 1 here.

It got me thinking… who would be my top 10 all time Arsenal greats – and of course, I don’t have the first hand vantage point of seeing the golden oldies but my Arsenal career (if that’s the right word) spans 25 years or so and within that period, I’ve been graced with the likes of David Rocastle, Micheal Thomas, Paul Merson, Ian Wright, Robert Pires, Thiery Henry, Dennis Bergkamp amongst others. So who would feature in my all time XI… so here goes: (based on players at their peak)…


Dixon – Campbell – Adams – Clichy

Pires – Vieira – Merson – Overmars

Bergkamp – Henry

Maybe a little controversial, especially as when speaking to my peers about this, my inclusion of Dixon over Sagna heavily questioned, but yes, the current TV presenter Dixon, took my vote based on his years of consistency and 100%… with Sagna having only been at the club for 2 years, he couldn’t feature as the best right back in the last 25 years, it just wouldn’t make sense. And then my inclusion of Merson was also something that a few people had raised their eyebrows against – but Paul Merson, in his peak, playing the football for which he became famous for, was an amazing attacking midfielder with audicious vision and creativity…

Who would your top players be? What would be your best XI in the last 25 years odd?

I’ll be back later today or tomorrow with a round up of news and rumours circulating the team, but for now I’ll leave you with those thoughts…

  • Pete

    Bergkamp would have been number 1 for me, with Thierry coming a close second. The guy was absolutely phenominal, and I saw some of the bes football ever from any Arsenal player. Definately my favorite foreign player in the Premier League.

  • Arsefan101

    Thierry was the best player to grace the field of Highbury – had he retired here, he would have definitely been my #1. But in all honesty, I agree with Pete – Dennis is my #1 – he changed the way Arsenal play forever.

  • Berth

    Dev what of Steve Bould; I heard was he absolutely amazing in defence; and was actually voted best defender Arsenal has ever sometime.

  • Yemi

    Its a very hard call, there are a lot of players who have done so well for arsenal, Seaman, pires, ljuinberg, kanu, etc. But for me, i would like to pick from when i started following arsenal keenly and for me it would be bergkamp, henry, viera in that order.

  • Fo

    Tony Adams was much better than Steve Bould! IMO!

  • JDD

    Best 11

    Lauren Adams Keown Clichy
    Overmars Vieira Fabregas Pires
    Henry Bergkamp

    van persie ljungberg gilberto parlour could also be there

  • JDD

    does anyone know whether we will be getting a new 3rd kit?

    and what number do you think thomas vermaelen is going to be?

  • Pete

    Not yet sure about the 3rd kit or Vermaelens shirt number mate, sorry.

    It’s quite remarkable when you think of the number of top players at the club over the years, players I absolutely LOVED watching play.

    Henry, Bergkamp, Wright, Anelka, Ljundberg, Pires, Overmars, Kanu, Viera, Pettit, Gilberto Silva, Fabregas, Parlour, Dixon, Adams, Campbell, Winterburn, Keown, Sylvinho, even Cashly (when he was still Ashley Cole and not yet Cashley!!!). The list could go on!

  • Pete

    I think a few of the current squad who could be regarded in the same way as those players: Cesc (of course), Clichy, Toure, van Persie and Arshavin have definately proved their quality.

  • AJ

    Just a quick update on other teams, Santa Cruz has signed for City.

  • Berth

    Pet – Rosicky and Nasiri. I like Nasiri’s football brain, remember the goal against Hull city and the way he tried lifting the team spirit in the CL game against Man U at Emirates. His worth been looked at, if not now may be in the future.

  • Pete

    Definately mate. Nasri’s a good player with a lot of time on his side. Good signs from his so far.

    Santa Cruz is a good signing for City. They’ve got a good attacking line up in Robinho, Santa cruz and Bellemy. And they may be adding Tevez this summer too. Interesting times at the Emirates.

    Did anyone read Arshavin’s comments about him wanting to finish his career in Zenit?

    Also, Wolfsburg have today stated that Dzeko isn’t for sale.

  • Pete

    Whoops, mean interesting times in the transfer window! 😀

  • Berth

    Man and City – this lads are looking dreadful from a distance. Well the premier league is about to explode.

  • Berth

    Not that am scared lad, but the buys seem interesting. At least my team; oh sorry, our team is shaping up now.

    I still can’t see how a team with

    1. Arshavin

    2. Fabregas

    3. Van persie

    4. Toure

    5. Nasiri

    6. Rosicky (I love this lad)

    7. Song (A bit)

    8. Adebayor (The in form one)

    can’t win the league or a trophy net season.

  • Berth


  • AJ

    Another update, ESPN has bought Setanta’s set of games in the league.

  • devday

    JDD – I think Vermaelen will get the number 6 shirt, which is currently being occupied by Philippe Senderos… maybe that’s the main delay in the number stuff…