Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Arsenal Greatest All-Time Team Under Arsene Wenger

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Arsene Wenger

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Arsenal All-Time Team
Arsenal All-Time Team for Foreign Players
Arsenal All-Time Team for English Players
Arsenal All-Time Team from the British Isles(Excluding England)

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Arsenal under Arsene Wenger.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.  

Arsene Wenger has been the manager of Arsenal since 1996.  In the season 2013-2014 season, his team won the Premiership without losing a single game.  The team is nicknamed "Invincibles". 

The "Invincibles" winning the Premiership in 2004

GK: David Seaman (England)
The peak of Seaman's career was during his period as Arsenal and England goalkeeper in the 1990s and early 2000s. At Arsenal, he won three league championships (1991, 1998, 2002), four FA Cups (1993, 1998, 2002, 2003), the League Cup in 1993 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1994.  He also played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, and Euro 96 and Euro 2000, and is England's second-most capped goalkeeper with 75 caps.

GK: Jens Lehmann  (Germany)
Jens Lehmann  was voted UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year for the 1996–97 and 2005–06 seasons, and was selected for three World Cup squads. He was a member of Arsenal's Invincibles, playing every match of their famous unbeaten title winning season. He also holds the UEFA Champions League record for the most consecutive clean sheets, having not conceded a goal in 10 matches whilst at Arsenal.

GK: Petr Cech  (the Czech Republic)
Petr Cech is best remembered for being Chelsea's undisputred starting keeper from 2004 to 2014.  He won almost everything in club football, including the Champions'League in 2012.  He is considered among the greatest of his era. He also played for Sparta Prague, Rennes and Arsenal. For Czech Republic, he is the most capped player in the history of the Czech team, with 124 caps.

RB:  Lauren Etame Mayer (Cameroon)
Lauren Etame Mayer was a part of Arsenal's "Invincibles", a title given to Arsenal's team that went undefeated team in the Premiership.  He was named PFA Team of the Year that season.  He also played for , San Fernando, Sevilla, Levante, Mallorca and Portsmouth at the club level. He won two African Cup of Nations. He also won an Olympic Gold Medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics with Cameroon.

RB: Lee Dixon (England)
Lee Dixon played as a right-back for Arsenal, Burnley, Bury, Chester City and Stoke City.  He was a part of Arsenal's famous back four along with Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn. Dixon is also one of the only players in English football history to have won a league title in three different decades with the same club.  At the international level, he had 22 caps, making his debut in 1990. He never played in a major tournament.
Lee Dixon
CB: Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast)
He is Yaya Toure's brother.  He was a member of Arsenal's undefeated team in 2003-2004.  He later joined Manchester City andLiverpool. Touré is the second-most capped player for the Ivory Coast, with 118 appearances from 2000 to 2015. He represented the team at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cup Finals. Touré also represented the Ivory Coast at seven Africa Cup of Nations tournaments between 2002 and 2015, helping them finish runner-up in 2006 and 2012, while winning in 2015.

CB: Sol Campbell (England)
Sol Campbell was considered amo ng the greatest centerback in his generation. He was a member of Arsenal's "Invincibles" that went undefeated in 2003-2004 season.  He spent 9 seasons for Tottenham Hotspurs and served as its captain before moving to its rival Arsenal on a free transfer that sparked a controversy.  He later played for Portsmouth. For England, he earned 73 caps in 11 years.  He went to three World Cup Finals: 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Sol Campbell
CB: Martin Keown (England)
Keown's career lasted from 1984 to 2005. He made over 400 appearances for Arsenal and won 10 honours. He also played for Brighton, Aston Villa, Everton, Leicester City and Reading. He won 43 caps for England, gradually forming a respected defensive partnership with Arsenal teammate Tony Adams at both club and international level. Keown represented England at four major international football finals including the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

CB: Laurent Koscielny (France)
Laurent Koscielny started his career in the lower division in France before moving to Lorient in 2009.  He moved to Arsenal in 2010.  Less than a season later, he was called up to the French national team.  He had also considered playing for Poland.   In total, he was capped 51 times. He played in Euro 2012 and 2016, and the World Cup Finals in 2014. 

CB: Tony Adams (England)
Adams is a club legend with Arsenal who became the club captain at the age of 21.  A stature of him is erected at the Emirates Stadium. He formed the legendary backline with Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould with club.  He was a fixture for England from 1987 to 2000.  For England, he had 66 caps and served as its captain. He played the World Cup Finals in 1998 and went to three European Championship.
Tony Adams
LB: Ashley Cole (England)
Ashley Cole was considered one of the finest leftbacks of his generation.  He was voted the England Player of the Year in 2010. He played in 3 World Cup Finals.  He is also England's most-capped full-back in history.  He played with Arsenal, but moved to its rival Chelsea.  He won the Champions' League in 2012 with Chelsea. 

LB: Nigel Winterburn (England)
Nigel Winterburn was known for his role alongside the likes of Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Martin Keown and Lee Dixon playing for Arsenal's backline in the 1990's.  He also played for Wimbledon F.C. and West Ham.  At the international level, he was capped twice for England. He played at the same time as Stuart Pearce.

DM: Gilberto Silva (Brazil)
Gilberto Silva started his career with Atlético Mineiro.  He was best remembered for his 6 seasons with Arsenal, where he joined after the 2002 World Cup Finals.  He played 93 times for Brazil.  He was a key player at the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan/Korea after Emerson was injured before the tournament.  He also went to the World Cup Finals in 2006 and 2010. He captained the national team at the 2007 Copa America, where Brazil won its 8th title.
Gilberto Silva 
CM: Ray Parlour (England)
Ray Parlour  spent his career playing for Arsenal, Middlesbrough and Hull City. He was a legend with Arsenal between 1992 and 2004. During his Arsenal career, he was nicknamed "The Romford Pelé"; although the nickname was given with an ironic sense of humour, on account of his solid performance but unglamorous image. He has been described as an "unsung hero".  Capped 10 times.

CM: Patrick Vieira (France)
Vieira was an all-time great with Arsenal.  He won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups.  In England. he was famous for his rivalry with Roy Keane.  He spent a season at Juventus, helping the team to the Serie A championship. Following Juventus' relegation for their part in a match-fixing scandal, Vieira played for Inter Milan and then, Manchester City for two seasons. With "Les Bleus", he won the WC in 1998 and European Championship in 2000.  He earned 107 caps.
Patrick Vieira vs Keane

RW/LW:  Robert Pires (France)
Pires played for Metz, Marseilles, Villarreal and Aston Villa, but was better remembered as a part of the "French Connection" at Arsenal.  With Arsenal, he won three FA Cups and two Premier League titles including the club's unbeaten season of 2003–04.  He played there from 2000 to 2006.  For France, he was a part of the generation that won the World Cup in 1998 and European Championship in 2000.  He was capped 79 times.

RW/LW: Fredrik Ljungberg (Sweden)
Fredrik Ljungberg began his career at Halmstads BK and went on to spend most of his career at Arsenal, where he won honours including two Premier League titles and three FA Cups, scoring in two finals including the victory in 2002.  He also had short spells at a number of clubs in England, Scotland, the United States and Japan. Ljungberg earned 75 caps and was captain of the Swedish national team until he announced his international retirement after UEFA Euro 2008.
Fredrik Ljungberg 
LW/RW: Marc Overmars (Netherlands)
Known for his speed, Overmars was a member of the youthful Ajax team that won the European cup in 1995. He moved to Arsenal in 1997, where he starred playing under Arsene Wenger.  He won the Double in 1997-1998.  He later moved to Barcelona and Go Ahead Eagles. His career with Oranja lasted from 1993 to 2004, and was an important player.  He won the Best Young Player Award at USA 1994. 

AM/SS: Cesc Fabregas (Spain)
Cesc was lured to play for Arsenal's academy in 2003 from Barcelona FC.  He made his first time debut as a teenager. he helped Arsenal to reach the Champions' league Final in 2005.  He retuned to Spain in 2011 with Barcelona, but returned to England in 2014, joining Chelsea.  He was a part of Spain that won the World Cup in 2010 and two European Championships.

AM: Mesut Özil (Germany)
Mesut Özil is a third generation German of Turkish decent.  He played for Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen before making a dream move to Real Madrid after South Africa 2010.  He moved to Arsenal in 2013, which was then a transfer record for German players.  For the national team., he was a part of Germany's World Cup winning team in 2014. At the time of writing, he has over 90 caps. He retired from the national team over a political row in 2018.
Mesut Özil
FW/RW: Alexis Sanchez (Chile)
After playing with Cobreloa, Sánchez was signed by Italy's Udinese in 2006.  In 2011, he was signed by Barcelona for £25 million, becoming the most expensive transfer in Chilean football history. In 2014, he moved rot Arsenal.  At the time of writing, he earned 108 caps.  He has played in the WC Finals of 2010 and 2014. He helped Chile to win the 2015 Copa America.  A year later, he led Chile to win Copa América Centenario in the US.

FW:  Theirry Henry (France)
Theirry Henry is the all-time leading scorer for both Arsenal and France.  He was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year twice, and the FWA Footballer of the Year three times. He spent 8 seasons with Arsenal. He also played for Monaco, Barcelona and NY Red Bulls. He earned over 120 caps, winning the 1998 World Cup played at the home and the following European Championship in  2000.

FW: Nwankwo Kanu (Nigeria)
Kanu was voted as Nigeria's greatest player.  He captained Nigeria's Gold Medal team at Atlanta 1996.  He was African Player of the Year in 1996 and 1999.  He was a member of Ajax that won the 1995 Champions' League and considered one of the greatest club sides in history.  Because of a heart condition, his career in Italy was interrupted and joined Arsenal in 1999, where he enjoyed 6 great seasons.

FW: Dennis Bergkamp (Holland)
Bergkamp was the best-known Dutch player of the mid-1990's.  He helped Holland to reach the semi-final of the 1998 WC Finals in France.  His goal vs Argentina at was considered among the best ever scored in WC history.  Bergkamp surpassed Faas Wilkes's record to become the country's top goalscorer of all time in 1998. He started with Ajax and played for Inter Milan.  He also had a successful career with Arsenal.
Dennis Bergkamp

ST: Robin Van Persie (Holland)
Robin Van Persie played for Feyenoord between 2001 and 2004, but was known for his career playing in England. He spent 8 seasons with Arsenal, winning both PFA and FWA Player of the Year in 2011-2012.  Immediately after winning the two awards, he made a controversial transfer to rival Manchester United. He also played for Fenerbahçe at the end of his career. At the time of writing, he has earned 102 caps, helping Holland to finish second in South Africa 2010.
Robin Van Persie
Honorable Mention 
Santi Cazorla, Bacary Sagna, Emmanuel Eboue, Edu, Theo Walcott, Sylvain Wiltord, William Gallas, Emmanuel Petit, Tomáš Rosický, Gaël Clichy, Emmanuel Adebayor, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Squad Explanation
-- This is my selection of Arsenal players who played under Arsene Wenger.  It is not a prediction of what he would select his all-time team, but it is my view of the best players who played under him.  
-- Wenger's tenure with Arsenal was known for its "French Connection".  He bought a lot of French players. For this all-time team, I only selected 4 Frenchmen.  They are Laurent Koscielny, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira. Emmanuel Petit was the last player cut.  He made my honourable mention alongside Sylvain Wiltord, William Gallas, Gaël Clichy and Bacary Sagna.
-- I selected  Ray Parlour (England) over Emmanuel Petit.  Petit is on my Arsenal All-Time Team for Foreign Players team.
-- Wenger's greatest team was probably the "Invincibles".   I selected 14 players from that team. They are Jens Lehmann,  Ashely Cole, Martin Keown, Gaël Clichy, Sol Campbell, Lauren, Kolo Touré, Patrick Vieria, Giberto Silva, Frederick Ljungberg, Ray Palour, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Nwankwo Kanu.
-- Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie won PFA Player of the Year while playing under him.  At the time of writing, only one other Arsenal player, Liam Brady, had won the award.  he won it in the season 1978-1979.  The same three players also won the FWA Player of the Year award.
-- At the time of writing, Wenger had used 16 keepers.  Only three stood up, namely David Seaman, Jens Lehmann and Petr Cech.  Most of them did not last long enough.
-- I brought 5 centerbacks because I could not decide which one to drop. Adams was a lock, but the rest of the backs were very even.
-- The "Dixon/Adams/Winterburn/Bould" line served Arsenal well, but "Lauren/Campbell/Toure/Cole" line was more for Wenger's team. 
-- Arsene Wenger had a successful career with AS Monaco between 1987 and 1994. Emmanuel Petit also played for Wenger with AS Monaco.  He is the only player who played for both clubs under Wenger.  Thierry Henry did not play for him in the senior side.  He came from their youth academy under Wenger's guidance.  Henry joined Wenger's Arsenal in 1999.
-- I was undecided about the rightback position. Bacary Sagna deserved to be on the team, but I kept Lauren who was on the "Invincibles".  Dixon probably played his best football before Wenger's time, but I took him over Sagna. Dixon has more of a legendary status because of his association with Adams, Winterburn and Bould. The four of them formed one of Arsenal's greatest defensive line.
-- Steve Bould did not play much under Wenger.
-- Mesut Özilwas seriously considered, but I went with Tomáš Rosický .
-- Emmanuel Adebayor's career was very short with Arsenal.  The same applied Nicholas Anelka.  Anelka played well, but he quickly moved to Real Madrid.  So I went with other players.



  1. Adebayor with his disgusting celebration never be in any Arsenal whatever-team. I would replace him with Giroud, Arshavin or Eduardo for their contributions. Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta is missing on that honor list too.