Friday, June 28, 2019

Manchester United All-Time Team for English Players

Sir Matt Busby with Roger Byrne and Duncan Edwards

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Manchester United All-Time Team
Manchester United Greatest All-Time Team under Sir Alex
Manchester United Greatest All-Time Team under Sir Busby
Manchester United All-Time team for British isles (excluding England)
This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Manchester United's English players.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Even before the arrival Sir Alex Ferguson in 1986, Manchester United was the most popular club in England, despite not being the most successful side.  The Busby Babe created a lot of excitement for English football and then, the Munich air disaster turned the Red Devils into a team that everyone with a heart to follow.  By the late 1960's, the Trinity of Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best represented three parts of the United Kingdom.  They appealed to the fans from ScotlandNorthern Ireland and England.  In 1968, Manchester United became the first English side to win the European Cup.  After the formation of the Premiership, they became the most successful club in English domestic football overtaking Liverpool for winning the most number of league titles.
Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson
GK: Alex Stepney 
Alex Stepney played with Millwall before joining Chelsea.  He only played one game and was sold to Manchester United in 1966 to replace Harry Greg who was injured during the Munich Disaster.  Stepney helped the Red Devils to win the 1968 European Cup. He played with them until 1978 when he left for the NASL.  His international career was limited to a single cap, but he traveled to the 1970 WC Finals as a backup.
Alex Stepney
GK: Jimmy Rimmer 
Rimmer is considered to be the greatest Aston Villa goalkeeper. He won two European Cup medals: 1968 with Manchester United and 1982 with Aston Villa.  He was Alex Stepney's understudy in the 1968 Final.  In 1982, he only played 9 minutes before getting an injury. He played 3 seasons with Arsenal, where he was their player of the year in 1975. He was capped once in 1976.

GK: Gary Bailey
Bailey started his career with Wits University in Johannesburg. He paid his own fare to Manchester for a trial with Manchester United.
He established himself as United goalkeeper in the late 1970s. He won FA Cup medals in 1983 and 1985.  He later played with Kaizer Chiefs, before retiring in 1990. For England, he was only capped twice due to playing at the same time as Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence. 

RB: Gary Neville
Along with his brother Philip, David Beckham, Paul Scoles, Ryan Giggs, and Nicky Butt, Gary Neville captained the Manchester United academy team that won the FA Youth Cup in 1991.  They all became fixtures for the senior team throughout the 1990's.  Gary Neville remained the team until 2011 and was the second, longest serving player.  For England, he was the most capped rightback in history.

RB: Mike Duxbury
Duxbury began his career as a right back with Everton, but he signed for Manchester United as a schoolboy in 1975. He made his Manchester United debut in 1980. In 1990, he left United for Blackburn Rovers. He later played for Bradford City and for Golden FC in Hong Kong before retiring in 1994. Duxbury was capped 10 times by England, making his debut in November 1983 and earning his last cap in October 1984.

CB: Rio Ferdinand 
Rio Ferdinand became the youngest defender to play for the Three Lions at the time in 1997.   He played 81 times for England  between 1997 and 2011, and was a member of three World Cup squads.  At one point, he was the most expensive British footballer and also broke the world's record transfer fees for a defender twice. He won the Champions' League with Manchester United in 2008. He also played for Leeds United and West Ham.
Rio Ferdinand 

CB: Steve Bruce 
Steve Bruce played for Gillingham and Norwich before joining Manchester United in 1987, where he would play until 1996.  Under Sir Alex Ferguson, he won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one Football League Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup.  He also became the first English player of the 20th century to captain a team to the Double. Despite his success with his club, he was never selected to play for England. 

CB: Gary Pallister
Pallister played for Middlesbrough before he moved to Manchester United in 1989.  His transfer broke the national record for a fee paid for a defender, as well as being the highest fee between British clubs. By the time of his departure from Old Trafford after nine years, he was the only player to have collected winner's medals in all of the club's successes under Alex Ferguson's management.  He was capped 22 times.

CB: Bill Foulkes 
Bill Foulkes was a one club man.  played for Manchester United in the Busby Babes teams of the 1950s, and also in the 1960s. His favoured position was centre-half. For Manchester United, he played 688 games which places him at number 4 on the all-time list of appearances. He was a part of the 1968 European Cup winning team. He was capped once by England.
Bill Foulkes 
LB:  Roger Byrne 
Roger Byrne was the captain of the Busby Babes from the 1955–56 season onwards.  With Manchester United, he won the league title in 1952, 1956 and 1957. He earned 33 caps with England while playing in every England's fixtures in that period, a record for England.  This remains a record.  Unfortunately, he died at the age of 28 in the Munich Air Disaster. 

LB: John Aston Sr
John Aston Sr's made his debut for Manchester United in 1946. He was a one club player.  He played in the 1948 FA Cup Final triumph over Blackpool at Wembley Stadium. He left the club in 1954 after scoring 30 goals in 284 appearances.He won 17 England caps between 1948 and 1950, all at left-back, and featured in the 1950 FIFA World Cup. His son John Aston Jr also played for Manchester United.

DM: Nobby Stiles 
Stiles played for England for five years, winning 28 caps and scoring 1 goal. He played every minute of England's victorious 1966 FIFA World Cup campaign.  Stiles played the majority of his club career for Manchester United, spending eleven years at Old Trafford.  He won the European Cup in 1968. After retirement, he was famously known for the youth coach for Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholas, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt.

CM: Michael Carrick 
Michael Carrick started his career with West Ham and Tottenham Hotspurs before moving to Manchester United in 2006.  At Old Trafford, he won every major trophy for club football, including the Champions' League Title in 2008.  At the international level, he played 34 times for England between 2001 and 2015. He went to the World Cup Finals in 2006 and 2010.
Michael Carrick
CM: Bryan Robson 
Bryan Robson was at one point the most expensive British player when he joined Manchester United from West Bromwich Albion in 1981.  He is considered to be one of England's best ever box-to-box midfielders.  He earned 90 caps for England. He went to three World Cup Finals, but he only played a major role in 1982.  He was injured in both World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990.  He spent 13 years with Manchester United, winning the Cup Winners' Cup for the season 1990–91.

CM: Duncan Edwards 
Duncan Edwards was one of the Busby Babes of Manchester United.  He made his professional debut at the age of 16. He was the youngest player to play in the Football League First Division. He died in 1958 during the Munich Air Disaster at the age of 21.  Many people considered him to be  England's greatest player.  He was a dominating central midfielder of his time. For the English national team, he was capped 18 times between 1955 and 1957, scoring 5 goals.
Duncan Edwards 

AM/CM: Paul Scholas 
Scholas was a member of Manchester United's Class of 1992.  He spent 20 years with Manchester United's first team.  He won 11 Premier League, three FA Cup and two UEFA Champions League winners medals.  He earned 66 caps for England before he retired from the Three Lions in 2004. His cap total was limited because of playing the same generation with Frank Lampard and Steve Gerrard.

AM: Sir Bobby Charlton 
Sir Bobby was considered one of the greatest midfielders of all-time.  He was capped 106 times by England and led England to World Cup victory in 1966.  He is also England's all-time leading scorer and all-time cap leader at the time of his retirement.  He was selected for four World Cups (1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970). For club career,  he almost played his entire career with Manchester United.  He was the hero of Manchester United's the first ever European Cup trophy in 1968. He won the Ballon D'Or in 1966.
Sir Bobby

RW: David Beckham 
Beckham is the greatest ever icon to play the game. He started his career with Manchester United where he was a part of the famous team that won the 1992 FA Youth Cup. For the senior side, he won 6 Premiership titles and the 1999 Champions' League.  In 2003, he joined Real Madrid for the well-publicized "Galacticos" signing.  In 2007, he moved to LA Galaxy, where he kickstarted a soccer fever in the United States.  For England, he earned 115 caps and was a key part of the national team throughout his career.

David Beckham

RW: Steve Coppell
Coppell played  or Tranmere Rovers while he studied for a degree in economic history at the University of Liverpool.  In 1975, he joined Manchester United.  He helped the club to win promotion that year.  From 1977 to 1983, he earned 42 caps for England.  He played in the 1982 World Cup Finals, despite suffering from an injury.  He retired in 1983 at the age of 28.

LW: George Wall
Wall started his career with Boldon Royal Rovers and played for Whitburn and Jarrow before joining Barnsley in 1903. In 1906, he transferred to Manchester United and helped them win the 1908 and 1911 league titles, as well as the 1909 FA Cup. He left the club in 1915 because of World War I and joined Oldham Athletic after the war in 1919. He later played for Hamilton Academical, Rochdale Ashton National and Manchester Ship Canal. Wall also won seven caps for England, scoring two goals

RW/LW: Lee Sharpe

Sharpe joined Manchester United from Torquay United as a youngster in 1988.  He played a key part in United's success in the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1990–91.  However, injuries and the emerge of Ryan Giggs limited his career with Manchester United. He later played left back and right wing for them.  He left Manchester United in 1996 and never found stardom.  Sharpe was capped eight times by England between 1991 and 1993.

FW: Wayne Rooney
In 2002, Rooney made his debut as a 16 years old with Everton.  Less than a year later, he became England's youngest international when he played against Australia.  He made his big tournament debut at Euro 2004.  He scored 4 goals and named as a member of the tournament's best XI.  At the time of writing, he is England's key player for every major tournament since Euro 2004.  As for Manchester United, he has won 5 Preimer League titles.  In 2008, he formed a partnership with Cristano Ronaldo and won the Champions' League.
Wayne Rooney
ST: Dennis Viollet
Dennis Viollet came through the junior ranks at Manchester United and turned professional in 1950. His first game for the club came against arch-rivals Newcastle United on 11 April 1953. He was a striker, along with Tommy Taylor for the Busby Babes of the 1950s. He was a survivor of the Munich air disaster. He played twice for England, debuting in 1960 against Hungary.

ST: Tommy Taylor 
Tommy Taylor was one of the eight Manchester United players who lost their lives in the Munich air disaster.  He was 8 days past his 26th birthday. He started with Barnley and moved to Manchester United in 1953.  For England, he was seen as the  perfect eventual replacement for the ageing Nat Lofthouse in the England side. In all, he played 19 times for England, scoring 16 goals. He managed two hat-tricks for the England team.

ST: Jack Rowley 
Rowley mainly remembered for a 17-year spell with Manchester United. He was nicknamed "The Gunner" because of his prolific goalscoring and explosive shooting, scoring 211 goals in 424 appearances for United between 1937 and 1954.  He is one of only four players in the history of Manchester United to score over 200 goals for the club.  He was also capped six times for England scoring six goals, four of which came against Northern Ireland  in 1949.
Jack Rowley
Honorable Mention
Reg Allen, Jack Crompton, Ray Wood, Andy Cole, Frank Barson, Stuart Pearson, Stan Pearson, Joe Spence, Allenby Chilton, Teddy Sheringham, Jack Silcock, Eddie Colman, Johnny Berry, David Pegg, Albert Scanlon, Charlie Mitten, Charlie Moor,  Brian Kidd, David Sadler, Mark Jones, Nicky Butt, Paul Ince.

Squad Explanation
-- Ten of my players made my all-time Manchester United team.  They are Alex Stepney, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Bill Foulkes, Rio Ferdinard, Sir Bobby Charlton, Roger Byrne, Duncan Edwards, Bryan Robson and Paul Scholas.
--The third keeper was difficult to choose. Gary Bailey, Reg Allen, Jack Crompton and Ray Wood all played with each other. In the end, I chose Gary Bailey because he is the longest serving starter among the four keepers. Alf Steward and Harry Moger were also considered.
-- The four centerbacks are easy to choose. Steve Bruce, Rio Ferdinard, Gary Pallister and Bill Foulkes are among the greatest defenders ever played for the club.
-- Charlie Moore was an old-timer whom I did not know much.
-- I do not have much choices for leftback after Roger Byrne.  John Aston Sr. edged out Jack Silcock because Silcok played mainly in the 2nd division.
-- Michael Carrick played 12 seasons with Manchester United. In his career, he was often overshadowed by other star players in the squad, but he was an unsung hero to the club.
-- The right midfield/wing position has many options. Both David Beckham and Steve Coppell are known as Manchester United's all-time greats. Eddie Colman, Joe Spence and Johnny Berry also deserved serious considerations.
-- On the left side, the options are much more limited.  I have the following English players: David Pegg, Lee Sharpe, George Wall (most appearance), Albert Scanlon and Charlie Mitten. While it is a great list, I do not have a "David Beckham" on the left.  In the end, I took Wall because he served the longest with the club. Pegg's career was cut short by the air disaster in Munich.
-- Lee Sharpe took the 25th spot. He was extraordinary in his peak, but his peak was very short. In the end, I took him because the team lacked left wingers.  Joe Spence who is listed among the legends on official website of Manchester United and Andy Cole were also seriously considered for the last spot.
-- Wayne Rooney is Manchester United's all-time leading scorer and the only player to have scored 250 goals for the Reds.  I do not think the fans respected him as much as he deserved.
David Beckahm, Gary Neville and Paul Scholas

I tried to put the best eleven players on the field.  Rooney on the left is very weird, I admitted.  Starting George Wall or Lee Sharpe might be a more realistic formation.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Arsenal All-Time Team for British Isles (excluding England)

O’Leary, Stapleton,Jennings, Nelson, Devine, Rice and Brady

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Arsenal All-Time Team
Arsenal All-Time Team Under Arsene Wenger

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Arsenal's  players from the  British Isles, excluding the English players.  I did a Arsenal All-Time Team for English PlayersThe number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.  

Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893. They entered the First Division in 1904, and have since accumulated the second most points. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division. In the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, and another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970–71, they won their first League and FA Cup Double. Between 1989 and 2005, they won five League titles and five FA Cups, including two more Doubles. They completed the 20th century with the highest average league position.
 Bob Wilson and Frank McLintock 
GK: Pat Jennings (N.Ireland)
Pat Jennings is considered among the greatest goalkeeper of all-time.  The prime of his career was spent with both Tottenham Hotspurs and Arsenal.  In 1973 the Football Writers' Association named him as its footballer of the year. Three years later he won PFA's version of the award – he was the first goalkeeper to receive this accolade, and to this date remains only one of two, along with Peter Shilton. He earned 119 caps for Northern Ireland and went to two WC Finals. 
Pat Jennings
GK: Bob Wilson (Scotland)
As a player, Bob Wilson played as an amateur for Wolverhampton Wolves before he was signed by Arsenal in 1963.  He is most noted for his career at Arsenal between 1963 and 1974. He made over 300 appearances for Arsenal.  Born in England to Scottish parents, he was capped by Scotland twice in 1971.

GK:  Jack Kelsey (Wales)
Kelsey had 41 caps for Wales.  He was Wales' keeper at the World Cup Finals in 1958, their only finals appearance to date. They were eventually knocked out 1–0 by winners Brazil in the quarter-finals..  He spent his entire career with Arsenal.  He played over 300 games for Arsenal from 1949 to 1963.  He became their starter in the 1953-1954 season. However, he went trophyless during his time there.

RB: Pat Rice (N.Ireland)
Pat Rice played for Arsenal between 1967 and 1980.  He was known for being a member of the team that won the League/FA Cuo Double in 1970-1971 season.  He was one of the few Arsenal players who had played for five FA Cup Finals, winning the cup twice. He was capped 49 times for Northern Ireland. 

RB/LB: Walley Barnes (Wales)
Barnes initially played as an inside-forward for Southampton in wartime games between 1941 and 1943.  From 1943 to 1956, he played for Arsenal, reaching the Final of two FA Cups, winning the one in 1950.  Barnes played 20 times for Wakes.  He made his debut in 1947 in which he guarded Sir Stanley Matthews in that game.

CB: David O'Leary (Ireland)
David O'Leary made a record of 722 appearance for Arsenal.  For Arsenal, he won the English League, FA Cup and the League Cup, two of each.  He also played briefly with Leeds United at the end of his career. With 68 caps, he represented Ireland at the World Cup Finals in 1990, scoring the winning penalty against Romania in the penalty shootout.
David O'Leary
HB/CB: Dave Bowen (Wales)
Bowen only played 12 times for Northampton before catching the eye of Arsenal. He joined them in 1950.  He was Arsenal captain in his final two seasons. In all he played 162 matches for the club, scoring twice.  For Wales,  Bowen went on to win 19 caps for Wales, and was the team's captain for their 1958 World Cup campaign.  Along with goalkeeper Jack Kelsey, Bowen was the first Arsenal player to play in a World Cup.

CB: Terry Neill (N.Ireland) 
Neill played as a youth for Bangor before making Arsenal's debut against Sheffield Wednesday in 1960. He became the youngest Arsenal captain in the club's history at 20 years of age. From 1970 to 1973, he played for Hull City. In total, he played 275 times for Arsenal, scoring ten goals. From 1963 to 1973, he was capped by Northern Ireland for 59 times.

CB: Willie Young (Scotland)
Nicknamed "Big Willie" Young first played for Aberdeen,between 1970 and 1975. He was signed by Tottenham Hotspur in 1975, but he joined Arsenal in 1977.  He later played for Norwich City, Brighton and Hove and Darlington.  Young never played a full international for Scotland having been banned for life after an incident concerning a light bulb in a Copenhagen nightclub in 1975

LB: Sammy Nelson (N.Ireland)
Nelson turned professional with Arsenal on his 17th birthday in 1966.  He played in all three of their successive FA Cup finals, winning it in 1979.  Nelson made his debut for Northern Ireland as a substitute against England on 21 April 1970. He went on to win 51 international caps, two of which came in Northern Ireland's matches at the 1982 World Cup.

LB: Bob John (Wales) 
Born in Barry, John played for Barry Town and Caerphilly, before joining English club Arsenal in 1922 for a fee of £750. He won the 1930 FA Cup, followed by three First Division titles, in 1930–31, 1932–33 and 1933–34.  He also scored Arsenal's only goal of the 1932 FA Cup Final. For Wales, he played 15 times between 1923 and 1936.

DM/CB: Frank McLintock  (Scotland)
McLintock  earned a professional contract with English First Division club Leicester City in 1956. He played in two League Cup final defeats before he was sold to Arsenal in 1964.  Appointed as captain he led the club to their first European trophy, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1970. The following season, 1970–71, he captained Arsenal to the Double, as they won the league and the FA Cup. He earned only 9 caps, largely because of playing at the same time with  Dave Mackay, John Greig, Bobby Murdoch and Billy Bremner.
Frank McLintock 
DM: John Dick (Scotland)
Dick first played for Airdrieonians, but in 1898 he was signed by London side Woolwich Arsenal as one of manager William Elcoat's many Scottish signings.  He was an ever-present as Arsenal won promotion from the Second Division to the First Division in 1903-04. In all, he played 262 games for Arsenal in the League and FA Cup, and 30 in other first-class matches.

LH/DM: Alex Forbes (Scotland) 
Forbes signed for Sheffield United in 1944 . After Forbes suffered an injury, he lost his place in the Sheffield United.  Arsenal signed Forbes in 1948.  He played for Leyton Orient, Fulham and non-league club Gravesend and Northfleet before retiring as a player. Forbes played 14 times for Scotland between 1947 and 1952. He also represented Scotland at ice hockey.

LH/LM: Roddy McEachrane (Scotland) 
At age 20, McEachrane started to work at the Thames Iron Works, and joined the works football team, Thames Ironworks F.C.  In May 1902, McEachrane joined Second Division side Woolwich Arsenal. His arrival coincided with the south London club's first period of success, as they finished third in the 1902-03 season, and then second in 1903-04, which won them promotion to the First Division.  

LM: Billy Blyth (Scotland)
Blyth played as a schoolboy for Wemyss Athletic. He was with Manchester City briefly before signing for Arsenal in 1914.  He became a mainstay in the side 10 seasons between the war, and became club captain in 1925. He moved to Birmingham in 1929.  He also starred in one of the first football-related films, the 1930 production The Great Game.

CM: Aaron Ramsey (Wales)
Aaron Ramsey made his senior debut for Wales at the age of 17.  He was made captain at the age of 20, the youngest ever. He was a part of Wales' team that made to the semifinal of the European Championship in 2016, where he was included in the Team of the Tournament. He also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.  At the club level, Ramsey started his career with Cardiff in 2006, but made his name with Arsenal when he joined in 2008.
Aaron Ramsey
AM: Alex James (Scotland)
Alex James was one of the greatest player ever for Arsenal.  He is most noted as the play making lynch pin with Arsenal with whom he won six senior trophies in the first seven seasons of the 1930s. he also played for Preston Northend. For Scotland, he was known with his partnership with Hughie Gallacher. He was a member of "Wembley Wizards" that England 5-1 in 1928. However, he was only capped 8 times. 
Alex James
RW: Gavin Crawford (Scotland)
Crawford started playing for Glasgow side Fairfield Rangers in 1887. In 1890, he joined Sheffield United of the Midland Counties League. Then, Crawford moved to London to join Woolwich Arsenal, becoming the first professional player for the side. He at once became a regular as the club joined the Football League in 1893. All in all, he played 211 times for Woolwich Arsenal in pre-league, league and cup games, scoring 18 goals altogether.[3]

LW/AM: Liam Brady (Ireland)
Liam Brady played over 200 times for Arsenal in the 1980's.  He was the PWA Player of the Year in 1979.  He was one of the few successful Irish players playing outside the UK.  In 1980, he moved to Juventus, where he won two Series A titles in two seasons.  He went on to play for Inter Milan and Ascoli before joining West Ham in 1987. He made 72 caps for Republic of Ireland, but he never went to a major tournament.
Liam Brady
FW: George Graham (Scotland)
For his club career, Graham played for Aston Villa, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Portsmouth and Crystal Palace. He was part of the side that won the Football League Championship and FA Cup "double" in 1971. That year, he earned his first cap for Scotland.  In total, he had 12 caps.

FW: David Herd (Scotland)
David Herd played for Arsenal, Manchester United, Stockport County, and Stoke City.  He was the 15th leading scorer with Arsenal, where he played from 1954 to 1962.  With Manchester United, he won the European Cup in 1968, but he did not play in the Final against Benfica.  He was capped 5 times for Scotland. His first cap was in 1958 against Wales.

FW: Jimmy Logie (Scotland)
Logie first played for Scottish junior side Lochore Welfare, before being signed by Arsenal in 1939. He served in the Royal Navy during the War.  He took part in all of Arsenal's early post-war successes; Arsenal won two First Division titles in 1947-48 and 1952-53, and the 1949-50 FA Cup – Logie set up both goals in a 2-0 win over Liverpool in the final.  He only ever won a single a cap for Scotland, playing against Northern Ireland on 5 November 1952. 

ST: Frank Stapleton (Ireland)
Frank Stapleton was Ireland's all-time leading scorer for a decade.  He had 71 caps. He captained Ireland at the European Championship in 1988.  It was Ireland's first major tournament. At the club level, he is best remembered for his time at Arsenal and Manchester United, where he won a single FA Cup for both clubs. He also played in Holland, Belgium and France after he left Manchester United.
Frank Stapleton 
ST: Charlie Nicholas (Scotland)
Nicholas began his career at Celtic.  He scored 48 goals in the 1982 to 1983 season while winning both Scottish PFA Player of the Year and Scottish Football Writers' Player of the Year awards.  From 1983 to 1988, he played with Arsenal.  He later played with Aberdeen before rejoining Celtic in 1990. From 1983 to 1989, he played 20 times for Scotland.  He was in Scotland's squad for the 1986 World Cup, playing in the group matches against Denmark
Charlie Nicholas
Honorable Mention
Billy McCullough (N.Ireland), Steve Morrow (N. Ireland), John Hartson (Wales), Eddie McGoldrick (Ireland), Joe Havety (Ireland), John Devine (Ireland), David Greenaway (Scotland), Angus McKinnon (Scotland), Johnny MacLeod (Scotland), Dan Lewis (Wales), Charlie Jones (Wales), Eddie Kelly (Scotland0, Caesar Jenkyns (Wales)

Squad Explanation
-- Some of the greatest Arsenal players came from the British Isles, but it is my most difficult Arsenal's blog to research.  Many players are from the early years of the club.  
-- Pat Jennings, Bob Wilson, David O'Leary, Pat Rice, Frank McLintock, Alex James and Liam Brady are also on my Arsenal All-Time Team.
-- My blog team Arsenal All-Time Team Under Arsene Wenger does not consist a single non-English player from the British Isles.  It said something about how Wenger transformed Arsenal into a club of foreign players.  Aaron Ramsey did play for him, but he did not make that team.
-- Arsenal went undefeated in the Preimership in the 2003-2004 season.  The team was known as the "Invincibles". Goalkeeper Graham Stack of Ireland was the only member of the team who was from the British Isles outside of England.  He played 5 games in the League Cup that season.
-- I honored some of the old-timers playing for the club under the name Woolwich Arsenal.  It was playing in the lower division. Gavin Crawford, Billy Blyth, Roddy McEachrane, etc played for them.
-- Caesar Jenkyns (Wales) became the club's first ever international player, after winning a cap for Wales against Scotland on 21 March 1896.  He was a defender who played with Woolwich Arsenal between 1895 and 1896.  He made honorable mention.  
-- Three members of the squad are members of my Ireland All-Time Team.  They are Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton and David O’Leary.
-- David O'Leary is the all-time appearance leader for the club.  At the time of writing Pat Rice is 7th.
-- Frank McLintock was credited for his key role in Arsenal's double triumph.  He won the FWA Footballer of the Year award in the 1970-1971 season.  He also led the club to their first European trophy, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1970. 
-- Liam Brady also won a winner of the PFA Players' Player of the Year award in the 1978-1979 season.  He was credited for his part in Arsenal's FA Cup triumph that year.  Of course, Brady's contribution to Arsenal is well-known.
-- I also created a team for Arsenal's English players only. Arsenal All-Time Team for English Players.
-- Arsenal won the 1979 FA Cup with Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton, and David O' Leary from Ireland, Pat Jennings, Sam Nelson and Pat Rice from Northern Ireland, and Willie Young from Scotland.  Pat Rice was their captain and Terry Neil as manager.
-- Willie Young was a fan favourite.
-- I always thought Charlie Nicholas was known as ""Champagne Charlie".  His career was better known for outside the playing field, but he was voted the 50 Greatest Arsenal Players by the fans on the official website.  I selected him because of that. 
-- Arsenal consisted many good left back or left half. So I did not have room for Billy McCullough or Jimmy Jackson, 
-- Gavin Crawford was one of my Arsenal's first ever professional players.  He was one of the longest-surviving members of Arsenal's first professional side, along with Bill Julian and Jack McBean. The three stalwarts were reunited at an Arsenal game against Chelsea on 20 March 1948.
-- Niall Quinn (Ireland)'s career with Arsenal was not too successful.
-- George Graham's name was often associated with being the manager of Arsenal. As a player, he was part of the side that won the Football League Championship and FA Cup "double" in 1971.
-- Dave Bowen edged out Eddie Kelly for the last spot.  Along with Jack Kelsey, Bowen was the first ever Arsenal active player to play in a WC Finals.  He was the captain of Wales' national team in 1958.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Arsenal All-Time Team for Foreign Players

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

Ljungberg, Kanu and Henry
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Arsenal All-Time Team
Arsenal All-Time Team Under Arsene Wenger

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

Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893. They entered the First Division in 1904, and have since accumulated the second most points. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division. In the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, and another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970–71, they won their first League and FA Cup Double. Between 1989 and 2005, they won five League titles and five FA Cups, including two more Doubles. They completed the 20th century with the highest average league position.
Alexis and Özil 
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: Gerrit Keizer (Netherlands)
Keizer joined Ajax Amsterdam at the age of 16.  Then, he went to play in England. Keizer at first played as an amateur for Kent side Margate.  He made Arsenal's debut against Blackpool on August 30, 1930.  He went on to play in Arsenal's first twelve First Division matches of the 1930-31 season. With the Gunners, Keizer went on to win the First Division title of 1930-31. As well this victory was Arsenal's first ever league title.

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: Bacary Sagna  (France)
Barcary Sagna his career at Auxerre, before transferring to Arsenal for £7 million in 2007. In 2014, shortly after winning the FA Cup, his first trophy at the club, he made a move to Manchester City. From 2014 to 2017, Sagna played for Manchester City.  He played for France at World Cup Finals in 2010 and 2014, and the European Championship in 2016.
Bacary Sagna 

CB: William Gallas (France)
Before joining Chelsea in 2001, William Gallas played for Coen and Marseille in France. In 2006, he moved to Arsenal in a deal that saw Ashley Cole going the other way. In 2010, he moved to Tottenham Hotspurs and became the first player to appear for the three London clubs. Between 2002 and 2010, he earned 84 caps.  he played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cup Finals as well as Euro 2004 and 2008.

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. 
Laurent Koscielny 

CB: Per Mertesacker (Germany)
At 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in), Mertesacker is known for his height. From 2003 to 2006, he played for Hanover 96. From 2006 to 2011, he played for Werder Bremen. Then, he played from 2011 to 2018 for Arsenal. Mertesacker established himself as Germany's first choice centre-back for ten years, participating in European Championship in 2008 and 2012, as well as the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, winning the latter. He earned 104 caps.

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.

LB: Gael Clichy (France)

From 2002 to 2003, Gael Clichy played for Cannes at home. Then, he played for Arsenal from 2003 to 2011. From 2011 to 2017, he played for Manchester City. Clichy earned 22 caps from 2008 and 2014.  He went to two major tournaments: the World Cup Finals in 2010 and the European Championship in 2012.  He played the last match at the World Cup Finals in 2010 after a strike by some of the senior players.

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.

CM: Emmanuel Petit (France)
Petit began his career at minor club ES Arques-la-Bataille before being signed by Arsène Wenger's Monaco side at the age of 18.  From 1997 to 2000, he again played for Wenger with Arsenal, establishing the French Connection at the club.  For France, he was a part of the Golden Generation that won the World Cup in 1998, followed by winning the European Championship in 2000. He scored one of the goals in the World Cup Final against Brazil in 1998.
Emmanuel Petit

CM: Patrick Vieira (France)
Patrick 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)
Robert 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.

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. 

LW/RW: Anders Limpar (Sweden)
For his club career, Limpar featured for clubs IF Brommapojkarna, Young Boys, Cremonese, Arsenal, Everton, Birmingham City, AIK, Colorado Rapids and Djurgårdens IF.  His club career peaked when he signed for Arsenal in the summer of 1990 from Cremonese for £1m. He went on to win the league title in the 1990–91 season. In total, Limpar won 58 caps for Sweden, scoring 6 goals. He was a member of Swedenthat finished third at the 1994 World Cup.  
Anders Limpar
SS/LW/RW: Sylvain Wiltord  (France)
Wiltord started with Rennes and Bordeaux before moving to Arsenal, winning two Premier League titles and two FA Cups. He also won the Ligue 1 title in each of his 3 subsequent seasons at Lyon.  For France, he was capped 92 times, scoring 26 goals. He scored in the last seconds of the Euro 2000 final that brought the game to extra-time. France then won the final from a golden goal. He is the most capped French player who was not on the 1998 World Cup team.

AM: Tomas Rosicky (Czech Republic)
Tomas Rosicky was the star playmaker for the Czech Republic throughout the 2000s.  He has taken part in four UEFA European Championships as well as the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He was Czech Footballer of the Year in 2001, 2002 and 2006.  He started his career with Sparta Prague, and he had notable stints with Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal.
Tomas Rosicky
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.

FW: Theirry Henry (France)
Thierry 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 started with AS Monaco in 1994. The, he spent 8 seasons with Arsenal, where he enjoyed the peak of his career. He also played for Juventus, Barcelona and NY Red Bulls. He earned 123 caps and was a part of France's Golden Team form 1998 to 2002.  He won the World Cup in 1998 and Euro 2000.
Theirry Henry
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: 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 (Netherlands)
Dennis Bergkamp was the best-known Dutch player of the mid-1990's.  He had 92 caps. He helped Netherlands 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 World Cup history.  He also played in the World Cup Finals of 1994 and three European Championship. He started with Ajax and played for Inter Milan.  He also had a very successful career with Arsenal, winning 7 major titles.
Dennis Bergkamp
ST: Robin Van Persie (Netherlands)
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 Netherlands to finish second in South Africa 2010.

Honorable Mention
Nicholas Anelka (France), Samir Nasri (France), Olivier Giroud (France), Pascal Cygan (France), Edu (Brazil), Manuel Almunia (Spain), Nacho Monreal (Spain), Santi Cazorla (Spain), Mikel Arteta (Spain), Andrey Arshavin (Russia), Mathieu Flamini (France), Emmanuel Eboué (Ivory Coast), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Netherlands), Stefan Schwarz (Sweden), Vladimir Petrović (Yugoslavia), Albert Guðmundsson (Iceland), Tomas Rosicky (Czech Republic), Thomas Vermaelen (Belgium).

Squad Explanation
-- All players from the Republic of Ireland are listed with my blog Arsenal All-Time Team for British Isles players (except England).
-- Five foreign players made my Arsenal All-Time Team.  They are Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands), Thierry Henry (France), Patrick Vieria (France), Fredrik Ljungberg (Sweden) and Robert Pires (France).  So I needed to find 20 foreigners not on my Arsenal All-Time team for this team.
-- Arsenal's most successful period was under manager Arsene Wenger.  His teams was heavily relied on players from outside the United Kingdom, espeically French players.  
-- On February 14, 2005, Arsenal become the first English club to field an all-foreign squad against Crystal Palace.  Arsenal featured players from France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Brazil, and Switzerland, but not a single one from the United Kingdom.  They won 5-1 that day.
-- Except for Gerrit Keizer and Anders Limpar, all players played under Arsene Wenger. Dennis Bergkamp was not signed by him, but he was a key player under Wenger.
-- Vladimir Petrović, Albert Guðmundsson, John Jensen and Stefan Schwarz made honorable mention.  They did not play for Wenger.
-- Gerrit Keizer was the first foreign born player ever to play for the club.  I selected him because it was a milestone for the club.
-- Before the UEFA ended foreign restrictions in 1996, not many foreign players played for Arsenal. Daniel Le Roux (South Africa), John Kosmina (Australia), Vladimir Petrović (Yugoslavia) and Albert Guðmundsson (Iceland) were early foreign players for the club.
-- Albert Guðmundsson (Iceland) was the second foreigner ever to have played for the club.  Vladimir Petrović (Yugoslavia) who joined Arsenal in 1982 was known as the club's first big time signing from overseas.  His career was very limited in London.
-- 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.
-- Giovanni van Bronckhorst only spent a short time here.  Gael Clichy had a longer career here.
-- Anders Limpar's career was limited by his injuries. However, he was the first foreign player to have a starring role with the club.  I gave him credit for that.  Furthermore, I would like to spread the team around and took a player from outside Wenger's career.
-- Nicolas Anelka played for Arsenal from 1997 to 1999.  His career here was too short. Olivier Giroud had played here much longer, despite his reputation was not as good as Anelka's career here.  Both only made honorable mention.
-- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the top scorer in the 2018-2019 Preimership, but his career here is still short at the time of writing.
-- Alexis Sanchez made the PFA Team of the Year: 2014–15.  His controversial move to Manchester United might have damaged his reputation with the fans, but I still selected him into this team. Robin Van Persie also moved to Manchester United.  Again, I also overlooked that.