Arsenal has a storied history filled with some of the greatest legends to ever grace the pitch. They are the only team in Premier League history to go an entire season without losing a game. That same team holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak in league history. They’ve won more FA Cups than any other club in that competition's long history. Those legends include some of the most feared strikers the game has ever seen, as well as midfielders that could complete any pass while providing electric goals of their own. Arsenal may not be much to speak of at the back now, but their unbeaten side of 2003-04 and the famous team that won the title at Anfield in 1989 had some fantastic defenders. Here is the Arsenal all-time XI.
Arsenal’s goalkeeper for one of their most successful spells in club history, Seaman arrived before the 1990-91 season and endeared himself to Arsenal fans by only allowing 18 goals in 38 games played as the Gunners won the First Division title. Overall, Seaman won the Premier League three times in his Arsenal career, as well as one League Cup, three FA Cups, and Arsenal’s only major European trophy: the 1993-94 Cup Winners’ Cup. He made 405 appearances for the Gunners and left in 2003, one year before the famous Invincibles won the title in 2004.
Lee Dixon is one of the great Right Back defenders of the arsenal. He has a peculiar record of playing in 91 out of 92 football league grounds, he already has so much experience before joining arsenal. having played in every level of the Football League. Soon after he found his way to Arsenal’s starting 11 and would go on to play for the Gunners until his retirement at the age of 38 in 2002. Lee Dixon soon became one of the best Arsenal defenders ever and went on to play in 616 matches for Arsenal, being only 4th in the number of appearances despite joining Arsenal when he was 24. Dixon won 4 league trophies (2 of which were Premier League titles), 3 FA Cup trophies and a European Cup Winners’ Cup medal. He achieved 2 Doubles with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, the last of which was his very last season as a player, and he is certainly our choice as the right back in the best Arsenal XI of all time.
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“Mr Arsenal” is certainly one of Arsenal's greatest players ever and one of those rare One-Club players who spent his entire career at Arsenal. An Arsenal academy graduate, Adams made his debut for the club in 1983 and went on to play for the club for 22 years before retiring. He captained the Arsenal team after 5 years of his debut when he was only 21 years old and continued the position for 14 years. With Steve Bould as his partner in the back, Arsenal’s defence seemed impenetrable and it eventually resulted in Arsenal’s success, namely in the 1988-89 season where Arsenal won its first league title since 1971. They would go on to win the title again two years later. Tony Adams then went on to help Arsenal win 2 Doubles as well as a couple of cup trophies, which brings his trophy total to four top-flight division titles, three FA Cups, two Football League Cups, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, and two FA Community Shields.
It’s easy to forget that Ashley Cole was a key member of The Invincibles, as well as several other Arsenal teams. He came to the club as an 18-year-old in 1999 as an attacking left-back, one of the first to play the position with both an offence and defensive focus. Cole won the Premier League twice, the FA Cup three times, and played in Arsenal’s only Champions League Final appearance in 2006. His controversial transfer saga in the following season somewhat taints his Arsenal record, but he was still one of the greatest players Arsenal’s back line has ever seen.
Pires came to Arsenal in 2000 despite interest from European giants Real Madrid and Juventus and went on to be a key member of The Invincibles. He struggled to adapt to the physical style of play in the Premier League, but once he adjusted, he became one of the most skilled passers in the league. Pires also had a real talent for scoring goals. In the unbeaten season of 2003-04, Pires scored 14 goals and provided 10 assists in the Premier League. Overall, he played in 189 games for Arsenal, scoring 62 goals in all competitions.
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He was recognised as the wizard on the ball. His tendency to create moments of magic and beauty on the pitch has led to some calling him an artist instead of an athlete. His transfer to Arsenal in 1995, as he was one of the first genuine superstars to choose the Premier League, has been called by many an important turning point in EPL’s history. His partnership with Thierry Henry was something else though as two of Arsenal's greatest linked up together to score and assist goals. Bergkamp assisted 94 goals in the Premier League alone and he scored 120 goals in all competitions for Arsenal throughout 11 seasons leading Arsenal to 3 Premier League and 3 FA Cup titles. His elegant control of the ball, his right foot curl shots and most importantly his great vision for creating chances has made him one of the greatest footballers of all time and certainly a member of the best Arsenal XI of all time.
A legend of the Arsenal Football Club, Cliff Bastin was Arsenal’s top scorer of all time from 1939 until 1997 and served as one of the pioneers of Arsenal’s success in the 1930s. Quick and skilful on the ball, Bastin’s goal-scoring abilities soon turned him into one of the best Arsenal players and someone worthy of being on Arsenal's best 11 of all time. He joined Arsenal in 1929, while only being 17, and he remained there until the end of his playing days in 1947. By the time Bastin was only 19, he had already won a League title, an FA Cup trophy and an England call-up, making him the youngest player to achieve those three honours, a record which he still holds to this day. He is also one of the most decorated players as he has won 5 league titles and 2 FA Cups. Bastin scored 178 goals in 398 matches for Arsenal becoming their top goal scorer ever until his record was broken in 1997 by Ian Wright.
He’s arguably the best foreign midfielder to have ever graced the Premier League and certainly the best to put on an Arsenal shirt. The Frenchman had pace, power and technical ability in abundance. Since his departure, no player has filled Vieira's void at Arsenal. However, his aggressive playing style also meant that he was sent off quite a few times for the club. Nevertheless, In nine seasons at Arsenal, Vieira made 279 Premier League appearances and won three titles in the competition while scoring 28 goals and making 27 assists.
One of the most favourite players in Arsenal’s history and a product of Arsenal youth academy, Liam Brady, is the player who forms the midfield pivot with Patrick Vieira. Liam Brady is the player who forms the midfield pivot with Patrick Vieira in the Arsenal's Best XI. Starting his senior career at Arsenal in 1973, Brady was a creative midfielder who was known for his ball-carrying ability as well as his impeccable vision and excellent passing skills which made him instrumental in the club’s resurgence to the top of English football in the 70s. Soon after his debut for the club at the age of 18, Brady established himself as a regular starter and went on to form a great partnership with Allan Ball in Arsenal’s midfield. the two helped Arsenal reach 4 Finals, most of which came at the end of Brady’s career at Arsenal in the late 70s. Brady and Arsenal won the 1979 FA Cup final against Manchester, Brady’s only trophy at the club, and consequently, he was also named Player of the Season that year. After beating Juventus in the Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final with Arsenal in the 1979-80 season and reaching the final, Brady went on to join Juventus where he ended up winning 2 Serie A titles. Overall, he made 235 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 43 goals, and helped lead Arsenal to three consecutive FA Cup Finals from 1978-1980.
One of the best strikers to come out of England, Wright became the face of Arsenal in the 90s, combining a lethal finishing touch and magnetic personality to win over the fans at Highbury. Wright finished his career at Arsenal as the club’s leading goal-scorer, with his 185 goals standing as the most in club history until Thierry Henry shattered the record. Wright began his Arsenal career helping the Gunners win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994, and finished his run helping Arsenal win the Premier League title in 1998.
Henry is Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer with 228 goals in all competitions and was one of the most feared strikers in the world when Arsenal was one of the most feared teams in England. Thierry Henry came in 1999 and instantly became the leader of the team’s attack. His 17 league goals in 1999-2000 were the fewest he would score for Arsenal in a full season. His best year was 2003-04 when he led The Invincibles with 30 goals while playing in all but one of the games that season. He transferred to Barcelona after an injury-shortened 2006-07 season, but he returned to North London on a two-month loan from the New York Red Bulls in 2012, where he scored a stoppage-time winner in his final game before returning to the USA.
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