Arsene Wenger celebrates his 20th anniversary at the club, a 20 years full of highs and certainly a few lows. When he was appointed by Arsenal, many wondered who this Frenchman was but now he is widely considered one of the greatest managers of his time.
Wenger completely changed the ethos of Arsenal. He installed a professional diet on the players, changed the way the players trained and revolutionised scouting. The way clubs locate and identify potential signings is widely down to what Wenger has done over his tenure. He most noticeably bought a young Thierry Henry and turned him into one of the best strikers of all time. He also found Patric Viera, Bacary Sagna, Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie, the list goes on. So with that said, let’s look at Arsene Wenger’s best combined XI over his 20 years at Arsenal.
GK: David Seaman
David Seaman is not only the best ‘keeper under Arsene Wenger but arguably the greatest the club has ever had. Jens Lehman could’ve snuck into this position but Seaman’s consistency and ability to pull out the wonder save – against Sheffield United – is too much for the German. Yes, Jens was good but just can’t beat Seaman.
RB: Bacary Sagna
Bought from Auxerre for €9 million, Bacary Sagna was unknown to many Arsenal fans but by the time he left, Sagna was well entrenched as one of the best signings Wenger has ever made. Lauren or Lee Dixon could’ve taken this role but just for his consistency and all round game, Sagna takes this spot.
CB: Tony Adams
Mr Arsenal, this is one of the easiest picks on the whole list. Arsene Wenger has not had many great centrebacks in his time but Adams was the best. With him at the back you get a great defender but also a great leader.
CB: Sol Campbell
Next to Adams, is another great English defender, Sol Campbell. Imposing, strong and excellent, Campbell was one of the pillars at the back in their ‘Invincibles’ season. Although some may argue for Koscielny or even Kolo Toure, Campbell has to be on this team.
LB: Ashley Cole
Probably the most disliked player on this list following his move to Premier League rivals Chelsea, Ashley Cole was arguably one of the best left-backs in the world. While some may argue for Nigel Winterburn or even Gael Clichy, Ashley Cole beats them both. He was capable of going forward and also defending, Cole was truly world class, it’s just a shame he left Arsenal.
RM: Alexis Sanchez
This might not be his natural position but Sanchez has played there in the past. He may only be in his third season with the club but if he continues to play how he has been so far over his Arsenal career, the Chilean could well go down as one of Arsenal’s greatest players.
CM: Patrick Viera
This is where htings get tricky. Wenger has had a plethora of great centre midfield players in his time, such as Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Petit, Gilberto Silva but Patric Viera is arguably the best. Tall, powerful and capable of going box-to-box, Viera was perfect for Wenger. With Viera at the helm, Arsenal were always capable of handling themselves in a physical battle and quite often did.
CM: Santi Cazorla
Probably one of the most underrated players at Arsenal in recent years, Santi Cazorla is a special player. There haven’t been many midfielders better with the ball than the little Spaniard during his time in England. He may be on the small side bit he is incredibly strong with the ball at his feet. The little genius can run a game from midfield, thus he has to be in this team, sorry Cesc.
LM: Robert Pires
One of the best wingers in the League during his time with Arsenal, Pires always seemed to be overlooked by many but his quality was obvious. Capable of scoring double-digit goals from midfield, Pires formed the best-left side in English football in combination with Cole and Henry. He might not work hard in defence but he has to be in this team.
ST: Dennis Bergkamp
A no brainer, the Dutch wizard is not only one of the best Arsenal has ever had but also one of the best players to play in England. Thierry Henry has often described him as the best player he’s ever played with, that’s testament enough considering he played with Messi.
ST: Thierry Henry
Arsenal’s best ever player. Wenger turned Henry from an inconsistent winger to Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer. An easy choice.
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