Olivier Giroud In “Arsene Wenger’s Worst Ever Eleven” – Do You Agree?

Everyone has been giving their opinion on Arsene Wenger’s best ever eleven, but no-one has done an Arsene Wenger worst eleven. So I thought it would be fun to see which from his worst ever signings could complete a truly awful team.

For the record, my favourite Arsene eleven from his last 1,000 games would be:

GK: David Seaman
RB: Lauren
CB: Tony Adams
CB: Sol Campbell
LB: Ashley Cole
RM: Freddie Ljungberg
CM: Cesc Fabregas
CM: Patrick Vieira
LM: Robert Pires
CF: Dennis Bergkamp
CF: Thierry Henry

But I’m sure your best eleven would be different.

So onto Arsene Wenger’s worst eleven. As with the best eleven, I’ve gone for a traditional 4-4-2 formation as that’s the one Arsene has used the most over the last 17 years.

Goalkeeper: Richard Wright

It was a toss up between Richard Wright and Manuel Almunia, but I decided to go for the England goalkeeper. Signed in 2001 when Sol Campbell also joined the club, he was the next big thing and tipped to be a future England goalkeeper. He only managed 12 league appearances for the club (22 overall) and was sold after only one season. A spate of injuries hampered his career and he ended up playing for a host of lower league sides and is apparently now at Manchester City.

Right Back: Oleg Luzhny

A bit unfair perhaps, but when he signed for Arsenal in 1999, he came from the extremely talented Dynamo Kiev side which had players like Andrei Shevchenko and Sergeih Rebrov. He was signed to replace Lee Dixon who was coming to the end of his career and actually made a lot of appearances for Arsenal. Unfortunately for Luzhny, a young man called Lauren arrived at the club and Luzhny found himself as the main backup.

When you consider the other main right backs were Lee Dixon, Lauren, Eboue and Bacary Sagna and Luzhny is considered the “worst”, then it shows how good that position has been over the last 17 seasons.

Central Defence: Pascal Cygan

Forever an Arsenal legend, the man nicknamed “Zinedine Cygan” was a god awful defender. He signed from Lille for just over £2 million and was actually highly-rated in France, winning the player of the year (or being in the team of the season, I can’t remember) just before he signed for Arsenal.

The biggest problem was he had no pace which is a problem in the Premier League. He did manage to score a few goals from set-pieces which added to his legend, but when he left in 2006 not many Arsenal fans were disappointed.

Central Defence: Sebastien Squillaci

Signed from Sevilla in 2010 for £3.5 million, and at 29 was an exciting signing for the club because of his experience in a team full of young players. When he arrived at the club he took the Number 18 shirt, previously worn by Pascal Cygan and Mikael Silvestre, which really should have told us what was to come.

He was mainly backup to first choice defenders Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, but unfortunately an injury to the latter meant he ended up playing 32 appearances for the club. And during that time he was widely criticised for his poor performances. He just struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premier League and made so many mistakes I can’t think of any specific one – I just remember he was a terrible defender who contributed to a lot of the goals we conceded.

Left Back: Mikael Silvestre

Alex Ferguson thought the French defender was past it and obviously the logically thing to do was to sign him. He was given a 2 year deal in 2008 and was part of the team that collapsed against Tottenham Hotspur, resulting in the small club down the road to come away from The Emirates with a 4-4 draw.

Another signing I never understood.

Right Midfield: Jermaine Pennant

Another “prospect” Arsene signed which ended up being a flop at Arsenal. His first league appearance for Arsenal resulted in the young winger scoring a hattrick against Southampton (in a game where Robert Pires also scored a hattrick) but after that his Arsenal career went downhill; he reportedly turned up late for training, loved the flashy lifestyle and generally believed he was the best thing since sliced bread. Sliced bread had a better attitude though.

Central Midfield: Amaury Bischoff

Signed in 2008, this is probably the strangest signing Arsene Wenger has ever made. He had a reputation for having injury problems and he didn’t disappoint. Arsene said at the time he was “a gamble on talent” but personally I thought he was Arsene’s illegitimate son. He played a host league cup games and finally made his only ever Premier League appearance against Portsmouth, coming on as a substitute for Theo Walcott.

Funnily enough, he left after one season with the club.

Central Midfield: Julio Baptista

The Brazilian was very highly rated in Spain where he played for Sevilla and in the summer of 2005 we tried to sign him, only for him to go to Real Madrid, which was a sign of his value at the time. He reportedly said he wanted to stay in Spain for one more season so he could get his dual citizenship, but in 2006 we signed him on a one year loan deal in exchange for Jose Antonio Reyes.

Nicknamed “The Beast”, Baptista’s main assets where his power and strength. He struggled to get to grips with the pace of the Premier League and in the 2006-2007 season Arsene preferred to use the midfield pairing of Mathieu Flamini and Cesc Fabregas. He did score a few goals and even scored a memorable four goal haul at Anfield in the (then) Carling Cup. He failed to impress and left after just one season with the club.

Left Midfield: David Bentley

Like Jermaine Pennant, he was tipped to become a big player for Arsenal and England. But like a lot of young players who get accolades and money early, it all went to his head and he was labelled the “next David Beckham”. He scored an exquisite chip against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup in 2004 but never lived up to the hype. Off the field problems including a gambling addiction didn’t help and he joined Blackburn Rovers in 2006.

Did come back to haunt Arsenal a couple of times, the most memorable being the 45 yard volley against us in the disastrous 4-4 draw.

Centre Forward: Francis Jeffers

He signed for £8 million and just like Wayne Rooney when he started his career at Everton, he was tipped for big things. Labelled the “Fox in the Box”, he stayed for 3 seasons and scored a total of 4 goals. Notable incidents included getting sent off in the Charity Shield for kicking Philip Neville in the head (well, attempted to) and well, not managing to actually score any goals or be on the same wavelength as his Arsenal teammates.

Rumour has it that in 2001 when Arsene signed Jeffers, that he had the option to sign Ruud Van Nistelrooy instead of the young forward from Everton, adding to the legend that is Francis Jeffers.

Centre Forward: Olivier Giroud

A man who divides opinion, but for me Olivier Giroud is one of the worst forwards Arsene Wenger has signed. Of course, we’ve had players Marouane Chamakh, Park Chu-Young, Nicklas Bendtner and Gervinho but they were never been our main strikers. Since Arsene Wenger joined Arsenal in September of 1996, the main strikers at Arsenal have been Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp, Nicholas Anelka, Thierry Henry, Nwankwo Kanu, Davor Suker, Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Eduardo and now Olivier Giroud. He’s not even in the same league as the rest of those players, and the list includes the biggest wanker that is Adebayor.

He’s not good enough. He wouldn’t get into any other Top 10 side, nevermind any Top 4 team. Manchester City have Aguero, Jovetic, Dzeko and Negredo, Liverpool have Suarez and Sturridge, Chelsea even have Torres and Eto’o who are past it but they’re still better than Giroud. In a nutshell, his ability to miss the simplest of chances has cost Arsenal dearly this season. With a top class striker we’d be a good 10 points better off this season and right in the title race. We have Mesut Özil, a world class assist master who is struggling because he’s used to providing chances to a clinical, powerful, world class finisher but now has to try and work with a player who can’t score decisive goals. Granted, he’ll score against teams like Sunderland, Fulham and Hull City but ask him to contribute anything positive against a half decent side then he disappears.

Arsene’s Worst Eleven in full:

GK: Richard Wright
RB: Oleg Luzhny
CB: Pascal Cygan
CB: Sebastien Squillaci 
LB: Mikael Silvestre
RM: Jermaine Pennant
CM: Amaury Bischoff
CM: Julio Baptista
LM: David Bentley
CF: Francis Jeffers
CF: Olivier Giroud


20 thoughts on “Olivier Giroud In “Arsene Wenger’s Worst Ever Eleven” – Do You Agree?

  1. Without prejudice, I absolutely and unequivcally agree that Giroud is the worst. I would have been surprised if he wasn’t there.

  2. There is Chamakh and Bendtner, two of the names coming from top of my head. Giroud would atleast come after them.

  3. agree.even bendtner could have done better had he been given the amount of playing time that giroud has got. has to be the teams weakest link this season. its mind boggling that a team aiming for the title plans to do it with a striker like giroud.

  4. Why if Giroud is only included because he was a “main” striker is Amaury Bischoff included??? He barely played and stood out a mile in the reserves imo. I don’t think it’s really possible to do a worst 11, I mean you could include a ton of players who’ve featured as youngsters and gone on to do nothing and it would be far worse than those listed here. Also I don’t think Jeffers was ever really a main striker, by the same token you could include Chris Wreh or a few others.
    Aliadiere has proven now that he’s a decent forward but would you rather have him or Giroud up front?
    That said, it’s clear that we can’t keep going with Giroud missing chances like the one he did early on against Chelsea. Think he’s a solid option even for a title challenging side but can’t be the CF in this formation and Sanogo looked a more complete forward in the games against Liverpool and Bayern (until the red card after which he had no chance)
    (Also Vivas was pretty poor for us if I recall)

  5. Worst is an understatement. I believe arsenal can do better with ten players than allowing him to just complete the number. Or even buy my grand mum to play in his place.

  6. This is utter bollocks. So stupid.. Start supporting the players instead of this. You can make such a statement when their Arsenal career is over. This approach to our players will eventually lead to players turning Arsenal down because of the fans. Embarrassing..

  7. poor effort. ypu changed our style and set up just so ypu could include Giroud. where is stepanovs? bischoff didnt play enough to qualify for selection, you might as well include all reserves if you include him. baptista was signed when he played striker. wreh? he was worse than giroud.

  8. yeah ,,,agreed … he has missed so many simple chances that it affected ozil too.. giroud is probably the worst striker in the top 8 teams… the sooner he is off to france the better arsenal shall be.. and it it wenger’s responsibility that he signed someone like giroud

  9. Totally agree, he’s awful. just look at Giroud first half tonight absoloutel dreadful. No touch, no movement whatsoever no pace nothing no interest in attacking the 6yrd box. He performes dreadfully inadequately against better teams.Bony is even a better player than Giroud.
    With his lack of movement means the opposition defense can organise so they won’t have to cover space our midfielders run into, they can sit back and hit us on the counter becuse they know Giroud won’t go in behind its so obvious why we struggle to score goals.

  10. The worst, nah.
    One of the worst, yes.
    When we talk about a striker’s defensive headers more than the number of goals he score, this striker is $hit.

  11. my quasion grioud are streker or defance that mean evryday to see he was to work defance plase wenger remove this player you went campion sell this player grioud is he is worst elven he is nomber one

  12. Sorry, but what utter stupid reason(s) to select Giroud over strikers like Chamakh or Park just because he was instilled as a 1st choice. Surely we should be judging them on quality and given Girouds reasonably healthy stats you can see he’s not entirely useless.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.