Who Is The Worst Arsenal Defender Of All Time? Cast Your Vote Here!

These guys would struggle to get into anyones Dream Team, that’s for sure…

At Arsenal, it has been a running joke that our defending can be horrendous at times and that we regularly concede ridiculous goals. Part of that is down to being an attacking team, so our defenders are obviously more exposed, Arsene Wenger’s philosophy (or lack thereof) on defending, and the fact that we actually had one of the best defences the country has ever seen, when Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Martin Keown, Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon played week in week out.

However, on top of that we have had some just awful defenders at the club.

There’s that old wives tale that Dennis Bergkamp faced Igor Stepanovs in a pre-season friendly and was so impressed he told Wenger that he was one hell of a defender, which was enough for Arsene to splash out on the Latvian, who was then seen as the long term successor to Tony Adams (Yes, I know!). The highlight of his Arsenal career was the 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford in 2000, and things didn’t really get any better for him.

Amongst other defenders who have struggled at the club include Sebastien Squillaci and Pascal Cygan, both French defenders who were prone to mistakes at the back. And somehow amazingly, Squillaci was actually a French international…

To more recent times, and who could forget about the irrepressible Andre Santos? The Brazilian lived up to his billing, being a defender who didn’t actually defend. His positive outlook and style of play was welcomed at times but at others (when you know, he was supposed to defend?) it wasn’t so great. But with Santos you knew what you got with him, he was a free spirit and you knew he was an awful defender and he didn’t even try and make out he was a good one. And also, he scored a great goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge when we smashed them 5-3, so decent memories.

Then we come to the man we all love to hate. How has this man won the World Cup? The conundrum is up there with how Wes Brown has more trophies than Alan Shearer. I guess you just need to be in the right place at the right time, and it’s not what you know but who you know. The best way I can describe Mustafi is that he was probably the kit man for the German national side but then they had a few injuries and he was asked for fill in for a couple of training sessions. Then, people kind of forgot what happened and he was just “there”, and then he managed to stick around long enough to “win” a World Cup medal. That’s really the only explanation.

Anyway, after all that it’s time to cast your vote. Who do you think is the worst Arsenal defender of all time? It’s a hard choice as the quality of candidates is so high (or should that be so low) but you can only vote for one!

Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

 

These Are The 5 Players That Need To Leave Arsenal In The Summer

There’s no doubt that Unai Emery is undertaking a massive rebuilding job at the moment and there’s no doubt that he is doing a great job, and on realistic expectations is having a successful season. However, there’s also no doubt that to have the best chance to succeed he needs to mould the team, squad and club in his image and that means removing some of the deadwood from the long lasting Arsene Wenger era.

So below are the players in the current squad that need to leave the club this summer:

Shkodran Mustafi

There’s only one place we can start isn’t there?

He’s one of those players you look at and just wonder how he actually became a professional footballer. He’s the player who you think just somehow managed to slip through the gaps during the scouting process and just kept moving up without anyone noticing – that’s the only real explanation for how he could be at Arsenal right now.

Alongside the legendary Pascal Cygan and Igor Stepanovs, he will always be regarded as one of the worst Arsenal defenders of recent times – which is a real achievement considering Arsenal are a side who aren’t renowned for having the best defensive recruitment.

It’s really too much effort to go through all the mistakes, cock ups, blunders and slips he’s made over the last few years and quite honestly you know all about them already. What every single Arsenal fan can agree on (and it’s probably one of the only things Arsenal fans can unite on) is that Mustafi needs to leave. Give him away, pay him off, just do whatever it takes to get him out of the club as he’s costing us vital points.

Stephan Lichtsteiner

There’s only one other defender at the club who is almost as bad as Mustafi and unfortunately, it’s Stephan Lichtsteiner. He was obviously brought in to being some experience to the dressing room and to be fair, only supposed to be a backup player. Sadly, he may be vastly experienced but the Premier League is too much of a jump for him after spending the best part of a decade in the slower, less demanding Serie A.

Arsenal should release him in the summer and try and bring in some younger reinforcements.

David Ospina

With Bernd Leno doing a fantastic job in his first season at the club, Petr Cech has become deputy and Ospina has spent the last season on loan at Napoli. He’s decent enough keeper for us to cash in and get some much needed money for Unai Emery to strengthen the squad this summer.

Denis Suarez

Does anyone else know why he’s at the club? No, seriously?

Mesut Özil

No-one divides the Arsenal fan base as much as Mesut Özil and personally, I am a fan. Unfortunately, it’s obvious Unai Emery isn’t and there have been several issues between them this season, and at the end of the day the man we all have to get behind if we want Arsenal to succeed and progress is the manager.

Added to this, Özil is our highest paid player on £350k a week and if he was moved on it would give Emery a lot more options in terms of specific players he wants to bring in to the club. With Lacazette, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi and possibly someone else who Emery brings in, we should be well catered for in an attacking sense.

And finally…

But who do you think Arsenal need to sell / move on this summer? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

5 Reasons Why Arsenal and Unai Emery Are A Success This Season

Currently, Arsenal are 5th in the Premier League and in the semi-finals of the Europa League, get Arsenal fans aren’t happy.

No matter what happens to Arsenal from here on out this season, here are 5 reasons why Arsenal and Unai Emery have been a success:

5. The Europa League

We are in the semi-finals of the Europa League, and beaten some quality teams in the process. There have been some ups and downs during that campaign, but we’re still in the competition and have a chance of winning it.

4. Players Have Improved

Look at players like Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Rob Holding – they have improved so much this season. And before they got injured, Bellerin and Holding were up there as our best players – and personally for me Holding was simply outstanding before he got cruelly taken off at Old Trafford and if it wasn’t for that injury, there’s no doubt in my mind we’d be 3rd in the Premier League right now.

3. Our Fixture List

People seem to forget how horrendous it is to play football on Thursday evenings. Not just because it’s not the Champions League, but mainly because it absolutely screws with our Premier League fixtures.

We end up playing on a Sunday or Monday but we hardly have time to prepare for the league when the team travel back on a Friday and whoever we’re playing (unless it’s Chelsea as they’re also in the Europa League) is guaranteed to have had more rest going into our game.

2. The Quality of Our Squad

Make no mistake, our current squad with the talent that it has, should be finishing 6th in the Premier League. So if we do finish 6th or above (which is pretty much guaranteed at this point) then we will be meeting / exceeding expectations.

Also, somehow Emery has got this team into the semi-finals of the Europa League to boot.

1. There Are Clear Signs of Progression

Which ever way you decide to look at it, changing the culture Arsene Wenger implemented at the club was always going to take time to do. People seem to conveniently forget that in his first season, Jurgen Klopp finished 8th in the Premier League, and it’s taken him 4 seasons to get Liverpool challenging for the league title.

Added to that, he also had an owner who wasn’t Stan Kroenke so actually had some big money to spend – £75 million for Virgil Van Dijk anyone?

But there a positive signs that Unai Emery is changing things for the better, and once he gets a chance to mould this Arsenal squad in his image, then I’m sure we’ll be improving on this season and beyond.

 

Arsenal Fans Need To Get A Grip – Emery Is Exceeding Expectations!

I’ve seen and read a lot about Arsenal’s recent slump, and the vitriol spouted at Unai Emery in particular.

And quite frankly, Arsenal fans need to get a grip.

After over two decades under the Arsene Wenger regime, Unai Emery has been brought in to improve Arsenal and get us higher up in the table.

And isn’t he doing that?

The current Arsenal squad is built to finish 6th in the Premier League table, make no bones about it. And currently, we are 5th.

At the start of the season if you said to me Arsenal would finish 5th and be in the Europa League semi-finals, I would have bitten you arm off.

The problem is, many Arsenal fans are deluded and believe we have a divine right to finish in the Top 4, or should be challenging for the Premier League.

That is going to take time. Look at Liverpool now – they’re pushing Manchester City all the way and are genuine title contenders – although that’s all I hope they are as Liverpool actually winning the league would be horrendous for all concerned. But that tangent aside, becoming a bonafide challenger for the league takes time.

Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield in October 2015 so it’s taken the German manager 4 seasons to mould this Liverpool side in his image. In his first season, he finished 8th! It wasn’t until his second season that his Liverpool team finished 4th, and that was only by a solitary point when Arsenal finished 5th that season.

So perhaps some perspective is needed here?

And by the by, Jurgen Klopp didn’t have Silent Stan Kroenke as the owner so actually had a hefty amount of money to spend as well (£75 million for Van Dijk anyone?).

How much has Unai Emery had to spend? Somehow, we are in 5th in the Premier League and he’s done it with a side he’s had to inherit off Arsene Wenger – which contains some absolute drivel like Mustafi. Added to that, when Klopp got Liverpool into the Top 4 that was when it was easier to do so in the Premier League – this season is the toughest we’ve seen at the top of the league in a long long time. So if anything he should be applauded for getting us to that high up in the table.

Unai Emery needs time and we need to get behind the manager like Liverpool fans got behind Klopp. It’s taken 4 years to get where they are and look where they are now. Unai Emery hasn’t even had the chance to bring in any of his own players yet and he’s trying to change a culture at the club which has been ingrained over 2 decades so he’s not going to be able to change that overnight.

Emery is doing an absolutely fantastic job and Arsenal are currently above where they should be, and Arsenal fans should remember that.

 

Should Arsenal Rest Players And Lose Against Manchester City?

This weekend Arsenal travel to Manchester to take on the blue half of the city, in a game which is important to us in terms of remaining in the Top 4, but also for Manchester City it’s a huge game because they currently sit 5 points behind Liverpool, who play on Monday night against West Ham United.

Regarding Arsenal, we currently sit in 4th place on 47 points – equal on goal difference with Chelsea but above them based the greater number of goals scored. A resurgent Manchester United, who have won 8 and drawn 1 of their 9 games under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, are two points behind us in 6th.

We are in the best league position we’ve been in so far under Unai Emery and at this stage of the season crept into the Top 4. With Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on another level, it is essentially a 3 horse race for that last Champions League spot. So a win after this weeks football would be massive in terms of giving us a chance to finish the season in 4th.

This weekend, Chelsea host Huddersfield Town and Manchester United travel to Leicester, so you would imagine that anything less than 3 points against Manchester City would mean that we drop to 5th or even 6th.

For Manchester City, who sit 5 points behind Liverpool, a win is vital against us as they would put the pressure on the scousers. A win would put them 2 points behind and then all eyes would be on Monday night where the hope would be that Liverpool bottle it (like that have done before) and lose or draw that game.

Now, I would never hope that Arsenal lose a match, that’s obvious. But my question would be should Arsenal play their strongest team?

After the Manchester City match, our Premier League and Europa League fixtures are:

  • Huddersfield Town (A)
  • BATE Borisov (A)
  • BATE Borisov (H)
  • Southampton (H)
  • AFC Bournemouth (H)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (A)
  • Manchester United (H)
  • Wolverhampton Wanders (A)
  • Newcastle United (H)
  • Everton (A)
  • Watford (A)
  • Crystal Palace (H)
  • Leicester City (A)
  • Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
  • Burnley (A)

If you look at the Premier League fixtures, the only fixtures which you would think would be really tough games are the ones against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

Take those games away and that leaves us with 10 winnable league games.

Consider we have struggled really badly with defensive injuries (do we have a curse?) then you would like to avoid a situation like we did in the FA Cup game against Manchester United where we couldn’t get into the game, were never in a position to win it and ended up hauling off Koscielny and Sokratis with injuries.

So is it worth rotating the squad against Manchester City, ensuring we don’t lose any more defenders or even some of our important attacking players, such as Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ramsey or Özil (hehe).

If it was up to me I would give some of the first team players a rest, especially when they’ve been through a gruelling winter schedule, and then allow them to be fresher for the remaining games in the Premier League and in Europe. This way, we give ourselves the best possible chance to secure a Champions League spot for next season either through the league or the Europa League.

But what do you think? Should Arsenal go all out against Manchester City? Or should they be conservative, rest some of their first team players and then just see what happens?

Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section!


survey service