The North London Derby is Saturday and the game between Tottenham and Arsenal is going to be important, not only for the rivalry, but for Champions League possibilities as well. We’ll have our top 10 Tottenham players later on this week, but here is the top 10 Arsenal players ever.
10) Charlie George
Charlie George began his 11 team career at Arsenal in 1968. As one of the strikers, George scored 49 goals in 179 appearances. He was a part of the team that won the double in 1971 by winning the First Division and the FA Cup as well as scoring the FA Cup winning goal that year against Liverpool.
9) Liam Brady
Liam Brady may have been with Arsenal when the trophy cabinet wasn’t being added as often as other Arsenal periods but he was still an integral part of a great team. Many thought that he was the complete midfielder and that certainly showed in the video above. That reverse curl is worth a top 10 spot alone.
8) Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas doesn’t have the greatest receptions at the Emirates today but there was no doubt he was one of the best to put on that red shirt. Fabregas started his senior career at 16 and quickly exploded to become one of the best young players in the world at that time. Fabregas would become captain in the final four years of his Arsenal career and got Arsenal into Champions League play every year that he was on the team. What seems so long ago, he was sold to Barcelona at only 24 but he already had 35 goals in 212 appearances. Fabregas is one of the best young players to play for Arsenal.
7) Ian Wright
Ian Wright didn’t have a long Arsenal career compared to the others on this list, but he had an impactful career. From the original home of Arsenal in Woolwich, Wright was a goalscoring machine. Scoring 185 goals in 285 appearances, Wright was able to win at least one of every domestic trophy Arsenal competed for during his Arsenal career.
6) Robert Pires
Reading up and watching video on Robert Pires, the thing that always comes back is that he maybe has the greatest touch of anyone to ever play soccer. He didn’t bash his shots with strength or speed, he more glided and delicately placed the ball to wherever he wanted it to go and it was always in the spot that most confounded the goalkeeper. You can hardly find anyone as precise on goal as Robert Pires.
5) David Seaman
David Seaman is, hands down, the greatest goalkeeper Arsenal has ever had. No matter where he was positioned and where the ball was, he would be there. Making 564 appearances for Arsenal, Seaman won the EPL title three times and the FA Cup four times. This diving save above epitomized the kind of ability David Seaman had as an Arsenal player.
4) Patrick Viera
Patrick Viera is one of the many players who are on this list that are from the 2003-04 “Invincibles” team. They are only the second team (along with Preston North End in 1889) to finish an English league unbeaten. Viera was one of those who was instrumental in keeping the team moving as he was captain in that season. Viera also scored some of the best goals in Arsenal history and he remains a legend there to this day.
3) Dennis Bergkamp
Dennis Bergkamp had already had successful stints at Ajax and Inter. When he arrived at Arsenal at the age of 26, his game went up to another level. He ended his career at Arsenal with 120 goals in 423 appearances and has a room full of trophies and medals from that time. Bergkamp was there when Arsene Wenger started at Arsenal and was one of the people who gave a sense of stability within Arsenal that still lasts to this day. They have made Champions League every year that Wenger has been in charge and Arsenal is still one of the best teams to this day. That’s all due to players like Bergkamp.
2) Tony Adams
Mr. Arsenal spent his entire career, 20 years and 669 appearances total, at Arsenal. The leadership, the vision, the dedication, all were qualities that Tony Adams inherently had and cannot be taught. Adams not only raised his game while he was in an Arsenal shirt but raised the game for those around him and made them better. That’s what being a captain is all about and he did that brilliantly for 14 years.
This video below shows the kind of player Tony Adams was. Adams is a life long defender and in the later stages of his career. He makes the kind of attacking run that Lionel Messi would be proud of but a defender to have that vision and the ability to calmly bring it home, very rare to find. Would you believe it?
1) Thierry Henry
One man has been the rock of Arsenal and that is Thierry Henry. Many of us saw Henry in the United States as a player for the New York Red Bulls for five years and even in the twilight of his career, he was an outstanding player. At Arsenal, he was at the absolute best and became a legend.
Henry arrived at Arsenal in 1999 after winning the 1998 FIFA World Cup for France. 228 goals, 377 appearances, two EPL titles and three FA Cups later, Henry is one of four legends (along with Adams, Bergkamp and former manager Herbert Chapman to have a statue made for them at Emirates Stadium. Personally, I’m glad I got to see the legend play competitively when he was in the United States.