Archive for the ‘Top 10s’ Category

It is that horrible time of year again, when us football fans try to find something to entertain ourselves with for a couple of months while the players have a ‘well deserved’ rest. The transfer window has now kindly reopened in order to give the fans something to talk about down the pub and no doubt there will be ridiculous rumours, surprising signings and barbaric amounts of money spent. However in amongst the forever changing stories, there will be a few things that will no doubt remain, but what are they?

Robbie Keane joins dream team

The Republic of Ireland left Spurs because “Joining Liverpool is a lifelong dream of mine and one I couldn’t let pass me by.” and after rejoining Spurs left again, stating “It’s a dream come true” and This is the reason why I’ve always wanted to come to Celtic.”

So where will the former Inter Milan striker be living the dream after this transfer window?

Harry Redknapp linked with everyone

The Spurs man has a bit of a reputation as a successful ‘wheeler-dealer’ in the transfer market, but also has a reputation that he can’t refuse a ‘bargain’. It is such opinions on ‘Arry that will no doubt, like every transfer window that has gone before, see the Englishman linked with every player including a surprising double swoop for Dion Dublin and Dean Windass.

Arsenal won’t sign anyone…worthwhile

“We have to strengthen the squad where it needs and make the right decision on that front. It is always on my mind, every day. Don’t think it’s not on my mind.” This was Wenger talking on the 26th April of this year, sound familiar? It should do because for the last couple of years the Frenchman has been saying this and as of yet the Arsenal fans have seen several Sebastien Squillaci’s come and go for minimal transfer fees, hardly a signing that will allow a team to win a Quadruple.

 

English talent will move for inflated prices

The rumours have already started surrounding the Three Lions talent, Gary Cahill valued at £15-20 million, Ashley Young £20 million and no doubt the same sort of prices for Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Phil Jones. Are these prices really representative of what these players have achieved or can offer a side? Especially when you consider Connor Wickham of Ipswich is valued at £15 million just because ‘he may become a star in the future’, it is ridiculous but with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea willing to spend, no doubt these players will move for inflated rates.

Fabregas saga

With each transfer window that passes the ‘Fabregas to Barcelona transfer’ becomes more and more like an Eastenders storyline. Tiresome to say the least, but this episode will no doubt carry on this summer but will it finally end or will it end with ‘continued next time’?

Promoted teams linked with experience

The promoted teams always look to sign much needed experience, usually players who have plied their trade in the Premier League for years and are now looking for a couple of ‘easier’ years. This transfer window could see Joe Cole move to QPR epitomising such a deal.

Absurd transfer rumours

It is dubbed the silly season so you can’t blame the newspapers linking Barcelona’s ‘holy trinity’ with a move to Portman Road. It is just annoying because us naïve and excited fans believe the stories and already plan what our team’s shirt will look like with ‘Messi’ on the back.

Manchester City will buy everyone

Roberto Mancini has come out this week and said he feels he will need to make five big name signings…FIVE! Absolutely crazy claims when you consider the wealth of talent at Eastlands already, but no doubt it will happen, especially when you consider they paid over £20 million for Joleon Lescott.

Always that one surprising deal

Despite all the media coverage there is always one deal that escapes the rumour mill and then BAM, at two minutes to deadline it is announced and the world of football is rocked. I remember it happening with Ashley Cole’s move to Arsenal and last year it was Rafael Van Der Vaart’s move to Spurs for a mere £8 million, I wonder who will surprise us this window?

Liverpool will sign an expensive flop

It is usually around the £20 million region, first Robbie Keane and then there was Alberto Aquilani…whose next?

As we approach the end of yet another entertaining Premier League season, the newspapers will need something to fill there back pages with over the summer months, so the talk of Lionel Messi’s move to Tranmere Rovers will really gain momentum. However in amongst the bogus transfer rumours will be a few stories that carry substance, with a few players finding themselves seeking out pastures new either due to loss of form, place or either retirement. But who are the top 10 that will need to make the biggest decisions.

Gareth Bale

PFA Footballer of the Year Gareth Bale, has been stealing the headlines throughout this season for his performances in the league and in Europe, with the Welshman’s devastating speed and acceleration and his eye for goal it was only a matter of time before Europe’s elite began snooping around White Hart Lane. It has been reported that the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United are keen on adding the former Southampton starlet to their squads and are willing to spend in excess of £30 million. Despite Harry Redknapp’s stand that Bale is not for sale, the Welshman’s head will have no doubt been turned and now must ask himself whether he is ready for the next step up the footballing ladder after one season or to stay with the Lilywhites to further his development.

Sebastien Bassong

After a successful stint with Newcastle United Bassong joined the Redknapp revolution at ‘The Lane’; 38 appearances in his first season suggested the Cameroonian international was a first team regular but since the arrival of William Gallas and the continual high level of consistency from Michael Dawson, Bassong has found chances limited and after admitting he doesn’t know where he fits in at Spurs, combined with Schalke’s supposed interest the defender has to make a decision.

Francesc Fabregas

Yawn! This story is so tedious now after several transfer windows worth of rumours but without a doubt Fabregas will yet again weigh up his options after Arsenal will more than likely finish a season empty handed that had promised so much. Despite mixed stories coming from the Nou Camp about whether they can still afford or want the Arsenal captain, Fabregas will still draw a lot of interest if he does decide to leave with Manchester City apparently readying an audacious bid for the Spaniard. Fabregas has to decide whether he wants to return ‘home’ and play second fiddle to Xavi and Iniesta like he does at international level or face the Gunners faithful backlash if he were to join ‘Top four’ rivals City.

David Bentley

The Englishman has never really lived up to his exciting reputation and currently finds himself out on loan at Birmingham City after failing to justify his large transfer fee while at Tottenham Hotspur; since playing for Alex McLeish’s side Bentley is beginning to recapturing the form that had everyone at Arsenal excited during his early days and has been again attracting interest from various clubs.  Should Bentley return to White Hart Lane and earn a starting place, continue enjoying his football at Birmingham or look for a fresh start all together, with the likes of Newcastle linked with the winger.

Paul Scholes

The midfielder has been instrumental in a golden era for Manchester United and is still putting in man of the match performances at the age of 36. Scholes contract however is drawing to a close and despite pleas from fellow players and Sir Alex Ferguson to stay on at Old Trafford, the former England international has spoken of his desire to play for Oldham Athletic, the club he supported as a boy. Will Scholes see out his final playing days at the highest level?

Ashley Young

This season really put Ashley Young on the footballing ‘map’, turning in sublime performances for club and country, has seen the former Watford man catching the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Kenny Dalglish. After a relegation threatened season despite many predicting the Villains to qualify for Europe Ashley Young must now be wanting to get a taste of Europe’s greatest club tournament, which the likes of Manchester United could offer the England man

Carlos Tevez

The driving force behind Manchester City’s season which has seen them gate crash the top four and reach an FA Cup final; however this has been overshadowed by constant speculation of the happiness of the Argentinean at the Manchester outfit, handing in a transfer request, which he later retracted but despite this the striker is linked with various of Europe’s elites and if stories are to believed Tevez and his ‘bulldog like approach’ could be jetting off to hotter climates.

Michael Owen

Since leaving Merseyside Owen’s career has been nothing but a crossroads. Behind Rooney, Berbatov, Hernandez in the pecking order and with Welbeck and Macheda returning from loan spells, Owen yet again will be considering his future.

Charlie Adam

A revelation in the Premier League this season, with several Premier League clubs considering making a move for the Scotsman; Adam has to decide whether he should leave a club whose fans worship him for a bigger challenge to a club where he will be one of many stars in a team.

A football fan will defend his team and its players till the cows come home against rival fans, because after all no-one likes to hear anything they love being slated; this doesn’t however stop the fans berating, criticising or judging his team’s own players. I believe the fans do have a divine right to highlight the flaws of players that aren’t justifying their starting eleven position, given the time, effort and money invested into the supporting of their club. There are players however who do appear to experience the anger of their own fans on a greater scale, where constructive criticism becomes a rant, but who are the top ten Premier League scapegoats?

Carlo Ancelotti

The Italian gave Stamford Bridge the Double last season, but less than a year later and his achievements seem to have become a distant memory in the minds of fans questioning whether the former AC Milan manager is right for them, after a rather disappointing season, by Chelsea’s standards.

Carlton Cole

The fact of the matter is a team such as West Ham should not be struggling with relegation, so the Hammers faithful need answers more than most. Cole appears to have become the answer to the question ‘Whose fault is it?’ but surely a player cant single handedly cause a club’s decline down the league table?

Dimitar Berbatov

22 goals and the Bulgarian is still criticised for being his ‘lazy’ style of play. The whole world of football knew the forward that the Red Devils were signing, but this doesn’t stop continual moans when Berbatov makes an appearance in place of new fan favourite Javier Hernandez.

Robert Green

Dressing room unrest, tactical errors and miscommunication abound in the England camp, yet somehow Robert Green’s faux pas in South Africa meant that the goalkeeper ended up taking the Lion’s share of the blame for the abysmal showing by England on the world’s biggest stage. True to the form of the media bandwagon, after another mishap in the league for West Ham in September Green was being labelled as the main culprit for the Hammers’ poor performances.

Kieron Dyer

Receiving castigation from the West Ham faithful when not even at the club is impressive, but many fans believe the Englishman is taking a salary off another potential decent player that could be the one to save West Ham Premier League’s status. Although judging by the reports that were leaked a year ago, I make it two or three players’ wages.

Arsene Wenger

Year after year Arsenal fans have raved about Le Professeur, but after six seasons without a major honour the Gunners faithful are beginning to turn on the club’s most successful ever manager, rightly or wrongly; Wenger deserves a more respectful exit if he were to leave.

Darron Gibson

Over the last few seasons Manchester United have been trying to replace the irreplaceable figures of Roy Keane and the soon-to-be-departing Paul Scholes in the centre of the park, with the likes of Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves attempting the role, however it is Darron Gibson who was dubbed the next Scholes. With such a huge billing upon his shoulders, the Irishman has failed to give the Old Trafford faithful what they wanted, but does this really warrant continual slating from the fans who believe Gibson isn’t United standard? I mean, after all, Ferguson is the one who plays him and the Scot hasn’t got much wrong yet.

Emmanuel Eboue

Yet again Arsenal will finish the season empty handed, but is that really down to Eboue conceding that injury time penalty against Liverpool or is it more to do with the inability to win away at Newcastle when 4-0 up?

Jermaine Jenas

Spurs have been spoilt in the midfield department this season; Modric, Van Der Vaart and Bale have all been catching the headlines, but after the recent poor results against the lower teams in the Premier League and the collapse against Real Madrid, the Lilywhites faithful have began slating Jenas’ lack of talent and drive. Whilst possibly being fair accusations to be labelled at the Englishman, they surely detract from potentially construction critiques of Van Der Vaart’s inability to finish 90 minutes, something a modern day footballer shouldn’t struggle with.

Fernando Torres

For £50 million is it too much to ask for a greater reply than one goal? Probably not, but is it too much to ask for a £50 million signing to save your season? Absolutely, especially when, after a blistering start to the campaign, Chelsea’s season began flagging long before Torres’ arrival. But since the Spaniard’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, Torres has rather unfairly taken most of the stick.

Joey Barton this week came out and said that England haven’t used him enough over the years. There is a simple enough, but not very polite answer to that, Joey: “because you are…” This however did get me thinking: what players have the likes of Graham Taylor, the late great Bobby Robson and Sven the super Swede let slip through their fingers?

Ian Wright

Such a loveable character (even Spurs’ fans would fail at not loving that golden toothy smile), Ian Wright had an international career that spanned eight years with three different full time managers and yet still only achieved 33 caps (16 as a substitute.) This is such a small number, considering that in the seven seasons that followed World Cup 1990 Wright scored over 23 goals each season for his club.

Andy Cole

Andy Cole made only 15 appearances for England, scoring one goal. Glenn Hoddle, in defence of his decision not to select Cole for the World Cup in 1998, accused Cole of needing six or seven chances to score one goal. That must mean for Cole to become the second highest Premier League goal scorer with 187 goals, he had 1309 chances. Nice one, Glenn.

Matt Le Tissier

Anyone dubbed ‘Le God’ surely warrants more than eight England caps? And if that argument isn’t convincing enough for you, then perhaps the words of FIFA Footballer of the Century/Demi-god Pelé are, “If Matthew Le Tissier was Brazilian he’d be in the Brazilian first XI every game.”

Scott Parker

Has the rather unfortunate record of being the first player to earn four caps while playing for four different clubs. Overlooked constantly because of the rather frustratingly ineffective partnership of Gerrard and Lampard. Hopefully getting his time now under Fabio.

Tony Adams

Admittedly, Adams did play 66 times for England, scoring 5 goals, but if Bobby Robson hadn’t surprisingly omitted him from the 1990 World Cup squad and Glenn Hoddle handled the way he appointed Shearer captain over Adams better; then England may have gotten a lot more from the Arsenal man.

Steve Bruce

Despite being one of the finest English defenders of the early 90’s and captaining Manchester United, Bruce never earned an England cap, arguably the greatest faux-pas ever by any manager, especially when you mention a few of the players who earned caps during Bruce’s playing time: Keith Curle, Colin Cooper, David Unsworth and Neil Ruddock.

Robbie Fowler

Achieved 26 caps, scoring 7 goals; not prolific, but not a terrible return for a striker. Fowler’s problem was that he didn’t perform consistently enough at international level, so his inclusion is more on the basis that England’s managers didn’t know how to get the best out of him. There was never a doubt of his capabilities, as he showed time and time again during his years at Liverpool. Perhaps he could have been an England (not just Anfield) great, had he translated that into higher quality performances for the Three Lions.

Martin Keown

A controversial figure indeed, but there was no doubting his talent as a leader and heroic defender. Keown began his England career under Graham Taylor but was ignored under Terry Venables’ tenure. Hoddle recalled the Arsenal defender to his squad during his reign but, despite going to World Cup 98, he never played. It was under Kevin Keegan that Keown earned most of his caps, and he eventually retired from international football with 43 caps. Surely having Tony Adams and Keown together at international level made sense, after forming such a resolute backline at Arsenal

Julian Dicks

Unfortunately for Dicks, Stuart Pearce had filled England’s quota for hard and passionate left backs. However, Dicks won West Ham’s player of the season for four years out of seven, which surely warrants at least a friendly run out? West Ham’s gain was surely England’s loss.

A good performance become “one of the best ever”, a 25 yard free kick becomes “one of the greatest goals ever seen” and a nutmeg becomes “Unbelievable Tekkers”. Throughout the years, so many players have had fantastic debut seasons or even in some cases just a good couple of months but this doesn’t stop a sports journalists using hyperbole deliberately and unapologetically, linking them with Europe’s biggest clubs. Fleet Street’s elite have done this with the likes of Kieran Dyer, Leroy Lita and Francis Jeffers and where are those players now?

So, without further ado, I give you my opinion of the top 10 footballers from this season that are just classic media hyperbole.

Marouane Chamakh

The Moroccan made an explosive start to his Arsenal career with 10 goals in all competitions by the end of November. This then had the media and fans alike, raving that Arsenal had finally found the heir to Henry’s throne, high praise indeed, especially when you consider that since then Chamakh has scored only one goal…against Leyton Orient.

Charlie Adam

The Scotsman was an average player at Rangers but, after dropping down to a smaller ‘pond’ with Blackpool, now looks like the bees knees. Any attacking midfielder was going to thrive within a team that doesn’t comprehend the idea of defending and I just feel that moving on to either Liverpool, Man United or Tottenham will be a big mistake for Adam.

Gareth Bale

Harry Redknapp stated that Bale is worth £80 million, but I find myself struggling to comprehend this over exaggeration; the Welshman managed to destroy a depleted post-Mourinho Inter Milan defence, but when Nemanja Vidic is left spellbound by the former Southampton man then I will take notice.

Scott Parker

We all know Scott Parker is a very good player, but hype has turned this accomplished box to box player into West Ham’s very own Zinedine Zidane.

Connor Wickham

Apparently has the ability to be as prolific as a young Michael Owen, but then again, so did Francis Jeffers.

Adel Taarabt

Admittedly he had limited chances at Tottenham Hotspur, but that doesn’t stop him being a flop. Lets just stop these £10 million rumours to Chelsea now and realise the Moroccan has found his level as QPR’s attacking talisman.

Rafael Van Der Vaart

He had a blistering start to his Spurs career, but in recent months has gone off the boil and struggles to finish a full ninety minutes; £8 million for a 75 minute man isn’t the greatest bit of business after all.

Andy Carroll

If David Seaman can’t pull off the ponytail then Carroll has no chance, but obviously this isn’t the Premier League’s worst haircut. Does scoring 11 goals for Newcastle United really warrant a £35 million transfer? You can nearly get six Javier Hernandez’ for that and he has 19 goals in all competitions this season.

Lionel Messi

Calm down, breathe…right, are you ok? Yes I have put the Lionel Messi in this list. When the little Argentinian scores more goals than games played in the Premier League, then I will be considerably more impressed with ‘Maradona’s heir apparent’.

Nicklas Bendtner

No one is raving about the very self confident Dane, but try telling that to Bendtner himself; such is the Big Dane’s ego that he believes he is amongst the game’s greats. Bendtner is on the list because he has somehow single handed turned himself into a demi-god in his own mind and yet does nothing for the media to warrant such praise.

The Premier League has been graced with some wonderful talents over the years, with some players turning in good performances for various different clubs, David Ginola for Newcastle and then Tottenham Hotspur, Dwight Yorke for Aston Villa and Manchester United and Patrick Vieira for Arsenal and now Manchester City. Sadly for many players though this isn’t the case, either they can’t live up to the high transfer fee, troubled by injuries or just loss that extra yard of pace. So who are the top 10 players whose careers nosedived after promising starts? Will Fernando Torres be joining them soon?

Stephane Guivarc’h, regularly voted as the worse striker to grace the Premier League. Off the back of some very impressive domestic goal scoring records (68 goals in 110 appearances for Guingamp 22 in 36 for Rennes and 21 in 32 for Auxerre) and leading France’s World Cup 98 team front line, Kenny Dalglish signed the Frenchman for Newcastle United, but Guivarc’h made just four appearances managing one goal, and eventually the striker had to say ‘au revoir’ to the Toon Army.

Juan Sebastian Veron, surely a man with such an illustrious name can’t have a career that has taken a nosedive? After being Lazio’s driving force for two seasons, Veron transferred to the Premier League with Manchester United and then onto Chelsea, but throughout his time in England the Argentinian struggled with the pace of the English game and regularly gets voted into the top 50 of the most expensive flops. Veron now plays back in his home country for Estudiantes.

Richard Wright was signed by Arsene Wenger as the long term replacement for David Seaman, yet he was anything but. Needless to say, after punching the ball into his own net in a 4-2 defeat against Charlton, Wright soon found himself third choice keeper behind Seaman as well as Stuart Taylor and left the North London club after making only 22 appearances. Spells at Everton, West Ham, Southampton, Ipswich again and now Sheffield United have seen Wright fail to live up to the standards he achieved during Ipswich’s promotion campaign that caught Wenger’s eye.

Eusebio, Rui Costa and Figo, Hugo Viana was tipped to join these Portuguese greats after winning the European Young player of the year and then joining Newcastle United for around £10 million. Sadly for the Geordies they had gotten themselves another Stephane Guivarc’h, and Viana left after failing to hold down a starting spot.

Michael Ricketts scored 24 times for Bolton in their promotion season to the Premier League and continued this form by netting 15 goals by February to earn his one and only England cap; however, after this game, Ricketts failed to score for Bolton again that season. Fast forward various failed periods at numerous clubs and weight problems and Ricketts was released by Trammere Rovers at the end of the 2009/10 season, quite a nosedive indeed.

Robbie Fowler, the Premier League’s fourth highest goalscorer with 162 goals, surely must have had a long and successful career? But after scoring 120 goals in eight years with the Merseyside club, Fowler departed Anfield on bad terms, after a strained relationship with Gerard Houiller. Fowler never recaptured the form that had Liverpool fans labelling him ‘God’ and ended up seeing out his playing days Down Under with Perth Glory.

Alan Smith came to prominence as a tough tackling and hard working forward during his time at Leeds, which prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to sign the Englishman after Leeds’ relegation, but during his time at Old Trafford Ferguson deployed Smith in a more central midfield role, and combined with a horrendous leg break that ruled Smith out for 12 months, this led to his failure to excel at United. Smith now struggles to break into Newcastle United’s starting eleven, a fall from grace for what was meant to be a bright prospect for England.

‘The Fox in the Box’ for Everton, but for Arsenal he was more of a rabbit in the headlights. Jeffers was just another example of a promising youngster that choked in the media limelight and after his poor spell at Arsenal, Jeffers followed this up with relatively unsuccessful stints at Charlton, Rangers, Blackburn, Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle Jets and now Motherwell.

Harry Kewell was part of the golden generation at Leeds, a very exciting and talented attacking winger. During his eight year spell with Leeds the Australian international was constantly linked with Arsenal, Manchester United and Inter Milan, to name but a few, but it was Liverpool he chose to leave cash strapped Leeds for. But Kewell never hit the heights at Anfield, and despite occasional good performances serving as a reminder of his former abilities, his spell there was largely spent on the sidelines, with the Ozzie winger eventually limping out of Anfield and now playing for Turkish side Galatasaray.

Michael Owen was nothing short of a superstar during his time at Liverpool, leading the scoring charts and picking up numerous individual accolades. However, during his time at Anfield, Owen had numerous problems with his hamstring and was out for large portions of seasons, but this didn’t stop him from securing an illustrious move to Spanish giants Real Madrid. Yet when Owen exited through the Bill Shankly gate, his career stalled. Mainly used as a substitute in a very unsuccessful period with the La Liga club, Owen returned to England with Newcastle United and is now with Manchester United but has spent most of his time in the treatment room being labelled as a ‘has been.’

Arsenal have in recent weeks imploded, crashing out of three major trophies in the space of a few days. I wonder how different things would have been if managers of Arsenal’s past and present had held onto a few of these players for a little while longer.

Jay Bothroyd

From throwing his Arsenal shirt at the bench to picking up his first England cap, is quite a journey for Cardiff’s inspirational striker. Robin Van Persie prolific on his day but injury prone, coupled with Marouane Chamakh and the man the fans love to hate in Nicklas Bendtner leaves the Arsenal following craving other days. Days when Ian Wright Wright Wright and Henry scored for fun. Bothroyd’s stats, for this season alone, 33 appearances with 18 goals, are impressive; coupled with a maturity at 28 that means he keeps his shirt on. Perhaps this is one that Wenger let ‘slip through the net.’

Alexander Hleb

The answer to Robert Pires. The Belarusian was a fan’s favourite with his abundance of tricks, nimble footwork and the anticipation that something might always happen with the ball at his feet. Although I consider Samir Nasri to be of the same mould as Hleb; It is clear that Nasri and Fabregas do not compliment one another in that attacking midfield line. However, Hleb had it in his ‘armour’ to allow Fabregas to have the commanding midfield role that he so loves.

Sol Campbell

Big Sol left the Emirates with Wenger, like many others, predicting the centre back would move abroad. Campbell surprisingly though, moved down to the south coast and joined Portsmouth. Sol’s time at the club was very successful, leading Pompey to a FA Cup final victory in 2008. How useful Sol’s experience, leadership qualities and obvious knack for winning trophies (this was his third FA cup winners medal) could have been to an Arsenal side, that with every fixture that passes, look more and more likely to end a seventh season with an empty trophy cabinet.

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst

Left Arsenal after being deemed surplus to requirements and joined Spanish giants Barcelona. During his time at Barcelona Gio won two La Liga titles and the Champions League in 2006 beating Arsenal 2-1 in the final. Enough said really.

William Gallas

Everyone agreed with ‘Le Professeur’ that it was time for William Gallas to move on; with such a dramatic fall from grace as captain combined with his reported disruptive influence in the changing room. Fans and players alike were pleased to see the back of the fiery Frenchman. Fast forward six months and Arsenal’s unpredictable back line has single handedly destroyed the Gunners quadruple chances in the space of a fortnight. Over the other side of North London William Gallas is being worshipped. Gallas’ Champions League experience, regaining of form and formidable partnership with Michael Dawson has been instrumental in Tottenham’s success in challenging the ‘big boys’ in the league and in Europe. How much Wenger would love to partner Laurent Koscielny alongside an experienced centre back and add some stability to Arsenal’s back line.

Robert Pires

The ‘flat footed’ Frenchman fell foul like so many before him to Wenger’s policy of only offering players over thirty one year contacts. Pires in his time at Arsenal scored 62 goals in 189 appearances a remarkable record for a midfielder. Arsenal still haven’t replaced the free-scoring and influential midfielder who would be vital to an Arsenal team that so often in recent times fail to kill off games that they dominate. Only Robin Van Persie is in double figures for league goals this season.

Patrick Vieira

Went on to represent Juventus, Inter Milan and now Manchester City clearly the powerful Frenchman still had a lot to offer the footballing giants of the game. The sale of Patrick Vieira has left an ever present void in the middle of the park for Arsenal. Gone are the days when the Gunners would dominate the midfield battles with a bit of good old fashioned steel and determination. Twinned with Vieira’s leadership qualities, Arsenal could very much use Vieira to help boost and motivate a deflated and weary looking Arsenal side.

Nicolas Anelka

Since leaving Arsenal Nicolas Anelka has scored an impressive 126 goals in 370 appearances for numerous clubs, won six major trophies in four different countries and won the Premier League golden boot. Throw in the fact Anelka has scored against Arsenal on numerous occasions since leaving and then only a fool would not want the talented Frenchman in an Arsenal that has failed to replace Thierry Henry’s goalscoring ability for nearly four years.

Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole left Arsenal in controversial circumstances due to off the field matters. However, when you take into account Cole’s ability on the pitch you can understand, but not agree, with Chelsea breaking several ‘FA laws’ in the signing of the England international. Kieran Gibbs is being dubbed ‘the next Ashley Cole’ but it would be so much better if it were the real Ashley Cole, bombing down the left wing non-stop for 90 minutes. Admittedly all ‘The Sun’ readers will disagree with my choice of Ashley Cole because ‘we all love Cheryl Tweedy’ but surely the ‘world’s best left back’ should be on the list, regardless.

Andrew Cole

“Andrew Cole played for Arsenal! This good looking, suave and cheeky journalist knows nothing, mate” I know that is what you’re all thinking, however Andrew Cole made one competitive substitute appearance for Arsenal before being sold to Second Division Bristol City for £500,000. Arguably the biggest mistake in Premiership transfer history, so far. Cole amassed 187 Premier League goals, a feat only topped by Alan Shearer. If only George Graham kept hold of the future second highest Premier League goalscorer, it would have been Arsenal fans singing “Andy Cole, Andy Cole, Andy Andy Cole, he gets the ball, and scores a goal, Andy Andy Cole.”