You won’t believe who misses out in Wenger years Arsenal XI
It’s a mark of both his longevity and eye for talent that Arsene Wenger has presided over some of the finest players to grace the Premier League. Just try squeezing the absolute cream of the crop into one starting XI.
That’s something the BBC have been asking readers to do as the Frenchman approaches the phenomenal landmark of 20 years in charge of the Gunners.
If you haven’t already done it, you should. As you will see though, it’s far from easy!
While the merits of Lee Dixon over Lauren, whose role in that Invincibles side got the Cameroonian the nod ahead of the steady-eddy Englishman in our books, will not necessarily create uproar, other omissions definitely will.
If leaving out the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Ian Wright, Nigel Winterburn and Gilberto Silva was difficult, failing to find a home for Dennis Bergkamp will be seen as sacrilege by most Gooners.
However, the man immortalised in bronze outside of the Emirates lost out to his compatriot Robin van Persie.
Both Dutchmen boasted fantastic technique in their time playing for the red half of north London, yet Van Persie’s strike rate is nearly twice as good as Bergkamp’s – 96 in 194 opposed to 87 in 315.
The older master may have created many more than his young apprentice thanks to his legendary guile, especially for partner-in-crime Theirry Henry, yet a striker’s main job is to stick the ball in the net and that’s something RVP did with greater aplomb.
Meanwhile Bergkamp’s refusal to fly meant Arsenal were often bereft of his services in crucial away games, with the former Inter man making just six road trips in European competition.
Of the new guard, only record signing Mesut Ozil is deemed silky enough to displace any of the Gunners’ title winners past.
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