The Genius Players of Arsenal and Beyond

A few days ago, Lionel Messi scored an exquisite goal. It was simply sublime in its apparent ease, and nonchalant simplicity.

There is an Italian word for this…….Sprezzatura
Def: The art of performing a difficult task so gracefully that it looks effortless.

I remember using this term here on AA a few years ago, although I cannot remember to whom I was referring. A good guess would be DB10.

We very briefly discussed this Messi gem the other day on here, and it led to an even briefer chat about other such great players that have graced the beautiful game. 

More often than not, when discussing the worlds’ greatest exponents of our beloved game, the names of Maradona and Ronaldo feature highly. Both sensational players, and both capable of turning games single handedly, but for me, they relied too much on blood, sweat and tears to wear the sprezzatura crown. 

I’m thinking of the Mesuts and Le Tissiers of this world…

One common denominator is that these silky players are more often than not the preserve of those in the attacking half. Were there defenders that also possessed this graceful elegance in their play? Maldini? Moore?

Finally, of course, The Arsenal players. Vladimir Petrovic? Alan Hudson? 

written by Micky Didit


21 Responses to The Genius Players of Arsenal and Beyond

  1. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Micky. DB10 certainly had the Sprezzatura. For me he made the game look even more effortlessly elegant than even Messi, and I wouldn’t have ever swapped DB10 for Messi. Both great players but I believe that Dennis was more suited to the EPL than Messi so would have remained the more effective player for us.

    I think my favourite to watch has been Ronaldinho and I would have loved to have seen him in the red and white above all others, including Messi and Ronaldo. Their goal-scoring feats are exceptional, but for pure on the ball footballing skills, that give you that ooh ahh moment, the smiley toothy one is unsurpassed in my estimation.

  2. jjgsol says:

    I think db must be the most successful lime player we have had in my nearly 60 or so years as an Arsenal fan.

    That goal against Newcastle stands out as the most special one I have ever seen.

    As today is the festival of Purim may I wish my fellow Jewish supporters both on thus wonderful blogg and elsewhere, a freiliche Purim, which is Yiddish for have a happy Purim.

  3. jjgsol says:

    Sorry the predictive textinggot me there.

    Sublime not successful lime.

  4. LBG says:

    Cheers Micky
    Today’s post makes the ridiculous selection on the BBC site of the best overseas players to grace the Premier League, even more ridiculous!!
    Only two fit the sprezzatura mould for me, DB10 and Robert Pires.

  5. jjgsol says:

    Looks like my first contribution got lost in transit.

    What I said was that my best was db. The goal against Newcastle was the greatest I have seen from anyone.

    By the way, may I take this opportunity to wish our other Jewish colleagues and all Jewish supporters a freiliche Purim which is Yiddish for ‘have a happy Purim’, which is today.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Mr Didit. I am sorry but I screwed up by not putting tags on the post which leads to less responses, mea colpa.

    Most silky Foreigner? No question … TH14, Pele then closely followed by Maradona. Johan Cruyff had some skills.

    I know many will be drawn to DB10 but for me it is them.

    Of players from other PL clubs, I enjoyed Zola, Gullit, Cantona and a host of others.

    As to English talent … you cannot ignore Gazza who was the best player of his generation.

  7. RA says:

    All the above players, nominated by our august AA Elders, could be defined as being akin to literary works in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive styles and rhythms capable of taking your breath away.

    Yes indeed — true poetry in motion, every last one of them.

    Looking back thru the lens of hindsight, as provided by images captured in You Tube, you could also add, Liam Brady, George Best, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, Michel Platini et al – men of truly god like footballing ability — and which of us are fit to ‘judge’ them?

    But possibly because he is a current player, I must, with some trepidation, cast my vote for Lionel Messi as the greatest player, par excellence, so far, of the 21st Century.

    The man is simply stunning, a footballing virtuoso — a genius — a maker of magic – a wizard on the pitch – who leaves me gobsmacked with his impossible skill, time after time — in a way the other superb worthies never have. (for me, in any event).

    They are all wonderful!! ✌️ 👍

  8. LB says:


    What a great word, thanks Micky

  9. Big Raddy says:

    RA. I think Messi is GOAT. Simply the Best

  10. Ant says:

    Thanks Micky.. no-one has mentioned Rocky, Liam, Mesut or Santi who all have specciatuna in them

  11. chas says:

    Excellent, Micky.

    What a great word!

    Some brilliant nominations from everybody.

    Zidane’s first touch was nearly as good as Dennis’s. 🙂

    I just saw this and wondered if Wrighty’s delicate lobs and chips over keepers might count. He certainly makes it look easy!

  12. chas says:

    Some fine goals in this Betis v Barca including Messi’s hat trick topped off with that Sprezzatura third goal.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    GN5 will tell us that Alex James had Sprezzatura. So did Dennis Compton.

  14. chas says:

  15. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning Chas
    I think we got away with it 🙂

    Motning all

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Seems we did

  17. RA says:

    Good Morning, mein lieblings, 😁

    Raddy, you are spot on — Messi is a GOAT — and in the future he will be achieve adulation as an old GOAT — Legend!!

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Do a “Spot The Ball”

    Winner gets to write all posts for a week, or something

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Spot the ball. Those were the days, I used to bet on those things. What a deluded fool

  20. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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