AFC team of the decade – your take?

So the end of the year is arriving fast and many news outlets worldwide are now having some articles about athletes of the decade, teams of the decade…

In order to brighten up the mood and forget about Emery and our failing team and board, I thought it woul be nice to think about who would make our starting XI if we were to put a AFC Team of the decade…

It is harder than you think as there has not really been a player that has been a consistently been a stand out player in the past decade…Here are a few names to get you thinking…

GK: Pole-in-Goal, Ospina, Leno

RB: Sagna, Bellerin

LB: Clichy, Gibbs, Kola, Monreal

CB: BFG, Kos, Sok, Holding, Luiz

DM: Arteta, Xhaka, Torreira

CM: Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere, Oxlade

AM: Ozil

FW: Auba, Sanchez, Walcott, Welbeck

ST: Van Persie, Giroud, Laca

Carraghers’ EPL team of the decade:

De Gea – Zabaleta, Van Dijk, Kompany, Azpi – Kante, Toure, Silva – Bale, Aguero, Hazard


De Gea – Zabaleta, Van Dijk, Kompany, Azpi – Hazard, Toure, Silva – Kane, Aguero, Suarez

No AFC players 😦 It just shows that it wasn’t our decade…



49 Responses to AFC team of the decade – your take?

  1. RockyLives says:

    Well done RC – an excellent alternative to the doom and gloom.

    Here’s my entry:

    Van Persie-Laca-Aubameyang

  2. RockyLives says:

    Put Pochettino in charge and that’s a team to win the league 😀

  3. RC78 says:

    RL – loving your team. Am struggling to leave out Ozil (most assists), Sanchez (he carried the team offense for two years), Giroud (he scored a lot too…) and I had a soft spot for Ox

    Cech – BFG, Kos, Monreal – Ox, Ramsey, Cazorla, Sanchez – Ozil – Van Persie, Auba

    Not very balanced and missing one of my favorites in Laca…

  4. RC78 says:

    I d put Ancelotti but am biased and also because I doubt that pochetinno would join us right away. He s gonna explore other options… Maybe he goes to Napoli and Ancelotti joins us. That said I like Pochetinno

  5. RockyLives says:

    It’s hard to argue with the absence of any Arse payers in the EPL team of the decade.

    There’s a case to be made for RvP – for a couple of seasons he was the best striker in the Prem. But across the decade it’s hard to argue he should be in ahead of Aguero

  6. Rasp says:

    Thanks RC … a welcome distraction as Rocky says.

    I’ve had to check when players left in a few cases and that unfortunately rules out Lehmann, but it does mean we can include Fabregas. The problem is I’d have to put Fab in for Cazorla and that is a really close call.

    It feels wrong to include ‘Brave Sir Robin’, but I guess in terms of quality he has to be there … and Rosicky would have to be in with shout too.

    So assuming each player is in there being judged at their peak (Kozzer) my team would be the same as Rocky’s with Cliche in place of Tierney (too early to tell with him) and Fabregas in for Arteta – although I’m not sure how a midfield of Ramsey, Cazorla and Fabregas would be arranged.

  7. RC78 says:

    RL – their team makes sense.

    I think that there was a case to be made for Trent-Arnold, Salah, De Bruyne and RVP.

    De Gea – Trent-Arnold, Van Dijk, Kompany, Azpi – Salah, Kante, De Bruyne, Hazard – Kane, Aguero

    Again, not the most balanced team but would be a joy to watch 🙂

  8. RC78 says:

    Hi Rasp – I agree that RL team seems quite fair and I also considered Clichy at LB but I had to give it to Monreal because of his passion. If I had it my way, I would sold Mustafi and kept Monreal because I thought he gave us more options…

    As for RVP, for two years, he was the best striker in the league (his last season with us and his first one with Utd). I hate that he went to Utd but hearing his side of the story now, he did not have much of a choice…Again, poor management and this time I think AW is clearly to blame.

    Here is my team of most dedicated AFC player on the pitch (fight hard for the squad, irrespective of their actual talent – this is just about the attitude):

    Cech – Sagna, BFG, Kos, Monreal – Arteta, Xhaka, Cazorla – Ramsey – Sanchez, Giroud

  9. RC78 says:

    An upsetting fact is that none of us put in the British core that Arsenal sold us a few years back:

    Chambers, Gibbs, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ox, Walcott

  10. Rasp says:

    I think the way we’re struggling really illustrates that apart from the odd world class player, we’ve had quite a few mediocre players over the last decade.

    It does illustrate the miracle of Arsene keeping us in the CL for all those years when we didn’t have so many top class players.

    I wonder what the Arsene of 2000 – 2004 would have achieved with our current crop of players.

  11. Rasp says:

    Eddie is doing really well at Leeds … who incidentally have a very good manager.

  12. RC78 says:

    Bielsa, el loco. Top coach but he deserves his nickname…The guy is a total football looney but also a visionary.

    At this stage, I think we should really aim for a quick fix (max 18 months) and that is why I like Heinckes and Ancelotti. They come with credibility and authority. Ancelotti may be better if he came with Koulibaly and Allan with but what about having Heinckes coach the team and groom some of our greats like Lehmann, Campbell, Gilberto or Parlour, Ljunberg, Pires, Wright or Anelka. I think he wouldn’t say no to a short term deal until the end of the season. By then, we can pick one of our own to lead the club…

    If the reports are true, then we need to bring in a coach that is credible, which means having won trophies.

  13. RockyLives says:


    Regarding the “British core”, I had Ramsey in my team and I was tempted to go with Walcott, but decided to stick Auba out wide.

    I’m being literal, to the extent that I wouldn’t go for Fabregas because he was not at his best during the decade in question.

  14. RockyLives says:

    You ask what the Arsene of 2000-2004 would have achieved with our current crop of players… it depends whether you mean we transport the current players back to that era… or whether we transport the Arsene of that era forward to now.

    If it’s the former he’d probably do pretty well with them.

    If the latter, maybe not so much. Football seemed to change at some point in the Noughties in a way to which Arsene was unable to adapt.

  15. RC78 says:

    Hi RL – I think Ramsey cannot be questioned 🙂
    My point was that the “British core project” never really fulfilled its promises and ambitions although at the time, it was hard to argue that the players that were signed on long-term deals were not among the most talented crop of young british players.

  16. Rasp says:

    Good point Rocky. I was suggesting if ‘that’ Arsene was operating in the current era.

    I think the average technical ability of players in the EPL has improved greatly, but with that, the huge salaries and use of contracts as leverage by players/agents has delivered a level of cynicism which means that the managers who can motivate their players to put in maximum commitment are proving the most successful.

  17. RC78 says:

    If I had to make the team of the decade for PSG, I would have to put:

    Sirigu – Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Maxwell – Mbappe, Verratti, Motta, Di Maria – Cavani, Ibrahimovic

    which means leaving out Neymar and Matuidi…I feel more sorry for Matuidi though, somehow. Neymar has been so injured for us

  18. RockyLives says:

    I was thinking more that Arsene thrived in an era when 4-4-2 was the standard formation and he was able to build his attacking genius on a very solid, blood-and-thunder English defence. It just seemed to suit him.

    When formations changed he tried to adapt with his Fabregas-led team of mostly midgets (and came very close to pulling it off). Then it all went a bit Pete Tong…

  19. RockyLives says:

    No Messi?

    Perhaps if he tries harder… 🙂

  20. RC78 says:

    RL – I m only working on the PSG players and unfortunately, Messi never played for us but he definitely toyed with us

  21. Gööner In Exile says:

    20 comments and not one person mentioning that this is not actually the end of the decade…that’ll be me then 🙂 I blame the millennium celebrations which were a year too early.

    Anyway team of the decade? Well if it was just players who have played during the decade then Cesc and Nasri would both be available, but I guess they haven’t had a significant impact on the whole.

    So this team is players who played for at least a couple of seasons in the decade and for the best onfield shape and would be fun to watch.



    ……………… Arteta



  22. RockyLives says:

    Sorry RC – didn’t read your comment properly!

  23. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rocky I think the formation change to 4-3-3 was a bit forced rather than being Arsene’s preference.

    Teams started packing the defence and centre of midfield they were putting three in the middle to curtail our two and stop supply to forwards so he felt he had to put an extra body in there too.

    As you say it was the beginning of the change, it was built around Cesc and I think we lost a little bit of Arsène when Cesc moved to Barca.

  24. RockyLives says:


    Your team seems very practical and sensible.

    Regarding the Arsene era, I also think he saw the way tactics were changing and consciously tried to switch our method of play to more of a Barca style.

    Fab4 was at the heart of that, along with players like Hleb, Rosicky, Denilson, Diaby (with plans for the likes of Wilshere to continue it).

    In 2007/08 it almost succeeded in winning us the league, but we’ve been retreating from that high tide mark ever since.

  25. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for you earlier moral blackmailing 😀

    You almost had me reaching for the keyboard until RC nobly stepped into the breach.

  26. RC78 says:

    The turning point for our club was the failure to win the CL in 2006. We were in control and Henry missed an easy goal, which proved costly at the late stage of the game when Barca scored their 2 goals…

    After that, we had in total maybe 2 good seasons and the rest were at best OK…

    If we win the 2006 Final, Henry stays and also we can attract more quality players despite our finances being tight…

  27. RockyLives says:

    Some would say the turning point was Eduardo’s leg being snapped during the title run-in in 2008, when we had a real chance of winning the league.

    After that incident we seemed to fall apart.

  28. RC78 says:

    RL – that was also a major incident

  29. John Mathews legend says:

    RA, on your comments this morning:
    Who’s coming to get me? The Spelling squad?
    Okay, I spelt ‘metaphor’ à la French, with an ‘e’ at the end.
    Happens to me sometimes when the words are nearly the same in both languages.
    Sorry for being pédantique! 😀

  30. RA says:

    I am sorry JML for daring to bring a little humour to your nonsensical late evening comments.

    The lyrics for “They’re coming to take you away” seemed somehow apt, and go something like this;

    They’re coming to take me away ha-haaa
    They’re coming to take me away ho-ho hee-hee ha-haaa
    To the funny farm

    Where life is beautiful all the time
    And I’ll be happy to see those nice young men
    In their clean white coats
    And they’re coming to take me away ha-haaa

    You thought I was joking
    And so you laughed
    You laughed when I said
    That it would make me flip my lid

    You know you laughed
    I heard you laugh, you laughed
    You laughed and laughed and then you left
    But now you know I’m utterly mad
    And they’re coming to take me away ha-haaa

    Nevertheless, I will reprimand myself most severely for repaying nonsense with nonsense!!

    Altho, being taken to task by an imposter like you – an offence that can carry a custodial sentence – is a bit rich.

  31. Gööner In Exile says:

    It was hard to leave out Rosicky and Vermaelen

    What is stark is looking at the Arsenal squad in the first half of the decade compared to the second half, albeit we probably had less stand out stars in the earlier half of the decade but the squad in my opinion was far more balanced than we have now. Part of that was how we spent money on wages, but when we started to add a few big names to the good squad we saw an improvement evidenced in a couple of FA Cup wins, unfortunately I think for the last few seasons recruitment has been much worse and we have acquired some big names we don’t have the same squad base to add them to.

  32. GoonerB says:

    Not been around so missed some good chat last few days. Thanks to Peaches and Rocky for prior posts. So wished I had been around for Rocky’s post where he claimed a likeness to Rodney Trotter as I missed a chance to comment with the opening line of “Watchya Dave”.

    Thanks RC for this one. I will comment and put up my team before looking at anyone else’s as I don’t want to be biased and have my gut feeling changed.

    It is a tough one because the last decade has been a reasonably poor one overall. It was the decade where we always seemed 1-2 key players short. It also represents the decade where we seemed to inexplicably overlook certain types of players that other teams considered important and as such, even now with a whole decade of players to choose from, I find myself still missing those couple of players to really get a balanced best 11.

    That said we had many fine individuals who were world class, just never together at the right times and always missing the couple of players that would blend the whole team together in harmony.

    Chief among our oversights are a proper recognised defensive / holding midfield player, winger / wing forward type players, and arguably a top recognised CB like Kompany or VVD.

    As such I have overlooked the DM role and gone with a midfield 3 without a recognised one, but with a 3 that are all technically brilliant and can control the possession and pace of the game, but who all also put in a shift. My wing forwards are not pure wingers but are forwards that have played or started their careers as wide players so have the instinct and ability to play “off-centre”.

    My line up is a 4-3-3 (maybe more 4-2-1-3), here goes:

    Sagna, BFG, Kos, Monreal
    Rosicky, Cazorla
    RVP, Giroud, Auba

    So very much an Arsene team topheavy in quality and goal-scoring at the expense of certain more physical players. It is a team for the you score 4 but we’ll score 5 style of football but without a recognised world class physical midfielder in the last decade I feel those 3 could have overcome it with their industriousness and quality.

    Bellerin is yet to prove world class but Sagna was solid and consistent and still offered something going forwards, so he gets the nod. Tierney is too soon to be included for me but Monreal, when he had his legs was excellent at both ends and a quality footballer.

    I always felt Giroud wasn’t quite right for us at many times, but in this case I think he would bring out the best goal-scoring prowess of RVP, Auba and Ramsey all playing off him, while still scoring some himself, but also giving us different strengths in attack so that the opposition couldn’t just line up 1 way to stop us. That front 3 plus Ramsey would have had an answer to the high line defence and the park the bus teams.

    So there you have it. An EPL winning line up right there. I just know without looking yet that it is better than anyone else’s 🙂 Right off to see other line ups now.

  33. RC78 says:

    So no one has Sanchez in their team?

  34. RA says:

    Hi GB,

    A good comment, sir, altho you would be surprised if I did not have one little tweak. 🤪

    — “Bellerin is yet to prove world class” is obviously a typo.

    You surely meant he is yet to prove he is good enough to be in the Arsenal team at right back.

    For example, his lack of focus in stopping S/Hampton’s first goal by delaying their free kick was horrendous. Still too many of these blunders by him.

    The rest of it is top notch. 😀

  35. Sue says:

    Spot on, RC 👌
    First of all, I loved Rasp’s comment about ‘Brave Sir Robin’ … you know why you picked him, Rasp, because the little boy inside you said so 🤣
    I think I’d go with the team GIE picked (& the subs)…although I was toying with the idea of replacing Arteta with Song…..
    Love the picture, ah those were the days… Rosicky, Cazorla and Luscious Lukas 😍

    Looking forward to Real v PSG, RC….👍

  36. Gööner In Exile says:

    RC look up a little further you will see Alexis on the right wing in my 11.

    Although I was tempted to put Podolski on the right wing just to see his hammer left foot walking on to Giroud lay offs. Always thought we didn’t get best out of him on left side of three.

  37. RC78 says:

    Hi Gooner – sorry, you do indeed have Sanchez.

    Am due to write the post for Frankfurt so tune in tomorrow for the pre-match

    But now enjoy Real vs PSG as Neymar and Cavani start on the bench for PSG!

    Navas – Meunier, Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat – Gueye, Marquinhos, Verratti – Di Maria, Icardi, Mbappe

  38. RC78 says:

    I think that if we had a 4321 with

    Ramsey, Arteta, Cazorla – Sanchez, Podolski – Giroud

    That was fit and played regularly together, they would have done quite a decent job together in both attacking and defending phases

  39. Gööner In Exile says:

    That’s a pretty looking attacking 6

  40. LB says:

    Yep, and there were constant calls to sack the manager.

  41. RC78 says:

    PSG gets away with a poor performance…
    Spurs showing spirit
    City through next round despite lacklustre football

    Strange footie night indeed

  42. fatgingergooner says:

    Sagna Mertersacker Koscielny
    Ramsey Cazorla Rosicky
    Sanchez RVP Nasri

    I’d give both my testicles for those midfielders right now. How poor do our lot look compared to some of those names!?

  43. fatgingergooner says:

    Forgot Cesc….

    Sagna Mertersacker Koscielny
    Fabregas Cazorla
    Ramsey RVP Rosicky
    Sanchez Aubameyang

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    As much as Nasri, RVP and Cesc exited in the worst ways, they were the bright spots in the last decade. Nastiest stands out for me as the one we lost. People forget just how good he was before he left. At least with Cesc and RVP we got to see them for a while.

  45. fatgingergooner says:

    How i’d love Rosicky and Cazorla right now. Amazing footballers.

  46. Gööner In Exile says:

    FGG, yep Santi and Rosicky were both quality as I said earlier where we are worse now than then is in the overall squad quality, we always had players who could come in and do a job as well as the man in the shirt, the squad was more interchangeable, I don’t feel that now and my guess is neither does Emery he is trying to find the best 11 for his system and it feels like changing one or two players changes the whole dynamic of the team, whether that be because they don’t understand it or they just can’t do what he wants. The criticism of Wenger was we had an identikit squad and we never had anything different to offer, the flip side obviously was a consistent performance level, unfortunately always just short in those Big4 contests, but able to roll over the rest of the league on a regular basis.

    I considered Cesc, Nasri and RvP but they all left so early in the decade, we had others for longer hence why they were left out of my team. Cesc and RvP would probably walk in to my team, not so sure on Nasri over Alexis.

    Rocky meant to come back to you on 2008 being out last night title challenge, I think personally the year that still fills me with most regret was the 2016 title challenge, we came back to beat Leicester at home with Welly scoring the winner, the way it was celebrated by fans and players felt like a real belief was starting to build, we then went DDL or something similar and within 3 games were out of the race again that coupled with defeat to Barca in CL finished the season. Always felt that was a big chance missed. If you look through the last games after Leicester and our results it is easy to see some where we could have put enough points on the board to win the League.

  47. GoonerB says:

    Weren’t we top of the league at Christmas GIE? I remember a couple of things quite well that season, and I also felt that Arsene made a couple of decisions and choices half way through the season that hindered us. The tide started to turn from that period when we were sitting top. It was indeed a league winning season thrown away.

    Some excellent sides put out by all and hard to disagree with any of them.

  48. RC78 says:

    That season when Leicester won, it was unbelievable how we blew it…:-(

    In any case, I sent the pre-match for tomorrow to Peaches and Rasp so we can look forward again rather than reminisce on how good some of our players were or how imbalanced our squad was from 2011 to 2019…

  49. Rasp says:

    Morning all …

    … New post ….

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