During this boring winter break we thought it would be fun to get AA readers to vote for their team of the past decade (2010 to 2019).
Today we start with the position that attracts the craziest men in football: goalkeeper.
During the decade seven players pulled on the green (or yellow, pink, blue, black, aubergine etc) jersey and took their pace between the sticks for Arsenal: Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone, Szczesny, Ospina, Cech and Leno. We’ve left out Emiliano Martinez and Matt Macey because they made only a tiny number of appearances.
Have a quick read, then cast your vote. You won’t be able to view the results in real time because we want to keep everyone guessing until we reveal the final ‘Team of the Decade’ line-up.
Important note: you’re voting for them based on their Arsenal career. So, for example, you shouldn’t vote for Cech because he was brilliant for Chelsea or for Szczesny based on his performances at Juventus. It’s how they played in Arsenal colours that counts.
The Spaniard was never really taken to the fans’ hearts, but he was in goal for our 2005 FA Cup win (not in the decade in question of course) and became a much valued member of the Watford team after leaving us. I’ll never forget his best ever performance for us when he made a string of almost impossible saves in the 2-2 draw with Barcelona at the Emirates in 2010 (when Barcelona were at their very best).
Signed when we had a fad for Poles in Goals, Fabianski was in our 2014 FA Cup winning side and has had a solid career in the EPL since departing N5.
Looking like a heavy from Goodfellas, Vito got limited first team opportunities and is clearly a long shot for the team of the decade. But he had a few good performances before moving on to Sunderland and then Reading.
Our Pole No 2 came to us as a youngster with good footballing genes (his dad was a professional goalie who was capped for Poland). Many of us thought the eccentric Wojciech would be our starting goalkeeper for a decade or more, but doubts crept in about his form and his attitude (getting caught smoking in the showers was not his finest moment). He has established himself as a valued stopper at Juventus so perhaps we should have persevered with him for longer.
He never established himself as an out-and-out starter, but was played by Arsene Wenger as our “cup ‘keeper.” The Colombian was between the sticks for two FA Cup wins and for a League Cup final defeat. Not a bad haul.
Arguably the best goalie in the league during his Chelsea career, Cech came to us in 2015. He may not have reached the peaks that he did in West London, but he was a reliable custodian during his time with us.
Our second German ‘keeper (after the brilliantly bonkers Jens Lehmann) joined from Bayer Leverkusen in 2018 and is our clear first choice as we head into a new decade.