Vote for Arsenal’s Team of the Decade Part 2: Fullbacks

During the winter break, when we’re denied our fix of regular football, AA is asking readers to vote for our team of the last decade (2010-2019).

Yesterday we went through the options for goalkeeper (you can find the link in the sidebar below if you missed it).

Today we move onto the outfield players, starting with fullbacks. There are separate votes for Left Back and Right Back.

I should note that although we have played many different systems during the decade (including five at the back), for the purposes of this exercise we’ll be voting on the basis of a 4-3-3 set up. So that means your fullback choices should be as traditional FBs, not as wing backs.

Results will not be revealed until all votes for all starting positions have been cast.

Right Back

Bacary Sagna

A classic Wenger signing – a promising French player – Bacary was our go-to right back for many years and had some memorable moments in the red and white. His headed goal to help drive our 5-2 comeback against the Spuds at the Emirates stands out for me.

Emmanuel Eboue

An enigma, a joker, an ever-smiling character who ended up leaving the pitch in tears on one awful occasion… but on his day Eboue was a talented attacking fullback even if he probably never lived up to his full potential.

Carl Jenkinson

We all loved Corporal Jenks. An Arsenal fan all his life he looked for a while as if he could be the answer at RB and was never anything less than fully committed to the cause.

Matthieu Debuchy

On his way to the Emirates after signing for Arsenal, Debuchy walked under a ladder, had a procession of black cats cross his path, smashed a mirror and opened an umbrella indoors. Has there ever been an unluckier player at our club? I was excited by his signing (I’d been impressed with him when Newcastle played at the Emirates the previous year) but cruel luck with injuries meant his Arsenal career never took off.

Hector Bellerin

Hector has been making regular appearances since 2015 and has sometimes seemed like he could be one of the great right backs. Again, injuries have made his progress stutter but his speed and composure on the ball are still huge assets.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Although not a RB by choice, AMN has proved himself a very reliable stand-in and it has been the position he has occupied more than any other in his Arsenal first team career.

Stephan Lichtsteiner

Probably a good player in his day, but in his single season in N5 he seemed too old and too slow for the pace of the EPL. He had a good line in hard man tackles, however, which was occasionally enjoyable.

Left Back

Gael Clichy

The Frenchman held down the LB spot for several years before moving to Manchester City. Although never a spectacular player his consistency was high and you never worried about the position when he was playing.

Kieran Gibbs

When Clichy moved on, Gibbs seemed ready to make the LB position his own. He had speed, control and good defensive awareness. His best season was the 2013-14 one, when he made 41 starts, but injury after injury blighted his career.

Andre Santos

The Brazilian wasn’t with us for long but he scored one memorable goal in a stirring 5-3 win at Chelsea.

Nacho Monreal

With Gibbs’s frequent injuries leaving a gap at LB, Monreal was brought in and quickly made himself indispensable. He was a very reliable mainstay of the team for years and had the versatility to play at centre back when required.

Sead Kolasinac

Our Bosnian beefcake is perhaps better suited to a wingback role than being an out-and-out fullback but his strength is impressive and he has made many goals with his surging runs down the left flank.






30 Responses to Vote for Arsenal’s Team of the Decade Part 2: Fullbacks

  1. Thank you Rocky for the post.

    At right back I’m voting for Sagna, I thought he was great and I’m not sure any of the others holds a candle to him. Could slot in at CB if needed and scored against spuds …….. always gonna be a hero 🙂

    I think Debuchy could have been great but was unlucky with injuries.

    I voted for Clichy at left-back. He took over seemlessly from Cashley although if we’d had Monreal from a young age I reckon he’d be a club legend.

  2. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Peaches

    For me it’s a toss up between two outstanding options at RB.

    But at LB I could make a case for four out of the five…

  3. Pete the Thirst says:

    Sagna & Monreal – no question. Both were the most consistent players in the Arsenal team for a number of years.

  4. RockyLives says:

    To be devil’s advocate Pete, Bellerin at his best is arguably as good as Bac. And is it just the passing of years that make us forget how consistent Clichy was? He had a really good career at Man City after leaving us too.

  5. JM says:

    For the decade (2010 to 2019), in a 4-3-3.

    Just as with my choice of Petr Čech (from 2015 to 2019) in GK previously.

    Bacary Sagna (from 2010 to 2014) & Nacho Monreal (from 2013 to 2019). (both could slot in at CB when situations required). They are defenders first, attackers second.

  6. Sue says:

    Great minds, Pete…. I picked Sagna and Monreal….. and Leno yesterday 👍👍

    I just bought tickets for the West Ham game, happy days!!

  7. LBG says:

    Bacary and Nacho. Little doubt for me!
    Bacary had a salmon like leap for a little guy
    and defensively there is no comparison with Hector IMO. And for me Nachos all round defensive and attacking reading of the game superior to Gail.
    The disappointment was Gibbs. So much potential, unused.

  8. LBG says:

    Just for a guffaw this morning
    Rene says “Lingard is like Iniesta”. Like comparing Frank Bruno with Muhammad Ali.

  9. RC78 says:

    Sagna cannot be questioned.
    For LB, I am torn between Clichy and Monreal.

    As mentioned before, I was really annoyed to see all these AFC players leave us to win silverware elsewhere. Maybe, the biggest chip on AW was to fail in building a solid team although he had good players at his disposal…If you think that the team had players like Cech, Koscienly, Cesc, Ramsey, Sanchez, RVP, it is still a mystey how we failed to get an EPL title or more Cup glory from 2010 to 2019.

  10. RC78 says:

    Lingard can be a very good player and he is usually quite good with England but he is very inconsistent. I think he would do well as a fake 9. He needs to play behind a Giroud/Lukaku/Kane type of players and needs to have wingers to his sides as well so at Man Utd, they d need to play the following mid and strikers to get the most out of Lingard:

    Fred (Pogba when he returns), Mc Tominay – Martial, LINGARD, James – Rashford

  11. Loving how much respect there is for Nacho, his signing wasn’t received too kindly and sadly I think we let him go too soon.

  12. LBG says:

    One of my favourite memories of Nacho is him playing a game of volleying INSIDE in what looked like a weights room with Santi Cazorla.
    Dont know if it can still be found and put on the site, but showed how inferior the skills of us mere mortals are compared to the Gods!!

  13. LBG says:

    It’s on YouTube if anyone can transfer.

  14. LBG says:

    Have a look at Enzo Cazola’s skills on the pitch end of season also on YouTube. Sign him up Mikel!

  15. Mike M says:

    I’m with the general consensus. Sagna no question. Clichy probably embodies everything that has gone wrong with Arsenal since 2008. A very very good player but lacking the heart, fight and desire to push us on to greater things. So it’s Nacho for me. Maybe not the greatest player overall, but we would have won things with him in a better team.

  16. jjgsol says:

    My heart says Eboue for right back, as a player who gave his all, but my head says Sagna, who as a player is head and shoulders above the others.

    Monreal has to be the left-back. He gave his all, and his all was better than the others.

  17. RockyLives says:

    In Clichy’s defence, when he went to Man City he was their first choice LB for a long period and won two League Championships. Presumably he would not have been consistently picked at City if he lacked heart?

    Could it just be that many players seem diminished in a team that is underperforming overall, and likewise many players may seem better than they are when they are one small cog in a really high-performing team?

  18. Pete the Thirst says:

    Clichy was a pretty decent defender, just not as good as Cole before him (are we allowed say that now?) and not as good as Monreal who followed.

    He had lapses of concentration that resulted in some big mistakes. My abiding memory is the mistake he made against Birmingham in 2008. We had lost Eduardo to the broken leg, were leading in injury time with a man advantage. Clichy dawdled on the ball in the area, let a Brum player nick the ball off him and dived into the challenge leading to a penalty.

    Then there was Gallas’ tantrum after. We were looking a good shout to win the league at that point but fell away badly. We drew the next 3 matches, 2 at home. If we’d have won the Brum game plus the two home matches the extra 6 points would have won us the league.

    Ifs & buts..

    ‘RockyLives says:
    February 7, 2020 at 11:21 am
    To be devil’s advocate Pete, Bellerin at his best is arguably as good as Bac. And is it just the passing of years that make us forget how consistent Clichy was? He had a really good career at Man City after leaving us too.’

  19. RockyLives says:

    Clichy had a complete brain fart leading up to that penalty, but the most galling thing was that, having done so, he then made an excellent recovery tackle which was never a penalty.

    If VAR had been in use back then, it would not have been a penalty, we’d have won 2-1 and then who knows how things might have panned out?

  20. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rocky

    I too remember that Clichy incident with his mistake and then recovery tackle which, as you rightly say, was close but he still got the ball, so no penalty should have been awarded but…….guess who the referee was?….and people wonder why us Arsenal fans think there is something very fishy going on with that particular ref when you analyse his stats with us.

    Anyway, Clichy was a decent servant but not in Ashley Coles league. Neither was Monreal but he still shades it in this decades considerations as he was just a bit more polished and solid all round as a LFB.

    Sagna was my undisputed RFB, and it seems most others on here. Wouldn’t surprise me if his vote is close to 100%. If we were analysing the last 3 decades then neither Clichy or Monreal would get in at LFB but Sagna might have a shout. I believe he was individually potentially as good a RFB as we have had, but unfortunately was not playing at the club in one of our stronger periods, if you compared him say to Lauren.

  21. Pete the Thirst says:

    I was about to say that GoonerB: Guess who the ref was? Mike ‘Dodgy’ Dean. How that muppet is still reffing is beyond me. He should have been banned when he was caught working with a bookmakers. That was 2006. Go figure…

  22. LBG says:

    Lauren was a devil in red. A combination of Dixon’s heart and soul, Lauren’s devilish steelyness and Bacary’s versatility would make my best right back of the last 60 years.
    Only one left back, Cashley, followed by Kenny and Bob Mc.
    Sorry Rocky, getting carried away with the debate.

  23. RockyLives says:

    Lovin’ it LBG.

    Pat Rice was no slouch either.

  24. LBG says:

    Agree. Lovely man, but not quite up to the other three, unless loyalty needs to be added to requisite component parts.

  25. RockyLives says:

    Viv Anderson?

  26. LBG says:

    Pat Rice with long legs!

  27. LBG says:

    Best arse….Sammy Nelson!

  28. RockyLives says:

    😀and 😀

  29. GoonerB says:

    Sammy Nelson sat right behind me when we won the FA cup against Chelsea

  30. RockyLives says:

    New Post…

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