Cesc? Santi? Ramsey? Ozil? Vote for Arsenal’s Team of the Decade Part 5: Midfielders

Hopefully in yesterday’s Post you selected your defensive/holding midfielder as we continue to build our readers’ Team of the Decade (2010-2019). Today we move onto the two remaining midfield positions.

If you missed the previous instalments, you can still vote by following the links in the ‘Recent Posts’ sidebar below.

We’re going for a 4-3-3 formation (if you feel that this does not allow you to pick the players you would like to, you can explain your point in comments), but today you need to select TWO midfielders from the list below.

You’ve already picked your midfield anchor… which two players are best suited to working with him to give our team the best chance of midfield dominance?

This is going to be tough…

Abou Diaby

A gifted player whose career was more or less ruined by one nasty tackle from meathead Sunderland player Dan Smith. On one of his many attempts to restart his career I remember him completely bossing the game at Anfield.  If only he could have stayed fit.

Cesc Fabregas

What can I say. The anointed Son of God. Why Arsene Wenger didn’t take him back when he left Barcelona remains a mystery to me.

Tomas Rosicky

Don’t you just salivate thinking about some of the great players we’ve had? Tomas was another player unlucky with injuries, but so good on his day. A class act.

Aaron Ramsey

The Welsh wizard overcame a horrendous injury committed by another “not that kind of player” English thug and emerged as one of the best central MFs in the EPL. His assets included box to box effort and a real eye for goal.

Jack Wilshere

The curse of injuries seems to be the theme of this selection. Probably would be England captain by now if he hadn’t been slowed down by repeatedly getting crocked, often from malicious fouls inflicted by opponents. But I’ll never forget him running the midfield against Barcelona as a mere 19-year-old.

Yossi Benayoun

A one-season loanee, but he made a lot of friends in N5 with his willingness and commitment (and his four goals).

Santi Cazorla

We were blessed during this decade, weren’t we? What a superb little player. He left us with two FA Cup winners’ medals under his belt. His control on the ball and ability to dribble out of tight spaces was a cornerstone of our midfield game.

Mesut Ozil

A genius, without doubt. There have always been questions about his body language (unfair) and commitment. But on his day he can see the game better than just about anyone and may be the best passer of a ball we’ve had since Dennis Bergkamp.

Matteo Guendouzi

Played 33 games in the final season of the decade, which was his debut season. A great prospect. It’s probably too early in his Arsenal career for him to be selected in this vote, but when we come to vote for the team of 2020-2029, who knows? His name could be high on the list…




49 Responses to Cesc? Santi? Ramsey? Ozil? Vote for Arsenal’s Team of the Decade Part 5: Midfielders

  1. Thank you Rocky for the post

    OMG ………….. I can’t choose, I just can’t choose two from that list 😦

  2. Santi and Rosicky ………… sorry Rambo

  3. RockyLives says:

    No Cesc?

  4. Although ……….. Rambo and Ozil????????

  5. RockyLives says:

    Diaby at his best is as good as any…

    This is a head scratcher, isn’t it?

  6. Rocky – Does Cesc really count in this decade? He buggered off to Barcelona even though i told him not to, I told him it was too early for him to go, that they wanted him but they didn’t really need him yet.

    Still not over it 😦

  7. And I loved watching Diaby play …………. he oozed class and the fact that his career was ruined by that injury 😦 😦 😦

  8. RockyLives says:

    Fair point Peaches – his last season with us was the first season of this decade.

  9. I’m not questioning his inclusion Rocky …………. but if you think how the decade panned out with question marks over so many players it’s so galling that we let him leave. Having him in the team would have possibly attracted better players to us ………. in fact I think it’s amazing that Santi came to us.

  10. RockyLives says:

    I know you’re not Peaches – your comment made me think twice actually. Cesc, for me, is one of those players on an absolute pedestal like Dennis, Liam, Thierry, Paddy…

    So on seeing his name in the options my gut reaction is that he’s an automatic pick. But you’re right – we are picking the best payers for Arsenal in the decade 2010-2019 and that throws a different light on it.

    Now I’m really stumped 😀

  11. LB says:

    Pretty easy this one, Cesc, Cesc and then Cesc

  12. Pete the Thirst says:

    This is the first choice that is genuinely hard. I suppose that shows how average some of our players have been over the previous decade.

    Cesc – One of the best ever for us (I know he’s not popular, but he was a joy to watch)
    Cazorla – A magician on the ball. Just beats Ramsey & Rosicky. If Tomas had stayed fit he would have been one of the best in the world

  13. LB says:

    Ahh, note to self: read the question properly before you start jumping up and down.

  14. RC78 says:

    Rambo and Santi for me. They had a great work rate when fit, scored stunning goals and made our midfield tick. I would have added Cesc or Ozil but in a 433 and given their style of play, I went for the Welsh and the older of the Spanish wizard.

    My team so far:
    Leno – Bac, BFG, Kos, Clichy – Rambo, Torreira, Santi –

    and I think up front, I won’t have much choice but to have Sanchez, RVP and Auba although I d love to make some space for Giroud…so let us see when the vote comes through but I could end up with a team that could have played really well together if all fit with the usual doubts at LB, CB and DM but otherwise, it tems of quality, I think we did have some decent players..

  15. RC78 says:

    Ramsey is struggling at Juve but I think he should really stay there or come to PSG or make a move to Bayern. But my first option would be for him to tough it out at Juve.

  16. LBG says:

    First one with a little difficulty, but not really because despite the overall quality, there are only two geniuses- Cesc and Mesut for me

  17. LBG says:

    Again alittle article in the Times caught my eye. Under the title “Fallen Giants”
    Inter Milan have won the Scudettos 18 times and the European Cup three times.
    A C Milan have won the Scudettos 18 times and the European Cup seven times.

    Wish Arsenal were a fallen giant with those records!

  18. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, like others, I’m torn between two … Cesc and Santi.

    Cesc probably tips the scales in terms of brilliance over a longer period … but Santi was such a great happy character, I like those who play with a smile on their face. Both could run the game from midfield and showed great leadership qualities.

  19. Rasp says:

    One thing I think that is important is the midfielders ability to bring others into the game … that is why even though I loved Rambo, he wouldn’t be my first choice .. and Ozil doesn’t have the leadership qualities I’d want to see. I would imagine Rambo has the best goals per game percentage as well as scoring the most goals?

  20. RockyLives says:

    Hi Rasp

    You are allowed to select two 🙂

  21. RockyLives says:

    This definitely feels like the strongest category so far.

  22. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky … I must remember to read the small print!

    Second candidate chosen.

    Following football is an emotional thing … well it is for me any way. I choose players who entertain, excite (no not that way) and deliver … and who constantly have you in awe of their ability.

    I can’t really explain why, but based on those criteria, Vieira is my favourite player of all time. I just thought the team was in very safe hands whilst he was on the pitch.

  23. Pete the Thirst says:

    Ramsey has real talent, but a horrendous injury record. I’m not sure any club will offer him the same terms unless he goes on loan.

    It was clear he was going to leave for free, so he should have been sold the season before. £30million is better than nothing.

    This was after the Ozil contract mess and the Sanchez/Miki swap nonsense that Ivan & Arsene cooked up. I’d be very surprised if PEA isn’t sold at the end of the season unless he signs on.

    ‘RC78 says:
    February 10, 2020 at 10:12 am
    Ramsey is struggling at Juve but I think he should really stay there or come to PSG or make a move to Bayern. But my first option would be for him to tough it out at Juve.’

  24. JM says:

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

    I would have selected 3 players from this midfielders’ list and place one of them at one of the wide wide-forward/midfield position in my team. Since the final choice is only 2 midfielders, I shall choose the best 2-way midfielders (who can play CM and AM) that I believe would fit in my overall team.

    Firstly, Aaron Ramsey (from 2010 to 2019). He was with us for this whole decade where he won 3 FA Cups (with him scoring the winning goal in 2 of them), was Arsenal Player of the Season twice and was involved in 65 goals and 65 assists in all competitions (371 matches). I believed he is currently our top scoring midfielder since the modern PL and CL/EL era, (in perspective Fabregas had 59 goals and 92 assists from 306 matches; Ozil has 43 goals and 76 assists so far, from 250 matches). He could play in all midfield positions (DM/CM/AM) and even wide midfield and occasionally covered at RB during matches.

    Alongside Ramsey, I pick Santi Cazorla (from 2013 to 2018). He was perhaps our best ambidextrous ball player in the recent times and could play in various positions (Winger, AM, CM). Cazorla scored a vital direct free-kick goal in our comeback to win our 1st FA Cup in this decade. Overall, he was involved in 29 goals and 45 assists in just 180 competitive matches with us, and could have more if he had stayed healthy in his last 2 seasons with us. His link-up playmaking between our midfield and attack was a key in bypassing and unlocking stubborn defenses.

    Tomáš “Little Mozart” Rosický was the 3rd 2-way midfielder that missed out in my team (He had 29 goals and 22 assists in his 248 matches with us, some of them very memorable).

    My team (continued):
    GK. Petr Čech (from 2016 to 2019, 4 seasons)
    RB. Bacary Sagna (from 2010 to 2014, 5 seasons)
    LB. Nacho Monreal (from 2013 to 2019, 7 seasons)
    CB. Laurent Koscielny (from 2011 to 2019, 9 seasons)
    CB. Per Mertesacker (from 2012 to 2018, 7 seasons)
    DM: Alex Song (from 2010 to 2012, 3 seasons)
    CM/AM: Aaron Ramsey (from 2010 to 2019, 10 seasons)
    CM/AM: Santi Cazorla (from 2013 to 2018, 6 seasons)

  25. Deji Obe says:

    Rosicky, Ramsey and Arteta on my bench

  26. Pete the Thirst says:

    Luckily they took Terrible Ivan off our hands and are reaping the rewards. How the hell was he in charge at Arsenal for 10 years?

    LBG says:
    February 10, 2020 at 10:25 am
    Again alittle article in the Times caught my eye. Under the title “Fallen Giants”
    A C Milan have won the Scudettos 18 times and the European Cup seven times.
    Wish Arsenal were a fallen giant with those records!

  27. RockyLives says:


    Thank you for mentioning the bench.

    After the results are revealed I will also reveal a subs bench (based on the votes) with 7 subs as per current EPL rules.

    Possibly the best way to organise this would be :

    Second highest ranking GK
    Two highest ranking defenders (after the starting defenders).
    Two highest ranking MFs (after the starting MFs).
    Two highest ranking forwards (after the starting forwards).

    But I’m open to suggestions if people think there’s a better way of doing it…

  28. LBG says:

    What do you think about the idiot Cascarino who thinks Ramsey would make a perfect fit for…….Manure!
    If he does, never forgiven, by me anyway.

  29. LBG says:

    Since it was mentioned by you at an early stage by you Rocky, like JM, I would have only two forwards in my team of the decade and would have Santi, Mesut, Cesc ahead of Torreira. Not much height but pure as the driven snow!
    Anyway, it’s your ball, Rocky!

  30. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rocky for the continued installments. I was absent from here for the last DM one but have voted belatedly anyway. That one and this one were very tough.

    For the recent DM I went for Song. This was one of those decisions where getting a balanced midfield trumped having another slightly more technical player like Arteta. Arteta always felt like a number 8 to me who should have been playing just in front of someone like Song.

    There was a period where I felt Song was the top defensive midfielder we needed. I remember him completely nullifying some very good attacking players like Rooney, among others, and completely taking them out of the game. He was strong and very hard to dispossess and had a good pass on him as well.

    Somehow he went of the boil a bit after a while, in his effectiveness as a DM, when he started to lose some positional discipline and go walkabout. Do you remember the term of Songinho that was coined?

    However, I still chose Song for the DM because I think he was the closest we had to a top holding midfield player in this decade, and I also think the positional ill discipline, and players seemingly not knowing the key tactical aspects of their role, was something that afflicted the whole team, that could have been coached to have been far better.

    With the midfielder one today I couldn’t decide if I should remove the injury consideration from my thinking and gone with who I felt would be the very best if they had stayed fit. In the end I decided that it should be players that really affected our team at a high level and consistently, and not players where there is a huge “if only” attached to them.

    I couldn’t consider Abou or Jack for those reasons, much as I loved them as players, purely because they weren’t ever able to regularly help the team. I found it very hard to leave out Rosicky and Rambo from my selection but, fine players that they were, they both also had some lengthy spells away from the team.

    In the end I went for Cesc and Santi who were superlative players that could have graced us in any period. It’s a shame that they never played together in midfield for us because I think that would have been a joy to behold.

    My team so far is:
    Sagna, BFG, Kos, Monreal
    Santi, Cesc

  31. Le Coq Monster says:

    IMPOSSIBLE!…………………….Why not try and ask me my favourite child!……………………….my favourite wife and I`m still on the effing first one!……………………..my favourite chocolate bar between a Flake, a Dairy Milk , a Twirl and a Whisper, they are all Cadbury`s chocolate in different forms!……………..My favourite hair style between a short back and sides slick back Giroud style or a Charlie Nicholas Mullett, they were both irresistable to women in different decades!……………………………..Lady Penelope or Tin Tin from Thunderbirds or Aqua Marina from StingRay, who would I rather have had no strings attached sex with?………………………IMPOSSIBLE!……………………………You`re an effing SADIST !

  32. jjgsol says:

    What a mouth-watering selection to choose from. Apart from Guensouzi, who should not be in the same country as the others, they were all great players and great servants of the club.

    Santi is the shu-in if only for his smile and his effortless control of the ball and where he sent it.

    Of the rest I choose Ozil, as he is a genius, but I could have chosen any of the others (except Guendouzi), they were all so good for the club.

    Thanks for this series, which has made this quiet period even enjoyable.

  33. LBG says:

    Le Coq Monster
    Favourite No1 Daughter and Favourite No1 Son.
    “She who must be obeyed”……now!
    Short back and sides.
    Lady Pen…classy bird with a Rolls!

  34. Le Coq Monster says:

    LBG………………………..I might be siding with Aqua Marina as she was dumb, so nobody would hear her scream for help!

  35. LBG says:

    Daily Mank says, Laca looking to move to Spain at end of season, possibly to join Simeone.
    You wont get any service there, Laca.

  36. RC78 says:

    I hope we keep Auba, Laca and I would not be against Ramsey coming back and he can play in the middle next to Torreira.

    Ramsey to Man Utd would be a travesty, more than when RVP joined them

    I think my final team will be:

    Cech – Bac, BFG, Kos, Clichy – Ramsey, Torreira, Santi – Sanchez, Auba – RVP

    Bench: Pole-in-Goal, Bellerin, Holding, Song, Cesc, Walcott (or Laca or Ozil), Giroud

  37. Aaron says:


    Your choices mirror mine, except I placed the rebel smoker in goal!

  38. GoonerB says:

    I was between him, Cech and Leno without much to sway me more for one than the other, so just decided I may as well give our current number 1 the thumbs up. He has some areas to improve on but has great shot stopping ability.

  39. fred1266 says:

    Unai Emery felt Arsenal were “on a downward slope for two years” prior to his arrival and slammed the attitude of star men during his time with the Gunners.

    Emery was sacked last November after just 18 months in charge at the Emirates Stadium following the London club’s worst winless run since 1992.

    The former Paris Saint-Germain boss insisted he stopped the rot after replacing Arsene Wenger, but believed the attitude of some key men left a lot to be desired.

    Emery felt he would have made Arsenal a force if he was given more time in the role.

    “Arsenal was a club on a downward slope for two years when I arrived,” the Spaniard told France Football.

    “We stopped that slide and even started to straighten the club out with a Europa League final and fifth place in the league, only one place behind Tottenham, even though we only took one point in the last five games.

    “We had Champions League qualification in our hands and it went wrong at the end. But it was a good season and we had the idea to continue this progress.

    “But we lost our four captains: [Laurent] Koscielny, [Petr] Cech, [Aaron] Ramsey and [Nacho] Monreal.

    “We were missing personalities for this season to stay on track, and some stars did not have the right attitude and asked for more than they gave.

    “Considering all that, it would have taken more time to transition successfully into the new Arsenal that I wanted.”

    Arsenal are unbeaten in seven matches under Emery’s replacement Mikel Arteta, though four of those contests have been drawn.

  40. RC78 says:

    Like at PSG, Emery failed to implement his idea of football with the team at his disposal and most importantly, he failed to adapt his ideas in order to get the most out of his teams. I think that at least Arteta is coaching the team in a certain way that ensures the buy-in of the players. They seem to know what the coach wants and they adhere to his philosophy. We re all hoping to turn these draws into victories now. Arteta has a 4231 system in mind and he has the team to play in this set-up. When the summer comes, maybe he will change a bit of the personnel to better apply his principles and ideas on the pitch. I can see players like Koulibaly, Brandt and Grealish being monitored by Arteta and also maybe he ll sell AMN and Kola to get improved options at fullback (Cancelo, Gaya?) and he may also offload Ozil to bring in a more industrious player like Grealish or Havertz.

    Leno – Cancelo, Koulibaly, Luiz, Gaya – Torreira, Brandt – Pepe, Grealish, Auba – Laca

    Martinez – Bellerin, Sok, Holding, Tierney – Xhaka, Douzi – Nelson, Willock, Saka – Martinelli


  41. fred1266 says:

    U really want me to pick 2 from cesc santi and Ramsey you have to be made

  42. fred1266 says:

    Yea peaches I understand why u choose rosicky

  43. fred1266 says:

    Rc great minds think alike

  44. fred1266 says:

    LBG u have just lost some point with me with that pick

  45. LBG says:

    Crying into my team, merci!

  46. LBG says:

    Sam “what a bore” Allardyce says Arsenal didnt appoint Ancelotti instead of Mikel because they were afraid of his reputation.
    One thing is for certain Sam, all footie Clubs should be afraid of your reputation!

  47. Morning all

    Yesterday was great fun and now ………….

    We have a New Post ……………

  48. 252525 says:

    John senke iam fan

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