And so we come to the final choice to be made by you, the readers of AA, in our search for Arsenal’s Team of the Decade.
If you have not yet voted in the previous categories (Goalkeeper, Fullbacks, Centre Backs, Midfielders, Wide Attackers) you can still do so. Just follow the links in the ‘Recent Posts’ sidebar below.
Tomorrow we’ll have the grand reveal.
There’s just one position left to be voted on: a fairly important role – that of central striker. Who’s going to be the primary goal-grabber in your Team of the Decade? Here are the options:
The first season of the decade was the last at Arsenal for our unfortunate Crozilian. The horrendous broken leg he suffered away at Birmingham in February 2008 derailed what was looking like a really promising career at Arsenal. His return to the Emirates in the colours of Shakhtar Donetsk was an emotional occasion.
Robin Van Persie
Another brilliant player whose reputation is tarnished for some fans by the nature of his departure. After we stuck with him for years through persistent injury problems he cleared off to Man Utd as soon as he’d got a single full season under his belt. Nevertheless, it’s indisputable that he was a brilliant striker.
Never quite made it at Arsenal, but Vela showed promise for a while and scored some sweet goals with his trademark chips from the edge of the box (reminiscent of Ian Wright in an earlier era).
Often mocked, but Bendy was an excellent asset off the bench during his Arsenal career. In fact the current squad could do with someone like him. In his best season for us he scored 12 from 21 starts and a handful of substitute appearances.
Good in the air and showed early promise, but his goal return was never enough to justify a place as our lead striker.
Loved by the fans and a terrific all-round striker, Ollie was nevertheless somewhat underappreciated. He scored some absolute blinders and played a huge part in our goal of the season versus Norwich in the 2013/14 season (scored by Jack Wilshere).
Powerful, dynamic and direct, Alexis had a couple of great seasons at Arsenal. Fans appreciated his non-stop effort and his goalscoring ability. On the down side he lost possession more than any other player in the squad.
A popular guy with the supporters and his teammates, Danny’s progress was blighted by periodic injuries (in contrast with Giroud, who seldom had long spells out). A willing worker who scored some fine goals in our colours but never seemed likely to be our main source of goals.
The Frenchman arrived for the start of the 2017-18 season and quickly demonstrated his deadly finishing. He may be going through a goal drought now, but in the seasons under scrutiny for this exercise he netted 36 times in 69 starts, which is pretty awesome (and worth remembering by his current critics).
Thank you Rocky for the final installment of our Team of the Decade. This has been a great way to fill days of no football.
Looking at that list, I have enjoyed watching all of those strikers play for us – some a lot more than others 😉 – but the judas gets my vote.
I hate him for leaving us just when he he’d grown into his body and helping ManU to win Fergie’s last title.
I remember feeling the air change, in the stadium, when he came off the bench after one of his injuries. He struck the ball so hard that you could hear it. It was magical. Loved so many of his goals (sorry Giroud)
I voted for RVP but was a close call with Giroud. Agree with the descriptions of ewch player above but i see we re missing the only player that could have collected 0 vote in Mr. Yaya Unmighty Sanogo 😉
Thanks Rocky, this has been an interesting and revealing journey through our last 10 years … to me it’s highlighted the lack of quality rather than the opposite … but I guess I am comparing it to the previous 10 years which was the best in our history.
The central striker came down to a choice of 2 for me … Alexis and RVP.
I gave it to RVP because he could have left before his previous contract expired but stuck it out to see if the club would recruit the quality of players required for us to win titles again … as we have seen, that didn’t happen.
It’s great to see how many people have voted. Really big numbers and some fascinating (and surprising) results so far.
Today’s is an interesting list. Eduardo falls into the “what might have been” category.
As is clear from some of the comments yesterday, some people would probably have liked the option to include Sanchez as a wide man with one of the others on today’s list. We’ll just have to make that part of the discussion.
I’m torn between three on this list…
I seem to remember that a certain Mr Henry returned for a brief spell in the last decade, so technically it`s a no brainer!
You’ve found the Achilles heel of today’s Post.
I thought long and hard about including TH14 whose second spell at the Arse occurred during this decade. But on balance I thought it would skew the vote because people would vote for him on the basis of his exploits in the previous decade.
By the time he rejoined us he was no longer the player he’d been in his pomp, even though – like every Arsenal fan – I loved it when he came back.
Another one for the chat in comments I’m afraid…
For the decade (from 2010 to 2019), in a 4-3-3.
Final pick for my starting team: Robin van Persie (from 2010 to 2012), in his last 3 seasons with us, tallied 69 goals and 29 assists in all competitions (101 matches). He would fit well with Walcott and Aubameyang on either side of him, Cazorla’s and Ramsey’s support from midfield and Song’s over the top balls from deep.
My team (starting):
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)
WF: Theo Walcott (from 2010 to 2018, 9 seasons)
WF: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (from 2018 to 2019, 2 seasons)
CF: Robin van Persie (from 2010 to 2012, 3 seasons)
(On the bench):
GK: Bernd Leno (2019, 1 season)
LB: Gaël Clichy (from 2010 to 2011, 2 seasons)
RB: Héctor Bellerín (from 2013 to 2019, 7 seasons)
DM: Mikel Arteta (from 2012 to 2016, 5 seasons)
CM/AM: Tomáš Rosický (from 2010 to 2016, 7 seasons)
WF/CF: Alexis Sánchez (from 2015 to 2018, 4 seasons)
CF: Olivier Giroud (from 2013 to 2018, 6 seasons)
what a great striker which has no replacement since when he left the club
All in jest Rocky, but can you imagine if he was in the poll and Chamakh got higher than him ! 😆
Could never, ever vote for RVP.
Also surprised at popularity because, despite the quality of some of his goals, he gave us one good season.
For this reason, I went for the mercenary, Sanchez, but still believe Laca could surpass his achievements in the resurrection that is imminent. COYG.
@LBG – I also think that Laca is gonna find his scoring boots very soon.
I think RVP is popular because he scored 132 goals and managed 55 assists in 278 games played. Skills wise, he is at least on par with Aubameyang. Health was an issue and then his departure was awful, especially given the fact that we stuck by him through his injuries and once fixed he goes to Utd (I think I hated Utd more than Tottenham during the Fergie years. They really had annoying players like Staam, Neville, Keane, Van Nilsteroy – all dushbags!)
Ceballos roaring to show Arteta he can play at AFC. Let us see
The list for the BBC Women’s footballer of the year is out and our star striker Vivianne Miedema is on it. Voting closes at 09.00 02.03 2020
Vote early, vote often!! 😉
RVP every day of the week. Head and shoulders above that group.
I would have stuck Sanchez on the wing.
With LBG on this one. rVP may have been more talented, but was an outright poS.
So, highly skilled Sanchez, who at least hung around for awhile.
Can you imagine him working with Mikel on the pressing in packs??
@LBG Yeah we’re all sore about how he left and where he went…but somebody had to sell him to United (Wenger?)
Have a look at his stats, they’re phenomenal. A 1 in 2 striker. He was our best striker for years despite all the injuries. I recall more than one good season.
Yes he should have been more loyal, but his stance on Wenger’s ambition was proved right. Sad I know…
February 12, 2020 at 10:10 am
Could never, ever vote for RVP.
Also surprised at popularity because, despite the quality of some of his goals, he gave us one good season.
For this reason, I went for the mercenary, Sanchez, but still believe Laca could surpass his achievements in the resurrection that is imminent. COYG.’
BTW RVP was at the club for 8 seasons. Hardly a brief flirtation.
Sure he has good stats. When I started my comment, I was going to write 1 and1/2 seasons!! Certainly many longish periods of absence, and his goals to games ratio shows, if he hadn’t perhaps been out so much, HE might have brought us more success in the last eight years of the Wenger reign.
Then of course, having got fully fit again, HE chose for me, our deadliest enemy ( having had a a Manure bed cover, when he was a boy!) and won the League for them singlehandedly without a sniff of serious injury.
Still waiting on a Wenger book of revelations on what happened behind the scenes post Emirates. I would like to bet, if Dein had still been in place, we would not have sold our best players, and the Wenger era would have been even more magnificent.
Bit of a black and white kind of guy ( red and white really). Bitterness ingrained regarding RVP.
Were the link to vote kaert
Yea Pete that was a great debacle officially stop voting affairs that
I also thought Sanchez would have even done great with emery since he presses also
Thanks Rocky for that great series of posts, my team completed.
The front 3 gave me the most trouble as I was thinking as much about prolific combinations in some of my picks as I was about pure individual talents.
Liverpools front 3, for instance, is as much about how they feed off each other as it is about any of them individually. Firmino generally doesn’t get the highest scoring stats as a number 9 in the league but is more important in his link up play to Liverpool than some other higher scoring 9’s would be.
Also we have many players that could have played both the 9 and the wing-forward role. RVP initially operated at attacking right before going to 9. Ditto Aubamayeng on the other side. Sanchez could do both as well, and what was Podolski? Was he a 9 or a withdrawn striker playing slightly from the right to come in on his left foot?
It all depends on how you define the other 2 attacking players in the front 3 that are not considered specifically the number 9. Are they, attacking wide players, wing-forwards, a double pivot number 10 offset just either side of the central line?
I could argue making a great front 3 just from today’s list alone, say with Giroud as the 9, and Sanchez playing slightly behind to the left and RVP slightly behind him to the right.
In the end with the format for the front 3 I went with RVP up top and Auba playing 2nd striker off to the left and Podolski as the same to the right. I couldn’t see those 3 all playing together and not scoring between 70-90 goals collectively in a season.
In reality I would probably have tweaked it to have Auba up top with Sanchez taking Auba’s position as the left wing forward, and RVP replacing Podolski as the right wing forward……..or is it attacking wide player………or maybe double pivot slightly offset number 10’s 🙂 would have been nice problems to have in just trying to define it.
Quick note to readers: voting in all categories will close today at 10pm UK time, 5pm ET, 2pm PST.
brilliant series Rocky, thankyou.
I’m with LBG about RVP so I chose Giroud
People’s different reasons for their choices are fascinating.
Emotion, memories, statistics, tactics, managers and more all coming into the mix.
Not to mention partnerships over individual ability, as per GoonerB.
Much as I dislike, even despise RVP, one has to say that he was the best and, surely, that is what we are looking for here and not who we prefer.
it is for that reason I chose Ozil over CF, as the latter was already really past his best for us when he left.
Thanks for a great series of posts.
@LBG – my predicition on the AA bloggers team of the decade before your big reveal:
Pole-in-Goal – Sagna, Kos, BFG, Monreal – Cesc, Song, Ramsey – Ozil, Auba – RVP
@RL – my previous post was meant for you. No hard feelings Mr. LBG 😉
Going to venture that if rVp stayed with the Arsenal in 2012-13, and manure lose his 26 goals, the Arsenal win league, just a hunch, but a strong one at that. (3 wins and losses does the difference) Walcott was our top scorer with 14, and the team had a GD of +35. Think we would have walked it!
He had 18 months as top guy, and the rest who knows when he would play, Sanchez played more consistently than that.
Sanchez goes in, out goes the turd.
Always on your mind, eh, RC!
New Post… with the Team of the Decade
The team I voted for:
Sagna BFG Koz Nacho
Walcott Giroud Podolski
I did write a comment yesterday that clearly didn’t send to explain.
So I’ll try again….
For me both Ozil and Alexis suffered from being in the wrong category, I would have had both in my team as wide men, which would have allowed me to bring Rambo in to midfield drop Theo and Pod.
No RvP, no Cesc I hear you cry? Well was one or two seasons enough to get them in to see in to our team of the decade? Not for me.
On goalkeeper it really was tough as none for me have been exceptional but Leno has looked closest to the part. Oh how we miss the days of great goalkeepers.
Wilson, Jennings, Lukic, Seaman, Lehman and then……..
Left back again Nacho Mr consistent, and Sagna at right back as being the most complete we have had in that position.
Centre backs was a no brained Kozzer became far better with BFG alongside him and BFG was just class.
Arteta again for his classiness in that position and the fact that he sacrificed his own attacking instinct for the benefit of the team.