Sound the drumroll, raise the curtain, set off the fireworks. Here it is: Arsenal’s Team of the Decade (2010-2019) as voted by YOU, the wonderful readers of AA.
Feast your eyes and let it sink in:
That’s right, there’s no place for Petr Cech, or for Aaron Ramsey, or Mesut Ozil, or Alex Song or… well, you get the point.
The line-up looks to me like a strong team that would give anyone a tough game (especially when all these players were at their peak), but I have two big reservations about it:
One, I suspect that there won’t be a single supporter who is fully happy with this line-up and who would not prefer to tweak it. That’s the drawback with the public vote format. For example, in midfield, Cazorla and Fabregas were first and second in votes, but how many people who voted for either would have preferred them alongside a more box-to-box player like Ramsey?
Two, even though these are our best players of the decade as chosen by you, I don’t think I could put my hand on my heart and say that this team would have won the league in any given season between 2010 and 2019. Possibly in 2015/16 when Leicester City were champions, but even then I’m not sure.
You’d hope there would be plenty of goals from the front three plus Cesc and Santi, but we’d be relying on Arteta as a deep lying creative player rather than a midfield stopper like Song or Torreira. Will that provide the back four with enough protection?
What do you think?
First some facts and figures. I won’t go through all the numbers today, but here is how the voting breaks down for the most popular two or three players in each category:
This was the closest head-to-head, with our current ‘keeper just edging out the Pole in Goal. I expected Cech to gain more votes than he did.
No doubt about who the winner was here.
Perhaps a little surprising that Nacho romped home so comfortably ahead of the likes of Clichy, Gibbs and Kolasinac, but he was our most consistent LB during the decade.
These three were well ahead of the also-rans. I wonder if the fact that it’s been so long since we saw Tommy V in Arsenal colours kept his vote lower than it might have been.
Another close one and a bit of a surprise, to me at least. It seems voters favoured control and playmaking from deep over defensive tenacity. However, it’s nice that our current head coach is in our Team of the Decade.
I expected Cesc to walk this one, but we were spoilt for choice and I can’t say that Santi doesn’t deserve to be top choice.
A clear winner, but it was close between the next three (Nasri was not far behind Podolski).
Robin was a terrific player but I was surprised he was such an emphatic winner. Alexis did well here, but I’m aware some readers would have preferred to have him as an option in the Wide Attackers category.
Van Persie 54%
Using the most popular choices after the winners in each category, we have the following (very strong) Substitutes Bench*:
Szczesny, Clichy, Vermaelan, Song, Ramsey, Arshavin, Sanchez.
*Based on the current EPL rules of allowing seven subs.
Before you get stuck in in comments, AA would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who voted. We had well over 1,500 votes in all the categories so we really can say this poll is representative of how we fans feel about the players who were with us during 2010-2019.
Tomorrow we’ll reveal what the LEAST popular starting 11 of the decade is, according to the votes. And we’ll highlight some other interesting, unusual or downright shocking points to come out of the process (like the fact that not a single player – not even Chamakh, Gervinho and Mustafi) received zero votes. Perhaps some of them voted for themselves? Or maybe their mums and dads have been busy…