Arsenal’s Worst Team of the Decade – according to AA readers

Yesterday we revealed the Arsenal Team of the Decade (2010-2019) as voted by the readers of Arsenal Arsenal.

Now, by popular demand, here is the Worst Team of the Decade – in other words, the team made up of the players who received the fewest votes in each category.

Where players are tied on the same (low) percentage of votes (because of rounding up to percentages), I have dug into the actual votes cast to see who got the smallest number and earned a place in our Team of Shame.

I can’t say I’m entirely happy putting out our Worst Team of the Decade for public consumption. The players in this team, regardless of how highly we rate them now, all had my full support when they pulled on the Arsenal colours and many of them had good spells and excellent games from time to time.

In fact, when you look at the team, it could actually perform quite well with a fair wind (although I think it would struggle to score goals).

Still, it’s a Darwinian world and where there are winners there have to be losers.

One surprising factor in our week of voting for the best players of the decade is that every single player received at least one vote. No-one scored a zero, which just goes to show. What it shows, I have no idea.

Below we’ve listed the results in full for every player in every category. Peruse at your leisure.

But first, here’s the line-up for a team that won’t be receiving any Valentines Day cards from Arsenal fans today:

 

Vote Results in Full

Goalkeeper

Leno                  38%

Szczesny           37%

Cech                   18%

Fabianski           3%

Ospina                3%

Almunia             1%

Mannone            1%

Right Back

Sagna                 71%

Bellerin              20%

Eboue                   3%

Maitland-Niles     2%

Debuchy                2%

Jenkinson              1%

Lichtsteiner           1%

Left Back

Monreal              66%

Clichy                   23%

Kolasinac               6%

Gibbs                      4%

Santos                     1%

Centre Backs

Koscielny              41%

Mertesacker         33%

Vermaelen            13%

Gallas                       4%

Holding                    2%

Gabriel                     2%

Sokratis                    2%

Mustafi                     1%

Djourou                    1%

Squillaci                   1%

Defensive/Holding Midfielder

Arteta                     30%

Song                        22%

Torreira                  21%

Xhaka                      11%

Coquelin                   7%

Flamini                     7%

Denilson                    2%

Elneny                        1%

Midfielders

Cazorla                    38%

Fabregas                  28%

Ramsey                    13%

Ozil                            11%

Rosicky                        5%

Diaby                           3%

Wilshere                     2%

Guendouzi                  1%

Benayoun                   0% (Rounded down to 0%, but Yossi scored a single vote!).

Wide Attackers

Aubameyang            38%

Walcott                       15%

Arshavin                     12%

Podolski                      11%

Nasri                              9%

Oxlade-Chamberlain  6%

Gnabry                          3%

Iwobi                              2%

Campbell                       1%

Gervinho                       1%

Mkhitaryan                   1%

Central Striker

Van Persie                   54%

Sanchez                       18%

Giroud                          13%

Lacazette                        5%

Eduardo                          3%

Welbecl                           2%

Bendtner                         2%

Chamakh                        1%

RockyLives

48 Responses to Arsenal’s Worst Team of the Decade – according to AA readers

  1. Gööner In Exile says:

    Have to feel a little sorry for Guendouzzi and Lichsteiner there, surely hampered by brief stint rather than a picture of their overall ability?

  2. Broken Winged Bird says:

    That’s harsh on Benayoun. I remember him scoring some important goals for us. Not a bad player at all.

  3. Sue says:

    Surprised at Guendouzi… not so surprised at all the others 😂

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks once again Rocky. Guen is obviously not true, it’s just that he was perceived to be the worst in comparison with the other alternatives I guess. Chamakh makes it as my worst Arsenal player of all time

  5. Maxwell says:

    It’s misleading to call it a “worst” team, just because certain players received few votes. A case in point is in midfield, where TR7, Diaby and Jack received a combined 10%. Fit and on form these three would have been a spectacular combination. I imagine voters took into account their injury record when ignoring them, as I did. Similarly, if that Austrian twat hadn’t pushed him over the billboards, Debuchy could have been an Arsenal legend – although Sagna would still have outvoted him!

    Least voted for does not equate to worst, and I can’t believe any of the voters would demur.

    Notwithstanding, Rocky, thanks for a most entertaining series.

  6. RockyLives says:

    Maxwell

    I agree with everything you’ve just said.

    The “player vote” is a blunt instrument. I mean, only 5% for Tomas Rosicky?

  7. RockyLives says:

    Chamakh worst of all time Rasp?

    Have you forgotten Glen Helder?

  8. RockyLives says:

    Broken
    Agree about Yossi as well. He did great for us for his one season at the Emirates and was very popular with the fans.

    As Rasp says, the nature of the exercise meant that most people picked the obvious outstanding MF candidates like Cesc and Santi.

  9. Pete the Thirst says:

    A few players suffering from least liked in the poll:

    Guendouzi – will be world class. He has all the tools at 20.

    Elneny – A decent defensive mid

    Benny – A class player

    Lichtsteniner – A world class full back. Was past it when we got him

    Miki – The Dortmund player was top quality

    But….Gervinho…he was truly awful. That miss at Bradford. The Divine Parting!

  10. Pete the Thirst says:

    A nice filler for the Winter break Rocky. Kept the mind busy with no football.

    Although I’m hearing rumours that games could be called off if the weather deteriorates over the weekend. Lets hope not.

  11. RockyLives says:

    Apologies for those who read this in yesterday’s comments, but Mikel A showed how bizarre this whole process is by proposing a really strong team who did NOT make the ‘team of the decade’ first 11:

    Szczesny
    Bellerin – Vermaelen – Gallas – Clichy
    Song
    Ramsey – Ozil
    Arshavin – Giroud – Sanchez

    A pretty tasty line-up as a ‘B Team”. If it went up against the Team of the Decade first 11 as voted, it would have every chance of winning.

    I also suggested a strong(ish) “C Team”:
    Cech
    Maitland-Niles – Holding – Sokratis – Kolasinac
    Torreira
    Diaby – Rosicky
    Nasri – Lacazette – Podolski

  12. LBG says:

    As long as hierarchy take no notice of our polls!
    Agree with Pete, Douzi will become a true leg end, and that same hierarchy need to tie him down now on a long contract.

    Rasp! Amazing!
    Gus Caesar and give me time…..

  13. RockyLives says:

    Pete
    Games called off?

    Maybe – but not our one.

    No storm called Dennis is going to do any harm to Arsenal. In fact I expect a powerful Dennis gust to blow the ball straight into the Toon net from a Leno goal kick on Sunday 😀

  14. RockyLives says:

    In our “Worst Team” it’s only really the front three who were disappointments.

    Cham because his goals return was so poor before he joined us (1 in 5 games on average), while he was with us (1 in 5) and even after he left us (1 in 9).

    Gerv because he was so shot-shy (and because of the worst open goal miss) I’ve ever seen).

    Mikhi because he flattered to deceive but never really came good.

    The MF, defence and GK all have things to commend them.

  15. LBG says:

    Ju Young Park.

  16. RockyLives says:

    LBG
    No swearing on the Blog please.

  17. Martin Wengrow says:

    Guendhouzi?
    Seriously?

  18. RockyLives says:

    Martin
    No-one thinks Guendouzi is a bad player.

    The nature of this exercise inevitably meant that just because some players received few votes for different reasons (they weren’t with us long like Yossi, their careers with us were blighted by injury like Debuchy, or they were at the start of their careers like Guen) it does not mean they are bad.

    Inevitably most votes went to the most high profile and successful players of the decade in each category. In Guen’s case that meant most votes going to Santi, Cesc, Ramsey, Ozil…

  19. allezkev says:

    What a team, that defence would guarantee many a moment of nerve jangling excitement. I think I’d need a stiff drink or three to watch it in action…

  20. RC78 says:

    I think there is a case for Guendouzi and Mkhy not to be included in this squad.

    Mkhy, when fit, was really a good player for us. He often was at the origins of good movements (pass before the assist). I think that Emery finished him but I wouldn’t be upset if he came back although I think he would do better in the Italian, Portguese or Spanish league..

    Guendouzi – he was the good surprise of last year but he only played one season so I could see the reasoning of bloggers who didn’t vote for him. I feel sorry for Wilshere though with his meagre 2%, he s even behind Mr.Ultimate Glassman Diaby.

    My worse team of the decade would be:
    Mannone – Jenks, Djourou, Squilacci, Santos – Diaby, El Neny (Or INAMOTO), Benayoun (Or KALLSTROM – Gervinho, Chamakh, Campbell (Or PARK or SANOGO)

  21. RC78 says:

    I think we should have a virtual statue for RockyLives on this blog because this series of post was really enjoyable! Thanks a lot

  22. RockyLives says:

    Chamakh did have a song that was amusing for its geographical illiteracy:

    “He comes from near Iraq, he’s Marouane Chamakh…”

    Morocco (where Chamakh comes from) is over 4,000 miles from Iraq and is, in fact, far closer to the UK (2,000 miles).

  23. LBG says:

    RC
    An actual statue at the Emirates.

  24. LBG says:

    No Andy Carroll. Hoooray!

  25. GoonerB says:

    Many thanks Rocky for those great posts. I actually put up a comment yesterday that never seemed to get through, but hey-ho.

    In short this exercise has shown that we have had some excellent players through the decade. Maybe not in the Dennis, Patrick, Thierry, Bobby, Freddie, Sol, big Tone bracket, but I do genuinely feel we have had enough good players to have put 2 more EPL titles in the cabinet in the last decade, and I genuinely mean that even with the oiler money spilling around..

    The problem is we never seemed to have many of those top players we have discussed in these posts collectively at the same time. Now that is not always possible because time and age factors put certain players in a different era even if they were in the same decade, but we also had opportunities to put some of these quality players together at the same time, but were never ambitious enough to push that financial boat out just that bit more at certain critical times.

    The decade was very much a case of one out and one in, and more of a gap plugging era, when really in many cases the ones coming in needed to be in addition to the ones that left, not in replacement of. We were acting to stand still and keep a status quo rather than trying to polish of the team towards a serious title challenging one and finish the project.

    Many cliches sprung up through that decade, that I know are kind of room 101 cliches in many senses, but unfortunately many of them are absolutely accurate in describing us in this decade, largely as a result this gap plugging attitude rather than one of serious team progression.

    Always being 2 players short was spot on for the most part because in most summers we needed the 2 players to come in addition to what we already had, but they often came in as other key ones went out.

    Square pegs in round holes was also absolutely spot on as we saw multitudes of examples of players playing out of position, often plugging an unsuitable role that we had just lost a key player in who was suited to that position.

    Not wishing to be pessimistic but more just providing a frank appraisal of the last decade which, FA cups aside, for me is a “what if” decade, that could have been far more successful and secured Arsene’s legacy in superb style had we just pushed a bit more.

    I think we largely shot ourselves somewhat in the foot in the last 10 years. I am hoping for a different attitude from the board down in this next era, because I think we have the right man in place to do something if those above him act with more ambition than we saw through that last decade.

  26. jjgsol says:

    Rasp and others, perhaps you are not old enough to remember George Johnston. He must take the prize of the worst Arsenal player in the last 50 years.

    I think that Gendouzi has been hyped up by some fans and yet flatters to deceive.

    With all the running around which is why I suspect, Emery liked him, he achieves virtually nothing.

    The hype and favouritism that Emery showed to him may very well have hampered his development.

    He never deserved to be virtually the first on the team sheet, and that may have gone to his head.

    I will be very surprised if he reaches even a fraction of the ability so many fans ascribe to him.

    We are blessed with a good core of great potential youngsters. However, I do not believe he is one of them.

  27. Pete the Thirst says:

    Give him a chance Jigsol..

    There are some really good young players on the fringes:

    Martinelli – He could be like Anelka in ’98

    Saka – Real pace and an eye for goal

    Smith-Rowe – Good on the ball with a turn of pace

  28. Pete the Thirst says:

    Off topic but you’ve hooked me…

    Gus Caesar. I was at the ’88 Lwoods Cup Final where he tripped over the turf to gift Luton a goal. I haven’t forgotten that one!

    He’s right up there.

    Gervinho definitely in with a shout.

    Senderos – Against a decent forward turned to jelly

    But on balance considering his errors: Almunia. One of the worst keepers I’ve seen play. How he was number 1 for 3 season is something only Wenger will be able to explain.

    ‘LBG says:
    February 14, 2020 at 11:32 am
    Rasp! Amazing!
    Gus Caesar and give me time…..’

  29. LBG says:

    Pete
    Me too re 88.
    Stepanov is a competitor for the title, IMO
    Senderos was destroyed by one player…..Drogba

  30. Pete the Thirst says:

    @LBG unfortunately Drogba did that to a lot of our defenders. You could see Koscielny shaking when he had to play against him.

    Tbf Drogba was a great striker. Like a double Giroud.

  31. LBG says:

    No Mari for Newcastle. Think Europe and FA Cup should be used to break him in gradually, BUT must get some three point games in bag.

  32. LBG says:

    Pete
    Hated him, only fractionally less than that kit posing, weeping centre back!!

  33. RockyLives says:

    I remember one game where one of our CBs had Drogba in his pocket all game long.

    It was around 2010 I’d say and that defender was…

    Johann Djourou.

    Just sayin’

  34. GoonerB says:

    Actually there is a lot of sense in what jjgsol says about Guendozi. I haven’t been brave enough to be quite so forthright in saying it, but I have gently intimated that I also thought Douzi had been over-hyped as to where he currently is in his development and the level he currently operates at.

    The caveat to that is that Pete is also right that we should give him the time to fully develop.

    He has shown some flashes of what he can become but also has many deficiencies in his game still, but in a malfunctioning midfield, as ours has been for some time until recently, the good bits stick better in the memory. In any other era for us he would still be looked upon as a back up player that is still very early in his development.

    His positioning and reading need to improve at times, as well as his tackling technique and discipline. More than that though is where I see him as a midfielder, which is a more dynamic box to box number 8 type. A De-Bruyne, Gundogan, Modric type of player.

    The defensive side of his game and positioning does needs a slight tweak, but as I don’t see him as the deepest midfielder anyway, for me it is the pace, directness, and goal threat in his game that needs to be worked on. We have seen flashes of that all being in him so I would definitely be focusing on keeping him as a priority.

    I have always felt that Smith-Rowe has the most natural talent of our young CM’s so potentially has the highest ceiling. It seems weird to say that because he is behind both Willock and Douzi in his development currently, so one should assume that they both have more about them, but I do see things in his game that look potentially greater, if he can stay injury free and applies himself.

    Probably the most important factor that we need to start seeing soon with ESR, is that he needs to have the confidence and belief in what he can offer, to go out and seize a game by the scruff of its neck. He needs to start to see himself as being the main man that has to make things happen, and not just coast through a game and defer creative and game winning responsibility to others.

    If he does that I feel he can transition to a Grealish or Maddison level quite rapidly but could even have the all round game to get close to being a De-Bruyne level of player.

  35. RockyLives says:

    I’m in the positive camp regarding Douzi.

    I think he has shown enough in quite a few games now to indicate that he could turn into a really dominating central midfielder. Possibly even in the Vieira, Yaya Toure mould.

    But in case you think I’m getting carried away, I would say his chances of becoming a really top player are still no better than 30/70 against, simply because very few promising young players fulfil their potential.

  36. LBG says:

    I’m in the Douzi camp.
    I think two individuals have stunted his growth in last year. Emery who wanted him to run around like a headless chicken on occasions, to fill the space left by NOT playing Torreira offixed in the holding position. Arteta will also encourage those “dynamic” forward passes through the lines that Douzi is capable of, IMO.
    And secondly Xhaka who has shown him lack of discipline and positioning. If Douzi had actually played with Arteta or Gilberto, he would have progressed further at this early stage in his career.

  37. RockyLives says:

    With hindsight this Post should have been headlined: “Arsenal Team of the Decade: the outsiders” or something similar.

    I feel bad about including some decent players in a “worst team”.

  38. LB says:

    For all the hurdles that Guendouzi has had to jump over, I think he is progressing nicely.

  39. LB says:

    So Man City banned from European competitions for two years, that should improve our remote chances of getting into the Champions League.

  40. Sue says:

    Let’s hope we make the most of the lifeline we’ve been thrown.

  41. Aaron says:

    $h*tTy will appeal to caSS and get a pay increase!

  42. fred1266 says:

    Surely sanogo instead of chamahk

  43. fred1266 says:

    Exactly how the weather in the UK right now?

  44. LBG says:

    Fred
    Please crash through the hole in the wall and come into our own time continuum.

  45. Morning all

    We have a New Post ……………..

  46. fred1266 says:

    Sorry LBG, thought it was bad weather didn’t realise it was a storm how everything on your end

  47. fred1266 says:

    LB as city is ban who gets there spot an English team or someone else

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