Welcome to the third part of the 1 to 11 of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly fantasy teams from Arsenal’s Premier League era.
The teams are taking shape with the goalkeeper and right back position decided for each team.
So far the teams look like this:
GK- David Seaman
GK- Manuel Almunia
RB- Nelson Vivas
GK- Jens Lehmann
RB- Bacary Sagna
Today we push on with the left backs.
Left Back – Ashley Cole
As much as we all hate this guy I think we would all agree that he has been our best ever left back and possibly the best ever England left back too. He was just great at everything, would bring others into play, and always gave an option to the winger he’d be playing with. I think part of the reason he was disliked as much as he was is generally because his family are Arsenal through and through and we just didn’t ever expect it from him. Unfortunately, history will show that for him personally leaving the club was a good option. There’s not many players over the Premier League era that you can say that about.
I think we should also highlight other players that could’ve had a chance at this spot, and the first option would be the reliable and ever-present Nigel Winterburn. That goal against Chelsea nearly had him as a shoe in, but I don’t think we can say he quite had the quality Cole did. He was also very one footed, but still an absolute Legend. Geal Clichy could also get a mention too as he was very consistent, but again he had his lapses in concentration and can always be suspect for a last minute penalty.
Left Back- Andre Santos
Has to go down as one of Wenger’s worst signings in my opinion. Costing around £7m this guy had a Brazilian name but not a lot else. He was purchased from Fenerbache, and after only 25 appearances for the Gunners he was loaned out to Gremio. He was often a threat going forward but when it was defensive duties that were required he seemed to tread water in his running style. His most controversial moment in an Arsenal shirt was when he swapped shirts with Robin van Persie at half time. Arsenal were 1-0 down at the time to a van Persie goal and went on to lose the game 2-1. What was he thinking?
Santos moved on to Flamengo after his spell at Gremio ended and later went on to play for FC Goa in India. He is now back at his first professional side Figueirense. He was a very easy choice for this pick, as of the quality of our left backs over the Premier League era has been decent.
Left Back- Nacho Monreal
I feel extremely harsh giving the player this position. I feel he has really turned the corner this season with his displays and has often been thrown in out of position and has performed very well. He has won over many of his critics that’s for sure. However, footballing reasons aside, I don’t think you can deny that he looks like the love child of Phil Nevile and Luke Chadwick in his United days (if you don’t know who that is, look him up) and definitely has a mutant look about him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was an extra in the Hills have Eyes, his cousin was also his mother and that he has 7 toes. Strangely enough I think Ashley Cole should also have a mention here. From the same mould as John Terry this guy is a ugly human being inside and out, and nearly made it into both The Good and The Ugly sides.
Next up are the hardest positions so far with two centre halves for each squad. I would say it is a position that we have been fairly fruitful in for each side, but I feel it will be the hardest test thus far to choose.