Welcome to the fourth installment 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, right back and left back and primary centre back now decided for each team. Today is the second part of the centre back partnership with the secondary CB position up for grabs.
Series: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly- Goalkeeper
Series: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Right Back
Series: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Primary Centre Back
Series: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly- Left Back
So far the teams are looking like this:
GK- David Seaman
LB- Ashley Cole
CB- Tony Adams (c)
GK- Manuel Almunia
RB- Nelson Vivas
LB- Andre Santos
CB- Igor Stepanovs (c)
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GK- Jens Lehmann
RB- Bacary Sagna
LB- Nacho Monreal
CB- Mikael Silvestre (c)
Secondary CB- Kolo Toure
This was one of my hardest decisions so far. It was down to just two players in the end that could have taken this spot and I went for Kolo. He was just immense. He was oozy on the ball, calm, fast and a great tackler. Just a perfect tonic for Sol Campbell in that partnership. Considering this was not his natural position in his early years, Kolo took to Centre Half like George Best took to a pint of Guiness.
However, it was very difficult not to give Martin Keown this place. The guy was a beast. Very rarely lost a duel with any centre forward and was so fast too, especially for someone his height. He really was a special defender and I suppose we are lucky to have been blessed with so many. Sol Campbell is also unfortunate not have made this side I suppose too but this is for the secondary defender and with Adams taking that spot he didn’t quite fit in. I should also give a shout out to Steve Bould. Quality player.
Primary CB- Sebastien Squillaci
Where did this guy come from? He just didn’t look right at all. He looked like a Librarian not a centre half. If you were a striker and you saw his name on the team sheet you’d be thinking ‘I am in for a good day’. He was pony. I think we’d need to put it down to the Centre Backs that Wenger purchased over the years on some occasions have been woeful. Ok, he pulled off a coup with Sol Campbell from Spurs and Laurent Koscielny but overall he has picked out some shockers. Stepanovs, Cygan, Silvestre, Djourou, Senderos and Squillaci to name a few. But I would say Squillaci is a fair choice and would be in many of the worst sides. I think alongside the captain Stepanovs they will form a great partnership.
You can see why Wenger has been reluctant over the past few seasons to purchase cover in this area, and has waited ages before going into the market for Gabriel last season. We have had Debuchy, Monreal, Sagna and Chambers all playing in this position over the last 18 months. I think it was the last time Sagna kicked a ball…. How are those splinters in your arse mate? Greedy twat!
Primary CB- Martin Keown
How can we forget the battle of Old Trafford. A game that in more ways than one is hugely significant in our history. A 0-0 draw, with Ruud Van Nistelrooy missing a penalty in the last minute is fondly remembered by Arsenal fans, and especially the way Martin Keown gave him a ‘what for’ with the most vile yet beautiful abuse. Such passion and emotion but in the most ugly of forms. He jumped in his face and completely made a fool out of the Dutchmen (and probably himself), who had earlier in this match play acted to get Vieira sent off for a kick out. It was one of the most ferocious matches I have ever seen, it was pure hatred. And it was great!
It was the first game in Arsenal’s 49 game unbeaten run. Can you believe that? Imagine the mood in the camp if we had lost to that penalty? Its very likely that run would never have happened.
Anyway, I don’t think there is any doubt that Keown had his fair battering with the ugly stick. He was an ugly fella growing up but he just gets uglier with age. His forehead seems to come out at least 3 inches further than the rest of his face these days when I see him now as a pundit. However, he was a great defender, one of the greatest. He didn’t get enough recognition for England either in my opinion and he actually speaks a lot of sense as a pundit.
He concludes the defenders and tomorrow it will move to the Right Wing position.