Only the ignorant amongst us will trot out the tired – and now inaccurate – dig at Arsenal and Arsene Wenger being the French national side.
Sadly, there’s still too many of them out there – we assume they’re the same people who tell us to ‘fuck off, it’s not soccer’ due to their failures to grasp cultural and social differences.
Agree with our underrated XI of the Arsene Wenger era?
GK – Jens Lehmann
An Arsenal 'Invincible', so the German shot-stopper is obviously rated. However, the former Borussia Dortmund 'keeper never seems to enter the discussions when Gunners discuss their best ever goalie because of David Seaman.
RB – Lauren
Classic Wenger move in reinvigorating the Cameroon international from a right-midfielder to a right-back.
There always seems to be one underrated full-back in the pairing, and Lauren was that one; Ashley Cole took the plaudits.
CB – Kolo Toure
The Ivory Coast centre-back is something of a laughing stock, nowadays. And that has sadly allowed people to forget just how imperious he was during his Arsenal days.
CB – Steve Bould
People often mistake Martin Keown as the man to partner Tony Adams. However, Keown was regularly playing second fiddle during his Arsenal career, and that included to Bould, at one point.
LB – Silvinho
Had a rocket or two in his locker. An underwhelming spell back in England with Manchester City undid some of the rep the former Barcelona man had built up during his time at Highbury.
RM – Ray Parlour
Parlour deserves a lot of credit for embracing the ways of Arsene Wenger when he revolutionised the club. The Romford Pele was very much an old-school footballer, and could've said 'stuff this'.
Instead, the FA Cup Final goalscorer became an undervalued member of Wenger's early successful Arsenal period.
Source: Champions Speakers
CM – Gilberto Silva
Arsenal never replaced, Patrick Vieira, they say.
But they did, with Gilberto Silva. And that's who they never replaced - until Granit Xhaka, this summer.
Source: The Hard Tackle
CM – Edu
Mikel Arteta before Mikel Arteta. Shrewd, important and worthwhile addition that will forever be unrecognised.
LM – Marc Overmars
Wasn't around long enough to be classed an Arsenal legend, but the Dutchman certainly could've.
Loved scoring big and important goals in the blockbuster fixtures.
Source: Blog Media
ST – Nwankwo Kanu
The Nigerian had a respectable career with several Premier League clubs. But it took him to leave Arsenal to earn the credit he deserved - hard to when Bergkamp and Henry are ahead you!
Source: Static Pulse
ST – Sylvain Wiltord
What might've been for the Frenchman had he not been at Arsenal the same time as Thierry Henry.
The definition of a clinical poacher, and forever an Arsenal hero for...WILTORDDDDDDD!
Following the early years of Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka, Robert Pires, Sylvain Wiltord, Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, Wenger opted for a change of tact. And Arsenal entered into a period of the ‘British core’, with Le Professeur feeling that the British players would have a greater loyalty and patience in achieving his ideology, after being scarred by the losses of Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie.
Theo Walcott’s realisation that it’s him that’s the problem, and not Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, has seen the winger force himself back into the Gunners’ starting XI and the England set-up – surely a guaranteed starter under Gareth Southgate’s next two games?
Wenger has done a lot for the English game, probably it’s greatest ever pioneer. And come the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Three Lions could have Kieran Gibbs, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck in the squad – not a bad ‘feather in the cap’ for the manager who only buys French players?.