It’s fair to say things aren’t exactly great at Arsenal at the moment. The days of being invincible are well and truly over and the current crop of Gunners players are criticised for not being committed, wanting to leave and showing it on the pitch with poor displays.
With that in mind, here’s seven Arsenal legends that Arsene Wenger probably wouldn’t mind dragging out of retirement:
7. Dennis Bergkamp
Years at Arsenal: 1995-2006
Honours: Premier League (3), FA Cup (3).
Dennis Bergkamp offered composure, assurance and a unique touch in the Arsenal forward line as he guided them to three league titles. With Alexis Sanchez wanting out, Danny Welbeck constantly injured, Olivier Giroud not a regular goalscorer it leaves Alexandre Lacazette as the only true first choice striker.
Bergkamp scored 120 goals in just over 400 games during 11 years at Highbury. In big games where the Gunners need all three points his composed attitude would help the Gunners to relax and avoid the thrashings that they get from the top four sides today.
6. Gilberto Silva
Years at Arsenal: 2002-2008
Honours: Premier League (1), FA Cup (2).
Brazilian midfielder Gilberto was not the most amazing part of Arsenal’s legendary unbeaten side, but with a slow and lazy midfield at the moment someone like the Brazilian is what they need.
A tough tackler, a good passer and someone who has the ability to score the odd goal, it’s fair to say he was a bit of an all-rounder whose contribution to the club’s success in the early 2000s is arguably overlooked.
With the Gunners being dominated in the centre of the park on a regular basis in the current climate, someone like the versatile Brazilian is exactly what they need.
5. Kolo Toure
Years at Arsenal: 2002-2009
Honours: Premier League (1), FA Cup (2)
The most recent retiree that will appear on this list, Toure formed a formidable partnership with Sol Campbell as he helped the Gunners go 49 games unbeaten. A tough player who was strong in the air, good at old fashioned tackling and very composed with the ball at his feet.
He notched a fair few goals for a defender, and offered consistency throughout his seven years in North London. In an Arsenal defence that is currently prone to conceding goals on a regular basis, they could use someone with the composure of Toure to give their defence some organisation and assurance that we haven’t seen for a long time.
4. Patrick Vieira
Years at Arsenal: 1996-2005
Honours: Premier League (3), FA Cup (3).
A formidable leader in the centre of Arsenal’s midfield, Vieira was one of the Premier League’s best midfielders with his strength, a great passing range and surprisingly good composure in front of goal.
A versatile player who truly brought his A game to the big games, it’s that mentality that the Gunners need in the big games where they’ve so often crumbled in recent years.
The current crop of midfielders are lacking a leader and someone who can slot into any role in the centre of the park and allow players such as Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey to produce the goods they have failed to produce on a regular basis.
3. Tony Adams
Years at Arsenal: 1983-2002
Honours: Premier League/Division One (4), FA Cup (3), League Cup (2), European Cup Winners Cup (1)
A one club man and a true leader of men, if there’s anything that the current Arsenal defence needs it’s a leader who can organise, delegate and bring the Arsenal defence together in a way that hasn’t been seen since the invincible season.
His leadership and determination to win spread through the team and was a huge reason why the Gunners endured great success, and after watching them defend so poorly and get hammered by their nearest rivals in such brutal fashion, Adams is what they could really use to get back into title contention.
2. Robert Pires
Years at Arsenal: 2001-2006
Honours: Premier League (2), FA Cup (2).
Arsene Wenger had somewhat of a French revolution at Highbury in the early 2000’s, and Robert Pires was one of the key players within that. A player with flair, composure, skill, and superb link up play with his teammates made the midfielder one of the best players in Europe at the time.
Mesut Ozil was signed to be a similar sort of player, though the German has often performed poorly in big games whereas Pires often delivered crucial goals against their rivals which became crucial to delivering silverware at the end of the season.
With the Gunners current crop of stars often going missing in big games, someone like Pires who delivered so often is the sort of role model that is needed to help Arsenal become a force again and deliver league titles to the Emirates.
1. Thierry Henry
Years at Arsenal: 1999-2007
Honours: Premier League (2), FA Cup (3).
Arsenal’s record goalscorer, there is arguably no bigger legend at Arsenal than Thierry Henry. Even after going into thirties and moving abroad Henry continued to play at the same standard he played at during his prime.
Henry was another player who was consistent and delivered the big goals in the big games. He truly led the team from the front, and what the current Arsenal side could use is someone from the front to motivate the side, bring an arrogance to the side that is needed to raise moral and bring the right attitude to the big games where they often crumble in the modern day.