Arsenal is deemed to be one of the greatest football clubs in the history of English Football.
The British club is one of the few London Clubs that have excelled over the years and have contributed immensely to the history of English Football.
Accredited with 13 FA Cups, 2 league cups and 15 Community Shields and the famous 2003/2004 season of The “Invincible”, it is nearly impossible to handpick individuals whose hard works can be attributed to Arsenal’s glory. For there are an array of individuals who have worked tirelessly off and on the pitch to make history for the North London Giants.
From late 1886, many individuals have showcased their talents working with the club,from coaching to playing the beautiful game of football. Where some have climbed up to shape the history of the club, others have gone on to be tagged as flops.
In disappointment, some young talents could not blossom and metamorphose into serial club legends. The status only a few can be attributed with.
Here are some personalities that have shaped the history of Arsenal:
Arsene Wenger was appointed manager of the club in 1996. His arrival saw the introduction of a new style of play which made Arsenal stand out from the rest.
Two years after his appointment, he led the club to a league and FA Cup double. He coached the team who created history by going a whole season unbeaten in the 2003/2004 season.
He also saw the move from Highbury to The Emirates stadium. The astounding works and achievements of Wenger is probably why he is considered the greatest Manager in the Clubs history.
The French manager who is rumoured to be wanted by some Premier league clubs may be on his way back to the EPL, but his service to Arsenal from 1996 to 2018 will forever be his hallmark and how fans may recognize him.
During his tenure as the manager of Arsenal FC he won a total of 17 trophies of which three were Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields. He was the manager of the popular ‘invicibles’ squad.
The 69-year-old is characteristically known for signing and promoting young talented players at a low cost and grooming them into world class talents. Robin van Persie, an example to the genuisness of the Frenchman. The Dutch joined the club at a fee of £2.75m and was sold at £25m.
Arsène Charles Ernest Wenger left the club finally in the summer of 2018 and Unai Emery has been in charge of the club since his departure.
Arguably, one can never talk about the history of Arsenal FC and omit Arsene Wenger.
He is the longest serving manager and the most successful in the clubs history.
The former Exeter player joined the Gunners in 1929 and went on to becoming Arsenal’s priceless pearl in his generation as the years went by in his playing days.
Clifford Sydney Bastin made 396 appearances where he scored 178 goals and played from 1929 to 1946. He is the third highest goalscorer of all time for the Gunners. He won five League titles and three FA Cups.
Ted Joseph Drake was an English football player who made his name during his days at Arsenal FC in the 1930s.
He really wrote his name in the minds of many fans as he played for the club.
He was the kind of centre-forward that will never disappoint you when you needed him the most.
Ted Drake as he was popularly known made 184 appearances and scored 139 goals. He helped the club in winning two League titles and two FA Cups.
For 22 years, Tony Alexander Adams played for Arsenal as a center back and arguably is the best captain the fans might have ever seen.
He made 669 appearances and scored 48 goals as a defender. He won with Arsenal four League titles, three FA Cups and one European Cup.
For the sake of records, Tony Adams’ first game as captain was on 6 March 1988 in the North London derby when Kenny Sansom was stripped of the captaincy. He was 21 years and 148 days old. And went on to captain Arsenal for a lot more of games.
Currently, he is a studio pundit for BBC sports, but the English forward who played for Arsenal from 1991 to 1998 is one of the leagues finest legendary goal machines.
Wright scored 185 goals from 288 appearances (279 starts) for Arsenal, the 55-year-old won one League title, two FA Cups and one League Cup title.
In November 1996, he won the player of the year whiles in an Arsenal jersey.
The dynamically graceful midfielder played for Arsenal from 1995-2006, winning three League titles and three FA Cups.
The Dutch international was not noted for his goal scoring prowess but anytime he did, it was special. In an interview when he was asked which of his goal would he consider the best, he made the following assertion as he picked his goal against Newcastle in the remarkable 2001/2002 league season.
“Nobody really expected us to take the points at that stage. To score the first goal, to me that was one of the most important goals.”
“Ten yards before the ball arrived, I made my decision to turn the defender,”
“I thought the ball was a little too much behind me so I had to turn to control it,”
“The quickest way to turn the ball was going that way. It looked a bit special or strange or nice but for me it was the quickest way to the goal. The finish: it was just trying to get it past the goalkeeper in such a way he cannot reach it.”
” It was one of those occasions when everything went exactly as I planned it in the second before it happened – the movement, the control, the finish”.
He made 315 appearances and found the back of the net 87 times and also assisted 94 times which makes him the highest leading number of assists from a singular Arsenal player.
Dennis Bergkamp was awarded the player of the month on four occasions – August 1997, September 1997, March 2002 and February 2004. He was also part of the famous ‘invicibles’ team.
Patrick Viera marshalled the affairs of the midfield for Arsenal from 1996 to 2005 and was also a part of the ‘invicibles’ team who played a season without a defeat in the Premier League. He in fact led the Gunners that achieved that formidable height and that record is yet to be broken in the league.
He scored 34 goals and made 407 appearances winning three League titles and three FA Cups.
He is currently the manager of Nice and has been impressive so far.
Joining Arsenal at a tender age of 16, the Spanish international has gone on to earn his place in the heart of Arsenal fans as a club icon.
From 2003-2011, the master of passes made 212 appearances for the Gunners and scored 35 goals and assisted 70 times which is the third highest assists from an Arsenal player in the league.
The 32-year-old has proven that indeed football is not only about physicality but mental strength and the ability to read games.
Robin van Persie:
To many of Gunners fans, van Persie broke their hearts when he joined Manchester United but the commitments he made during his days at the club can not be overlooked.
After joining Premier League rivals, the Dutch striker apologized to fans saying:
” I get that the fans were angry with me. I was the captain, top scorer and we came third that year. But just sometimes you feel you need a new challenge, a new adventure. If I hurt people, I’m sorry. But that’s me. I made that decision and I stand by it. But that doesn’t mean that I look in a negative way towards Arsenal”.
From 2004 to 2012, Robin van Persie made 196 appearances and scored 96 goals.
Also at Arsenal, he won the golden boot twice in the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, and won one FA Cup trophy.
From Monaco, Thierry Daniel Henry nearly joined Real Madrid but ended up in Turin where he played for Juventus and seven months later moved to London and played for Arsenal in a £10.5 million deal.
Thierry Henry played as a winger and was transformed into a striker by Arsene Wenger where he scored 175 goals and made 258 appearances.
He also won the golden shoe four times – 2001/02, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06.
The French forward also have two Premier League titles and two FA Cups as an Arsenal player and legend.
Undoubtedly, inasmuch as these legends earned laurels and earned themselves a place in the heart of the fans they also helped shaped the clubs (Arsenal) history especially the ‘invicible’ squad who went unbeaten in 2003/04 season where they won 26 and drew 12.