Arsenal's Ultimate XI over the Past 7 Seasons

Aila StumpoCorrespondent IMarch 2, 2012

Arsenal's Ultimate XI over the Past 7 Seasons

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    Yes, Arsenal fans must wish to not ever be reminded of the past seven seasons being trophy-less.

    There have been ups and downs for fans. In recent years, Arsenal have gone from defeating Barcelona to watching Birmingham raise the Carling Cup over them. But there was always one lingering question:

    "What if he stayed?"

    What if Fabregas stayed? Where would the Arsenal be right now? What about Nasri? Adebayor? Henry? Fans always ask these questions when a great and integral player leaves the club and they, often without fail, end up where it is believed they shouldn't be (seventh place and up this year).

    Taking a look at all the players over the past trophy-less seasons, and this season, here is the ultimate starting 11.

Goalkeeper: Wojciech Szczesny

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    Oh, yes. Were you expecting Manuel Almunia?

    Despite the fact that the Pole is only 21, he is here for many reasons.

    Ever since coming in as emergency 'keeper when both Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Almunia were out with injuries against Manchester United, Szczesny has been the number one choice. When he is missing, the effects are felt. Fans are uneasy when another steps in in his stead.

    The son of former Poland and Legia Warszawa man, Maciej Szczesny, who is famous for punching Roberto Mancini while playing Sampdoria, Wojciech is very passionate about Arsenal and it shows. He talks about his love for the club often and how excited he is when they defeat rivals. 

    Was it not very funny when he did a flip on the field and gave a big bear hug to the ball boy on sidelines?


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    Ashley Cole: A talent at left-back, Cole bid his farewell to angry Arsenal fans back in 2006, leaving Clichy and now Gibbs to do his job. Still considered one of the best in the business, he is struggling for form of late despite being praised as the best-ever left-back for England by caretaker manager Stuart Pearce. He may be at London rival Chelsea, but it would be nice to see him at the Emirates in red and white.

    Thomas Vermaelen: We've all seen him. A huge talent in his position, it's difficult to cope without the vice-captain despite having to go as such more than is desirable. Since his arrival from Amsterdam, he has been a mainstay in Arsenal's current XI, and it is hard to imagine him being excluded from this list. Rock solid at the back, he has attacking abilities that has earned him the name "Verminator" and a number of goals in his time in England. 

    William Gallas: Cole goes to South London, Gallas goes to the opposite direction—and stays. Gallas, despite a short stature, can instill fear in the minds of the competition. He now plays at Tottenham (yes, I feel disgraced for including a "spud"), and he came to Arsenal as part of the deal to send Cole to Chelsea, which, in later years, was looked upon as a mistake by some.

    Lauren: The right-back of the famous "Invincibles" who occasionally covered midfield. Need I say more? Many seasons with the Arsenal were characterized by injury, but that didn't stop him. He is still such a talent at fullback.


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    Alexandre Song: The Cameroonian took some time to fully learn the position of defensive midfielder well, but now it seems like second nature to him. A versatile, defensive-minded player, Alex Song protects the back four like a boss. Where would the Arsenal of Sunday against Spurs be without him? He is often unappreciated or forgotten about in the flurry of praise and criticism of his teammates.  

    Cesc Fabregas: Longest transfer saga ever. Yes, the last season he had with Arsenal was not up to par, but let us not forget the other six seasons he spent at the Emirates. His beautiful passes that made you wonder if he had eyes all over his head, that solo run that led to the beautiful goal against Tottenham.

    Freddie Ljungburg: He did, at one point in his life, have red hair, and it made every fan very excited. In 2008, the year after he left to West Ham, Arsenal fans declared him the 11th greatest Arsenal player. He made his debut against Manchester Unites and scored within seconds of it. Impressive? He too was an invincible and was extremely talented and productive on both flanks. 

    Robert Pires: Along with Ljungburg, Pires was chosen to be in Arsenal's fan-selected "Dream Team" from last year. Part of the famous 1998-2000 France team, he became an invincible and will never be forgotten. His great runs and pure ability on the flank earned him his place here.


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    Robin van Persie: Absolutely no question. He has been absolutely flawless this season and, surprisingly, without injury. He is at the top of the scorer's list with 23 goals, which is five above second-place Rooney. It's hard to see Arsenal without him at the moment, and who even wants to think about that? The captain has been a major part in lifting Arsenal this season from what could have been a much more disastrous place. 

    Thierry Henry: It was such a nice feeling for fans when he returned on loan this season, no? Seeing him score goals that salvaged three points and brought so much excitement to the game. "The king returned!" fans said, and with good reason. He is the top goalscorer in the history of Arsenal with 229 goals and the list would be incomplete without him.