10 Ex-Gunners Who Would Beat Arsenal's Current First Team

Christopher Hall@@chriscospinsAnalyst IMarch 3, 2012

10 Ex-Gunners Who Would Beat Arsenal's Current First Team

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    Whether Arsenal is now a selling club or not, the fact remains that there has been a consistent migration of talent away from the comforts of Arsene Wenger's dressing room. 

    Here's a brain teaser.  Could you fill a roster with recently departed ex-Gunners that would wipe the floor with the current incarnation?

    "Of course I could," you practically snort at the screen.  Well, so can I. 

    Here are my picks for the Arsenal alumni game.  Feel free to suggest your own roster for our imaginary reunion match.

Emmanuel Adebayor

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    Emmanuel Adebayor has had a long strange trip since leaving Arsenal in 2009.  He got off to a strong start with Manchester City, but fell down the depth chart as more high-priced talent turned up in the clubhouse.  Since then, he's turned into the first person City looks to loan each year.

    He started strong at Real Madrid, but his flower wilted.  Now he's in a Tottenham shirt, and so far that romance is still in bloom.

    For our alumni match, I'm sure he's got one more length-of-the-pitch celebration run in him.

Eduardo da Silva

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    Eduardo da Silva has a place in every Arsenal fan's heart.  That's what happens when a player is so brutally injured in such a public manner. 

    No one wished him ill when he left the Emirates in 2010.  So far, he's found success (and Champions League football) in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Cesc Fàbregas

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    Arsenal might not have ever had a chance of holding on to Cesc Fàbregas.  But the lack of trophies or transfer-market spending surely didn't help matters. 

    Now Fàbregas is where his heart has always been.  And while Barcelona are looking way uphill at Real Madrid in La Liga, Cesc has got to be glancing around the locker room and thinking, "Better, much better."

Mathieu Flamini

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    Mathieu Flamini made more than 100 appearances for Arsenal over four seasons.  He moved to AC Milan in 2008. 

    Injury and fighting for a place have made his time with the Italian giants a bit up and down.  But Flamini does have a championship, which is more than anyone who's been at Arsenal in the intervening years can say.

Samir Nasri

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    Everyone knew Cesc Fàbregas was leaving last summer.  Samir Nasri was the midfielder Arsenal thought they just might be able to hang on to. 

    But Manchester City's checkbook had different ideas and now Nasri plies his trade in the northwest.  With City leading the league, at least Arsenal can boast (a few) former players at the top of the Premier League table.

Lassana Diarra

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    It's easy to forget that Lassana Diarra was an Arsenal player.  He only spent a few months with Arsene Wenger before moving on to Portsmouth

    Subsequently, he's landed in Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid side where he's faced an almost constant fight for a place in the line-up.  But when he's played, he's played well. 

    If his rumored move to Tottenham ever comes through, Arsenal could get a much more regular look at what they missed out on.

Kolo Touré

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    Kolo Touré grew into a central defensive stalwart for Arsenal.  He performed well after leaving for Manchester City in 2009, serving as captain of former manager Mark Hughes' side. 

    With Roberto Mancini's arrival, Touré was eventually demoted from the captaincy.  While still a contributing member at City, transfer speculation is currently swirling.

William Gallas

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    Tottenham striker Jermaine Defoe was recently quoted saying that teammate William Gallas told him, "we need to really believe we can actually win it. Forget about finishing fourth." 

    That might make Gallas the only person who actually believes Tottenham can win the league this season.  But it also highlights the kind of player who Arsenal allowed to leave in 2010.

Emmanuel Eboué

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    Emmanuel Eboué had a love/hate thing going with the Arsenal faithful by the time he left the club for Turkish giant Galatasaray. 

    He wasn't always the most solid performer.  But given some of the horrific defensive performances this season, Gunner fans might just be remembering the Ivorian fondly.

Gaël Clichy

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    Have I mentioned that Manchester City have a lot of Arsenal's former best players?  If the Citizens hold on to the league this season, the new slogan should be, "Manchester City: Where Gunners Go to Win Trophies."

    After suffering a rash of injuries throughout his Arsenal career, Gaël Clichy was a fixture at Arsenal's left back spot during the 2010-11 season. 

    Now he's one of the contingent of Arsene Wenger's former players who have found the weather in Manchester (not to mention the top-of-the-league standing) more to their liking.

I Know, I Know...We Need a Goalkeeper

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    So my squad doesn't have a goalkeeper.  On the bright side, that means that Arsenal hasn't sold any top-notch goalkeepers lately.  On the other side, they still haven't found one for their first team either. 

    We'll just borrow Manuel Almunia for our little get-together and call it a day.  Surely no Arsenal supporter will accuse us of having an advantage with the Spaniard in goal.