Andre Santos and the 10 Worst Arsenal Players of Arsene Wenger's Reign

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2013

Andre Santos and the 10 Worst Arsenal Players of Arsene Wenger's Reign

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    Arsene Wenger built his reputation as a man with an eye for a talent.

    However, amid the star signings, there have been a few duds.  Ten, in fact.

    These are the players who, for various reasons, have failed to meet the levels expected at Arsenal Football Club.

    So, in no particular order, here we go.

Andre Santos

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    It’s somewhat timely that this piece is written just as Andre Santos is on the verge of leaving Arsenal for Brazilian club Gremio.

    His departure was precipitated by the now infamous incident where he exchanged shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time in a crucial Premier League clash.

    The Arsenal fans were almost as offended by that gesture as they were by his performances.

    It’s remarkable to think that on the final day of last season Santos was selected over Kieran Gibbs and scored in the vital victory over West Brom.

    His fall since then has been spectacular.

Amaury Bischoff

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    While Andre Santos will be remembered as a failure, Amaury Bischoff probably won’t be remembered at all.

    The injury-plagued midfielder looked a strange signing when he joined Arsenal in 2008. It looked an even odder deal when he departed in 2009 with just four senior appearances to his name.

    Bischoff has become a symbol and a painful reminder of Arsene Wenger’s bizarre transfer market strategies.

Mikael Silvestre

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    Once upon a time, Mikael Silvestre was an excellent defender. Unfortunately, that time ended long before he joined Arsenal Football Club.

    The Frenchman was in talks with Manchester City and Sunderland before Arsene Wenger swooped to bring him to Arsenal. It’s worth pointing out that this was in the days before City were a European superpower. He was about to sink to a level befitting of his dwindling ability, but Wenger prolonged his spell among the elite. 

    Arsenal paid the price for their manager’s misjudgment with a series of comical defensive displays.

    Silvestre’s association with Manchester United was also a factor in his strained relationship with the Arsenal fans.

Sebastien Squillaci

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    Sebastien Squillaci arrived at Arsenal with considerable pedigree. Unfortunately, he never delivered anything like his best in the Premier League.

    Squillaci is still part of the Arsenal squad, but has fallen so far down the pecking order, he is no longer even considered a realistic option for selection. Arsene Wenger has turned to right-back Bacary Sagna to play at centre-half before looking to Squillaci.

    Unfortunately for Arsenal, no club is willing to match Squillaci’s pay-packet, so he is sitting out the remainder of his deal before surely departing on a free transfer this summer.

Emmanuel Eboue

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    Of all the players in this list, Emmanuel Eboue probably has the most technical ability. However, he also has the worst attitude.

    It takes a certain type of player to turn 60,000 fans against him during one substitute cameo, but against Wigan Athletic in December 2008, Eboue managed it.

    His constant diving and feigning of injury infuriated the Arsenal supporters, as did the lapses in concentration that plagued our defence.

    Eboue’s bubbly personality is missed. His football is not.

Francis Jeffers

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    Francis Jeffers was signed to be the “Fox in the Box” Arsene Wenger craved. He ended up being unceremoniously sold after getting sent off for kicking Phil Neville in the Community Shield. 

    You’d think kicking Neville would be enough to endear him to Arsenal fans. Instead, he is remembered for his constant injury problems and a startling decline in ability.

    When he was at Everton, Jeffers was hailed as the future of England’s strike-force. As it turned out, he never progressed beyond those early flashes of ability.

Richard Wright

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    Like Francis Jeffers, Richard Wright arrived at Arsenal as a great young hope of English football and the anointed successor to David Seaman. 

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, and Wright endured a series of calamitous displays for Arsenal before being discarded by Arsene Wenger. 

    The journeyman career he has enjoyed since then, playing for Everton, West Ham, Southampton, Ipswich, Sheffield United and Preston North End speaks volumes for his fall from grace.

    Remarkably, Wright has now resurfaced at Premier League champions Manchester City. For the City fans’ sake, I hope he is not asked to play many games.

Lukasz Fabianski

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    You could make a list of Arsenal’s worst players that was made up entirely of goalkeepers. The position between the sticks is seemingly Arsene Wenger’s blind spot, and he has had more than his fair share of dodgy ‘keepers. 

    Few can have cost Arsenal more, however, than Lukasz Fabianski.

    Every time he takes the field it looks like an accident waiting to happen. Wenger has maintained he has enormous faith in the Polish shot-stopper, but each time he does so he ends up with egg on his face as Fabianski chucks another one in his own net.

Marouane Chamakh

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    If you were judging Marouane Chamakh on his first six months at Arsenal, you’d call him an unqualified success. However, over the next 18 months, he transformed from a talisman to an embarrassment. 

    He suffered hugely in comparison to Robin van Persie, falling down the pecking order and becoming little more than an occasional reserve. 

    When he did get a chance, his time on the sidelines had instilled in him such a fundamental lack of confidence that he was unable to make any tangible impact.

    Chamakh is now on loan at West Ham. One suspects it would be best for all parties if that move became permanent.

Chu-Young Park

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    It is fitting to end this hall of infamy with Chu-Young Park, undoubtedly the most bizarre signing of Arsene Wenger’s reign.

    Park was signed as part of the panicked shopping spree that followed the humiliating eight-goal thrashing at Old Trafford in 2011.

    However, as the season wore on, it became very clear that Park was not part of Wenger’s plans. The only surprise about his loan move to Celta Vigo was that someone on the continent had managed to remember he actually existed.


    What do you think? Who are the worst players of Wenger’s reign?