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10 Worst Players to Be on the Winning Side in a Manchester United-Arsenal Match

Rob PollardFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2014

10 Worst Players to Be on the Winning Side in a Manchester United-Arsenal Match

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Arsenal vs. Manchester United—historically one of the fiercest rivalries is the English game—is set to resume Wednesday as David Moyes' men travel to the Emirates in search of a much-needed win.

    Arsenal have had an excellent season, but a poor performance and 5-1 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend, where they were second best in every department, increase the importance of this match as they seek to get their title challenge back on track.

    There's no doubting Moyes' first season in charge of United has been a huge disappointment, with their win against Arsenal at Old Trafford earlier in the season one of the few bright spots thus far. They have lost 10 times under Moyes already—a dreadful statistic for a side that won the title by 11 points last season.

    To get in the mood for the game, let's take a look back at some of the previous encounters and name and shame the 10 worst players who have appeared on a winning side in this fixture.

10. Karel Poborsky

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal (November 1996)

    One of Fergie's poorest signings was Karel Poborsky, who played in United's 1-0 home win over Arsenal in 1996. United went into the match having lost three on the bounce, including the 6-3 defeat to Southampton at The Dell. It was a hugely important win.

    However, Poborsky failed to settle at United after his move from Slavia Prague. Having impressed at Euro 96 playing for the Czech Republic, where he scored a memorable goal in the quarter-final against Portugal, he moved to Old Trafford that summer with huge expectations on his shoulders.

    It just didn't work out for him.

    He left in 1998 for Benfica, where he impressed and became a favourite with the fans before leaving for Lazio in 2001.

9. Jesper Blomqvist

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United (April 1999)

    This FA Cup semi-final win at Villa Park was a key moment in United's treble-winning campaign of 99.

    David Beckham had given United the lead, but Dennis Bergkamp equalised in the second half with an excellent strike somewhat against the run of play. Roy Keane was later sent off for a second bookable offence, and it seemed all set for Arsenal to win it. They got themselves a last-minute penalty when Ray Parlour was brought down in the box, but Peter Schmeichel saved it and sent the match into extra time.

    Ryan Giggs' winner is the abiding memory of a classic match. A loose cross-field pass from Patrick Vieira was picked up by the winger inside his own half. He burst forward, evaded four challenges and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net to settle one of the best FA Cup semi-finals in recent memory.

    On the pitch that evening was Jesper Blomqvist, a player who had a torrid time at United and had a succession of injuries ruining his time at the club. He made just 38 appearances, scoring one goal.

8. Manuel Almunia

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Arsenal 2-1 Manchester United (November 2008)

    Manuel Almunia had a dreadful time at Arsenal. He signed as a backup to Jens Lehmann in 2004, a role he occupied for his first three years at the club before eventually displacing the German in the 2007 when his form deteriorated.

    However, even when he was No. 1, he never really convinced, with wild fluctuations in his performance level proving frustrating for Arsenal fans. By 2011, he was third choice behind Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski.

    A loan move to West Ham followed before signing for Watford, where he has impressed.

7. David May

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    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal (March 1996)

    David May's Manchester United career is remembered primarily for his shameless celebrations in the Nou Camp on the night of the club's Champions League triumph in 1999 after being an unused sub. May made sure he was dead centre and next to the trophy during the presentation, as he didn't want to be missed on photographs and television footage.

    Sir Alex Ferguson's eye for a centre-half cannot be questioned—Jaap Stam, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are testament to his ability to buy exceptionally talented defenders—but May goes down as one of his worst.

6. Oleg Luzhny

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Arsenal 2-1 Manchester United (August 1999)

    Oleg Luzhny played just one minute of the 1999 Charity Shield after joining from Dynamo Kiev that summer, and he remained at the club for four years before joining Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2003.

    Luzhny was a slow, unreliable defender who failed to nail down a starting place during his time at Highbury.

    He made 110 appearances for the club and has since gone on to manage Dynamo Kiev.

5. Stephen Hughes

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United (September 1998)

    Stephen Hughes is a former Arsenal trainee who spent a total of eight years at the club. A midfielder bereft of any obvious qualities, he failed to make any impact on the first team.

    He was lightweight and lacking technically, rendering him ineffectual for much of his time in north London.

    He made a total of 77 appearances before being sold to Everton in 2000, where he lasted a year. He went on to play for Watford, Charlton and Coventry.

4. Jeremie Aliadiere

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Arsenal 3-1 Manchester United (August 2004)

    Jeremie Aliadiere joined Arsenal aged 16 after coming through the Clairefontaine academy that had produced Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka.

    However, unlike those two, Aliadiere underwhelmed at Arsenal, eventually leaving the club in 2007 after eight years that yielded just nine goals in 51 games.

3. Roy Carroll

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    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    Arsenal 0-1 Manchester United (April 2004)

    After Peter Schmeichel left Old Trafford in 1999, United struggled to replace him. Ten goalkeepers appeared for them between Schmeichel's departure and Edwin van der Sar's arrival, none of whom managed to fill the Great Dane's position.

    And none was worse than Roy Carroll. He played 72 times between 2001 and 2005, but will always be remembered for calamitous goalkeeping.

2. Christopher Wreh

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    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United (November 1997)

    Arsenal have had some fabulous forwards in the Premier League era. Dennis Bergkamp was a player admired by all except football philistines, and Thierry Henry is generally accepted as being one of the best players to grace this league.

    Christopher Wreh, however, was poor.

    He struggled to make his mark at Arsenal after his move from Monaco in 1997. He had his moments, such as scoring the only goal in the FA Cup semi-final against Wolves in Arsenal's double-winning 1997-98 season, but overall he never really impressed enough to become a regular in Arsene Wenger's side.

    He scored five goals in 47 appearances during his three-year spell before leaving to join Al-Hilal in 2000.

1. Luke Chadwick

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Manchester United 6-1 Arsenal (February 2001)

    Luke Chadwick managed just two league goals in his five years at United after coming through the club's esteemed youth ranks. It was clear very early on that he didn't have the ability to make the grade at United, and he was loaned out multiple times.

    He signed for West Ham permanently in 2004 and now plays for MK Dons.

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