Lee Dixon: My Greatest Arsenal XI
Over the course of 15 seasons Lee Dixon established himself as one of English football's finest ever defenders.
Between 1988 and 2002 Dixon was a crucial member of Arsenal's famous back four and won four league titles, three FA Cups, a League Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup.
Here the former England international chooses his greatest Arsenal XI from the players he shared a dressing room with at Highbury.
David Seaman was my room-mate and would beat me up if I didn’t put him in! Dave was one of the best keepers England has ever had, and he was central to Arsenal’s success. He was assertive, but his main quality was he was such a calm presence behind the back four.
At right-back Lauren had tenacity, speed, didn’t give away the ball and could read the game very well. He was a crucial part of the Invincibles side that didn’t lose a single league game in the 2003-04 season.
I have to apologise to Nigel Winterburn, but Ashley edges it for what he’s achieved over his whole career. I played with him as a youngster and since then he’s become the best left-back in the world; very quick and smart.
I would always want him next to me at centre-half. Even when he was drinking and we had to do a lot of his work and get him out of trouble on the pitch, he would still win the Man of the Match award! He was a brilliant player, who had this presence and aura about him.
I played a lot of my career with Steve at both Stoke and Arsenal, and he was such an underrated player. He was great in the air and to be honest should really have played more for England.
On the right side of midfield I would have David Rocastle. An exceptional talent; quick, strong, tireless energy, and he did so much great work in front of me on the right. He relished getting stuck in to a tackle as well. A lovely guy who is sadly missed.
Patrick Vieira had everything in central midfield. Power, pace, skill on the ball and he was hard to get past. It was also hard to keep up with his amazing engine, and he got forward and scored goals too. A genuine legend.
Emmanuel's partnership in central midfield with Patrick Vieira was incredible, they were the heart of our side and protected the defence. He had a great left foot and when he was on his game we usually won. A World Cup-winner too.
On the left side of midfield I would have Marc Overmars. I haven’t seen anyone cause full-backs more problems. He was ridiculously quick, you just couldn’t catch him.
When I played against him in an international for England he absolutely killed me with his movement. I have to admit all I could do was kick him, which took his boot off and they had to move him to the other wing.
I would have Dennis up front as he was the greatest player I ever played with. Blessed with incredible skill, Dennis did things with the ball I haven’t seen before or since. It was a pleasure to be on the pitch to see his amazing goals close up.
After he scored that incredible goal at Newcastle in 2002 I asked him if he actually meant that, and he just replied, “Lee, do you really need to ask me that?” He was class.
It might be controversial to leave Thierry Henry out, but I have to have Ian Wright playing up front next to Dennis Bergkamp. I loved him because he lived for goals and scored so many. If we’re playing at Sunderland in December I want him up front kicking lumps out of the centre-half and grabbing a winner.
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