Arsenal have become well-known now for their silky-smooth pass and move offense, introduced and perfected by Arsene Wenger.
It's become the English Premier League's best answer to Barcelona's "tiki-taka" football and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and exciting systems of football to watch, especially when it is working as it should.
But every so often, there comes a player who doesn't fit within the system and enjoys having the ball at his feet longer than his teammates.
This player doesn't necessarily have to be bad; indeed, some of the best players today and in history have been players who hold onto the ball for much longer than their teammates and hate to give it up.
But whether they are good or bad, these players are regarded as "ball hogs" because, quite simply, they hog the ball.
Here are the eight greediest ball hogs to ever pull on the Gunners shirt.
Note: This work was done in collaboration with various Featured Columnists of the Arsenal section of Bleacher Report. Each Featured Columnist will be credited on the slide of the player he suggested.
Jermaine Pennant's inclusion on this list may be a bit harsh, considering Pennant had far bigger problems at Arsenal than simply being a ball hog, but he still was, in fact, a ball hog in his time with Arsenal.
In his 24 appearances at the club over the span of three years, Pennant recorded just one assist. He had the talent to play much more, but Arsene Wenger eventually ran out of patience with Pennant's disciplinary issues and sent him on his way.
Suggested by: Callum D'Souza
Jose Antonio Reyes could've been an Arsenal great. He looked great in the 2004-05 season and was influential in Arsenal's Champions League run in 2005-06.
However, through both seasons, Reyes complained repeatedly about feeling homesick, and eventually moved back in to Spain with Real Madrid in the summer of 2006.
Here is a video which shows what Jose Antonio Reyes was all about while at Arsenal. As you can see, Reyes enjoyed making exciting runs through the defense regularly while at Arsenal, and shot often even when he wasn't in the best of positions.
He wasn't bad with the ball at his feet, but that doesn't stop him from earning the tag of being a bit of a ball hog, and thus earning a spot on this list.
Suggested by: Mikhail Turner
Freddie Ljungberg was one of the greatest players to ever play under Arsene Wenger. In my article on the best Arsenal players in Premier League history, Freddie Ljungberg is included at the right midfielder position.
He was also voted by Arsenal fans as the 11th best player to ever play for the Gunners in May 2008.
But Ljungberg's greatness does not detract from the fact that he was a ball hog. When Ljungberg had the ball at his feet, you knew that his one and only goal was to score. He always seemed to pop up at the right time to finish off a play or would dribble through the defense and score.
Ljungberg's assist numbers were fairly low at Arsenal, despite the fact that he usually played as a right winger for Arsenal. From 2003-05, he had fairly decent assist totals of seven and nine, but in his other seasons at Arsenal, he struggled to pick up even a single assist.
Here are some highlights of Ljungberg at his finest.
Suggested by: Callum D'Souza
Andrei Arshavin is a bit of a perplexing figure for Gunners fans nowadays. At the age of 30, it appears that age has caught up with him a bit faster than expected, and he no longer looks quite the dynamic Russian who incredibly scored four goals against Liverpool back in 2009.
Still, Arshavin at times has been made into a bit of a scapegoat by Arsenal fans. He did suffer from poor form in 2010-11, but he still ended the season with the very impressive totals of 10 goals and 17 assists in all competitions.
Arshavin makes this list because, like Reyes, he is a dribbler who sometimes tries to do too much with the ball at his feet. In the past, his dribbling would take him past defenders with ease and allow him to score spectacular goals, but his runs have become increasingly unproductive in recent games.
Here are some highlights from his 2010-11 season with Arsenal, concluded with his best goal of that season, the winning goal against Barcelona in their first leg match-up at the Emirates Stadium.
Suggested by: Aditya M S
Alexander Hleb was on top of the world at Arsenal. He was one of the more impressive players in the team and had clubs from all over the world eyeing him in the summer of 2007-08.
But then, he made the biggest mistake of his career: He moved to Barcelona against Arsene Wenger's wishes, received very little playing time and lost of a lot of the confidence that made him such a dynamic player.
Since moving to Barca, Hleb has gone on loan three times, most recently to Vfl Wolfsburg. His career hit a major low last season when he couldn't even establish himself at Birmingham City, who would be relegated to the Championship by the end of the 2010-11 season.
Hleb, at his best, was an excellent dribbler...but often, he'd dribble much more than he needed to or should have, and would find himself in trouble.
Additionally, for an attacking midfielder-cum-winger, Hleb generated far too few assists: His first season with Arsenal saw him record one assists in 35 matches, and his second season saw him record four assists in 47 matches.
His last season saw him become far less of a ball hog, recording 10 assists in 42 matches, but he still had a tendency to over-dribble rather than look to distribute the ball. Hleb's highlights from 2007-08 show this fairly clearly.
Suggested by: Callum D'Souza
Nicklas Bendtner was just never as good as a player as Arsene Wenger hoped he'd be.
After over 150 appearances for Arsenal, Wenger finally got the message: Bendtner was a decent striker, but he'd never be a quality striker at the level of Adebayor, Robin Van Persie, Thierry Henry or any of the other quality strikers Arsene Wenger had groomed at Arsenal.
Like practically every player on this list, Bendtner wasn't always bad; ironically, most players who are truly bad never are given the opportunity to develop into ball hogs.
But unfortunately for Bendtner and Gunners fans, Bendtner's moments of magic were far too infrequent, and more often than not, he was a very frustrating figure to watch play at Arsenal. Additionally, he never seemed to rise up on the big occasions.
Bendtner makes this list as a ball hog because he was a target man who enjoyed to dribble. Had those dribbles been a bit more successful, Bendtner probably wouldn't have been included on this list, but unfortunately, many of Bendtner's dribbles ended with him losing possession.
Additionally, Bendtner was notorious for being wasteful in front of goal and not passing to teammates who were in better positions than him.
This video highlights most of Bendtner's good times at Arsenal, but also has a few clips of what made Bendtner such an infuriating figure for Gunners fans.
Suggested by: Mikhail Turner
In Thomas Hallett's recent article on the biggest ball hogs in the world, Hallett put Abou Diaby pretty high on his list. Here's what he had to say:
From more of a negative perspective, Abou Diaby simply doesn’t know when to move the ball on. He is often found holding onto the ball for extended periods of time, dribbling past players in the centre of midfield but then losing possession because he doesn’t know what to do with the ball.
For all his talent and coaching under Arsene Wenger, Diaby is a real weak spot in the Arsenal side for his lack of awareness and, again, insistence on holding onto the ball for too long.
I've always liked Abou Diaby and felt like he could make the step up to becoming a true quality player, but if he continues to be a ball hog, he could easily suffer from Bendtner-syndrome and find himself being classified as one of Wenger's Gunners who just never lived up to his expectations.
Sticking with Thomas Hallett's article, here's what he has to say about Samir Nasri:
Samir Nasri may not at this moment seem like a ball hog, providing a number of assists for his new club, Manchester City. But the French midfielder went through an entire campaign at Arsenal last season with just the solitary assist in the league.
His outstanding exploits in front of goal is definitely something which allows for his shortcomings in the assist department to be overlooked, but the fact is we have seen the Frenchman, on a number of occasions, carry the ball over large distances on the pitch without the thought of a pass.
At Manchester City, Nasri is no longer heavily relied upon to open up space and create opportunities, as he was at Arsenal (to an extent; this burden was much lighter when Cesc Fabregas was fit). As such, he has been forced to adjust his game and become less of a ball hog.
Still, at Arsenal, there's no denying that Samir Nasri was almost always the player who had the ball at his feet for the longest time when playing, and it worth debating whether Arsenal could have been a bit more successful if Nasri had been a bit more unselfish towards the end of the season.
Thierry Henry was left off the initial list as an oversight on my part. I suppose it just felt strange to include the best Arsenal player of all time on a list of "ball hogs".
But the truth is, when it comes to Arsenal ball hogs, Thierry Henry was probably the biggest one of all time. Henry loved to have the ball at his feet, and of course, every Arsenal fan was more than happy to let Henry hog up the ball as much as he wanted.
Thierry Henry was not really a greedy ball hog. His assist totals over the years have been fairly impressive, particularly from 2002-2005, where he recorded assist totals of 24, 14 and 17 over a three year span.
Still, when he needed to take matters into his own hands, Henry had no problem going it alone and scoring the crucial goals himself.
What do you guys think of the list? Are there any guys you think that should've made the list, or guys on the list who should not have been included? Make your opinion known in the comments section below.
Honestly, it was a huge struggle to find true ball hogs who actually played for Arsenal for an extended period of time.
Most guys who started out as ball hogs either quickly adjusted their game or found themselves cut, like Jermaine Pennant. Pennant was given a little extra time because of the great talent he had.
Only a select few have been able to last as Arsenal players and yet still continue to hog the ball more than they should.
Thanks for reading, and if you can think of any other ball hogs who played for Arsenal, make sure to mention them below!