I did not ever imagine that there would be any cause for an Arsenal fan to express gratitude to the esteemed institutions that are Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea FC. But had it not been for these superbly run establishments that call themselves football clubs, this article would not have seen the light of day.
Up to three or four years ago, there were primarily two types of former Arsenal players of the Arsene Wenger era that were “still playing”: (a) those who were released when they were young, because the manager didn’t rate them highly enough; or (b) those who had passed their prime, and were on their way out of the game.
But thanks to the aforementioned institutions, and a similarly classy genre of individuals better known as player agents, we now have what could almost be termed an embarrassment of riches, or the embarrassment that the rich are—or something like that.
I’ve put together a first XI and a subs bench too. My criteria for selection were that the player should have played for some Arsenal team (first team, reserves, youth) at some point in time, should not be on the club’s books today (ruling out the Bendtners, Denilsons, etc.) and should be on the books of some other club at the time of writing, thereby disqualifying veteran free agents like Sol Campbell and Robert Pires, who have not yet officially retired but are both unemployed. They would have otherwise been shoo-ins into my team.
I guess I’d better apologize in advance, because some of the names are not going to be the most appealing, but I’ve tried to judge this on merit. Or else we might have seen names like Amaury Bischoff and Efstathios Tavlaridis in the slides ahead.
Wait a minute, are they even still playing??