Casting Arsenal Players as Hollywood Movie Characters
Arsenal's 2012-13 season was dramatic enough to inspire a Hollywood movie.
Their climactic triumph, snatching glory from the jaws of defeat, was comparable with any of the heart-warming comebacks from the Rocky series.
This Arsenal squad is also full of charismatic individuals, several of whom are reminiscent of some of Hollywood's most enduring characters. Occasionally the resemblance is physical; sometimes it requires a little more thought.
Go to the next slide to discover the parallels between Arsene Wenger's side and the heroes of the silver screen.
Aaron Ramsey as John Rambo
Ever since he joined the Gunners in June 2008, Aaron Ramsey has been known affectionately as "Rambo."
In fact, the Welsh midfielder suggested to Tribal Football that the nickname has been around even longer than that:
I think it was during when I was Under-11s or Under-12s. There was a little fight that happened on the pitch and I got substituted off. Afterwards, there was a big joke about me being a bit like Rambo and it's stuck with me ever since.
Ramsey's combative performances in the latter part of the 2012-13 season were certainly worthy of comparison with the all-action antics of Sylvester Stallone's Rambo.
Per Mertesacker as the BFG
Arsenal fans sing a song about Per Mertesacker being a "BFG." In that version, the acronym stands for something far more adult than "Big Friendly Giant."
There is no doubt, however, that Mertesacker is a large gregarious titan. Like Roald Dahl's creation, his intimidating size is deceptive: He has quite a placid nature.
The BFG was made into a cartoon movie in 1989. If they ever make a live-action version, Mertesacker would be a front-runner for the part.
Abou Diaby as Elijah Price
In the 2000 superhero thriller Unbreakable, Samuel L. Jackson plays a man named Elijah Price, who is born with Type I osteogenesis imperfecta—a rare disease in which bones break easily.
It's a problem the injury-prone Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby can identify with all too well.
Laurent Koscielny as a Velociraptor
They both have short arms with claw-like hands. They're both rapid across the ground, and can be deadly at close range.
The similarities between Laurent Koscielny and a velociraptor are undeniable.
The velociraptor made its name stalking kitchens in Jurassic Park. Koscielny has made his name patrolling the heart of the Arsenal defence. Have you ever seen them in the same room?
Tomas Rosicky as Peter Pan
Tomas Rosicky has always reminded me of Peter Pan.
He can't fly, and he comes from the Czech Republic rather than Neverland. However, like Peter Pan, he seems to have the secret of eternal youth.
Watching Rosicky hare around the midfield, you would never guess that he's already 32. Hopefully, his juvenescence can keep him going for a few more seasons.
Theo Walcott as The Flash
The movie of The Flash is still in development.
Planning began way back in 2004, although it's still yet to arrive on our screens. This is particularly surprising because The Flash is usually associated with superhuman speed.
Theo Walcott shares the character's capacity for lightning-quick movement. Over the ground, there are very few in the Premier League who can match Walcott's pace.
That speed was enough to get Walcott into position to score 22 goals last season. He'll hope to be even quicker in 2013-14.
Thomas Vermaelen as The Terminator
Thomas Vermaelen earned the nickname "The Verminator" because of his similarity with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator. Like the eponymous android, Vermaelen was strong, steely-eyed and occasionally impossible to resist.
This season, however, Vermaelen's form has suffered dramatically.
Schwarzenegger recently told The Guardian that the Terminator franchise would be returning. Vermaelen will hope that the return of his namesake coincides with an upsurge in his own performances.
Santi Cazorla as The Waterboy
If anyone ever makes a film of Santi Cazorla's life and career, he is bound to be played by his look-alike, Adam Sandler.
Sandler's portrayal of The Waterboy, Bobby Boucher, also shares Cazorla's capacity to produce moments of surprising power and intensity from an unassuming physical frame.
Andrey Arshavin as Bilbo Baggins
It's not just a diminutive stature and portly belly that makes Andrey Arshavin comparable with Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit.
Like Baggins, Arshavin's preference is to eschew the field of battle in favour of a comfortable lifestyle.
Arsenal announced this week that Arshavin's contract will not be renewed. Arshavin's cheeky persona will be missed at Arsenal. His laziness will not.
What do you make of my comparisons? Let us know yours below.