Arsenal’s 50 best players reveals more about the unsettled club

Arsenal just came out with a list of best 50 players in club history voted by fans.
Thierry “Titi’ Henry , presently employed by Barca, is the best player followed by two retirees, Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams.
In the top 50 list there is not one single current Arsenal player. The list is an unsettling patchwork of ex- Arsenal players who are presently playing for other clubs and a horde of retired players whose names crop up in soccer history forums. In the ex-Arsenal category, apart from Henry, there is Freddie Ljungberg, Sol Campbell, Kanu, Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, Sylvain Wiltord, and Ashley Cole. Their exposure add up to 55 years which is more than the present squad’s entire club career.
As with any list of such a sort, we can debate who deserved to be included or excluded but given that such lists usually favour more contemporary players this speaks more to the signifying trends of transience, youth, and lack of silverware at Arsenal. Most impact players are spending less time preferring to move on as their value goes up. Or as signalled clearly by the gaffer, this revolving door policy is being encouraged to enhance the club’s reputation as one of the finest incubator of youthful talent purely for monetary gain. It has also been a number of years since any meaningful silverware was won which usually provides a ready springboard to a top 50 list. Fabregas may be on the cusp of the finest Arsenal players list but if the club had won the Premiership or CL, he would have undoubtedly been there a few seasons ahead of schedule.
Contrast this with Man Utd’s list of top 50 out in 2006 which includes six presently serving players. Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, and Gary Neville. 62 years of experience between these six players and a number of trophies to show for.
Liverpool’s 100 players that shook the Kop lists Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, John Arne Riise, Sami Hyppia, Steve Finnan, and Xabi Alonso in the first 50 who presently perform first squad duty. All these players were mainstays in Liverpool’s successful 2005 CL appearance. Chelsea does not have a top 50 list but if one came out tomorrow John Terry, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, Ricardo Carvalho, Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele, Joe Cole, and Michael Essien would deservedly find a place. These players are proven impact players in Chelsea’s recent successes in the Premiership as well as its first CL final appearance.

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