Arsenal Team of the Decade - Midfielders

The Noughties - the great and the good

It's been a hell of a decade for the Gunners, with highs and lows that make the game so entertaining. Saying farewell to Highbury, moving into a new stadium, the Invincibles season, reaching our first Champions League final and the emergence of a new era of players and goodbye to some old friends.

Here at Arsenal Addict, we're commemorating the end of the first decade of the new century by giving our own take on the best and worst we've experienced over the past ten years.

Today, we select our Midfield of the Decade

Avenell Dave

Right Midfield - Another whose final days were blighted by injury, Freddie Ljungberg was an outstanding winger who won us a number of games on his own with that cheeky and impudent skill. The FA Cup final against the Ch*vs, the chip over M*nure keeper Barthez at our place and the shot which gave Sylvain Wiltord a tap-in that won us the title all come to mind as favourite moments.

Left Midfield -There can be only one - Robert Pires - a player of outstanding ability who could win us games with a shimmy and a moment of brilliance. Hugely under-rated outside the club despite eventually winning Footballer of the Year, with his goalscoring talent, Arsene Wenger should have taken Alex Hleb off in Paris, which may have been enough for Bobby to stay and enthrall us a little longer. 

Centre Midfield -This is getting easy. Patrick Vieira may have been injury prone in later years but what he brought to the club in terms of leadership, experience, determination and the fear factor is something we have never really replaced. Would love to see him return in January to help the team out but it won't happen.

Centre Midfield - He may be nearing the end of his Arsenal career, but Cesc Fabregas is without doubt one of the most talented players on the planet. His goalscoring this season has added a string to an already impressive bow, but despite being given the captain's armband, the riches and potential of one of the Spanish giants is going to tempt him home sooner or later.

Graham McNorthbank

I'm on a similar track to Avenell Dave here for similar reasons, so I'll keep it short so you lot can have your say.

Right Midfield - I'd pick Alex Hleb here. He was probably one of the most frustrating players I've ever seen because of his habit of always looking for a pass rather than shooting, but the way he would unlock a defence with just a change of foot and a pelvis splitting turn is much missed in the current Arsenal set up.

Left Midfield - Bobby Pires. There just isn't another contender.

Centre Midfield - Patrick Vieira. Not only a genuine world class midfielder, but arguably our greatest ever captain. Sure, Tony Adams was great, but that was the bad old days of football for me when Arsenal were associated more with drunken players, drugs and crashing cars than the Arsene Wenger era of athletes. Vieira's on-field dominance was one aspect, but his leadership extended to having squad lunches at his house to foster team spirit - he lived and breathed Arsenal and there are not enough players who do that any more.

Centre Midfield - Cesc Fabregas. The young Spaniard is still only 22-years-old, meaning his game can still potentially improve. If he remains an Arsenal player for another three seasons he will have been at the club for 10 years and if he keeps progressing the way he has since he arrived in North London, then we could have someone who might actually rival Dennis Bergkamp as the club's all time greatest player. Oh and while everyone expects Cesc to return to Spain, I'd like to go on the record as stating I believe he'll surprise us all with his loyalty to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. Sure, Barca is his home town club, but he is acutely aware of that club's ability to destroy careers as well as make them, as his best mate Alex Hleb found out to his cost.

 

What do you think? Who should be in our midfield of the decade?

Let us know in the comments section below.