Back to the future - compare and contrast with Wenger's greats

I’ve read a lot of criticism of Arséne Wenger in recent days and find it sad that so-called supporters are so quick to turn.

Yes, Wenger needs a stronger board and a stronger right hand man so his power and opinions do not become totalitarian.

Yes, we should have squeezed the extra millions required last summer to buy our transfer targets, and another season of nearly-there will seriously frustrate us all.

But I’m behind Wenger, 100% and suggest anyone who isn’t, should leave now.

However, looking back at some of the teams we have fielded and who we have now, I can’t help but think that we’re a long way from emulating the glories of Arséne’s past.

We have some good players, we have some great players, but we don’t have a team, a squad, capable of consistency and competitiveness despite the injuries and suspensions all teams face throughout a season.

Don’t believe me? Just look at the top three players in each position since Wenger joined in 1996. Granted, some were inherited, but replacing like with like is surely the key to sustaining competitiveness.

I could go into great detail about the reasons why I’ve chosen the players below, but I’ll let you debate that below.

GK:

1- Seaman

2- Lehmann

3- Almunia

RB:

1- Lauren

2- Dixon

3- Sagna

LB:

1- Cole (I know, I know)

2- Winterburn

3- Clichy

CB:

1- Adams

2- Campbell

3- Keown

4- Gallas

5- Toure

CM:

1- Vieira

2- Fabregas

3- Petit

4- Edu

5- Gilberto

LM:

1- Pires

2- Overmars

3- Rosicky

4- Nasri

RM

1- Ljungberg

2- Parlour

3- Reyes

4- Hleb

4- Wiltord

#10/second striker:

1- Bergkamp

2- Arshavin

3- RvP

CF:

1- Henry

2- Wright

3- Eduardo

4- Anelka

Sadly, the facts speak for themselves. Only our first choice centre backs, Cesc and Arshavin really make the grade (and I'm not even sure about the CBs to be honest!), while Eduardo certainly has the capacity to do so. RvP flatters to deceive and too many others are just not world beaters.

Some of our players certainly have the capacity to step up, but until they do so, with some classy recruits alongside them, we’ll continue to be the nearly men of English football.

What do you think? Post your comments below to let us know whether you agree with our assessment or not.