Playing for a club like Arsenal is every footballer’s dream and a dream can only be achieved through sheer hard work, commitment, and dedication. Mentored by a highly renowned figure like Arsene Wenger, Arsenal was a club that enjoyed great success under his regime.
Together the players earned lots of praise because of their superlative performances for the club. Wenger’s side earned the tag of invincibles at the end of the 2003-04 season as they completed their season with 90 points and were unbeaten for 38 straight games.
Wenger called it a day after the end of the 2017-18 season as the club wasn’t producing the desired results. Arsenal fans wanted the Frenchman to quit because of the team’s poor performances over the last few seasons. Some expressed their disappointment on his unceremonious exit as it was quite harsh for a manager who gave his heart and soul to the club, which grew bigger after every passing season after Arsene Wenger took over the reins of the club.
Arsenal became one of the biggest clubs in European football and gave many happy memories to its fans under Wenger’s mentorship. During Wenger’s reign, Arsenal won the 2003-04 three times, the FA Cup seven times, and the FA Community Shield seven times. They finished runner-up in the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League and in the 1999-2000 UEFA Europa League.
Arsenal had players of high quality who achieved legendary status during their tenure at the club. We take a look at five such players who sparkled during their association with the club.
# 1 Thiery Henry
Thiery Henry will always be remembered as one of the greatest footballers to have played for the club. Known for his ability to outclass the best defenses with his electric runs, Henry was instrumental in his side’s success during his association with the club. The Frenchman scored 174 goals in 254 matches while playing for the club.
The striker was an absolute treat to watch because of his quality finishes and classic dribbles. He was a constant threat for any opponent inside the box. His accelerating pace and quick moves often bamboozled the opposition’s defense. Henry's deceptive moves often caught the rival's defence off-guard.
The striker was the core of Arsenal's forward line and his intensity on the field always motivated his teammates to give their best. Henry was like a poacher inside the box and always looked spot on with his finishes.
Henry had this unique ability to win a game for his side because of his individual brilliance and scoring goals from difficult positions. Arsene Wenger had once stated that Henry’s presence always boosted his side’s morale during crunch situations. He was like a mentor for some of the younger players of the team.
# 2 Patrick Viera
Patrick Vieira was one of the most consistent players to have played for Arsenal. His achievements at the club speak about the abilities the midfielder possessed. His on-field intelligence helped his team overcome any challenges thrown at them by their rivals. The Frenchman was like a rock of the Arsenal midfield around whom the entire team rallied.
His coordination with his fellow countryman Thiery Henry and Dennis Bergkamp was simply outstanding as the three gave many happy memories to their fans with some exceptional performances. Patrick Vieira was like a glue that helped to bind the forward line with the midfield. His creative moves combined with his clever passes were simply brilliant.
The Frenchman was known as a tough character and was known to be technically quite strong. His wonderful finishes were thrilling to watch. He had the ability to play anywhere in the midfield and was good at winning the possession from the opposition. Apart from this, he was known for his leadership qualities. Vieira had all the qualities of a solid midfielder.
#3 Dennis Bergkamp
Bergkamp was a genius whose records at the club speaks about the class of the player. The striker combined well with Thierry Henry in the forward line and the two literally outlasted the defenses with their pace and darting runs.
Bergkamp was outstanding when it came to his ability to create chances for his teammates. He was known for his versatility as the forward could also play as an attacking midfielder. The Dutchman was technically gifted and was capable of cutting through defences with his electric pace and swiftness which allowed him to drop deep inside the opposition’s territory. Bergkamp was quite consistent with his long crosses which helped create chances for the likes of Henry.
Arsenal were lucky to have a striker of Dennis Bergkamp’s quality because of his composed finishes. He scored 87 goals in 315 games for the Gunners. Bergkamp also showed his efficiency from set pieces.
# 4 Robert Pires
Robert Pires is remembered for his ability to expose the gaps in the opposition's territory with his aggressive runs. He started playing for Arsenal from 2000 and was there until 2006. His ability to run through the defence with his lightning pace and creative moves often outfoxed the opposition.
His quick thinking and intelligent moves floored the rival’s defence. Arsene Wenger once stated that a utility player like Pires brings a lot of variety to any team.
The Frenchman operated quite well on the flanks and was dangerous during counter attacks. He scored 62 goals in 189 games for Arsenal and was a vital cog in Arsenal’s midfield.
Pires also had the uniqueness to adapt as per the situations which were his biggest strengths. Pires provided a lot of flexibility in the midfield and was quite reliable during pressure situations.
# 5 Freddie Ljungberg
Freddie Ljungberg will always be considered amongst the best footballers Sweden has ever produced. Ljungberg was known for his aggressive style of play and was considered amongst the best midfielders of his generation.
Known for his intensity and his ability, Ljungberg was simply outstanding with his electric counter attacks. He had the ability to outlast any opposition with his combativeness and was known for his never say die attitude on the field.
The Swede had the ability to double up as an attacking midfielder and was known to be technically strong. Ljungberg was equally good at winning aerial duels and his organized moves on the flanks.
His ability to penetrate the staunchest of defences with his accelerating runs and his capability to dig deep inside the rival’s territory with his speed and control often created problems for the opposition. His one-touch passes were laden with great accuracy which shut out the best defences. He scored 41 goals in 216 appearances for Arsenal.