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5 players who failed to live up to iconic jersey numbers

tony adams philip senderos arsenal
Tony Adams was called Mr. Arsenal while Philippe Senderos just faded away without a trace
Modified 29 Jul 2015
Top 5 / Top 10

Some players become so synonymous with a jersey number that it sticks with them foreverEvery club has a player or players that are denoted by the number on their jersey. Maradona, Pele and Lionel Messi couldn’t be anything other than a number 10 for example. Alan Shearer wouldn’t be seen without a 9 on the reverse of his shirt. There are plenty of others. Players who are so good that a certain figure will always be “their” number. Supporters never forget them, but history is often a burden on players that follow in the footsteps of wearing a number associated with an icon of any club. No matter how hard they try, reference is always made to the idol who wore it before if the new incumbent isn’t up to the mark.Let’s take a look at five players that have failed to live up to their contemporaries – 

#1 Arsenal number 6 - Philippe Senderos

Tony Adams. Mr Arsenal.

Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright will continue to rank highly in the “best ever to wear the Arsenal shirt” rankings, but no one can compare with the Gunners’ number 6, a real captain fantastic.

Arsene Wenger is surely in Adams’ debt as far as the transition into English football goes. Maybe the thanks should be from Adams? The Frenchman was known to have changed almost everything from the George Graham and Bruce Rioch eras, from training regime to diet etc. Perhaps that contributed to Adams’ longevity and excellence in the role.

A proper old school stopper, Adams had his limitations, but he played with immense heart and desire. He remains the only player to have captained title-winning teams in three different decades having held the armband for 14 years from 1988.

After his retirement in 2002, his number wasn’t used again until the arrival of Philippe Senderos in 2004. In the six years that Senderos was registered as a Gunner, he made just 84 appearances, with his time in north London blighted by constant injury concerns and associated loss of form. Two of those seasons were also spent on loan at AC Milan and Everton respectively after a falling out with Wenger.

He was, probably quite uniquely, a defender who couldn’t really defend. Arsenal don’t often make major inroads in the transfer market, but Senderos remains one of their worst. Fans of the club breathed a huge sigh of relief when Fulham finally took the player on a free transfer in 2010.

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Published 29 Jul 2015, 17:06 IST
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