Rank 15, WorldCupStory Club Index 22,114
Arsenal World Cup XI Dream Team
|RB||Emmanuel Eboue||Ivory Coast||2||6||521||0||0|
The dream team selectors have thrown up a few surprises in the Arsenal XI. Neither of the top two players in terms of minutes played, Robin van Persie and Ashley Cole, make the team. Van Persie’s 936 minutes has yielded only 2 goals, which puts him behind Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry in the pecking order, and Kenny Sansom’s performances for the unbeaten England team of 1982 edged him ahead of Cole.
David Seaman saw off a strong challenge from Jens Lehmann for the number 1 shirt, and joining Sansom at fullback, is the unsung Emmanuel Eboue of Ivory Coast. Tony Adams and Sol Campbell were obvious selections at centre back; don’t make the mistake of taking the aerial route against this defence!
Goals from midfield are always at a premium and perhaps surprisingly the main providers are Emmanuel Petit and Junichi Inamoto. They are joined by the trickery of Fredrik Ljungberg and the steel of Patrick Vieira, beating off Gilberto Silva, Marc Overmars and Graham Rix.
The classy Bergkamp and Henry up front will terrify opposition defences, tempting though it was to include van Persie or to shoe-horn in Charlie Nicholas.
The glaring weakness of this side is lack of leadership; nobody in this side has skippered their country in a world cup. In fact of all Arsenal players, only Dave Bowen, of the 1958 Wales team, has captained his country at a world cup. The side has good experience in comparison to other English club dream teams and is slightly behind Manchester United and Liverpool on goals scored.