From FA Cup to World Cup…
The Gunners may have just battled their way through to winning the FA Cup, but our boys have had a long history playing for England too. Here, the team at woolwicharsenal.co.uk takes a look back at some of the best Arsenal players to grace the World Cup.
Until having his record stripped away from him in 2011 by Ashley Cole, Kenny Sansom was the legend amongst footballers who had an incredible 86 caps playing for his country between 1979 and 1988. Sansom played in some of England’s most memorable matches, including the 1986 World Cup quarter final against Argentina, known for the infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal by Diego Maradona. Having played for England for nine years, Sansom was recognised as the best left-back in the country and featured in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, while also earning his stripes with a goal in the 1994 World Cup qualifier against Finland.If its any consolation to Kenny it doesn’t look like Ashley Cole will be adding to his haul of caps anytime soon.
Arsenal’s goalkeeper from 1977-1985, Pat Jennings currently holds the record as most capped Northern Irish goalkeeper, playing for his country an incredible 119 times. Jennings played in the qualifying rounds of six World Cups between 1966 and 1986, and made a sensational return to football in the 1986 World Cup after officially retiring in 1985. Playing his final international game on his 41st birthday, Jennings would also hold the record for oldest ever World Cup player at the time, playing his last ever international match against Brazil.
After becoming the first black football player to represent England in a full international match, Viv Anderson would go on to prove his worth in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. In his debut qualifier, England triumphed over Norway with a massive 4-0 victory. Anderson signed for Arsenal in 1984 and would later go on to play in the 1986 World Cup, scoring his first two international goals in a massive 8-0 qualifier victory against Turkey.
In the final three years of his sensational 18 year-career with Arsenal, centre back David O’Leary had international success playing for the Republic of Ireland in the 1990 World Cup. In a penalty shootout against Romania, tensions were high as the teams were matching each other goal for goal. After Steve Staunton’s substitution however, O’Leary was called up to play and took the decisive penalty to win the shoot out 5-4.