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Who were Arsenal’s worst players? The History Site investigates.

THERAPY – A GROUP EXERCISE

With all this present day chit-chat about “Wenger Out!”, I’d like to offer a little perspective, stimulate some debate, and hopefully cheer everyone up a bit. You always read these polls about who were the best players to ever put on an Arsenal shirt, which always infuriate me: you’re always left with this niggling feeling of “Aah…those were the days…why can’t the current team be as good as we used to be?”

But you never read a poll asking for nominations as to the worst players to ever put on an Arsenal shirt? Now, if we ever focused on that question, that would offer a whole lot of perspective and I am sure many readers would begin to feel a lot better about the current crop and the directiion it is heading….

Admittedly, my sphere of reference is limited to the mid-1970’s and subsequent, and having lived overseas for a significant portion of the 1980’s and 90’s (pre-internet), I may be missing a few ‘gems’, so I’d love to hear opinions. But without further delay – my nominations. I’ve left players off the list who were, in hindsight ‘fleeting’ or experimental (eg – Francis Jeffers), and focused on regular first-choicers.

Goalkeeper

Alumnia (sorry Manual – I don’t rate you too poorly, but the position has been such a strong one for us in the past that you just suffer by comparison)

Defence

Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar

Midfield

Stewart Robson
Michael Thomas (2 seconds of magic almost make up for the rest of the season which was utterly futile, but not quite)
David Hillier
John Jensen

Forwards

Perry Groves
Niall Quinn (Alas Smith & Groves!)

Answers on a postcard please! (Or alternatively fill in the response below)

Toby Maitland-Lewis

51 comments to Who were Arsenal’s worst players? The History Site investigates.

  • Jeff Blockley gets my vote of no confidence. In his last ‘performance’ for Coventry, he lobbed his own keeper from outside the box. This inspired Bertie Mee to pay out top money for him and Don Revie to give him his international debut the following week. What Mee and Revie saw has always baffled me. It’s one of those rare cases where Billy Wright was spot on. He released Blockley circa 1964, because he thought he was ‘too casual.’ Only for him to turn up like a bad penny, 8 years later. Blockley was a complete clot and a mistake was never far away. When he arrived, Mee got rid of a top class defender in John Roberts and Frank McLintock, was so unsettled he pushed for a move. If you’re looking for the start of the dark years in the 70’s, they begin when we signed Blockley.

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