Arsenal are a club with incredible history and pedigree, they were founded in 1886 as 'Dial Square', but soon renamed as 'Royal Arsenal', before becoming 'Woolwich Arsenal', and ultimately, simply 'Arsenal'. The first members of the Football League from the south of England, this originally caused problems for the Gunners, whose isolation saw lower attendances than their rivals and financial difficulty as a result.
As the years went by though, Arsenal became a real force within the English game. To this day the club has never been relegated, and they currently stand as the third most successful team in England, behind only Liverpool and Manchester United. Arsenal have won 13 league titles and 12 FA Cups, the latter of which is a record, and are one of only two clubs to ever go a full top flight season unbeaten.
Clearly Arsenal's consistency and achievement is a mark of the quality of player that has graced the club over the course of their 129 year history. With the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams among their esteemed list of former players, some real legends of the game have strutted their stuff at Highbury and the Emirates. As always, there are exceptions though, and here we celebrate them. Here are the top 15 worst Arsenal players of all time:
15 Pascal Cygan
14 Pal Lydersen
13 Francis Jeffers
12 Jimmy Carter
11 Kaba Diawara
French-born Guinea international Kaba Diawara was fairly prolific in international football, scoring six goals in 13 games for the Guinea national team, rather more impressive than the zero in 12 games he managed at Arsenal, although the quality of the opposition may explain the difference between those two figures. Diawara joined Arsenal from Bordeaux but looked hopeless in England.
10 David Hillier
A product of the Arsenal youth academy, David Hillier was highly-regarded as a youngster and captained the Arsenal youth team to success in the 1988 FA Youth Cup final before making his league debut in 1990, aged 21. He went on to play over 100 league games for the Gunners, the only player on this list to have done so, spending six years in the Arsenal first team.
9 Jeremy Aliadiere
Another academy product, Jeremy Aliadiere joined Arsenal at the age of 16, and made his club debut at 18. Highly thought of by Arsene Wenger at that time, Aliadiere won seven caps for the French under-21 team, scoring once. Supposedly capable of playing as either a striker or as a winger, Alidiere looked like he was barely capable of playing football for much of his time at Arsenal.
8 Jeff Blockley
7 Eddie McGoldrick
6 Igors Stepanovs
5 Glenn Helder
4 Vince Bartram
The worst goalkeeper in Arsenal history, Vince Bartram joined the club after impressing in the third tier with Bournemouth, where he spent three years as first choice goalkeeper. The step up from third to top flight proved too great though, and Bartram looked hopeless at Highbury. Brought in as an understudy to David Seaman, Bartram played only 11 games in four seasons, all coming in a single season, and he was laughably poor between the sticks.
3 Mark Flatts
2 Ian Selley
Another player whose post-Arsenal career spoke volumes, in the modern era, even those who fail at Arsenal tend to end up in respectable leagues overseas or at least at a decent level of the Football League. Not in the mid 90s though, and Ian Selley was another fine example. The academy graduate made his Arsenal debut at 18 and by 20 he was in the England U-21 team, where he made three appearances. Unfortunately for Selley, the midfielder had a torrid time with injuries.
1 Gus Caesar
The worst player in Arsenal history, Gus Caesar also showed promise as a youngster but looked utterly dreadful in the first team. He somehow managed to play more than 40 games for the club, and won three caps for the England U-21s, showing that he did have some talent and obviously impressed in training. On the biggest stage though, Caesar froze. He looked nervous, unsure of himself and more often than not simply a liability. Caesar began to develop a reputation for making high-profile and calamitous mistakes and became increasingly unpopular among the Arsenal supporters.
The climax of this came in the 1988 League Cup final, in which Arsenal led 2-1 in the dying embers of the game, only for a mistake from Caesar to gift Luton a way back into the game. The mistake as good as ended his career at Arsenal, and his career in general, as he spent the majority of his post-Arsenal years playing in Hong Kong. Caesar was named the Arsenal's worst ever player by club fanzine 'The Gooner' and also ranked third in 'The Times' list of worst players in the history of the top flight.
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