Till this day, “Aaron Ramsey, he walks with a limp” is the chant the orcs of Stoke City FC sing in fond memory of Ryan Shawcross almost ending the Welshman’s football career by snapping his leg in two. It comes as no surprise that the centre back has been viewed as a dirty player since. Whether or not that has been a factor to him only featuring once for the England national team, is up for debate (I definitely think there’s a sprinkle of karma in there). Whatever the case, I don’t think Gooners are going to forget the man who robbed us of the full potential of Rambo.
Famously known as Cashley Cole by the Emirates faithful. Bewildered that his boyhood club did not match his wage demands, he forced his way to richer pastures; Chelsea. The Arsenal Invincible was arguably one of the best left-backs in the world at the time, and his multiple trophies (Including the Arsenal-elusive Champions League) just added salt to the Gooners’ wounds. One only wonders if our horrible trophy less run could have been different should he have stayed. This one goes into one of Arsene Wenger’s biggest regrets list as he was quoted saying that Cole could have well been the Arsenal captain that never was.
Running the entire length of the pitch and sliding in front of the Arsenal fans to celebrate his goal for Manchester City was his form of justice for Gooners booing and abusing him the entire game. The nomadic hitman; the modern day Nicolas Anelka, has failed to emulate his career best tally of 30 goals during the 07/08 season since leaving the Emirates. His spell with Tottenham Hotspur only fueled the hatred for him accumulated over the years, and clashes involving the Gunners and the Togolese international was usually very heated and tens but was usually an entertaining affair involving goals, nasty tackles and a whole array of cards.
Captain of the Arsenal at 21-years-old, 8 years and over 300 games at both Highbury and Emirates with Arsene. His move to Barcelona was especially painful as the manager moulded him to the player he has become, as Cesc himself has admitted. “Arsene Wenger especially, and Arsenal Football Club gave me everything. Without them, I would not be a World Cup winner and a European Championship winner.” Seeing him today, strutting his London education and Barcelona experience in London Blue still stings Gooners as recent as our 3-0 friendly defeat in China, and while a huge section of the fans have burnt that emotional bridge, this is one player I secretly wish will be reunited with Wenger before their time ends.
Oh, where to begin? The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has positioned himself to be one of the most hated managers by just about everyone associated with the club. The Mourinho vs Wenger feud has been going on for over 10 years, replacing the classic Alex Ferguson vs Wenger mind-games before that. The Portuguese manager, however, has no problem taking the gloves off with snarky remarks like “specialist in failure”, Arsene only has 50% wins in the Premier League, and that winning 4th was never Chelsea’s aim. No doubt one of the most satisfying footballing memories I will ever have is the shoving match between Wenger and Mourinho on the sidelines. Classic.
The little weasel that loves talking about the club he left. There are too many quotes by him to list down here. One minute he “defends” Arsenal, the next he criticises with underhanded comments like: “I don’t regret leaving Arsenal. I won the league while Arsenal have difficulty finishing fourth.” The epitome of a player that used the club as a springboard to personal glory. He never replicated his scintillating form of his final season at the Emirates. Dodged with inconsistency, injuries, and repulsive arrogance, at 29-years-old, maybe it’s time Samir Cashri keeps his head down and focus on the final stages of his footballing career.
Robin van Persie
Another player Wenger moulded from nothing to world class. Robin van Pursestrings learned the trade, polished his craft, spent most of his time in the recovery room, had a glorious season with Arsenal, and forced a move to our biggest rivals. “I always listen to the little boy inside of me in these situations – when you have to make the harder decisions in life. What does he want? That boy was screaming for Man United,” said the glory hunter. Previous claims that he was a Gooner vanished in the wind. After guiding Manchester United to finishing top of the Premier League, things didn’t go too well for the Dutch striker. He was offloaded to Fenerbahce not long after, along with his Premier League medal. All we hear of him now are comical stories of scuffles and bust-ups. Hope it was all worth it, ex-Arsenal captain.