Welcome to Arsenal Insider’s reader’s choice of the Worst XI ever to grace the famous red and white of Arsenal.
Each week we will look at different positions of the team – goalkeeper, fullback, centre back, winger, centre midfielder and forwards. Each week will be your chance to vote on who you think deserves to be in the starting worst XI.
It’s possible that some of these players who appear on the list will bring you up in a cold sweat and leave you shaking your head as to why the hell would the club not only signed these players but actually let them lose on a football field.
So without further ado we will start our worst XI with the Goalkeeping position.
When I think of goalkeeper, my mind wonders to such greats as Pat Jennings, David Seaman, Jens Lehmann, even Bob Wilson and John Lukic. But boy have we had some flappers at the club, some you have to wonder, how they were ever given the gloves in the first place.
So let’s see who made the list:
Bartram was signed from Bournemouth for £250,000 in 1994, coming in as David Seaman’s understudy. It’s harsh on a goalkeeper when he is only ever a number two. But did he manage to make an impact? No, not in the slightest. Bartram struggled in his four years and his measly 12 appearances for the club before finally moving to Gillingham.
Now Almunia may split fans slightly. Signed by the club in 2004 for an undisclosed fee, Almunia was understudy to Jens Lehman. The amazing part is the Spanish keeper actually played 175 times for the Arsenal. He was terrible at crosses and his distribution was shocking. He did however keep 70 clean sheets but it was his calamitous mistakes which stick long in the memory of fans. There are too many to mention but whenever there was a huge mistake you can bet that Almunia was not far away.
Wright was signed by Arsene Wenger for £6m and was hyped as the replacement for David Seaman at club level and country. Wright had been excellent for his previous club Ipswich and big things were expected.
However one shocking performance against Charlton Athletic in a 4-2 defeat, where he managed to punch into his own net, completely demoralised the young keeper who never recovered and was sold at the end of the season to Everton for £3.5m.
It’s hard to judge a player who never actually played for the club but Viviano was brought to Arsenal on a season-long loan from Palermo with a view to signing him permanently at the end of the season. Having not played a game and failing to impress the Italian went back to Palermo and eventually signed for Sampdoria. Was he that bad in training that the club just looked at said thanks but no thanks. He didn’t even get to play in the League Cup, that’s how bad he was.
So, there we have it. Our four nominations for worst Arsenal goalkeeper.