Football

Lenton's all-time best North London 11

Eleven Sports' presenter picks his all-time 11 
of Arsenal and Spurs players in the EPL era

ARSENAL v TOTTENHAM

(Tomorrow, 7.55pm, Singtel TV Ch 103 & 
StarHub TV Ch 228 
- Eleven Plus HD)

Eleven Sports Network is broadcasting tomorrow's North London Derby between title rivals Arsenal and Spurs, so here is my combined team from the Premier League era.

With so many great attackers to choose from, I've opted for a 
3-4-3 system, that may morph into more of a 
3-2-5...

GOALKEEPER


PETR CECH

The Gunners are unbeaten in 15 matches, and it's a solid defensive unit that has laid the foundations for that success.

Arsene Wenger praised Cech for also undertaking an on-field coaching role, telling the Daily Telegraph: "He has a calming presence, he communicates well, anticipates well, sees what is coming. He is the camera behind the team."

 

CENTRE BACK

LEDLEY KING

A Rolls Royce of a footballer, who could play in any position. Had it not been for a chronic knee injury that restricted his movement and ability to train, King would surely have gone on to become one of England's greatest central defenders.

 

CENTRE BACK

LAURENT KOSCIELNY

Koscielny is a technically gifted footballer, but one who also understands the art of defending.

Last season, former England centre half Rio Ferdinand told BT Sport: "Koscielny for me, when he's on form, I think he's the best defender in the league. He's turned into a real top-class defender."

 

CENTRE BACK

TONY ADAMS

A player with a no-nonsense approach. That's not to say that Adams couldn't play - check out his goal against Everton in the Gunners' 1997-98 title-winning season.

In 30-plus years of watching top-flight football, I've never seen anyone with as much drive and desire as the former Gunners skipper.

 

LEFT MIDFIELD 


GARETH BALE

No British export can match the achievements of Bale.

The Welshman has had a hand in 104 Real Madrid goals in 135 appearances (62 goals, 42 assists), despite playing second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo. After his bumper new deal, expect Bale to now become the undisputed main man.

 

CENTRE MIDFIELD

ERIC DIER

In a team as attacking and adventurous as this one, Dier is the rock-solid holding midfielder who can knit together defence and attack without anyone really noticing he's there.

Michael Carrick performed this role particularly well in his Tottenham days, but I'll plump for Dier who was magnificent last season as Spurs pushed Leicester all the way.

 

CENTRE MIDFIELD

PATRICK VIEIRA

Arsenal fans will argue that Vieira is the greatest all-round central midfielder of the EPL era.

He's just pipped to that accolade by Roy Keane, but it's a very close call. Vieira was a colossus, a man who could win games by sheer force of personality.

 

RIGHT MIDFIELD

MESUT OEZIL

When he's off-colour, Oezil is incredibly frustrating to watch but, on his day, he's the bell that makes the current Arsenal team chime.

His tally of 19 assists last season was the second most in an EPL campaign - one behind a player who is arguably the Gunners' greatest of all time.

 

FORWARD

THIERRY HENRY

Although he's recognised 
primarily for his goals - he is of course Arsenal's all-time top 
scorer - Henry also provided 
a staggering 20 assists in the 
2002-03 season when he was 
very much in his pomp. An unbelievable player who Wenger transformed from an average left winger to bona-fide legend.

FORWARD

DENNIS BERGKAMP

The Dutchman's former teammate, Paul Merson, said of Bergkamp in his Sky Sports column: "He's the best I've ever played with by a 
long, long way.

"He was absolutely phenomenal. I think he's the greatest Arsenal player of all time. We use the phrase in football 'he's got eyes on the back of his head' - Bergkamp did have eyes in the back of his head. It was scary."

 

FORWARD

JUERGEN KLINSMANN

An out-and-out No. 9, Klinsmann went to Spurs with a reputation for being a cheat - a diver who would sully the integrity and honesty of the English game.

One game, one goal and one iconic celebration later, English football fans had taken "Juergen the German" to their hearts.

A magnificent finisher who would revel in the service provided by this team.



Richard Lenton is the lead presenter at ELEVEN SPORTS NETWORK. 
Join Richard and his studio guests for ELEVEN's live coverage of the EPL, 
which includes today's clash between West Ham and Stoke from 10.30pm, 
as well as tomorrow's showdowns between Chelsea and Everton (1am), and 
Arsenal versus Spurs (7.30pm). For more details, visit www.elevensports.sg

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