Every club has signings they would prefer to forget but now Arsenal’s nine-year wait for a trophy is over, which 11 players were the worst during that time?
GK – Manuel Almunia
It is a little harsh on the Spanish goalkeeper because he was, initially, a decent back up for Jens Lehmann. And yet as time passed, he lost confidence and subsequently his place in the team and then eventually his place at the club after a number of blunders.
Apps: 109 (2004-2012)
RB – Philippe Senderos
I couldn’t find a terrible right-back due to Bacary Sagna’s eight-year reign at the club as one of the most efficient, reliable and consistent performers. I could have chosen Emmanuel Eboue, I suppose, but he was not that bad and was something of a cult figure so instead I am opting to put the Swiss centre-back there and I doubt playing him out of position will in any way enhance or detract from his shortcomings.
App: 84 (2004-2010)
CB – Sebastian Squillaci
When he arrived, on paper at least, the Frenchman seemed to tick all the boxes - experienced, cultured, a senior international with continental pedigree - but it soon became all too clear he was out of his depth in the Premier League and was soon noted as a liability in the back line which, ultimately, he was part of only as a last resort in his last years at the club.
Apps: 23 (2010-2013)
CB – Mikael Silvestre
The Frenchman gets extra points for being a Manchester United reject and, although he was not as dire as some of the players on this list, his signing and subsequent deployment on the pitch was something of a head-scratcher for Arsenal fans who were ultimately left asking ‘why?’
Apps: 26 (2008-2010)
LB – Andre Santos
Initially, the Brazilian seemed a decent signing to replace Gael Clichy. He was Brazilian, which is always good right? And he liked to dance and he could dribble but, woah, wait, defenders need to be able to defend. The fullback seemed to have ambitions of being a winger much of the time; a bit like a waiter with aspirations of being a musical theatre star: it is great that you can sing and I just love those jazz hands but, please, bring my soup. In the end, Santos sealed his own fate with that infamous shirt-swapping incident at Old Trafford. He was called every name under the sun but in the end Arsene Wenger just called him a taxi.
Apps: 25 (2011-2013)
CM – Amaury Bischoff
How could we forget Amaury Bischoff? Probably quite easily, given that he made just one appearance for Arsenal. We still don’t really understand what happened with this one. We know he signed from Werder Bremen on a free contract and was considered a ‘gamble’ and we know he was released a year after that. The rest is a mystery.
Apps: 1 (2008-2009)
CM – Fran Merida
Another failed experiment at the academy, this young Spaniard was brought in to the academy just after Cesc Fabregas had burst onto the scene in the first-team so naturally he was billed as the next big thing but he never really proved his worth to the club and failed to cement his place.
Apps: 6 (2007-2010)
RW – David Bentley
David Bentley. David. Bentley. Let’s start at the beginning. He joined the Gunners youth academy aged 13 and made his first team debut aged 18 and made some waves with the England U21s and then all of a sudden he thought he was David Beckham (he really did) and for a split-second he actually had some other people believing he was David Beckham but, in the end it was clear he was a lot more like David Blaine after he managed to make a whole career disappear.
Apps: 9 (2002-2006)
LW – Jermaine Pennant
Pennant gets extra points for being close friends with Ashley Cole, for starters and he gets even more points for playing for Stoke. He never really broke into the Arsenal team and, in his position, on the flanks at the time, the Gunners had the likes of Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg so he did not really stand a chance, in fairness to him.
Apps: 12 (1999-2005)
ST – Park Chu-Young
Another bizarre signing, the South Korean forward arrived from Monaco under strange circumstances – he may have accidently signed for Arsenal instead of Lille. He barely played and no one really understood what the point of him was or whether there was some kind of agreement with Monaco over pay per appearances. Overall, this deal was one of the weirdest at the Emirates. The weirdest thing about it is that he is technically still an Arsenal player.
Apps: 1 (2011 – Present)
ST – Marouane Chamakh
Finally, the Moroccan arrived on a free transfer and scored a decent number of goals and looked to be a decent backup for Robin van Persie. Then when the Dutchman returned, Chamakh seemed to lose the will to run, score, pass, get dressed, anything really. He lost all confidence and, truth be told, it was unfortunate for the player given that he was not that bad a player as he is now proving for Crystal Palace.
Apps: 40 (2010-2013)