Are These The 10 Greatest Arsenal Goal Of The Arsene Wenger Era?
To be asked to choose just 10 Arsenal goals is almost as cruel as it is difficult. This list is comprised of my personal favourites and will no doubt cause some debate among the Arsenal supporting contingent on this site. Under Wenger (and prior to the Frenchman of course) Arsenal fans have been spoilt with an absolute glut of incredible players who have graced both Highbury and Ashburton Grove including a team who won the Premier League in 2004 unbeaten. These are in no particular order, enjoy!
The words ‘did he mean it?’ should never have been uttered when considering the individual in question. This is a man who could barely score a goal that wasn’t a goal of the month contender, beauty comes easy to some and Dennis Bergkamp made it his job to take the collective breath away. Kids have been re-enacting this piece of Dutch magic for the past ten years and will continue to do so, Nikos Dabizas still isn’t entirely sure what happened.
The fact that the game ended 1-0 to Arsenal after Thierry Henry’s most famous of famous goals is almost testament to its brilliance. The quality, audacity and bare faced cheek of it all rendered the rest of the game an afterthought. The match was only half an hour young as the Frenchman flicked the ball up with his back to goal before performing the famous swivel and shot all in one swift movement, lobbing his bald compatriot before running over to the Arsenal bench to inquire what was up? Glorious.
The phrase ‘good feet for a big man’ is thrown around far too frequently nowadays with big players possessing mere adequacy on the ball having the good feet for a big man tag lavished upon them. Crouch? Pretty tidy, Ibrahimovic? Excellent, Kanu? Different gravy. The ball was tied to his gargantuan boot and his ‘impudent’ flick against ‘Boro pips his miraculous goal against Chelsea for a place on this list. It was a hopeful low cross from Lee Dixon which Kanu managed to meet mid-air and find the bottom corner exquisitely, yes many have done it since but none quite match up.
As football teams go the Arsenal one which swept all before them during the 2003-2004 season were a pretty handy bunch. This goal came in the come down season which followed, but displays all the characteristics which saw that team go down in history, a team which has since been voted the Premier League’s all time best. Arguably the three best players of that team combined to spectacular effect to equalise against Liverpool. Vieira, Henry and Pires produced a textbook moment of how to pass and move in the confines of a heavily congested Anfield penalty box, rapid fire passing with a delicate dink to seal the deal. Forget about Mellor at the death.
Kids have been re-enacting this piece of Dutch magic for the past ten years and will continue to do so, Nikos Dabizas still isn’t entirely sure what happened.
Whilst on the subject of great Arsenal goals at Anfield there is one player who instantly springs to mind (and you Michael Thomas). A candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long, and while Arshavin may have underperformed in an Arsenal shirt when he was good he was very f**king good. A player who only played at Anfield on three occasions bagged himself five goals three of world class standard but it is his second strike which always stood out for me when general consensus suggested his fourth was the pick of the bunch. Goals are often described as being lashed in, if ever a goal was lashed in it was this.
It was a goal that signalled his return after the savage leg break but while he still had the instincts in front of goal his body couldn’t meet the demands of Premier League football and was promptly shipped out. I, like many, thought the decision was a little hasty but struggles to get into the Shakhtar team since leaving probably just about justifies the sale, would he be a more useful squad option than Chamakh? No question. The finish was impeccable, a volley with the outside of the boot directly from a trademark Song pass. A brilliant finish from one of the more likeable Arsenal players in recent times.
Thierry Henry was both a scorer of great goals and a great goal scorer, his record in an Arsenal shirt is incredible and to avoid making the list too Henry heavy I’ve included just two. The opposition plays a part, the celebration aswell but the quality of the goal from a player at the peak of his powers puts it just in front of the myriad of other memorable Henry moments of which there are too many to even mention honourably.
This goal came at a point where it finally seemed we were going to get the best out of Samir Nasri who up until then had been a rather expensive disappointment. Despite it being a goal which came in a game Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick in it was a joyous piece of individualism, close control of epic proportions saw him waltz through four defenders before smashing a low shot in off the post.
This goal from a hat-trick of excellent strikes is widely considered one of the best goals in the history of Arsenal football club. It was the hat-trick goal but shouldn’t really have been a surprise to people. Mere mortals struggle to understand how he plucked the ball out of the air but the man could do it blindfolded, he repeated the trick a year later in the World Cup against Argentina.
There are doubtless better goals but I had to get Robert Pires in here somewhere. A hopeful punt from Ljungberg set up a chase between George Boateng and Pires who clipped the ball over the Dutchman’s head with the outside of his boot before lobbing Peter Schmeichel. Every wide midfielder that has joined the club since his departure has been the victim of lazy comparisons, none have come close.