Best Premier League Era Liverpool/Arsenal XI
As Liverpool and Arsenal meet up at Anfield on Sunday, we take a look at an all-time Premier League Combined XI from the two clubs.
Liverpool’s current goalkeeping travails is a typical problem that’s affected them throughout the Premier League era. Since Bruce Grobbelaar’s departure in 1994, they’ve struggled with the likes of Mike Hooper, David James, Sander Westerveld and Jerzy Dudek between the sticks.
Pepe Reina is arguably their most successful keeper in recent history but Arsenal’s David Seaman pips him for the number one position.
Left-back has been another problem position for the Reds although the likes of Steve Staunton and John Arne Riise added attacking nous and dead ball specialism to their reliable defensive skills.
However, Ashley Cole was an essential component of Arsenal’s Invincibles and would arguably win a spot in an All-Time Premier League XI.
Adams captained Arsenal to the title in three different decades, and is an automatic choice to fill one of the central defensive positions. The former England captain also represented his country in tournaments in the 1980s, 90s and 00s and formed impressive partnerships with a series of centre-backs during his 22 years at Arsenal.
The former Spurs defender helped Arsenal to the Double in his first season at the club and was another major factor in their Invincibles campaign alongside Kolo Toure.
While many will argue that Carragher deserves a place in central defence, a series of England managers will disagree. Both Adams and Campbell helped restrict him to just 38 international caps, many of those at right-back.
The Sky Sports pundit retired from international football early, citing his unhappiness at successive English bosses not choosing him at centre-back.
We’ve had to go with a 4-3-1-2 formation, if only to accommodate the likes of Gerrard. The one-club man may not have won a league title but he’s been the heart of Liverpool’s team for almost 15 years.
Such has been his influence, it means that world-class talents such as Emmanuel Petit, Javier Mascherano, Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg will have to make do with a place on the substitutes’ bench.
One of the greatest central midfielder’s of the Premier League era is a shoo-in for a place in our XI.
The Frenchman was critical to Arsenal’s success in the Noughties and it could be argued that he – like his foe Roy Keane at Manchester United – has never been replaced properly.
It seems absurd that Rafa Benitez was hell-bent on jettisoning the Spaniard for Gareth Barry, a saga that unsettled Alonso and eventually led to his departure.
The Bayern Munich star played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s famous Champions League final win 2005, scoring the critical equaliser to bring the game into extra-time and the eventual penalties.
You couldn’t leave this man out of your side, unless they were flying somewhere of course. The Dutchman won three titles at Arsenal and his unselfishness in his preferred role as ‘second striker’ proved the perfect foil for a succession of Arsenal forwards…
…the most prominent of which was Thierry Henry. The Frenchman, who retired this week, remains Arsenal’s record goalscorer and was voted by fans as their greatest player ever.
A controversial inclusion, perhaps, but controversy and the Uruguayan have gone hand-in-hand throughout a divisive career.
Liverpool have had no shortage of top strikers during the Premier League era with the likes of Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and even Fernando Torres all with credible claims for a place in this side. However, Suarez is arguably the most naturally gifted player to don the Reds shirt and his importance to his team is all to evident since his departure.