23
Jan
13

Top 5 Arsenal Youth Team Legends

When I was compiling my top 5 signings article I realised that not only have Arsenal bought some great players over the years but we have also had some amazing footballers that have come up through the flanks. These players were all at Arsenal as young boys and grew up to be men-Arsenal men. These are the 5 players that I believe are the best our youth team has ever produced.

5. David Rocastle

rocastle

‘Rocky’ Rocastle was signed up to Arsenal’s youth team as a schoolboy in 1983 and he made his way up through the ranks and made his first team debut in 1985. Rocastle was a brilliant midfielder, I only caught a couple of years of his time at Arsenal as I was quite young, but the season in which he stood out and become one of my favourite players was the 88/89 season. The season we won the league, he played every game and he was brilliant to watch, he was just so fast and had immense control and dribbling skills. He spent ten years at Arsenal and he is definitely one of the best players in our history, a true Arsenal man through and through.

4. Michael Thomas

michealthomas

Ah who can forget this Arsenal legend, good old Mickey Thomas signed up to Arsenal as a schoolboy in 1982 and made his first team debut in 84. Thomas is famous for that 88th minute goal against Liverpool that won us the league in 89. He was so much more than that though he was able to play in midfield but more than often not he would feature as a right-back-and one who scored. He was the player that ran his little heart out on the pitch, he would make these awesome runs, he would surge forward and score goals that no-one was expecting. I adored watching him play and he was my favourite player.

3. Paul Merson

merson1

I always loved Paul Merson and I still do. I know people might have issues with him being here due to his addictions and despite them he still turned up every weekend and played football and that’s love. Paul Merson joined Arsenal as a schoolboy in 1984 and made his full debut in 86, he played an impressive amount of games in his career at Arsenal, 423 appearances and 99 goals. He was that out-and-out midfielder that just fed the ball to the strikers with ease and he was always an integral part of the Arsenal team. Wenger sold Merson in 97, the fans were in shock, we all still wanted him at Arsenal. Merson was Arsenal through and through, he had passion and heart and will always be remembered as one of the greats.

2. Jack Wilshere

Kiss the Badge, Jack

Now I know he is a little young to be on this list but I think he deserves a place here on potential alone, Jack Wilshere is the Gunner of today, that lad has Arsenal blood throughout his body and I truly believe he will be an Arsenal player for many years to come. You can see how much Wilshere adores playing for Arsenal by just the passion he puts into every game. Wilshere joined Arsenal as a young 9-year-old and made his first team debut in 08, and in those short 4 years he has already shown huge potential as becoming one of the best midfielders in the country and he just gets better every week. He has incredible technique and he is great in defending and attacking in midfield, he also plays tough football, like the lads did years ago and that gives him the edge.  I think he is a legend in the making.

1. Tony Adams

tony-adams_1847809c

What a legend this man is and will always remain for any Arsenal fan, he is the man we absolutely adore and I bet we would all agree our team could do with him right now. Tony Adams is still to this day one of the best defenders I have ever seen, part of the ‘Famous Four’ defence at Arsenal Adams provided the team with some absolutely amazing blocks and clearances over the years, as well as adapting the offside trap tactic formulated by George Graham. Adams was class above the rest when it came to defending, he learned that art through and through and staying at Arsenal for the whole 22 years of his career only solidified the impact he had. I still think Tony Adams is the best defender Arsenal have ever had, in fact I don’t think we have even had one defender that matches the quality of Adams. Tony Adams absolutely loved Arsenal and still does, there are many Tony adams quotes and these are my favourites:

“Play for the name on the front of the shirt, and they will remember the name on the back”

“Fergie said I was a Manchester United player in the wrong shirt, I said he was an Arsenal manager in the wrong blazer”

This is my favourite quote of all time- ” I will sign every contract Arsenal put in front of me without reading it”

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