Best Arsenal players: the 11 greatest ever
9. Frank McLintock
A large number of top Gunners were converted from other positions on the field, with McLintock initially a fitful, indisciplined midfielder after he arrived from Leicester. Coach Don Howe pulled off a masterstroke when he shifted the fiery and vocal Scot into central defence in 1969, and McLintock never looked back. A natural leader, McLintock cajoled, organized and. when necessary, bawled at Arsenal’s backline, turning them into the meanest and most effective unit in English football as the Gunners hit a purple patch when football went technicolor in the early seventies.
10. Ashley Cole
Quick, sharp in the tackle and able to anticipate danger before it happened, he was a prime example of the modern full-back
A controversial choice, given that his high-profile departure to London rivals Chelsea in 2006 emphasised the football power shift that was happening in the capital. Yet throughout his seven-year first-team career at Highbury, the mind-bogglingly consistent Cole was simply the best full-back the club has ever had. Quick, sharp in the tackle and able to anticipate danger before it happened, he was a prime example of the modern full-back, who was as comfortable marauding down the left wing as he was cleaning up in defence. It’s just a shame that he ended up winning a shedload more silverware at Stamford Bridge than Highbury.
11. Cliff Bastin
Arsenal’s all - time record goalscorer with 178 goals – until Ian Wright broke his record in 1997 – “Boy” Bastin was nabbed from Exeter City by Herbert Chapman and the 17-year-old became an immediate sensation in the capital, despite being warned of the “Soddom and Gommorah” life in London by his grandmother. With an ice cool big match temperament, the blisteringly quick Devonian was deadly in front of goal, linking superbly well with fellow forwards Jack Lambert and David Jack. But for the intervention of World War 2, and his increasing deafness, Bastin may well have plundered yet more goals for the Gunners.