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04th May 2017

A combined XI of the worst Arsenal and Manchester United players is just awful

A relegation dogfight beckons

Robert Redmond

In the the 2013 documentary, Keane and Vieira – Best Of Enemies, the former Manchester United and Arsenal captains picked the best XI they played with at their respective clubs.

Each team was packed full of world-class talent, World Cup winners, multiple league and European champions, and some of the best players of their generation.

The two then combined their teams to create an even more formidable super team.

Villarreal CF v Manchester City FC - UEFA Champions League

With Arsenal and United due to play this weekend, we’ve decided to do the opposite, create a not-so-super hybrid of the worst players to feature for both sides during the Premier League era, (because football was invented by Sky Sports in 1992).

Our version reads like a rogues gallery, rather than Keane and Vieira’s hall of fame. From the woeful, to the infamous to the ‘who the hell is that guy?’

Arsenal Worst Premier League XI

1. Richard Wright

Signed for £6 million, Richard Wright was meant to be the long-term replacement for David Seaman. He was gone within a year, making 22 appearances and punching the ball into his own net in a 4-2 loss to Charlton Athletic.

Richard Wright

2. Nelson Vivas

Who? Exactly.

3. Andre Santos (C)

Andre Santos’ most memorable moment in a Gunners shirt was swapping it with Robin van Persie at half-time during a game against United. Santos was effectively ran out of Brazil after his own Flamengo fans attacked him following a 4-0 loss.

Two years of abuse from Gunners fans probably doesn’t seem so bad now.

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League

4. Pascal Cygan

Arsenal fans had a song about this Frenchman, who terrorized his own defence between 2002 and 2006.

He’s bald, he’s sh*t
He plays when no ones fit
Pascal Cygan, Pascal Cygan!

He’s bald, he’s sh*t
He’s useless on the pitch
Pascal Cygan, Pascal Cygan!

5. Philippe Senderos

The defender could’ve declared to play international football for Spain, qualifying for the Iberian nation through his father. Spain’s loss was also Switzerland’s loss.

6. Junichi Inamoto

On one hand, he never actually played a Premier League game for Arsenal, on the other, he was so bad he never played a Premier League game for Arsenal. Just be happy you at least got into this team, Junichi.

7. Jermaine Pennant

Costing a then record fee for a teenager, £2m, Pennant made his debut aged 16 for the Gunners… and things went downhill from there.

Jermaine Pennant

8. Denilson

Note to all young Brazilian footballers, don’t call yourself Denilson, those that do currently have a 100% failure rate in European football.

9. Francis Jeffers

Arsenal paid £10m for the striker from Everton in 2001, Jeffers would make just 39 appearances in two years at Highbury, scoring just eight goals. Nicknamed the ‘fox in the box’, Jeffers was more like a penalty-area pigeon.

Francis Jeffers of Arsenal laying on the ground laughing

10. Jeremie Aliadiere

Scored the same amount of league goals as he had loan moves.

11. Park Chu-Young

A worthy successor to Jeffers’ number nine jersey. You’re wearing number 11 today though Park, and you’re playing out wide.

Manchester United Worst Premier League XI

1. Massimo Taibi

Never trust a goalkeeper who wears tracksuit bottoms, an obvious first red flag for United when this Italian joined in 1999. Another is letting a tame shot go through your legs, or conceding five against Chelsea. Poor Taibi didn’t last long at Old Trafford.

2. Pat McGibbon

Five years, one game, you’re among friends here Pat.

3. Jonathan Spector

What’s that Jonathan Spector, you’re not actually a left-back? Well you are today, just be happy we actually remember you.

4.Ronnie Wallwork

He admittedly sounds like a simulated player that pops up on Football Manager in 2021, but no, Wallwork is an actual player. The defender even featured 28 times in five years for United.

Ronnie Wallwork of Manchester United

5. William Prunier

This French defender is a testament to how good Eric Cantona was for Manchester United. Only King Eric could, reportedly, recommend such a dud and not receive any backlash from Fergie.


Prunier played two games for United in the winter of the 1995/96 season, unfortunately, one of those games was a 4-0 loss to Spurs.

6. Marouane Fellaini

It’s probably harsh to include Fellaini. The big Belgian is a useful player, and Jose Mourinho appears to value his contribution. Let’s be honest though, he’s not a great footballer, is he?

7. David Bellion

As fast as he was unsuited to playing for a top class team.

8. Eric Djemba-Djemba

So good they named him twice, so bad he currently plays in the Swiss fifth division.

Eric Djemba Djemba celebrates

9. Dong Fangzhou

This Chinese striker spent four years at Old Trafford, leaving in 2008 with two substitute appearances to his name and no goals.

Apparently, the poor guy underwent plastic surgery to escape people recognising him and mocking him about his time with United.

10. Kleberson

Not only did Kleberson win the World Cup with Brazil in 2002, he was an impressive part of the team. It was skid-row thereafter…

11. Bebe (C)

Bebe played in the homeless world cup a few months before moving to Old Trafford in the strangest deal on this list. £7.4m for a Portuguese second division player? Really Fergie? Really?

Ajax Cape Town v Manchester United - Pre-season Friendly

Bebe played seven games, scoring two goals, in his four year spell at Old Trafford. A Tim Sherwood-esque ratio, but the winger was generally terrible.

A worthy captain of this United XI.

Combined Worst XI

You think those two teams are bad? Well, this team is err, equally as bad.