7 of Arsenal’s Best Big Game Players of the Premier League Era

​Plenty of deserved criticism has been directed towards the current crop of Arsenal players. Whether they’ll be able to see the season out or not is another matter, but should the campaign end now, then rightfully there will questions asked of this squad. More than have already been directed north London’s way.

Throughout the Premier League era, however, there has been no doubting that a healthy handful of stars have graced the division donning the red and white. Many of whom earned legacies for their longevity and commitment, and many for their contributions in key moments.

Not just just once in a blue moon though. I’m talking about stepping up to the plate more than once when the time called for it. The grandest of stages. The toughest of battles. The moments when you needed an individual to grab the proverbial bull by the horns and deliver.

There were a few. And here they are.


Thierry Henry

Arsenal's Frenchman Thierry Henry (front

Kicking off with the obvious: ​Arsenal‘s greatest ever player. 

Furthermore, the ​Premier League‘s greatest ever player. And that’s not even up for discussion.

Henry’s ability can never be understated, and it’s likely we’ve never see a player of his ilk feature in this league again. He was that good.

More importantly – and for this segment in particular – he did it in big games. Not finals though, granted, but whether it was ​Liverpool, ​Manchester United or Real Madrid, Henry always turned up. That’s one of the umpteen reasons why he was the best.

Most Clutch Moment: Shrugging off several challenges on a mazy run at the Santiago Bernabeu, Henry steered a finish past Iker Casillas to cap one of his greatest ever goals, but equally, set Arsenal on their way to becoming the first English side to beat ​Madrid in the Spanish capital. 


Freddie Ljungberg

Arsenal's hero Fredrik Ljungberg

Loved by all supporters – despite his ill-fated spell as head coach – you will struggle to hear any Arsenal fan have a bad word to say about the Swedish midfielder.

He endeared himself to his new fanbase with a debut strike against United in 1998, setting the tone for what would be fruitful career and relationship with the north London club.

What he also was though, was a man for the big occasion, scoring some memorable goals throughout his Gunners career.

Most Clutch Moment: He opened the scoring in the FA Cup final the year before, but this time, his stunning solo against ​Chelsea in 2002 would see him end up on the winning side. He duly earned the man-of-the-match award.


Tony Adams

Scoring in the so-called ‘big games’ isn’t everything. You can stat yourself to death with all the figures, but being a player for the occasion does not entail hitting the back of the net. 

Tony Adams is the perfect example of that. While you may look to your strikers for their involvement when the pivotal fixtures came around, it was Adams who could always be relied on. 


​One of the greatest captains the Premier League has ever seen, rarely ever did he let his guard down when he most needed. He was a leader in every sense, both on and off the pitch. 

He was the one who set the tone. He is Mr. Arsenal.

Most Clutch Moment: Conceding just one goal in seven games from the second round through to the 1993/94 Cup Winners’ Cup final, Adams put in another magnificent defensive performance as Arsenal beat Parma 1-0 to lift the title.


Patrick Vieira

(FILES) Picture taken 21 May 2005 at the

What Arsenal would do now for a captain like Patrick Vieira. Few other midfielders in the Premier League were quite as complete as the Frenchman.

He could tackle and pass, score and create – everything. He was never afraid to put his body on the line, and inspired his teammates to achieve great success during his wonderful spell in north London. 

Another player who always turned up for the big moments, he was reliable in every sense, and rightfully heralded as one of the Premier League’s greatest midfielders and captains.

Most Clutch Moment: After a battling FA Cup final in which Arsenal found themselves under the cosh for much of the 120-minute encounter against United, it was Vieira’s composed final penalty that handed Arsene Wenger’s side a famous title. And incidentally, it was his final touch as an Arsenal player.


Laurent Koscielny

Matthew Fryatt,Laurent Koscielny

Perhaps a surprise name to those who don’t follow the club – especially given the manner of his exit – there is no questioning whether or not Laurent Koscienly was a big game player.

Chasing a top four spot in both the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, the French centre-half scored pivotal goals in wins over West Brom and Newcastle respectively that ensured the club secured a ​Champions League berth on the final day of both Premier League campaigns.

There is no doubting Koscielny’s ability when he was in his prime, so we’ll brush over the sour notes and instead laud the club’s former captain. Only briefly however; since it’s, well, impossible to forget.

Most Clutch Moment: Having found themselves two goals down to Hull City in the 2014 FA Cup final, Koscielny’s equaliser forged the path for a memorable comeback success.


Cesc Fabregas

Arsenal's Spanish player Cesc Fabregas (

Joining the club from ​Barcelona aged just 16, ​Cesc Fabregas’ spell in north London gradually grew into a love affair that would see him intrinsically connected to the club forever.

Going on to later become captain, the only blotch on an otherwise beautiful marriage was the lack of silverware he won – one FA Cup, to be precise.

Nevertheless, all-too often he was the man dragging some considerably dire Arsenal sides through the mud, especially when the club needed him most. Eventual Chelsea ties aside, he’s still loved by the fans.

Most Clutch Moment: Travelling to San Siro for a Champions League last 16 clash with ​AC Milan, the Spaniard’s wonderful long range strike was the opener in a historic 2-0 victory.


Aaron Ramsey

FBL-ENG-FACUP-ARSENAL-HULL

While we’ve touched on players who were there for their teams, perhaps not with the goals, but with their overall displays, there is no disputing that ​Aaron Ramsey offered both when it truly mattered.

He left the club with the love of the fans for a whole variety of reasons, but for all the wonderful talent to don the club’s jersey, few performed on the grandest stage quite like the Welshman. 

There are genuinely too many games/competitions/moments that spring to mind where the above statement rings true. 

He did it countless times, and Arsenal fans will never forget him. 

He brought them silverware, and Arsenal fans will forever love him for it.

Most Clutch Moment: You could pick either FA Cup winning goal, but the delicious finish he produced in the 2014 final just edges it since it granted the Gunners their first taste of silverware for nine years.


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