In an exclusive interview with Squawka, Ian Wright admitted that he believes Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, David Seaman, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould were all underrated, with David Hillier being the most undervalued player he’s ever shared the pitch with.
The Arsenal legend believes that this back five was the most underrated as individuals, while simultaneously being the best as a unit, especially in the club’s history.
“I’ll have to go with Arsenal and say David Hillier, [being the most underrated],” Wright said to Squawka.
“He was very underrated, someone who won the league at Arsenal, at a time where Liverpool were dominant, especially in that 1991 season. He’s very underrated, even now he doesn’t get a lot of plaudits or credit, he’s got a league winners’ medal. He could spot a pass, [and was] strong, quick.”
He added, “Nigel Winterburn, Steve Bould, Lee Dixon, Tony Adams. With David Seaman they go down as one of the greatest back fives ever, all of them underrated. That back five, as much as they were credited as a unit, they get no credit individually.”
He has a point. In hindsight, particularly when you look at some of the bizarre defensive choices we’ve made over the last 10 years it’s easy to hail our old guard. It’s solidarity, leadership and communication were unrivaled both at the time and probably nowadays too.
What is great to see is the amount of respect Wright still has for those players. Although he played for Arsenal once, he’s now primarily a fan and it must be hard looking back at what we were when you see where we are now.