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We've Picked The Ultimate Combined Arsenal-Chelsea Irish XI

We've Picked The Ultimate Combined Arsenal-Chelsea Irish XI
By Balls Team Updated

With Arsenal and Chelsea set to play each other in the International Champions Cup in the Aviva Stadium on August 1 (tickets are still available here), there will be much to pore over as two teams under two new managers make their start on the 2018-19 season. These two clubs are giants of the English game, and the Irish influence has been widely felt across both London clubs.

From Liam Brady at Arsenal to Damien Duff at Chelsea, it is only in recent years that the Irish impact has failed to be present at either club.

With that in mind, we decided to make the following combined Arsenal-Chelsea XI featuring only Irish footballers.

Goalkeeper - Pat Jennings

An Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur legend, Pat Jennings played some 119 times for Northern Ireland in an international career that lasted almost as long as his professional career in its entirety.

Defender - John Devine

One of many Irish apprentices travelling to Arsenal in the late 1970s, the Republic of Ireland international's time in North London coincided with being on the wrong side of two finals; the 1980 FA Cup & Cup Winners Cup.

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Defender - David O'Leary 

With 722 appearances for the club, the Republic of Ireland's David O'Leary is Arsenal's record appearance holder. In his 18-years with the club, he managed to score 11 goals.

Defender - Pat Rice

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Perhaps more famous for his role as Arsene Wenger's long-term assistant manager, the Northern Irish man was instrumental in Arsenal's '71 double-winning side.

Defender - Terry Phelan

Only a peripheral figure at Chelsea in the mid-1990s, the full-back who won an FA Cup winners medal with Wimbledon in 1988 enjoyed a far more fulfilling international career with the Republic of Ireland.

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Midfielder - Liam Brady 

Arsenal's standout Irish player, Brady's performances particularly through the 1978-79 season saw him named PFA Players' Player of the Year; preempting a major move to Italian giants Juventus that summer.

Midfielder - Andy Townsend

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Signed for £1.2 million in 1990, Townsend was an ever-present member of the Chelsea midfield before Aston Villa almost doubled the fee Chelsea paid to bring the then Republic of Ireland captain to Villa Park in 1993.

Midfielder - Damien Duff

 

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By some distance the most successful Irish acquisition for Chelsea, the Irish centurion Duff was signed for £17 million in 2003, going on to win two Premier League titles and a League Cup under Jose Mourinho.

Forward - Frank Stapleton

The original Robin van Persie, Frank Stapleton left North London for Manchester after spending seven seasons with Arsenal. Known for his strong on-pitch relationship with Brady, Stapleton sits behind only Robbie Keane and Quinn in the Republic of Ireland's top-scorer chart.

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Forward - Tony Cascarino 

Joining Chelsea for a brief spell before jetting off to Marseille, Cascarino featured in Chelsea's ill-fated 1994 FA Cup final defeat to Manchester United. For the Republic of Ireland, 88 international caps coincided with Ireland qualifying for three major tournaments.

Forward - Niall Quinn

Although his Arsenal career suffered when the Gunners made a move for Alan Smith in the late 1980s, Quinn still made some 67 league appaearances for the club, and, his breakthrough in the 1985/86 season coincided with his first call up to the Republic of Ireland squad.

Here's the XI in full.

It's an interesting team. It's Arsenal-heavy, with 7 Gunners and only 4 Chelsea player. While it's a bit light in midfield, this team is full of attacking threat and Brady and Townsend in midfield would have plenty of men to target on corners and freekicks.

There'll be plenty of brilliant attacking players to watch at the International Champions Cup match at the Aviva Stadium on August 1. Plenty of the stars of the World Cup will be in Dublin for the match and this is an unmissable opportunity to see some of the best footballers in the world in action.

You can purchase your tickets for Arsenal v Chelsea in the International Champions Cup here.


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