Date: 24th November 2015 at 1:04pm
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Put on the spot, how many of the XI that started a Champions League clash with Dinamo Zagreb back in August 2006 do you think you could name?

And of those performers – who achieved what the Gunners must on Tuesday by edging out the Croatian visitors 2-1 at the Emirates, with the sports betting markets of 32Red UK placing Arsenal at 1/5 for the win at the time of writing – what are they doing within themselves now?

Here, we take a look at Arsene Wenger’s selection that night, including his bench, to discover how much has changed for those in involved over the course of the last decade.

Manuel Almunia: Forced to retire in the summer of 2014 after a medical at Italian outfit Cagliari uncovered a rare heart condition. Joined from Celta Vigo in 2004 and went on to make 175 appearances. Was an unused substitute in the 2005 FA Cup final and stepped off the bench in 2006 Champions League final following Jens Lehmann’s red card.

Emmanuel Eboue: Currently a free agent after being released at the end of his contract at Galatasaray. Moved to Turkey in 2011 after six years in north London which delivered over 200 appearances and saw him becoming something of a cult hero – although not always for the right reasons.

Kolo Toure: Now 34 years of age, but still on the books of a Premier League employer at Liverpool. A bargain £150,000 buy for Arsenal in 2002, Toure – who was something of a utility man upon breaking into the side – would make well over 300 appearances for the club and formed part of their last title-winning squad in 2003/04.

Johan Djourou: Snapped up by Hamburg in 2014 following a productive loan spell, the Switzerland international remains on the books of a Bundesliga employer priced at 20/1 with 32Red to secure a top-three finish this season. Drifted in and out of first-team contention during his time with Arsenal.

Justin Hoyte: Turned down the chance to represent Trinidad & Tobago at the 2006 World Cup as he held out for an England call, but is now part of the Caribbean set-up after slipping slowly down the divisions. Was a full-back of some promise to emerge from the Gunners’ academy, but has ended up at Dagenham & Redbridge via Middlesbrough and Millwall.

Alexander Hleb: Taking in a third spell at BATE Borisov in his native Belarus, Hleb remains the most recognisable name to have emerged from the land of his birth. Was at the peak of his powers when swapping Stuttgart for Arsenal in 2005 and has since aired his regret at jumping ship for Barcelona three years later after catching the eye in the Premier League.

Cesc Fabregas: The lure of home proved too great in 2014 as Fabregas returned to his roots in Barcelona 11 years after trading Catalunya for the youth system at Arsenal. Skippered the Gunners and was a talismanic presence at times, but is now at capital rivals Chelsea – with whom he tasted title glory last season but finds himself well off the pace at 50/1 with bwin to replicate that success this term.

Mathieu Flamini: Back at Arsenal for a second spell, and may be in line for a regular run out in the coming weeks following an untimely injury to Francis Coquelin which looks set to sideline him for a few months. Wenger returned to his native France to snap up Flamini from Marseille in 2004 and, after a five-year stint with AC Milan, welcome him back to the Emirates as a free agent in 2013.

Freddie Ljungberg: Hung up his boots in 2012, but has since turned out for Indian Super League side Mumbai City. Enjoyed nine memorable years with Arsenal, which delivered two Premier League titles, three Community Shields, three FA Cup triumphs – including a memorable strike in the 2002 final – and a Champions League final appearance. A true fans’ favourite.

Robin van Persie: Not enjoying the best of times at Fenerbahce after calling time on an 11-year stint in English football over the summer. Wenger spotted his potential early at Feyenoord and snapped him up in 2004 but, after more than 275 appearances – including many as captain – the Dutch striker blotted his copybook in the eyes of Arsenal supporters by heading for Manchester United in 2012.

Emmanuel Adebayor: Without a club at present, with Sky Bet suggesting Aston Villa are 5/4 market leaders to secure his services at some stage in the near future. Netted 62 times in 142 outings for Arsenal but burned numerous bridges with the manner of his exit to Manchester City in 2009, that celebration at the Etihad and a switch to Tottenham in 2011.

Subs: Gilberto Silva was a Premier League title winner now enjoying retirement, Theo Waclott a then teenage star still on the club’s books, Thierry Henry the Gunners’ leading goalscorer of all-time and a legend in every sense of the word, Pascal Cygan an odd signing with his playing days behind him, Jeremie Aliadiere unfulfilled potential in Qatar with Umm Salal, Alex Song back in England with West Ham United and Mart Poom a man always acquired to be a back-up goalkeeper and one more associated with Derby County than he is Arsenal.


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