Where are they now? Arsenal’s first Premier League XI from 1992
The Gunners went into the new era looking to better their disappointing title defence from the season before, having finished three places and 10 points behind champions Leeds United, but they didn’t get the start they were looking for.
Mike Walker’s miraculously overachieving Canaries set the tone for the season ahead with a swashbuckling display in north London, and goals from David Phillips, Ruel Fox and a brace from Mark Robins. They went on to finish third, at one point looking like a viable challenger to Manchester United for the title.
But what became of George Graham’s Arsenal XI from that day?
The proud Yorkshireman remained at Arsenal until 2003 and retired a year later after a year with Manchester City.
He totalled 564 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners, and (aside from the fishing) perhaps his most notable post-playing career achievement was winning Strictly Ice Dancing in 2006, having been a late replacement for Gazza.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 13, 2019
Like Adams, Dixon retired after winning the Premier League title in 2002, his fourth league title and eighth major honour with the club.
He’s now a prominent pundit, having worked with BBC and ITV in the UK, he now fronts Premier League coverage for NBC in America and can also be heard doing commentary in the FIFA games.
The former centre-half is practically part of the furniture at Arsenal. Having worked with the club’s academy between 2001 and 2012, he was appointed Arsene Wenger’s assistant and continued in the first-team coaching staff during the first year of Unai Emery’s reign.
In 2019 he swapped jobs with Freddie Ljungberg to take on a new role as Under-23s coach amid a wider restructuring behind the scenes.
— Arsène's Son 🎈 (@hughwizzy) March 29, 2018
The one-club Arsenal legend has had an interesting career since retiring in 2002.
He’s not been especially successful as a manager, with short stints at Wycombe Wanderers, Portsmouth and Azerbaijani club Gabala FC before a leftfield stint at struggling La Liga side Granada in 2017. He oversaw seven games, all of which were defeats, and he was sacked after their relegation was confirmed.
Adams is now the president of the Rugby Football League, and still does work for Sporting Chance, the charity he set up 20 years ago for people in sport suffering with addiction and mental health issues.
The bulk of Nigel Winterburn’s playing career came at Arsenal, but it included 20 years in total, five clubs and well over 700 appearances before he eventually retired at the age of 39 at West Ham in 2003.
Like many others, he does event and dinner appearances now, as well as some media work with BT Sport.
Welcomed with the classic ball-between-the-heads 1990s press shot with fellow Scandinavian Anders Limpar (above), Jensen arrived for their new-look midfield at the advent of the Premier League era, having scored for Denmark in the final of their Euro 92 triumph.
Replacing Leeds United-bound David Rocastle, he made over 100 appearances for the Gunners but famously only scored once before returning to boyhood club Brondby in 1996.
Seeing out his playing career with the transition into coaching at Herfølge BK at the turn of the century, he’s remained in football ever since, and served as caretaker manager of Denmark in 2018.
We spoke to him in 2017. He said this George Graham team was anything but boring.
Having come up through Arsenal as an apprentice, Merson eventually left in 1997 after 12 years. Spells at Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Portsmouth and he retired in 2006 – coming back to make brief appearances at Welshpool Town (2012), Caerau (2017) and Hanworth Villa (2019).
Since he’s playing days, he’s become best known as one of the faces of Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday coverage, and remains there, unlike Matt Le Tissier, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas.
Having struggled with alcoholism, Merson recently revealed he’s been sober for a year.
The Arsenal academy graduate eventually hung up his boots at Barnet in 2003, having also played for Portsmouth and Bristol Rovers after leaving his boyhood club in 1996.
He subsequently became a firefighter and now works for Avon Fire & Rescue in Bristol.
“It can be incredibly difficult at times and it’s a job where you have to deal with tricky and horrific scenarios,” he told The Sun.
“We are confronted with all sorts of scenes and the most frustrating part is not being able to do more.
“Being forced back by smoke and not knowing where you are going can be very claustrophobic. But, yes, I have also rescued cats out of trees too!”
The former Sweden international, a title-winner in his debut season at Highbury, remained with the club until 1994 but saw his latter years in North London hit by injuries.
But he continued playing until 2002, with stints at Everton, Birmingham City and Colorado Rapids, and would go on to coach at Stockholm-based club Sollentuna United, even turning out for their reserves at left-back.
His post-playing career has seen him run a bar in Stockholm called Limp Bar (yes, really), appear on Swedish reality tv, and work as the CEO of a short-lived betting website.
🗓 #OnThisDay in 1992…
🇸🇪 Limpar from the halfway line!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 20, 2020
The former striker briefly ran a record label in the mid-noughties, signing Mark Morrison (of ‘Return Of The Mack’ fame), but surprisingly enough it didn’t appear to go anywhere.
He’s since done media and commentary work for Asia-based network TEN Sports, and his son Tyreece Campbell now plays for Stoke City.
He told us it was a ‘dream come true’ to play for Arsenal, the team he had grown up supporting as a boy.
Soon turning 30, having already made 400 appearances for Leicester and Arsenal over the previous 10 years, Alan Smith was beginning to wind his career down at the dawn of the Premier League era.
He’d spend three more years at Arsenal, but having once been so prolific, the goals dried up as he got older, with just eight from 75 Premier League appearances.
If you’re barely interested in football and have only caught the odd match on Sky Sports over the past two decades (we’d question why you’re reading this, to be honest), you’ll still recognise that unmistakeable Midlands accent from the Sky Sports commentary box.