The ‘Invincibles’. An achievement that is arguably Arsene Wenger’s best since taking the reigns of the club back in 1996.
Before we went on our 49-game unbeaten run, in 2002, Wenger insisted an invincible season was not impossible. He was so confident with his statement that the Frenchman made his players believe it, which they did. Astonishingly, they had the will and talent to go and achieve the unthinkable feat.
Now Wenger believes our current crop is talented enough to match the ‘Invincibles’ of 2003. A far-fetched statement, or an honest one?
‘My target is to get back to that, to get back to that level.
‘I feel personally we are not far from coming back to fight for the championship, let’s hope we can show that next season.’
To be honest, our current crop come nowhere near the ‘Invincibles’, and I don’t think they can match them.’
When you look at the 2003/04 team they were all world class players.
Just by looking at our current midfield, the gulf in class is clear as compared to the likes of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva, who dominated games in that department in every single game. Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg on the wings were simply sublime, and the back four, one word ‘airtight’. Lauren, Sol Cambell, Kolo Toure and Ashley Cole were the most stubborn defence in the land to break down, bar-none. Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry spearheaded the attack, need I say more? Looking at those players its no wonder Wenger stated that they could go an entire Premier League season unbeaten.
‘I told the players at the time they can achieve something special by becoming champions and being ‘invincible’ and they did it.
‘At the time they didn’t realize how much it could mean in the future but I am very proud of them.’
But the question still remains – can we actually repeat it?
I believe the ‘Invincibles’ side WEREN’T a one-off. They were a unique combination of great players playing at the top of their game, so why can’t we have that again?
We’ve already started adding some value to a squad that has more quantity than quality, and I for one hope we continue to do so. We’re in for a number of players who would rejuvenate our side next season. Should they arrive in good time and get the squad gelling in a few seasons we could surpass that 49-game mark.
But before we even begin to think of that we must first deal with the obvious elephant in the room – that seven year trophy drought.
We don’t necessarily have to be invincible to be successful again. An FA and Carling Cup victory still counts as being successful only if you can do it consistently, which we can. Provided of course Wenger spends some money this summer and sells the underperformers.
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