They’ve an all-gold model of the Premier League trophy contained in the Arsenal boardroom on the Emirates Stadium, and for good purpose. It is not simple to undergo a full league season with out struggling a defeat. Having accomplished so in the course of the 2003-04 marketing campaign, Arsene Wenger’s “Invincibles” had been awarded the distinctive gold duplicate of the champions’ trophy to mark their achievement.
Till Watford pulled off their gorgeous Three-Zero victory over runaway leaders Liverpool at Vicarage Highway on Saturday, it had appeared that the Premier League must forge one other golden model of their trophy and ship it as much as Anfield for Jurgen Klopp and his gamers. However whereas Liverpool are nonetheless on the right track to interrupt all types of data this season — most factors, most wins, greatest successful margin and earliest title triumph are all nonetheless in play — they won’t be a part of Arsenal as champions who’ve received the Premier League with out struggling a defeat.
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– When does the switch window re-open?
Liverpool might but win the argument as the most effective crew ever to win the Premier League, however nevertheless that debate performs out, Arsenal will proceed to carry the proud distinction of being the one aspect to be invincible over a 38-game season. And with Watford ending Liverpool’s lengthy unbeaten run Saturday, it’s maybe an applicable time to offer Wenger’s “Invincibles” due credit score for his or her achievement.
The passage of time has not diminished Arsenal’s feat, however such has been Liverpool’s dominance this season that the style of the Gunners’ triumph has led to some revisionism over the true high quality of their success. It has been argued that the variety of attracts (12) factors to Liverpool being a greater, extra harmful crew that Wenger’s aspect and that Arsenal had been glad to accept a degree in video games the place Liverpool would push for the win.
Already this season, Liverpool have received 13 league video games by a single purpose, with eight of these victories coming with decisive objectives within the ultimate 20 minutes. Liverpool have pushed for the three factors, whereas Arsenal had been recognized for holding onto what that they had. Throughout their 12 attracts again in 2003-04, Arsenal didn’t rating a purpose after the hour mark in any of them, that means they did not possess the danger issue that has confirmed so essential for Liverpool this season. However they didn’t lose, and that pragmatism is why they’ve a golden trophy that not one of the different nice Premier League champions have been in a position to win.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will certainly win the Premier League, however he wasn’t in a position to match Arsene Wenger’s achievement with Arsenal. David Worth/Arsenal FC by way of Getty Pictures
The issue with evaluating groups from completely different eras is that these taking part in within the current day are typically held in increased regard just because time could make recollections fade. It has been 16 years since Arsenal performed out their “Invincible” season and the Premier League has since witnessed the emergence of the nice Chelsea and Manchester Metropolis groups, plus Manchester United’s 2008 Champions League winners and the Liverpool aspect that’s now on the right track so as to add the Premier League title to final yr’s European success.
Arsenal haven’t received a title since 2004, and their failure to construct on the legacy of the “Invincibles” has, maybe, led to that crew dropping down the rankings in terms of debates about the most effective groups of the Premier League period. However when Wenger’s crew is matched up in opposition to any of its rivals, it’s troublesome to argue that they fall brief in any space.
Jens Lehmann might not have possessed the identical world standing as Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van der Sar, Petr Cech or Alisson Becker, however he was nonetheless an enormous presence in purpose for Arsenal and a keeper of real class. On the again, Lauren, Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure and Ashley Cole had been a formidable unit that conceded simply 26 objectives all season. That they had Patrick Vieira at his absolute peak in midfield alongside the underrated Gilberto Silva, with Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pires, who struck 18 objectives between them, finishing a world-class midfield. Then, up entrance, Arsenal had Dennis Bergkamp sitting simply behind Thierry Henry in one of the potent ahead pairings in Premier League historical past. The squad additionally contained the likes of Martin Keown, Edu, Ray Parlour, Sylvain Wiltord and Jose Antonio Reyes — all gamers able to slotting in every time a first-team common was absent.
It was a crew that might blow groups away with tempo and energy, but in addition one that might by no means be overwhelmed in a bodily encounter, as proved in the course of the Zero-Zero draw at Manchester United in September 2003, which resulted in gamers from either side clashing on the pitch following Ruud van Nistelrooy’s stoppage-time penalty miss.
Arsenal might not have received as many video games as the present Liverpool crew or banked as many factors as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester Metropolis have managed over the previous two seasons, however we must always not overlook their greatness. And Watford have given us the chance to remind the footballing world that Arsenal’s capacity to undergo a season unbeaten shouldn’t be forgotten.
That gold trophy is exclusive for a purpose.