Compare Our Current Squad to “The Invincibles”

I was thinking that this could be our year if we sign a DM because last season it was the fact that the younger players weren’t good enough to cover for the first team but now we have many players that can do a good job.

So I created this thread on the forum to compare each position on the field and the depth we have in it to the 03-04 squad.

03-04: Lehmann, Taylor, Stack
08-09: Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone

Verdict: We now have better cover but we do not have a starting goalie that even compares to Lehmann.

03-04: Lauren, Halls, Touré
08-09: Sagna, Eboué, Hoyte, Touré, Djourou, Ramsey

Verdict: Current RB’s are better.

03-04: Campbell, Touré, Keown, Cygan, Senderos, Gilberto, Garry
08-09: Gallas, Touré, Senderos,Silvestre,Song, Djourou, Sagna,

Verdict: Depending on who we play and how we play our current group can be better or worse but now we have better cover.

03-04: Cole, Clichy, Garry
08-09: Clichy, Traoré, Hoyte, Gallas, Gibbs,Silvestre

Verdict: Our current LB’s are all better than their “Invincible” counterparts.

03-04: Ljungberg, Pirés, Reyes, Pennant, Parlour, Wiltord
08-09: Walcott, Rosicky, Nasri, Vela, van Persie, Fabregas, Wilshere, Eboué, Bischoff, Eduardo, Ramsey

Verdict: Better depth, more technical skill, more pace in our current squad. The only question now is who will start on the right.

CM’s: (Attack minded)
03-04: Edu, Parlour
08-09: Fabregas, Diaby, Denilson, Bischoff, Randall, Ramsey, Nasri

Verdict: I really don’t need to say anything here.

CM’s: (Defense minded)
03-04: Vieira, Gilberto, Edu
08-09: Diaby, Denilson, Song, Bischoff

Verdict: The current DM’s match those for skill but we need one more experianced one.

03-04: Henry, Bergkamp, Kanu, Reyes, Wiltord, Bentley, Aliadiere
08-09: Adebayor, van Persie, Bendtner, Vela, Walcott, Eduardo, Simpson, Barazite

Verdict: Of course nobody is like Henry or Bergkamp but who we have starting get us the goals. Our reserve strikers are better tha the 03-04 ones though.

What do you think?? Join the forum

P49 W36 D13 L0 F112 A34
4 May 2003: Gunners lose 3-2 to Leeds to concede title
7 May: run begins with 6-1 win over Southampton
25 April 2004: title clinched with 2-2 draw at Tottenham
15 May: 2-1 win over Leicester seals unbeaten season
25 August: equal Nottingham Forest’s 42-game record run
24 October: run ends with 2-0 loss at Man Utd

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30 Responses to Compare Our Current Squad to “The Invincibles”

  1. Kanay says:


    Thought provoking…

    Pure technical ability isn’t enough… do the current crop want it?? Although the invincibles were on par technically, they wanted it more…

    Great idea this..

  2. Alan says:

    The Invincible side was MILES better than the current side. Every position was better then. The present lot may become great in a year or two but they aren’t good enough today.

  3. Bob says:

    I have to disagree. Apart from the fullbacks, every other position now is inferior to the invincibles.

    I think the fact that they won the double in 02 and unbeaten title in 04 backs this up for me quite nicely.

  4. arsenal69 says:

    our full baks r better we need a massive centre bak then a proper winger then a DM then we will b equal 2 the invincibles

  5. Grimster says:

    Sorry but this is lame… Why the f**k are we struggling if we’re so much better now? Give it another go, please…

  6. Fab4 says:

    An interesting comparison on the 2 squads would be on their ages. We have may have greater technical ability and better cover now than in 2003-04, but what we lack is experience. How many of the Invincibles were in their prime at that time? Most of our players won’t be in their prime for several years. And how many of the Invincibles had already won trophies with us? With the exception of Toure and Clichy with us, and Silvestre and Gallas, none of our current players have a Premiership winning medal.

  7. MOMO says:


    It is obvious that the players we have now are better. To answer your question, i will tell you that you did not take into account that other teams are improving enormously by time. The invincibles forst 11 are better then the current first 11. Much better by the way in defence and attack. In 3 years time, maybe things will change, but believe me the main problem is that we never really replaced VIEIRA.

  8. manny says:

    what a load of rubbish the invincibles will be in the record books in two-hundred years time the current team will not be the same in two years time so will quickly be forgotten…….

  9. Kanay says:

    ….. agree with what Momo is saying about Viera… to think Wenger was considering a certain Javier Alejandro Mascherano when he was a teenager, when there talk of Viera going to Real Madrid for £25m….

  10. Gonner! says:

    There’s certainly no matching the invisibles, but that group of players were not exactly the best in the world now were they. It was fantastic to watch the unity and want of the players as more games went by unbeaten, and this played a huge part…team moral would have been at an alll time high. But you look at our form aftre the 2-0 defeat to United, and the team had to start again…the ride was over, the hype would be gone, and the players were all physically fcuked!
    If you look back now, that invincible run was the start of the end for the mighty mighty Arsenal.

  11. The Saint says:

    Thanks for that beautiful stroll down memory lane. It almost brought tears to my eyes when I realised just how great we were and how most teams were already beaten in the tunnel before the game because of the awesomeness of our team: Henry, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Vieira, Pires, Campbell etc all game-winners.

    I disagree with your opinion about RB as Lauren is an underrated talent and he too was once voted RB of the year by his peers.

    CBs: give me Campbell and Keown/Toure anytime over Gallas and Silvestre.

    WGs: you have to be kidding! Ljungberg and Pires anytime!

    Oh and nobody is better than Vieira.

  12. pg says:

    we have not replaced the invincibles at all, apart from maybe the full backs. lauren was a tough no nonsense defender and cole was quick and committed and could bomb on, so potentially like for like. but not proved it yet. otherwise team has gone backwards. it is a hard ask to replace world class players, but u have to spend money to do that! cesc hasnt replaced anyone, he would have been perfect sitting next to PV4 in a new look midfield.
    there is the clip of Henry “doing” that ogre danny mills by the corner flag… if mills played agst our team today in the same manner how he used to play agst us, he would win every battle on the pitch . our team today would have no answer and that moment of “p1$$ taking” by Titi would not happen. maybe RVP or cesc could do it, but no one else.
    the difference … world class experience. the ability to match the physical side, and come back with class. knowing how to win games against teams who simply want to play 10 men behind the ball.
    comes with experience , or having mix of youth and experience.
    cant compare 2 teams. if they played, 03-04 AFC v today, it would be men against boys……

  13. Taroslavl says:

    “In 3 years time, maybe things will change”

    by then Cesc will be gone

  14. pg says:

    actually knowing how this team plays and how they get up for certain games, the current side would prob beat the 03-04 side, but would then lose to the Newcastle side of 88-89 in the next game.!!

  15. Alex says:

    GK’s – agreed Lehman at his peak was better than Almunia or Fabianski

    RB : noooo – Lauren was just teh animal we could do with now. I refer you to his nec grip on Phil Neville!

    CB: invincibles actually stopped a few goals – current incarnation are very weak

    LB: Clichy better going forward than Cole but leaving bias aside Cole saved our necks very often e.g. CL match vs Kiev off the line. Cole was a better defender.

    CM – as you say more skill now but weak on ball winning.

    On the wings – Theo has more potential than Freddy, more pace, falls over less but I would give anyhting to have a peak fit le Bob back.

    Forwards – we are so much poorer now. Thierry could change a game. Ade/RvP run out of ideas too quickly

  16. PJGooner says:

    What a load of old tosh!

    The centre backs in 03 were much better as they could play together and complimented one another.

    Yes, we have good individuals, but as a team it does not work. We have no 1st class goalkeeper, we have no complimentary pairing at centre back, we have no holding midfielder, we have no striker who is anywhere near Henry or Berghamp.

    This sort of article is just stupid…… the results say everything.

    Oh yes, we also had a manager who had not fallen into the mode of we must protect our youngsters comingthrough..

    Buy some bloody players, the best youngsters will make it the other will play elsewhere.

  17. paul nsamba says:

    man these guys are better technically but those guys loved winning more than these players that is the difference.

  18. Pat says:

    Pretty pointless article, although kind of interesting. To be honest it’s scary how many arsenal fans talk bollocks it makes you wonder what they actually see when we play. Diaby is not a defensive midfielder, never has been and never will.

  19. Chippy says:

    Every player but right back was better then.

    To say all of our left backs are better than Cole was then is a joke. He might not be liked but he was week in week out a fantastic player for us.

    Sol Campbell was better playing on his own than any of our current CB’s, but that might be because we don’t have a single defensive midfielder in our current squad.

    And are Bendtner, Vela & Walcott more like;y to score from the bench than Wiltord, Reyes or Kanu?

    I must have had a better view at Highbury than whoever wrote this…

  20. Gonner Forever says:

    Funny.. Henry was not among the experieced at the time

  21. Gonner Forever says:

    “Diaby is not a defensive midfielder, never has been and never will.” Strange … Did you know Diaby was and has been considered as the next Viera?

  22. Gonner Forever says:

    and he got injured when he was playing hat role effectively 2 seasons ago…. get the facts

  23. Dirty Turkey says:

    Since when was Ray Parlour an attack minded midfielder?!

    On another note, the one thing the Invincibles had that the current squad don’t is a bit of fight. We now have pampered kids not used to grafting, where we used to have experienced players who’d fallen out of favour at other clubs (Vieira, Henry for 2 examples) and were keen to show what they were made of.

  24. Gonner Forever says:

    Gallas and Silvestre were also out of favour…

  25. Amz says:

    Good article BUT BUT BUT completely biased comparison just to make Somegooner feel confident for todays crop of players……

    Campbell and Keown are miles better than Gallas and Toure period!!! Yes there is more cover but Silvestre and Song doesnt cover the fact goals will still be leaked!!!

    Viera class apart…..nothing to do with experience… got it or you aint and Denilson and Diaby, not a patch…

    Adebayor – Henry RVP – bergkamp???? What r u on about….no comparison there!!!!!

    Squad depth is good to have, but compares first teams instead and 8-9 out of the current team wouldn’t get in the invincibles…..

    Dont kid yourselves experience is the only thing lacking!!!!

    Because by the time you get the experience, Fab will be off !!!

  26. dave says:

    What idiot wrote this???
    So you think a midfield of Walcott-Cesc-Denilson-Nasri is better than Ljungberg-Vieira-Gilberto-Pires…. what an absolute tosser.

    The current team may have more technical ability as a whole, but that counts for nothing when teams come to negate our tactics (see Stoke, Fulham, Hull and Villa)

    The Invincibles would have cast aside each one of these teams in the first half alone.

    These kids are a soft touch and will win nothing, the Invincible team had the perfect mix of experience and youth – you really do win nothing with kids alone.

    Poor Cesc, he deserves so much better….

  27. jojo says:

    The Biggest and only difference is the AGE and EXPERIENCE of the Invincables, no contest, supported aresenal since 1979 and i am getting that early 80’s feeling.

  28. Nic says:

    I think the major difference is Henry. If we had a fit henry of the Invincible season playing in the current team we would win the league I have no doubt in my mind. He was a player who could score from nothing, create from nothing he was possibly the best player ever to have played in the permiership… thats what we miss Cesc is great but he doesnt do things out of nothing, same goes for our firwards although Vabn Persie has the potential but Henry used to get 30 assists and 30 goals every season it was absolutely unbelievable and thats what we miss.

  29. wondrinfree says:

    I think 2 points people aren’t considering in all this is that the opposition were not as strong as they are now and we also had a run of luck aswell.

  30. RichardZoinks says:

    Good Post. we have to keep in mind the level of competition has increased . * Chelsea * and in general all the clubs have stepped up abit.

    It seems easier now to see which positions need ” better players ”

    GK. Almunia is good now, but not as good as Lehmann was in his day.

    We need another quality defender CB/LB to cover for Clichy. I would think an English “Hardman” who has played in the EPL.

    RM wtf ?? walcott , rosicky , eduardo , eboue are all injured. Ramsey , wilshere and bishoff are still babies in the EPL. Vela is still finding his feet. we are very thin in that department.

    ST/CF we have Ade who is awsome , we have Van Persie who is good when he is injury free , we have bendtnar who is still finding his way and makes a suitbale short term replacement for ade. We need another QUALITY striker !!
    Spend some cash and purchase an experienced striker.
    Benny Mcarthy of Blackburn maybe 🙂 ( Im South African )

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