By Maxwell George
The first bit of research I did on this was to ask my good friend Google, ” How many articles have been written about The Invincibles Arsenal “. Google couldn’t be bothered and couldn’t care less. So I’m guessing there are over a gazillion (check the Paul Merson dictionary). There is a plethora of written things indeed so I hope you don’t mind, I would like to add my own piece to the pile. Let’s start off with the definition of invincible.
‘Incapable of being overcome, defeated. Unconquerable.’
That sounds impressive to me. I wish people said that instead of merely Invincible. I picture two knights perched on their horse’s side by side.
“Do you remember that Arsenal team”?
“You know the incapable of being overcome, defeated. Unconquerable.”
Any way my point being it is a very strong word and one that was given to our football team. I have been trying to dissect why.
United won the treble and didn’t even get a name. Mourinho’s first Chelsea team finished top with the highest points tally and best goal difference in the competitions history, they didn’t get a name. Liverpool for all those amazing years of dominating English and European football didn’t get a name. Not to mention the Arsenal team of 1990/91 team. The
famous back five and all that. No name.
Two of those teams mentioned only lost one game the whole season. Chelsea lost away to ‘where were you when you were sh*t’ Man City, thanks to an Anelka penalty and the Arsenal team of 90/91 loss to the ‘where were you when you were
sh* Chelsea at the Bridge. Winning goal compliments of a header from that little Chucky looking fellow Dennis Wise. So if it weren’t for those defeats would we have known an invincible team earlier or an invincible II?
I don’t think so.
Firstly, let’s look at that Arsenal team that came so close to invincibility.
The famous back five. The best defence I have ever known. God knows why they didn’t play for England on a regular basis. I firmly believe that if they did England’s
90s’ something would so be the new ’66 if you get my drift. Going into the middle we had very good players in Paul Davis, David Rocastle, Mickey (forward rolling, terrible back flippy, hand neck stand, kick Hayes in the face) Thomas. On the
wings we had super Swede Anders Limpar, one of the most underrated players in the history of football but later got his own back on people and cloned himself, named Marc Overmars. The other winger being one of my favourite Arsenal
players Paul Merson. Really wish he was born later in life so he could have played his best years under Wenger. Upfront was England’s good old reliable, less handsome Giroud, Alan Smith. There was an abundance of talent there but even if they had not
lost that season, I don’t think they would of had a name quite as awesome as Invincible. They were far to manly for names and most likely far to pissed to give a
Now let’s talk about that Chelsea team. Another fantastic team and to be brutally honest, along with the Invincibles the best premiership team I have seen. Solid back four, the best holding midfielder ever to of existed, Claude Makele. He is the reason that the position ‘holding midfielder’ exists today. Two proper wingers in Duff and Benjamin Button
Robben. An upfront pairing of a graceful Gudjohnson, a powerhouse of a striker in Didier Drogba and if balls deflecting off footballers arses on a regular basis was your thing
then Frank Lampard was your man.
They also had millions of pound’s worth of talent sitting on the bench. So, again would they of got a name if they hadn’t loss to City?
Maybe. Considering it was the season straight after the Invincibles, I predict that it would of totally bollocked up our proudest achievement. The fact of the matter is they didn’t go a whole season unbeaten. Therefore, no name.
smiley face with tongue sticking out, sound effect of a child blowing raspberries and a picture of my nan with her two fingers up. Also let’s be honest if they did get privileged with a name it would of been something like ‘The Special Ones “, or ‘I
Made These Players Great’ or ‘I’m Acting Super Duper Confident Because I Aactually
Have a Very Small Penis FC’. Lets just all count our blessings that the so called Special
One is very much vincible and not so special.
Now let’s get to that team who have a name. Pace, power, flair. Beautiful, stylish, sexy. Bing bang boom. Take any one of those words and that could be the catalyst of
a twenty-page rant about the Invincibles. I think it’s only appropriate to start with
Arsene Wenger said a season prior to the unbeaten season that he
dared to dream that his team is capable of going a whole season unbeaten. Then low
and behold, one month later Everton unleashed a 16-year-old ogre from his swamp
and he smashes the winner past the aging porn star Seaman. The press had a field day, opposition fans had a laugh and that was that.
Just one season later, Pires cuts back a beautiful cross and Gilberto smashed a low hard un-Gilberto esc volley past the Middleborough keeper. A great team-worked
opening goal which really capitalized on what was in store for the months that
followed. The season had its nerve wracking moments. We all remember the Old Trafford game. Horse face falls, horse face cheats, horse face smashed the crossbar,
horse face then gets some. Definitely in my top 5 greatest Arsenal moments. With all the flare, skill and elegance there came a mountain of steal and grit. A togetherness.
Real men. The keeper had everyone in check, the back four had great cohesion with the midfield, especially down the left hand side. In the middle Vieira, Gilberto, Parlour, Edu, were all well built gladiators up for any type of game. Patrick Vieira is
without a doubt the best all round midfielder I have ever seen. All Arsenal fans have been
crying out for a Vieira replacement. Please tell me if you have seen anyone like him.
No one has come remotely close. That includes Yaya Toure, Pogba and the next Vieira whoever that is (a minute’s silence for Diaby please). Up top Henry and
Bergkamp. If you know anything about football, I really don’t need to say much about them. The King and the Messiah. You pick who’s who I don’t mind! Don’t forget the
squad players like Wiltord, Kanu, Keown and a few good youngsters in Clichy and Aliadiere. I almost forgot Jose Antonio Reyes. Great January signing, a real boost for
the club and players.
This team did have its downfalls. Knocked out in the Carling Cup Semi final to Middlesbrough. Lost the FA Cup Semi Final to Man U. Battered at home by Inter, even though we totally redeemed our selves at the San Siro. Most memorably we lost to
that Wayne Bridge goal (I just threw up in my mouth a little whilst remembering that). Not quite invincible on the whole I know. Some would even say the Invincibles
are over rated, mythical almost. A few journalists had their say stating just that. I can see where they are coming from but that would be through the eyes of Ray Charles.
The main argument was that we put too much into the league and that scuppered our chance of winning the champions league. That is not the case. We were every bit as
good as Chelsea in both games. Statistics played a massive part. Before that return fixture at Highbury we played them four times. Won three drew one. Now you
tell me who you think is going to win game number five. Oh I forgot to mention they hadn’t beaten us for 10 years. Jesus Christ, even their manager cried at the end of
the game that’s how miraculous it was. Let’s get this straight, no game in the history of football hurt like that. When I see grown men crying because of sports I turn in embarrassment, but that day I understood. Football can be your greatest love but can also knee you in the privates. Really really hard. At any moment. Right out of the blue. I still believe we would have won the Champions League if it weren’t for that game.
The question will always come up when thinking of 2003/2004 season. Would you of rather won the Champions League? Or gone unbeaten? At the time I think the
majority would have gone for the Champions League. But, even with that trophy, like so many teams today there would not be that legacy if we had lost a game in the league.
1997, who won the champions league? 2009, who won?
See you have to think or ask Mr. Google. Now, if I said, what team went unbeaten for a whole season? Boom. Legacy right there.
My personal conclusion is simple. That Arsenal team have a name because of the caliber of players and more importantly the legacy they left behind. I believe we had six world class footballers and a dozen top top class players. Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergamp and Thierry Henry. If that doesn’t salivate your footballing juices, then go and watch the other kind of football that is played on the other side of the pond. This team rightfully so has a name. I don’t think anybody could deny them that.
Trophies are one thing but legacies are far greater and I for one will be sure to tell my son when he grows up about the ‘Incapable of being overcome, defeated. Unconquerable’.
Thanks for listening. That’s it!