The Streets Will Always Remember... The Arsenal Invincibles
Author: Stephen Jones | Thursday 22nd October 2020
The term ‘iconic’ doesn’t even come close when talking about the Arsenal Invincibles. It’s been suggested that this was the greatest ever Premier League team assembled and who would dare argue?
The talent in the Arsenal ranks back then was nothing short of excellence, and at the helm was Mr Va Va Voom himself, Thierry Henry. The long sleeve and glove combo was a sight feared by every defender in the game as the French attacker showed no mercy to Arsenal’s opps. He was helped by fellow countryman Patrick Vieira who captained the team and made them defensively solid. Of course, he had more than a little help from his defenders Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure.
The team went 38 League matches unbeaten and threw down a gauntlet that has stood the test of time and is yet to be emulated.
The 2003/04 season is a moment in the Gunners history that their fans will never forget, and guess what neither will the streets. The Arsenal Invincibles were a once in a lifetime event that captured the attention of the world. For their spectacular effort, they were awarded a golden Premier League trophy. Legend has it that if you rub it 3 times, then Granit Xhaka will actually pass the ball forwards for once.
The importance of the Arsenal Invincibles is ever-lasting, it's the football equivalent of a Willy Wonka gobstopper. The tastes and sensations of that season will always be present for Arsenal and their supporters. Last season, Liverpool were a team that came close to the record when they went 27 League games unbeaten before succumbing to a 3-0 loss to Watford.
Why will the streets always remember the Arsenal Invincibles?
This team represents a pocket in history where British football was at its pinnacle. The Prem had countless ballers such as Roy Keane and Alan Shearer who were rifling their way through the League, but it didn't even come close to what the Invincibles were doing.
They created pure greatness and did something completely unprecedented. The streets will remember them not only for the record but because of the footballing idols it created. Players such as Freddie Ljungberg, Lauren, Robert Pires, and Nwankwo Kanu were all integrated into Premier League folklore. They showed us that you don't need to be the most gifted footballer to make a defining contribution and that hope can be found on all four corners of the football pitch.
The very essence of the word 'teamwork' can be found within that Arsenal team. It was a north London brotherhood that was led into battle by their fearless French leader Arsene Wenger. This man reinvented the way we see football with his new era training and fitness regimes which forced teams to play catch up and use his methods. His emergence into British football brought a greater sense of professionalism into the League, and it helped bring it into the 21st century. The very substance of the Arsenal Invincibles all orbits around this man, and quite frankly he is invincible in his own right.
Picking one iconic moment for this season is no easy task - the record itself, the personal accolades, and Pascal Cygan…
But if you want icons, then look no further than the fine wine of strike partnerships. Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp or as the streets like to say Va Va Voom and the non-flying Dutchman. The pair were simply mesmerising and were a big driving force behind the 38 game record.
Their partnership was the perfect recipe of speed, finesse, and creativity. In the blink of an eye, Bergkamp could drop into the hole and create space for Henry to pull out to the left flank where he caused carnage by destroying defenders careers in one fell swoop. Henry finished that season with 30 goals in 37 league appearances, a statistic like that is a little bit too Va Va Voom even for us.
The streets will always remember the Arsenal Invincibles.