There have been many pretenders, but none have come close to Arsenal’s magnificent achievement.
As an Arsenal supporter, to see the Invincibles tag applied to any team who happens to go a few games unbeaten is irritating.
That’s not to say that those teams aren’t good, but I often feel that the magnitude of Arsenal’s 49 game unbeaten run is often forgotten; that the achievement itself is played down as something that any team is capable of doing, never mind the fact that it’s an incredibly rare feat to pull off in professional football.
That may be where the hunger from the media to see a new Invincibles comes from.
We’re only 10 games into this Premier League season and already Manchester City are being bigged up for an unbeaten season, just because they happen to be having an easy time of it at the moment.
Pep Guardiola and his players, at least, understand that it’s far too early to be entertaining any ides about going the whole year unbeaten.
While they’re distancing themselves from the idea, I was reminded of something Arsene Wenger said back in 2002.
Arsenal had gone a whole season without losing away from home, and had started the 02/03 campaign in fine form.
The idea that Arsenal could go a whole season unbeaten was in its infancy, but nonetheless existed that early. Rather than shy away from the possibility, Wenger, emboldened as he was by his team’s quality, embraced it.
“It’s not impossible as A.C. Milan once did it but I can’t see why it’s so shocking to say it,” he said. “Do you think Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea don’t dream that as well?
“They’re exactly the same.
“They just don’t say it because they’re scared to look ridiculous, but nobody is ridiculous in this job as we know anything can happen.”
Wenger did end up looking ridiculous, at least temporarily.
Arsenal lost to Everton in October, when a certain 16-year-old Wayne Rooney popped up with a last minute screamer to kill the run before it even got going. Arsenal went to lose the title to Manchester United that season, and the thought of a season undefeated was put to bed.
Or so we thought…