Ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Liverpool in October, all talk had already swung to Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season. Could they really match Arsenal’s Invincibles?
No. No they couldn’t…There’s a reason for that.
There have been many pretenders, but none have come close to Arsenal’s magnificent achievement of going a whole league season unbeaten.
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 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.
Apparently you don't even need to win the league unbeaten to be called 'invincible' now pic.twitter.com/CUJC2qSyyx
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) March 1, 2020
Last season, we were only 10 games into the Premier League season when Manchester City were being bigged up for an unbeaten season, just because they happened to have an easy time of it.
Pep Guardiola and his players, at least, understood it to be fanciful thinking to entertain any ideas about going the whole year unbeaten.
They had the decency to distance themselves from the idea, something Liverpool players have been all too keen to embrace, reminding us 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…