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Wenger’s Invincibles are still the greatest

OPINION: Following a rather embarrassing defeat to Watford, Liverpool have blown the chance to go through an entire league season unbeaten

06 March, 2020 — By Richard Osley

I DON’T often use this column to write about the Arsenal Invincibles, so settle in and I’ll tell you all about them.

On Saturday evening it was once again confirmed that Arsene Wenger’s team of Titans, indisputably, are the greatest to have ever played in English football, as Liverpool’s attempt to reach the mountaintop fell away with a rather embarrassing defeat to Watford.

Liverpool may be able to win the odd European trophy now and then– there’s always a certain amount of luck in knockout football – but that great club has never progressed through an entire league season unbeaten.

With every other team in turmoil or transition, it’s quite amazing really that they failed to manage it this season. It just goes to show what a feat it really is.

It is clearly a source of much frustration that Arsenal lay claim to the ultimate measure of greatness. On Saturday, as the annual Invincibles Day celebrations began, slightly later this year admittedly, fans of other teams clutched desperately at straws.

Would you believe Robert Pires was trending on social media? This relates to the obsessive theory that Pires, when fouled by Portsmouth in 2004, had somehow dived to win a penalty kick.

The match finished 1-1. Imagine hanging onto a thread like that.

Us: “ARSENAL ARE INVINCIBLE.”

Them: “No, nooo, no, it’s only because of Robert Pires against Portsmouth. No. Pires. He dived. You’re not invincible. He dived.”

All these years later and there are still some dweebs angry about a penalty being awarded. Let’s face it, if Arsenal that year – officially, by the way, the best team Ashley Cole ever played in – hadn’t scored that penalty, they would’ve found some way not to lose to Pompey.

Then you get the desperados who say: “No, nooo, nooo, you didn’t win the FA Cup, did you? So how could you be ‘invincible’, you lost cup matches.”

Or “well you weren’t the only ones, were you, what about Preston North End?” Ok, kids, you trot on back to 1889 if you must, shout Preston North End at the ceiling. They only played 22 matches back then, but there’s probably a lot of 140-year-olds out there somewhere who remember it vividly.

And yet we can all still remember Arsenal’s triumph in full technicolour, the day when they did something which remains out of reach for Liverpool, Manchester United, Spurs and the rest.

Instead of bitching, let’s salute them: History’s greatest team.

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