Nowadays, Arsene Wenger has his fair share of critics but he was the man who built what is undoubtedly the strongest squad in Premier League history.
Cast your minds back to 2004; Arsenal had just been crowned top flight champions at White Hart Lane.
The Gunners were in jubilant mood celebrating a second title success at the home of arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur but every member of that squad knew that they were now just four matches away from greatness.
Letting up at that moment would have been a major disappointment and Wenger, hungry to rewrite the history books, was never going to let that happen.
While the Gunners trailed in two of their final four fixtures, Arsenal managed to avoid defeat – marking the first time in Premier League history that a club went unbeaten for the entire season.
Whether you like Arsenal or not, you have to respect the achievements from that campaign. The “Invincibles” were on another level; not even the great Sir Alex Ferguson could build a team capable of doing what Wenger’s side did.
Will another Premier League side emulate that feat? Nowadays, it is almost impossible. England’s top flight is more competitive now than it has ever been and Arsenal’s record looks safe for the time being.
Even Manchester City, who easily boast the strongest squad in the Premier League and are led by charismatic manager Pep Guardiola, would have a tough time equalling an unbeaten 38-match campaign.
A few teams have started well but eventually, they do seem to fall short in their pursuit of immortal glory.
You could argue that some Premier League teams have surpassed Arsenal’s record but that would be clutching at straws a little bit.
With 26 wins and 12 draws, the Gunners picked up 90 points. Just one season later, Jose Mourinho led his Chelsea squad to a record 95 points; another outstanding achievement.
Even last season, Antonio Conte’s Blues won 30 league games, the most in a single campaign. During that run, Chelsea won 13 matches in a row, a feat managed only by Arsenal back in the 2001-02 season. OK, so neither squad went undefeated but both sides will be recognised in the history books – and rightly so.
The two Manchester clubs are looking strong and if you had to back anybody to break this Arsenal record, it would be one of those. Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, currently 5/2 to win the title in Paddy Power’s football odds, have regained their mojo and the Red Devils are on the verge of breaking an Old Trafford record for games unbeaten.
Manchester United’s win yesterday means they’re 33 games unbeaten at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2011 record stands at 38 games. pic.twitter.com/DImENVJ3FN
— Adam Joseph (@AdamJosephSport) September 18, 2017
Mourinho is well-known for his defensive stability in the big games and United may be the only team capable of challenging the “Invincibles”. But even then, the Red Devils are bound to have an off day at some point and Gunners fans will be quietly confident of keeping their record intact.
The “Invincibles” deserve their place in history and whether United, City or anybody else equals their incredible feat, they will always be known as the first. Arsene Wenger’s legacy at Arsenal will revolve around his unbeaten side of 2003-04 and the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Sol Campbell will be forever recognised as Gunners legends.
For the time being, Arsenal’s record looks relatively safe – it is hard to envision any of the Premier League’s current crop going undefeated just yet.