Arsenal legend claims Liverpool will go unbeaten but invincibles had it harder

Liverpool will win the Premier League this season unbeaten but they had it easier than Arsenal claims Robert Pires

Pires was part of the Arsenal side that played 49 games without tasting defeat as well as played an entire league season unbeaten.

He has admitted that this Liverpool side is good enough to break their record and he has backed them to win the title.

Pires however, claims that the Reds have it easy and insists that the Premier League was more competitive when he and his teammates achieved their feat than it is currently.

He claims that only Manchester City has the required quality to rival Liverpool at the moment but they had other teams fighting them when they achieved their record.

Pires told France Football, per Goal.com: “Yes, because they have everything going for them: the team, the results, the luck, the coach… I think there are a lot of people who will agree.

“Considering how they have been playing for some time, I can’t see who would trouble them. Even Manchester City… when I look at the match against City [a 3-1 win for Liverpool at Anfield in November], there is too big a difference.

“It’s how they all defend. They play in a 4-3-3 and as soon as they lose the ball, especially in the middle, they are strong, physical.

“I thought they would have a little drop in speed because they don’t stop playing and they keep travelling. After Boxing Day, I thought they would fall apart anyway, and no the guys are still there physically.

“Today, technically the Premier League has dipped a little. It’s a bit of an observation people make here. When you see the squads of Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham or Arsenal, it’s not as strong as it was a few years ago. The only ones who can trouble them are Manchester City.

“They will be champions by going unbeaten, but they can also beat our record. Everything has changed today. People will compare, but I think it was much, much harder in our time.

“As I said before, technically, many teams, particularly the big ones, have gone down a notch. There were no cameras, no VAR. When the guys wanted to get stuck in…

“And, above all, when you played away. I remember the matches at Leeds [United], Blackburn [Rovers], Bolton [Wanderers]… you had to get used to them.”

Pires makes some good points but I doubt that his view about the strength of the league was more in his day than it is today will be greeted with a wholesale agreement.

It is very subjective, different era and so forth. Comparisons will be made of course and Arsenal and Liverpool fans are hardly going to be neutral on this.

I, of course, believe the Arsenal invincible team is better than this current Liverpool side and I do agree with Pires that it was harder back then but of course I will be accused of bias on this subject.

I am also not too sure that other fans will be neutral either. Who do we think Tottenham fans will say was the better team? same with Man Utd fans.

The bottom line is this, no matter what happens, Arsenal will always be the original invincibles.

27 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    The Invincibles only had Man United as their biggest rival, when EPL was not crowded by oil clubs yet. Whereas today there are many super rich clubs and world class managers in EPL

    If EPL level is lower than before, Wenger would have still been able to win it. Unfortunately EPL has become an ultimate competition for the world’s best managers

    The fitness level, the speed and the physicality of Liverpool players are amazing, similar to the Invincibles’. Arsenal should get rid of their low stamina players first, before being able to break the records again

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      EPL standard back then was not lower than current…

      the defense back then was stronger….defenders go for your legs, less protection from referees….

      Back then it was extremely physical…

      You may also add this season VARpool had it easy with:

      VAR assisting them in a few games….this has enhance their confidence and momentum

      City players lost their motivation after winning too many titles…

      Spud injuries and motivation

      Both Utd and Chelsea are rebuilding with young and new players….players simply lack motivation

      For us we are have so many young and inexperience players, no core team

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍 No doubt about the physicality with the Vinnie Jones type players. If they couldn’t outplay you they tried to kick you off the park, often with the acquiescence of the officials.

  2. ThirdManJW says:

    I love Pires, but was he drunk when saying this? Every year it was Man Utd, then we managed to go toe-to-toe with them for about 7 years straight before dropping away. Very uncompetitive.

    The league has only got more competitive with each passing year, to a point that any team can win on any given day. It’s so unpredictable, which makes it the best league in the world.

    This makes Liverpool’s league achievements over the past two seasons even more impressive. Arsenal drew a lot of games in the Invincibles season, whereas Liverpool are constantly winning, and Liverpool’s results against top teams since day one under Klopp, are the best I’ve ever seen. Their points tally over the last two seasons, and winning streak is unbelievable! Arsenal’s Invincibles were still an amazing team, but this Liverpool are better, and doing it in a tougher environment.

    Liverpool are amazing, Arsenal used to be a very long time ago, but I think the best team I’ve ever seen in my lifetime was the recent Real Madrid led by Ronaldo.

    From 2012-2018 they won:

    x2 La Liga
    x4 Champions League (3 in a row)
    x1 Copa del Rey
    x3 Supercopa de Espana
    x3 UEFA Super Cup
    x4 FIFA Club World Cup

  3. jon fox says:

    To be strictly accurate, the original Invincibles were PRESTON NORTH END way back in the 19th century but they played just, I THINK, 18 GAMES IN ALL , SO MORALLY, THOUGH NOT ACCURATELY , WE WERE THE FIRST INVINCIBLES. I think Liverpool will indeed go unbeaten, though , I pray they do NOT. It can surely, be only away at City that they may lose a game. I can see no other team defeating them in this seasons Prem.

  4. Sue says:

    One thing’s for sure – we didn’t have the officials or var behind us back then!!
    The thought of them winning the league, unbeaten, makes me want to vomit….

    1. Abel says:

      Good point @Sue.
      Back then the Refs and the FA were in cahoots with Fergie and United cos they were perceived as the ‘real British team’ while Arsenal was viewed as a psuedo-French team due to Wenger’s predominantly French players. 7 French, 5 English, 2 Brazilian, 2 Swedish, 1 Dutch, 1 German, 1 Nigerian, 1 Cameroonian, 1 Ivorien and 1 spanish player.
      Those invincible literally had to fight for every point they got.
      How fitting it was that our Invincible run was ended against United by the biased referee awarding a penalty to United for an obvious United dive.
      Some may not agree with my view of the subtle English FA bias but we all laugh over ‘Fergie time’ now despite the fact it was evidence of the blatant United bias.
      Wenger truly did not get the credit he should have and did not win as many team laurels he could have due to some of these sometimes subtle bias against Arsenal while he was at the helm.

      1. John Ibrahim says:

        Exactly…

        recently Auba was even flagged offside for a goal against Utd which VAR has shown he was not….

        Lukakua stamping of players was caught on cam but the FA board rule it out

      2. Invisible says:

        And i happened to punch a brick wall when that not so penalty was awarded. Wat a sucker punch that it was united to end our unbeaten 49…..

        And won’t it be beautiful if we beat VARpool on May 2nd to deny them the “INVINCIBLE” title

        1. Sue says:

          I bet they were all dying to end our run! It had to be Riley at Old Trafford, didn’t it… surprised we didn’t see him celebrate.. just like Mike Dean 😖

          Omg I’d love it (Kevin Keegan style 😄) if we beat them!! Absolutely love it!! I’d demand an Arteta statue!!

      3. Sue says:

        Excellent, Abel… agree with every word 👍

  5. Abel says:

    An obvious Rooney dive.

  6. Impenia says:

    If Liverpool pull this off, their feat will be more impressive. They would’ve done so in much more difficult circumstances.

    1. Invisible says:

      Much more difficult circumstances???? How so???? Chealsea new manager and with a trasfer ban, united (ole AT the wheel), arsenal and spuds blah blah…….. Only mancity in their way.. have you been following how erratic the chealsea, spuds, arsenal and united been.

      1. Impenia says:

        Reality is that other “lesser” teams have significantly closed the gap on the teams, that’s why you think those top teams are erratic. The league is definitely much more competitive now than it was 18 yrs ago. To maintain such a high level of consistency despite the competition is quite impressive in my view. During the Arsenal Invincibles, there was only United to fight.

        1. ken1945 says:

          I can never understand this “there was only United to fight” rubbish.

          Why was that? Simply because the two best managers at that time came from Arsenal and manure…and how was that achieved?

          Well, one club, had dominated everyone with its bully boy tactics, had the fa in its pocket and spent money as if was going out of fashion , while we had Arsene Wenger….my point being that Arsene could have gone to any of the other sixteen premier league clubs at the time and brought in his revolutionary ideas, signed players like vieria, henry and anelka for peanuts, whilst working on a budget that any of those other sixteen clubs could have also offered him.

          It wasn’t just a two horse race, it was the magic of AW that took on manure with wonderful football, great spirit, top players and actually wasn’t scared to take on fergie at his own game…we were just fortunate that AW came to our club…remember “Arsene Who?” perhaps that should still be the case today when discuusin The Invincibles.

          1. Cr1titi says:

            Yeah its AW magic. And EPL wasnt as strong. Just look at their champions league and Europa league. Compare it to todays, they were not the strongest league.

    2. Sue says:

      Oh yeah.. the officials and var on your side is really difficult.

      1. Impenia says:

        I usually don’t hold this view of officials deliberately favoring or against a particular team. Yes, there could be questionable decisions by referees but not a collusion. I’ve also seen Arsenal get away with several referee decisions.

        1. Sue says:

          Yes I have seen a few too, Impenia, but it’s usually made up for in the next fixture.. and beyond 😀

        2. Admin Martin says:

          I agree with this, I hate it when arsenal fans moan about a conspiracy against us. It makes us look sad and silly. I hear the exact same complaints from other fans and they sound exactly the same.

    3. SueP says:

      I personally believe that the fact that Liverpool are so far ahead is as much a reflection on the lack of quality of the so called top teams this season as it is of their brilliance on the pitch. What is undeniable is their run of wins which is astonishing. Wolves came so close
      I think City really missed Laporte for a large part of the season and he is back now and they and Liverpool still play each other later. I’m clutching at straws here

  7. David Rusa says:

    It’s still too early to predict if Liverpool will finish the season unbeaten. However nobody doubts that they will win EPL this season. It is difficult to compare events in different times and circumstances. During the Invincibles time the odds were staked against Arsenal: bias against a hitherto unknown French manager and foreign players and the desire to show British managers and players were better. That is how the unbeaten run was stopped at 49 games to at least deny a record 50 games by giving a bogus penalty. On the other hand Liverpool is a darling of the powers that be! However I still feel that Liverpool will lose a game or two. They are human beings, not machines, and fatigue will set in. They will lose to a team we least expect. Didn’t Man city lose to Norwich? One loss can trigger a second one! It is still 13 games to go.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍

    2. SueP says:

      I second that 👍

  8. Break-on-through says:

    He’s right, it was a proper contact sport back then, it is not like that anymore. Also the rules are aiding forward play and teams come at you, teams used to scrap with us because they knew when it came to football attacking style we could not be bettered at all on a consistent level. It’s night and day with the differences. And now VAR as well, do you remember how many bogus calls used to get made, many games was like you had one hand tied behind your back away from home and refs let the home side get a little dirty because they knew they didn’t have it in them to beat us at passing, moving, defending, or scoring.

    I don’t think you can compare these eras, I know it can be said that I’m a little bias, but I know when I’m being that way, and this is me trying to be rational – clear minded. The Invincibles was the much better team and if not for all the change and the decisions trying to make PL more attacking and more unpredictable, you would see it clearly. City was cake walking, and they have a second string. You can see clearly that this Liv team doesn’t compare. City is another story, they are comparable, not with grittiness, but with flair and attacking football they did not need all this change for them to be a successful side. Liv are successful in the way that Leic has been successful, they also have the popularity vote in their favor. They’re a good honest side playing above themselves, other than two or three of them, however, they are very limited players when it comes to the stuff that makes the very best players stand out.

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