Could this Arsenal side really emulate the Invincibles?

Arsene Wenger has just over a month to add any more players to the current Arsenal squad, but it does not look as though the Frenchman is in much of a hurry. In fact there is a growing feeling that he might only do so if the next few weeks throw up an injury problem or an obvious weak link in the team.

So there is a very real chance that the only Arsenal signing of the summer could be the Czech Republic international Petr Cech from Chelsea. Although our former midfielder and member of the famous Invincibles side of 2003-04, Ray Parlour, does not necessarily agree with this, he does believe that the addition of the 33-year old has made the current team as close to that famous group as we have seen in the last 11 years.

Parlour told The Mirror that he believes the keeper could be just as important to the club as David Seaman and Jens Lehmann did, both on and off the pitch, and he has no worries about Cech´s age being a drawback.

But Parlour would still like to see the manager sign another couple of players to strengthen us in midfield and the centre of defence. But he is not crying out for them and feels that the team spirit is brilliant and with a better run of luck on the injury front then this could be our year.

He said, “It’s definitely the best squad since the Invincibles. They need to steer clear of injuries. Last season, if the injury list was a bit lighter at certain times then they would have been a lot closer.

“The most important thing in any squad is to have the right team spirit and harmony. Everyone has to be pulling in the same direction. You can’t have some not getting on with others, a personal feud or something like that.

“At the moment, it’s the best I’ve seen in terms of team spirit for a long time. I think now, winning the two FA Cups, they believe they can go to the next level which, for me, is winning the league. That’s the most important trophy. That shows you how consistent you are throughout the season.

“I don’t think you can win the league if you haven’t got a top class goalkeeper. I was lucky to play with David Seaman and Jens Lehmann. When David Seaman went, we all thought: ‘how can you replace him?’ Luckily enough, Jens came in. He is such a big character.

“Petr Cech is experienced, has won everything, been involved in massive games which is so important. He’ll be involved in the dressing room, helping the youngsters, helping people who have not gone as far as Chelsea when he played for them.

“He’s a proven keeper and I still think he’s a good age. I look at Van Der Saar, he turned up at Manchester United at 35 years old and you think: ‘can he still do it?’ He was superb for the next three or four seasons.

“I think it’s a massive signing. Maybe they need a few more as well. I was hoping that they’d get Morgan Schneiderlin. I’ve watched him a few times this year. I watched him at St Mary’s against Chelsea which is always a good test, to put him against the best.

“I would still look at that position and also centre half as well. I know there’s Chambers who could emerge as a top centre half. Not really seen a lot of Gabriel yet. Then Mertesacker and Koscielny would probably be first choice.”

How close do you think Arsenal are from the invincibles and what do we need to do to get there?

Tags Cech Parlour Wenger


  1. a striker & a cdm sould be added . reus would be a perfect addition + someone like kirchowaik/bender/Kramer

    hope wenger doesn’t fall for mourinho’s mind games about spending

    1. is it true that wenger has spent more than maureen yet maureen won the league 12 points above wenger???….hmmmmmm!!!!….i smell blood…boy we are in for a rude shock these transfer period….guess i’ll have to to get content with giroud once and for like the next 8 yrs

      1. last 4 years ChelseaFC spent £281.1m, recouped £187.8m. Arsenal spent £202.9m, recouped £66.3m.
        CFC net spend -£93.2m AFC -£136.6m

        but fact is mourinho has spent more than any managers in the history esp from his times at chelski/inter/madrid

        1. Where did you get this from Leo? I looked on transfermarkt and arrived at very close values of around 78 (Chelsea) and 90 (Arsenal).

      2. Only if you twist the facts. Chelsea have spent more, but also make more back due to their revolving door of players. If Luiz hadn’t sold for a ridiculously inflated amount then you’d be in a situation where they had a worse in and out number than us. We’ve also made 2 huge marquee signings in the last 2 years who have transformed the team but looking further back then that our spending is tiny.

        Jose has a point in that Arsenal did buy talent and suddenly come good. What he’s got wrong is the idea we’ve “bought” success. Adding quality to the team is important but if you look at our signings we have only made 2 that could be considered buying quality; Ozil and Alexis. Last year we purchased 2 young players in Welbz and Chambers and we were forced to replace Sagna with Debuchy. If Sagna doesn’t leave by being a dick, we don’t buy Debuchy. Chambers, as a player for the future, shows Arsene investing in the future of the club – not in buying the talent to win. Welbeck is similar, and although he comes with heaps of experience, is a project to improve and grow with the club.

        Hazard/Oscar are the only 2 Chelsea players of recent memory who even come close to “investments” – every other purchase is a ready made player who they want to shove into the first team. THAT is buying the league – and they’ve been at it for so long now that it is kind of a moot point to look at who spends more because they will always have an influx of quality to sell on if they don’t like the look of them anymore.

        Case in point: Cuadrado. Chelsea spent 23.3m on the guy and he made no dent in the team. He will probably be sold on for 18m or something and they’ll barely make a loss on him, but the figures stay good. Arsenal comparatively are now in a situation where our team are staying mostly the same, only selling off the remnants of players who pulled us through our dire years. Give it 2 years and our finances will once again look FAR rosier than Chelsea’s…but the relaxation of FFP probably means they’ll also jump even further up in quality by going on a buying spree again…

    2. i agree that we need a top striker and another good dm,to be able to challenge,but Reus is not a striker.Why do you think Reus is a striker?hes clearly not a striker

      1. @true goon

        Agreed! Reus is not a striker, but he is one of few wingers around that score more than these average strikers! Check out his profile and records.

        The only shortcoming he has is injury! He is just another Diaby in making. However, I think he is a risk worth taking!

        1. if we bought him which wing would he play on?,either way it wud be Sanchez on 1 side and Reus on the other, how would the Ox get any game time not to mention Walcott?this is a signing we don’t need,as good as Reus is.We have positions that need to be filled more urgently st,dm

          1. If gotten, I think the thing with Reus is that whoever you face it is very doubtful that they would have a better winger than you. Same could be said of Sanchez, and in Europe there would be only Ronaldo/Neymar/Greizmann arguably better or equal.

  2. Liverpool: spent close to £300m in less than 3yrs. lool Brenda
    United: spent £200m in 1yr.

    But let’s talk about Arsenal because they signed Cech Jose love it bring it on sunday moaninho

  3. Jose needs to shut up about other clubs buying the title. It’s like Kim Kardashian saying Paris Hilton is only famous because of her s*x tape

    Rafa’s wife: “Real Madrid are the third of Mourinho’s old teams Rafa has coached. We tidy up his messes.” looooooooool

    1. yeah but his point is that shouldn’t Wenger be moaning about Man Utd spending money,because we’ve spent alot aswell,and we need to spend more.

      1. Wenger wasn’t moaning about Utd spending money – he was moaning that Man Utd only want to spend money and invest no time in their youth. They are looking for short term gain instead of continued success – they are literally hemoraging money to get the team to a fit state…yet won the league only 2 seasons ago!

        As for us spending “alot” – comparatively we’ve not spent alot. Excluding last year, we’ve always been behind the major teams (including Liverpool) on actual spending but have suffered from a lack of sales the last couple of years due to already having been bled dry. You definitely need to buy players to compete, that has been true for a long time, but the balance between buying the league and buying talent to stengthen your team is a fine one.

        1. The top teams don’t have time to wait,they need top players now,Wenger complaining about Man utd not bringing thru youth,when was the last top youth player to come thru into the utd team an shine?its been a long time even when Fergie was there.Most of our best youngsters come to us in their teens,we don’t bring most of them thru from under 10 years old

          1. That’s because not everyone can be taught into playing football, otherwise we’d all be playing. For the most part you wont know the ones who are capable til they develop physically and maybe mentally too. Even Barca go out and find the ones who look promising, but they have an advantage of being aloud work with them a couple of seasons earlier than we are. The rules over here don’t allot sufficient time with youngsters til they reach 15. That is what is stopping us from targeting them younger ala Barca’s way.

    1. I think we should start to sub him in games which are done and dusted just so we can watch this awesome guy play, lets not forget Rooney, Owen, even our own Theo all started young

      1. Theo was nowhere good as him at this age so why not? He is already good enough but lets see how he will turn out in the future. Indeed a special player

  4. Squad. 25.
    Cech Ospina Martinez
    Bell Deb Gibb Mon
    Koz Mert Gabe Chambers Coque (DM) Arteta
    Ramsey Wilsher Cazorla Ozil
    Sanchez Walcott Ox
    Giroud Wellbz Akpom (Striker/wing)

  5. The most important thing for a fan to recognize is that their club is progressing. This means getting past the last 16 in the champions league, fighting for the title, retaining the fa cup etc etc. From our transfer window so far, yes Cech will improve us from last season. But our rivals have improved in strength and depth as well. United and Liverpool were miles behind us last season but seem to be making clever signings, albeit expensive in uniteds case. We are a better team than last season already, but we will need two quality signings to really see our progression.

  6. Could this Arsenal side really emulate the Invincibles?
    No, certainly not, why? How come you have Giroud upfront and Mert at the back as starters and you want to win the league without any lost matches …

    1. I don’t think Wenger will favor Gab to bench Mert …This is the most probable Wenger’s selection:
      Bel/Deb Mert^ Kos Monreal
      Coq Cazorla
      Ramsey/ox Ozil Sanchez
      Can you see the weakest links? see the hints “^”

  7. banding around words like invincible’s is a very strong term atm, i am not sure if this current squad is all there yet. like a lot of fans have said already we are a top class striker from the top and then we will be set to go, the defense is probably the best shape we have had for yrs. 4 decent c/h’s(one being top class in kos) that can push each over on to compete better. baring d/m the rest of the midfield is looking very good and very much so out wide too, but it is a shame that we still cant find the elusive vieira type player in the middle of the park, to control the games for us. ozil is as close to bergkamp and fab as your going to get for now, walcott is not henry but if he gets goals he will grow more into that stature as his career goes on. sanchez is very much like an overmars or pires type left winger, so we are covered there. the really ox reminds me of ljungberg on the right similar hard working qualities so as i say not to far away. but just a d/m and striker and we are ready for the biggest assault, on the title for many years and back to the promise land. we go will you follow me there fellow fans and dream again.

    1. the ox is nothing like Llungberg.Overmars was brilliant winger we have nobody like him the closest is the OX.We have no Bergkamp or Henry. Pires an Sanchez yes maybe

  8. Walcott cant play striker,he is good attacking from the sideways,there is no wc short striker in the modern game,aguero,messi are deep lying attackers we dont need a mobile striker thats why welbeck doesnt suit us.Hold up play allows attacking arsenal midfielders freedom to score,so strikers like benteke,martinez,benzema could help giroud

  9. the best way wenger can get back at mouriniho’s spending jibes, is to hold a press conference and do some slight of hand magic, by whipping out a signed a 4 year contract with reus or benzemas name and signature on it, and say i will raise you one world class player beat that.

  10. Wenger will never bench the likes of.

    1. Ramsey.
    2. Mertesacker.
    3. Ozil

    The only player who could play in the Invincibles


  11. Whats changed from last season, Chech….that’s it – we couldn’t emulate the Invincibles last season and we had Ospina (who is not Chech but neither was it his fault for any of our dropped points)…
    Having said that i still think there’s a lot of positives for this season:
    > After FA cup win – we have gained a better winning mentality
    > This season we starting with Le Coq and Chech
    > Players are in good form and we don’t have injuries (aside from Welbeck, who even if fit wont easily get a starting place)

    1. All the points we have lost in the start of the season where due defending errors, who came mostly from Mertesacker. ( not hating, go check the games out and look it for your self).

      As fo now, we do have a fit Kos and Paulista as a back up defender, also, Bellerin has way more experience then we did one year ago, so we are pretty alright at the back.

      1. Mertesacker must get the message that he has to go…..

        there will be messages and article from fans that hes not good enough and etc….

        Please go Mertesacker!!

      2. Way too simplistic KSG – Mert was the only defender fit to play in those early months. He played with 3 different RBs, 3 different CB partners, 2 different LBs and 2 different GKs. Rest of the team was pants as well. The best CB in history would have struggled let alone Merts.

        1. Dont you remember him doing scome crocodile dundee action running up front all the time and then him getting exploided bec of this? Diff, so what?

          According to fans no player in the team cant do wrong. As long we know how tu pull out some random excuses, everything seems to be fine.

            1. and the great results record when Merts and Kos play together is all down to Kos – he carries him don’t you know?

  12. AFC’s Joel Campbell has reportedly agreed to move to Palermo on loan, with the two clubs now negotiating a deal

  13. No title EPL /Champs Lge winning team has Giroud as their Striker. When U upgrade from Giroud then get a better cover for LeCoq, then may we can give a run. As far as I know, this very Arsenal will not win d epl with Giroud as d main Striker. It’ll be injustice!!!!
    Sign a Striker pls Wenger!!!!!!!!

  14. Jeeesus I’m torn between treating this title statement with the contempt it so deserves or just ignoring it totally I’ve opted for the first option as you can see. We ain’t even come close to any kind of real glory let alone going unbeaten with Walcott or group leading the line. Both a good players but they have obvious faults and both are NOT good enough to win us either the epl or the cl . When are any 9f you gonna realise that Aw is under the impression that he has an adequate squad to attempt to win both. Everybody else thinks otherwise . We’re all gonna go through the same old grinder again and nothing will change next season or the season after exempt perhaps the likes of rambo and sachet will move on because they will realise we have NO ambition as a club . It’s a f@ckin disgrace the way the fans are being hoodwinked .

    1. Embarrassing title agreed. The truth works both ways though – Arsenal 2004 wouldn’t have a sniff of a chance of repeating their feat these days. Anyhow I’m waiting with interest to the different discussions on here once Wenger is gone. He’ll be gone soon Ozzy, your blood pressure will resume to normal levels and the glory days will undoubtedly return once his successor clears up the mess Wenger will obviously be leaving.

  15. Ha ha ha.

    Not with this team
    Not even if we signed Cavani, Reus, Hummels and Carvalho

    To have an invincible type team must sign
    1. Wings: Reus, Greizmann and Isco
    2. CF: Cavani and Benzema
    3. DM: Carvalho and Krychowiak
    4. b2b: Pogba
    5. Hummels, Verane, Alaba and Ramos

  16. No we cannot emulate the Invincibles. 2 reasons: 1 – the quality of the league jumped with Chelsea and City buying in all the talent they could get their grubby hands on, with money influxes to other clubs providing them a boost in quality too and 2 – the state of the game changed so that MANY more teams use a counter attack tactic against us and choose to hide in their defence on the edge of the box and then break. The Invincibles would not be Invincible in this day and age. Do I think we’re as good as them at the moment? Heck no.

    What I DO agree with is Parlour’s statement – this is the best team we’ve had since the Invicibles were disbanded. We’re not up to their level (yet) but we’re not hugely far off. Getting up to that level is a little tricky though and realistically is all about 3 positions:

    Striker – replacing Henry is virtually impossible. There is hardly a player in the world as good as he was and they are all at Barca/Real. Giroud is on the level of a player like Kanu, Walcott above the level of a Wiltord. What we really need is that top striker who can close the quality gap from missing someone like Henry to lead the line. I honestly don’t know who that’d be. Cavani whenever I’ve seen him looks good but not a world beater. The closest I can see out there right now to Henry who isn’t Messi or Ronaldo is Bale or Suarez. If we step below that then you get Lewandowski or Cavani or Benzema etc. Honestly – I just don’t think we can add that top quality this season because the players just aren’t available. Any purchase would be a stop gap that’d be SLIGHTLY better than Giroud and Theo but still be a calculated risk. There are other positions with better players who ARE available who are probably better acquisitions for our money and maybe we just have to make do in the striker position…or MAYBE Alexis is the guy to go up there…which leads me to question is a LW the better option? There seems to be a few of those available!

    CB – our partnership in the first 11 back during the invincibles was good. We had Toure (before he got weaker) and Campbell. They beasted it. Both fast, both strong, both good in the air. Now we have Kos who is great and Mert who is hit or miss. I’m not saying we need to necessarily buy a CB, but rather that if there is one position we are noticeably weaker than the Invincibles it is Per’s starting slot. Gabriel MAY step up to fill that, or Chambers might do so. We don’t know at this time – with 2 hopefuls in the position it is quite possible. Remember, Toure was bought as a RB and became that beast CB – Chambo could do exactly the same. Either way – this position is the other weak link to the CF in our first 11.

    DM – now I’m not actually advocating our starting 11 player (Coq) is weaker than Gilberto who was his equivalent. In many ways he is a carbon copy – focusing on moving the ball fast and doing his duty shielding that defence. Rather, we don’t have any cover. Vieira could arguably play the role, Edu liked to defend and Parlour was a general B2B when he played there…that sums up our entire CM that year pretty much. When you bare that in mind we’re not terribly short at DM in comparison but the style of play has changed. The 4-4-2 leaves too much for the midfield to do against counters – the preferred tactic against us. SO we need that specific DM in most matches, even if he’s contributing to the attack as well. And that leads me to say our depth is too poor – Arteta is our only genuine cover if Flamini leaves and Arteta, while still having many great qualities – is not good enough quality to play in big games if Coq is injured. I think there lies the issue – our starting 11 without Coq is not good enough to beat big teams consistently. Arteta is great cover for 90% of games, but that other 10% is where the DM position is most vital and he is not good enough for those games. Thus we need to purchase a DM to make our squad as good at covering the defensive role as the Invicibles were…although arguably we have just as many DMs as they did!

    In short – I think our priority over this window and the window next year will be to try and find a solution to the striker issue, upgrade the quality of our CB and find a DM to compete/back-up Coq. Pretty much exactly what pundits say. I just think their wording of “just go buy it” is a bit naive considering our financial situation and the nature of the market at this time. What I would hope Wenger does in the coming month:
    1 – Buy an attacking player who will add quality equivalent to a WC superstar, this may be a LW or a CF but they need to be filling either Pires or Henry’s shoes, with the other shoes being filled by Alexis. The CF is hard…the LW might be possible. Reus is the best talent around that might be easily removed from his current team by the right offers.
    2 – Finds a way to promote Gabriel/Chambers into the starting 11 OR purchase a CB that can play DM or a DM that can play CB. This solves an additional problem of the DM position IF such a player is available.
    3 – If the CB/DM player is not purchasable then a DM would be a good buy. Schneiderlin was a great option, but I fear he was enticed by additional money at man utd and we were probably in talks, just he picked the mancs. I don’t know this and it is purely speculation but it’s why I won’t get angry we “didn’t just go get him” – ultimately the player made a choice and it wasn’t us. My choice would be Carvalho who I’ve watched a few times and he’s pretty bloody great. He just won best player at the U21 euro championship so I can honestly say he is both a buy for now and a buy for the future.

    Sorry for the essay!

    1. Interesting response FFFanatic, well thought out and put together. Couldn’t add to thumbs up, cos it wouldn’t work, but just for the record anyway. Afraid a lot of those players probably would not have come our way. But agree that Invincibles were a much better balanced side. Especially such a really quick and powerful back line. But going forward we can look really effective. Not so sure when under pressure at the back.

    2. Good analysis. As you say Henry pretty much irreplaceable – and the fact that we had him probably doubles the pain for some on here when they look at our current options. We need to get over it though – different teams with different balance and emphasis. In terms of goals I would say that a good season from our 3 main attacking threats Alexis, Giroud and Walcott would give us the same sort of numbers as the Invincible’s main 3; Henry, Bergkamp and Pires. DB10 was never prolific – best ever return of 16 just once in the league – but of course he offered much more than his goals. The 2002 and 2004 title winning sides did not rampage through the league with their goal-scoring exploits – 73 and 79 goals is relatively modest stuff.

  17. Arsenal have a nice team. But the truth is we are still not ready to win major honours. We have not invested in a enough quality and we are relying on many prospect players as well as players who are not quality and players being played out of position. Whoever thinks Walcott or giroud in cf
    Position are going to fire Arsenal to success are hoping and have better chance to win the lotto.Arsenal need a now striker and not 10 games down the line striker in order to win the premier. Arsenal are no threat to Chelsea or man city
    And I am a arsenal fan being honest.

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