Lehmann reveals what differentiates the current Arsenal team from the “Invincibles”

Former Arsenal player Jens Lehmann believes the current Gunners team is too cautious, which distinguishes it from the team of 2003/2004.

That legendary team made history by becoming the first Premier League club to go through an entire campaign without losing a game, an achievement that elevated all the players in the group to legendary status.

Lehmann, who was a member of that historic team, played alongside legends like Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry, who played crucial roles in that success.

The invincible team had to be determined and ruthless to achieve that feat, especially because they had won the league with games to spare.

However, Lehmann has now spoken about what sets them apart from the current side.

The German goalkeeper said, as quoted by the Daily Mail:

‘They’re very different to us (Invincibles) in their approach – much more cautious and slower with the ball. Physically, they run a lot more and have more high-intensity runs but they don’t play faster than us because we were a one-touch team. They all take three, four touches at a time. 

‘And if you’re too cautious in football, you can’t win trophies. Most of the time, the bravest teams win the league. I would love them to win the title but that has cost them in certain games.

‘It’s 20 years since we won the league and I hope Arsenal win but it’s not in their own hands anymore and that’s a weakness.’

Just Arsenal Opinion

Lehmann was a part of the greatest team in Arsenal’s modern history and he has the right to make this comparison.

However, that does not mean this team will still not win trophies and it is important to know that it is still very much a work in progress.

Tags Jens Lehmann


  1. ONE MANS “CAUTIOUSNESS” is another mans gratitude that MA, unlike Wenger for all but a few years, DOES FULLY UNDERSTAND THAT THE SINGLE BEST PREM DEFENCES WIN MOST GAMES.

  2. As I said in a previous article, the Invincibles, man for man, would blow this current squad away.
    That’s not saying that MA’s squad is not good enough, as they certainly are – it just shows how powerful a machine we were in that wonderful season.

    Invincibles at home Vs MA
    Won 15-13 Drew 4-2 Lost 0-2
    Away 11-12 Drew 8-3 Lost 0-3

    Of course, with three games to play, I’m hoping it reads
    Won 15 at home and 13 away for MA’s superb squad.

    But those five losses and the five draws are why we’re relying on a city slip up.

    If only the authorities had pulled their fingers out, sorted city’s 115 charges out, then MA could/would have had two PL titles to his name and defended the PL title, something Arsene didn’t do.

    On the flip side of that, The Invincibles had won the PL with games to spare and didn’t rely on anyone else.

    Just my opinion of course, but I’m delighted with the way Jens describes the style of football as well… spot on 🎯

    1. @Ken.
      I do agree that going by natural talent and ability the Invincibles were much better than this MA team.
      But on the other hand the invincibles were 20 years ago with the league more weaker. I honestly think that it’s difficult to compare past and present teams. I feel like today the talent is much more spread ou. Now even the smaller clubs can afford real talent. These small clubs can attract £40-50 million level of player when they couldn’t 20 years ago.

      I think if you got the invincibles into this post Abramovich / Man City era, I don’t think they would have gone a season unbeaten. I do believe that teams today are more tactically savvy than they did back then.

      So it’s very difficult to know how a team 20 years ago would do in 2024.

  3. I disagree with Lehmann….to win the league is a long slog…..the most important factor is a good defense and a good midfield…. Arsenal will control the game and over many games this strategy will pay off. Yes one touch football is a key feature of the invincibles’ play but today’s EPL is far tougher than those early Wenger days ..many world class players are playing in the EPL 6 teams can win the title and if Arsenal plays one touch football it can lose possession against top teams. In the old days there were only two or three teams vying for the title…. nowadays ManC can even lose to a mid table team.

  4. We are moving there. A super striker, a new DM, a LB and a RB, whoever goes, Rowe, Nelson and Fabio should remain.

  5. Bravery has many forms, and it doesn’t just apply to attacking side of the game. Defense requires as much bravery. Situational adaptation requires bravery. Gone are the days when bravery was mostly synonymous to attacking prowess and defense was seen as cowardice. Glory to the defenders. And one touch football can be very risky in the modern football as high intensity presses are a norm now, and there is less room for making passes as the players converge so fast on the receiver, the chances of losing the ball become too high. This is part of the reason Odegaard is so successful at creating so many chances, those splitsecond delays in passing and holding the ball throws off players and bypasses their instinctive and reactionary advantage. We can’t react faster to things consciously than through instincts and reflexes and Odegaard is master at nullifying those traits when he receives the ball. He makes players react consciously to what he is doing and that tires players more, and voluntary reaction is less effective than reflex actions. That Havertz pass to Saka, at first glance, if it didn’t materialize as a goal, people would be on his back for taking too much time to pass the ball. But that split second delay, killed the instincts of the whole spurs defense and they had to react consciously to Havertz’s actions and that pass and when that happens, it’s almost always too late. That’s football IQ 101. Instincts and reflexes come at play mostly when we are less likely to succeed at consciously reacting to a fast moving action. It’s a response to high speed events in almost every cases. Slower events don’t trigger reflexes much and that’s something Odegaard and Havertz seem to capitalize, whether subconsciously or deliberately.

  6. IMO, Lehman is spot on, and this is NOT in anyway to discredit MA and this team.

    That some think the league then was less competitive, to me is ridiculous. Most who think so barely watch the games then! And seeing the mere stats of “points, wins and draws” does NOT tell a thing about how amazing they were! MEN played football then, and the rivalry was out of the world.

    On this team, we are massively improving, but so many times, everyone knows the play is too slow – eg., we could play that Bayern 2nd leg for 5 hours and you know we’d never score.
    Again, we are evolving and doing very well, but I can tell you for free, that even the team of Cecs, Nasri, RVP and co., ‘technically’ are miles ahead of City – aside defence, they being mostly academy graduates were just short of ‘character’ and that champions grit.

    And yes, the INVINCIBLES are infact underrated.

  7. I’ve just discovered that Lehmann owns ‘Invincibles’ title, and nobody can use it, not even Arsenal, unless he say’s so.

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