Arsenal’s Invincibles were almost certainly the best side the Premier League has ever seen.
Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell and Patrick Vieira all in the same side just sounds plain unfair on anyone playing against the Gunners that year. And it was.
They went an entire season without losing. Some whispered quietly that Manchester City’s current crop of superstars were capable of repeating the feat, but they weren’t. It’s likely that no team will ever dominate a season like the 2003-04 Arsenal side did.
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But an amazing thing about that team is that their most fabled XI – Lehmann, Lauren, Cole, Campbell, Kolo Toure, Pires, Gilberto Silva, Vieira, Ljungberg, Bergkamp and Henry – only started two Premier League games together that season.
OK, so they were quite important ones: the dramatic 4-2 comeback win over Liverpool and the 38th of 38 unbeaten games against Leicester on the final day of the season.
So, how did that happen? Well, Edu chimed in with 12 starts that season, and so did fellow midfielder ‘It’s only’ Ray Parlour. Pascal Cygan managed to start 10 times at centre-back, with Sylvain Wiltord and Jose Antonio Reyes making it into the starting XI every now and again.
The person who illuminated this remarkable piece of information is one Duncan Alexander, and you can read the rest of his brilliant article here.