How would Arsenal’s 2003-2004 ‘Invincibles’ team perform in modern football?

Image result for Arsene Wenger

With Arsene Wenger retiring at the end of the season, Arsenal fans have a lot to thank the man for. He has brought them 7 community shields, 7 FA Cups, and 3 Premier League titles.

Now one of those Premier League titles came in the 2003/2004 season with a team so good, they’ve been named ‘The Invincivbles’, just the second team in English footballing history to complete a unbeaten season after William Sudell’s Preston North End side achieved it back in 1889.

Image result for Arsenal the invincibles

The ‘Invincible’s’ team consists of some of the world greats such as Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Viera, Robert Pires, Sol Campbell and Martin Keown.
This lineup dominated the FA Barclaycard Premiership with 26 wins and 12 draws, with a goal difference of 47. But how would they fair in todays modern Premier League?

I’ve downloaded a Football Manager 2018 database from FM Scout which has put the invincible’s Arsenal squad in today’s Premier League setup. I will be simulating through to see how they compete with today’s team’s.

Can they complete the unbeaten season again?
You’re about to find out!

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The squad I will be using

Pre Season

We absolutely glided through pre-season unbeaten with five wins from five against Lille, Brighton, AZ Alkmaar, Kitchee and Alavez. We scored eight goals and conceded none. I was extremely proud of the boys for the solid results leading up to our Community Shield match against Chelsea

Champions Shield 

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We won our first trophy of the season with a 1-0 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield. The only goal was scored by Patrick Viera in the 84th minute after Jose Manuel Reyes found him on the penalty spot with a well-placed through ball. Chelsea fought back towards the end but couldn’t scrape one back

Carabao Cup

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Our second competitive outing at Chelsea wasn’t as successful as our first. This time we fell to a 3-2 defeat in the third round of the Carabao Cup. Thierry Henry scored both of our goals in the 52nd and 94th minute but it wasn’t enough to combat a brace from Alvaro Morata and a 40th minute goal from Ross Barkley. Hopefully getting knocked out of the cup gives us more chance of winning the Premier League.

FA Cup

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Our FA Cup was cut short at the final hurdle as we stumbled to a 1-0 loss to Liverpool after a 21st minute goal from Roberto Firmino.
We had previously overcome Rotherham, Peterborough, Brighton, Tottenham, and Bournemouth to get to the final.

Europa League

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We progressed from our group with 16 out of a possible 18 points. We picked up both home and away wins against Dinamo and Rosenborg and a home win against Young Boys, but only managed to pick up a 0-0 draw over in Switzerland. We scored 18 goals and only conceded 1. Thierry Henry was the scorer of 11 of those goals

We then progressed to the first knockout round where we knocked out Galatasaray 6-0 on aggregate.

From there we moved on to the second knockout round and it was another convincing win, this time in the form of a 8-2 aggregate win over Russian side Zenit.

This earns us a spot in the Europa League quarter final where we were drawn against AS Monaco. Our first match was over in France and unfortunately we were put down 1-0 by a 6th minute Falcao goal.

We returned home to England for the second leg and trained hard but could only come up with a 3-3 draw, sending Monaco through on aggregate. They went on to win the trophy with a penalty shootout win over Lazio.

Premier League

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Unfortunately the quest for the Premier League title didn’t go to plan for us. It was instead lifted by Manchester United. In fact Manchester United nearly completed an unbeaten season, but we cut them win/draw short with a 2-0 win in January.

Our Thierry Henry was the leagues top scorer, scoring 27 goals and he also got the most assists with 16.

So the answer to the question is NO! In this case, Arsenal COULD NOT complete another unbeaten season!


Would you like to see more experiments? Comment an experiment that you would like to see us do, and we’ll bring it to you quicker than Harry Kane claims goals!

In the mean time, heres some articles you may like:

Success with a Cherry on top – Paul’s recollection of Bournemouth’s successes on their hunt for Premier League football.

Will England win the 2018 FIFA World Cup? – Football Manager 2018 Simulation – Will England win the 2018 FIFA World Cup? Luke did a Football Manager simulation to find out!

Auditing the Beautiful Game – Justin audits the beautiful game we all love!


 

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