Football

Arsene Wenger: Give Invincibles defence due credit

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Arsene Wenger does not believe the 'Invincibles' defence gets enough credit.

Following successive clean sheets against Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund - only the second time the German club have failed to score at home in 61 games - comparisons have been made between Wenger's great defences.

The Frenchman inherited the famous back-four of Lee Dixon, Steve Bould, Tony Adams and Nigel Winterburn when he arrived in 1996 and many believe this defensive unit to be the best under Wenger.

However, the Arsenal manager believes his title-winning back-four of 2003/04 fails to receive the praise it deserves.

Fans and pundits alike have been heaping praise on the ever-improving partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, and Wenger believes there are similarities with the famous defence he arrived to.

"People always speak of the defence I inherited when I arrived here, it was an exceptional defence and a bit similar to now," said Wenger on Arsenal.com. "Adams and Bould were similar and Keown was a bit different. On the flanks I had two real resilient, tough, intelligent English full backs."

But Wenger is surprised that his defence that remained unbeaten for a whole season fails to receive higher recognition.

He believes his defence in his last title win was more powerful than the one left to him by Bruce Rioch and formerly George Graham.

"People forget a lot about the defence that was unbeaten," Wenger added. "They never speak about that and it’s unbelievable that that defence never gets any credit.

"It was Lauren, Kolo Toure, Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole. They were absolutely exceptional. They didn’t lose a game and yet no-one speaks about them.

"It was a more powerful centre than it is today because Kolo and Sol were absolutely both very pacy players with unbelievable physical power. When a striker went beyond any of them you knew they would come back and catch them up. They were less calculating but much more physical.

"On the flanks we had two more footballing players because Lauren was a midfielder and Cole has made a fantastic career because he is a great player."

Arsenal will need their current defence - likely to consist of Bacary Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs - to be on top form at Old Trafford if the Gunners are to come away with a result.

In Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, Wenger's side will be up against two of the league's top strikers and with just one win in their last 11 visits to Old Trafford, a clean-sheet will be difficult. 

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Kolo Toure
Sol Campbell
Arsenal
Ashley Cole

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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