Jens Lehmann explains why Arsenal's 'Invincible' era didn't last


Jens Lehmann believes that Arsenal made a mistake by not preparing for life after 'the invincibles'.

The Gunners made history in 2004 after winning the Premier League title without losing a single league game over the course of the campaign.

Despite that era-defining season, Arsenal have failed to follow up that success with another Championship-winning campaign - something which former goalkeeper Jens Lehmann believes is down to not being ready for what would come after such a memorable period.

Speaking to beIN SPORTS, Lehmann: “I think Arsenal made one mistake.

"At the time probably a minor mistake, but now I think it was quite a mistake which was decisive for the coming years.

"In 2008 Gilberto Silva and myself were the last guys from that team, and a year before they changed Thierry Henry, Patrick Viera, Martin Keown was leaving already in 2004, but within two years they got rid of all the personalities.

"I said Gilberto and myself we were the last ones and I was coming to the dressing room when I had my little comeback and there were guys like Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Alex Hleb, Thomas Rosicky.

"All young guys and after one good game, they thought I’m on the top of the hierarchy, but you could feel that there was no hierarchy because they were too young to lead at the time.

"It wasn’t their fault but there was just no in between generation which could actually transfer the old values and the approaches to training and to games onto this new generation because there was a huge gap and in my opinion that was a transition that was too fast.

"They were looking at age and statistics and probably salaries and whatever, but keeping some of the good guys from before was a good sometimes nasty approach would have helped.”

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

It was a period in time when Arsenal were untouchable, but in truth it should have lasted much longer.

The 2003-04 season will always be remembered as the campaign when the likes of Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry tore up the Premier League, however that should have only been the beginning.

Jens Lehmann's point about preparing for the future is valid certainly something which would have put the club in a strong position to sustain their success over the years that would follow.

But unfortunately for them the cyclical nature of the game took over and Arsenal found themselves in the chasing pack.

Arsenal's time will come around again, but for now we must all look back fondly and admire one of the great teams of the Premier League era.

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