Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ are one of the greatest teams in Premier League history.
With a historic record of 38 games, 26 wins, 12 draws and zero defeats, the Gunners became the first side since Preston North End in Victorian times to go an entire English top-flight season unbeaten.
There are arguments to be had that Manchester United‘s treble winners and Manchester City’s centurions were ultimately better, but the simple fact of the matter is that Arsenal achieved something entirely unique in the modern era.
Arsenal’s iconic team
So, bearing that in mind, you would have imagined if you didn’t know any better than Arsenal would have won multiple league titles, maybe even a Champions League trophy and gone on to dominate for years to come.
But alas, the drop-off was painfully serve with Arsenal having not gotten their hands on the Premier League trophy since they wrapped up their invincible steak almost two decades ago.
It truly is astonishing to think that a team fresh from winning a golden version of the Premier League trophy, such was their level of achievement, would then go on one of the longes barren runs in their history.
However, once you remove the emotion from the situation and look a little closer, it suddenly becomes a lot more understandable why one of English football’s greatest ever sides fell apart so quickly.
Watford 2-3 Arsenal Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
Henry’s analysis on the fall of the ‘Invincibles’
But don’t just take that from us, because none other than Thierry Henry dissected exactly where it went wrong for the ‘Invincibles’ during a fascinating appearance on Monday Night Football back in 2015.
Stood alongside Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville in the Sky Sports studio, Arsenal’s Golden Boot winner from that glorious season gave a candid, honest and revealing analysis on an opportunity missed.
In a video that has since been re-shared as one of the most-viewed clips on the ‘Sky Sports Retro’ YouTube channel, Henry kick-started a gripping conversation with his former Manchester United and Liverpool rivals.
By the time that Henry set the wheels in motion with an answer that truly screams ‘what could have been?’, the fascinating medley of TV punditry was away, so be sure to relive the chat in full down below:
It hurts, doesn’t it, Arsenal fans?
What could have been…
Seeing those transfer figures, seeing that decline in points and seeing the recruitment policy makes you wonder just what Arsenal might have achieved if they had continued to invest in that stunning team.
But with Patrick Vieira leaving in 2005, Robert Pires waving goodbye in 2006 and Henry himself walking out the door in 2007, the spine of the ‘Invincibles’ crumbled away in the space of just a few seasons.
Sure, Arsenal had lifted the Premier League title in 2001/02, albeit with a far different side featuring the likes of Tony Adams and David Seaman, but their dynasty was nevertheless short-lived in relation to their quality.
When you think about United periodically winning three league crowns on the bounce, it’s not crazy to suggest that a team who went a season without defeat should have been lifting more silverware.
But as much as Arsenal fans might wish otherwise, there’s not a time machine available to go back and change all that now as they continue to feel the aftershocks of their ‘Invincibles’ hangover. What if, what if…