Arsenal Invincibles gold Premier League players winners trophy
Gold Premier League trophy as received by the Arsenal players and staff after winning the 2003 – 2004 Premier League and going the whole season unbeaten
Each player received a special commissioned gold trophy to celebrate this amazing achievement something which no club has ever done before or since
Trophy measures – 29cm top – bottom
The Invincibles is the name given to the Arsenal team which won the 2003-04 Premier League. The reason for the nickname is that they went unbeaten in their 38 league matches. They won 26 games and drew 12.
Arsenal usually lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, though it could also be labelled a 4-2-3-1 due to the way Dennis Bergkamp dropped into the ‘No.10’ position between midfield and attack.
The team is mostly remembered for its attacking genius. Thierry Henry was at the peak of his powers and finished second in the Ballon d’Or voting in 2003 and fourth in 2004, and while Bergkamp was nearing the end of his career he had not lost his brilliant movement or vision.
Left winger Robert Pires provided a secondary source of goals, netting 14 in the league, while Patrick Vieira was both the heart and brain of the team from central midfield. On the right, Freddie Ljungberg was a ferocious box-to-box player who raised his game for the big occasion.
What is not mentioned as often – particularly when comparing the Invincibles to today’s Arsenal team – was that the Gunners were also outstanding defensively, conceding just 26 goals. Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure were a brilliant mix of athleticism and intelligence at centre-back, Jens Lehmann brought international class in goal and Ashley Cole and Lauren were a dynamic full-back pairing.
It was not just the quality of the personnel, however, but also the way they set up. Arsenal were more like Atletico Madrid than Barcelona, with both Gilberto Silva and Vieira tasked with shielding the defence and Cole and Lauren not allowing their desire to attack and overlap compromise their duties in their own half. Pires and Ljungberg did not hang around high up the field but were expected to track back and turn the ball over.
That commitment to defending made Arsenal an even better team going forward than their talent alone would suggest, because they were able to absorb pressure in their own half before launching lethal counter-attacks led by Henry.