Comparison between Arsenal’s Invincibles (2003-04) and the Chelsea 2014-15.
Arsene Wenger had a great team 11 years ago when he began the campaign. The likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, Pires, Viera and Gilberto Silva gave them a very balanced attack and midfield. The defence was well marshalled by Sol Campbell and Kolo Touré. The team had skills as well as physicality to cope up with any challenge. The team didn’t have any weakness as such as they put together a record of 26 victories and 12 draws to clinch the Premier League in an unprecedented fashion.
Chelsea of today is looking like a team that can really challenge the record set by Arsenal. The team has gone 11 games unbeaten and fans have started to put their faith on Chelsea remaining unbeaten throughout the league. The expectations are at a new high as Mourinho is pulling the strings to great effect and the team is responding extremely well to his training methods. There are things that are similar in today’s Chelsea and the Invincible Arsenal team.
Both the teams are physically strong and hardworking. The likes of Vieira and Matic are comparable with their size and style of play. Gilberto Silva offered the box to box option, something that Chelsea’s Oscar, Ramires and Willian offer. Ljungberg and Pires worked hard with and without the ball and had the strength and directness suited for the league. Chelsea’s attacking midfielders are hardworking and very skillful. Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Schürrle work hard and are players with flair quotient. Strikers Henry and Costa are definitely physical and aggressive. Scores even here. 1-1
Dennis Bergkamp did what Cesc Fabregas is doing now. While Bergkamp played as a second striker, Fabregas plays as the team’s chief playmaker. Both provide creativity that the team needs despite their positional difference. Bergkamp is known for a lot of magical Arsenal moments while Fabregas is the pass master. But when it comes to creativity you have to give it to the gunners. Every body in the side were good passers of the ball. The Invincibles played a simple attractive football that blew the opponent teams apart. Invincibles takes the lead. 2-1
Balance in play.
Both the teams had balance in their play. They attacked and defended with equal dedication. While Arsene Wenger has become very different and philosophical now that he loses out on balance and squad depth as well, his invincibles were very confident and balanced in their style. Chelsea is a similar team as they are a team that are very tough at the back and also very strong in starting counter attacks. Even again, 3-2 for the Gunners.
For now, we can conclude that ‘Invincibles’ were a better side compared to the current Chelsea side but the blues have a chance to break Arsenal’s record with proper management. The balance in the team and the game, winning by the scruff of the neck, clever tactics and winning mentality- Mourinho’s team has it all to match the legendary ‘Invincibles’ from Highbury. May be during end of this season, we should comeback with another comparison which will give the complete picture.