Arsenal Invincible Jens Lehmann has explained why Arsene Wenger’s historic 2003/04 side were a better side than the current Manchester City team.
Pep Guardiola has been doing an incredible job at the Etihad this season. City are now unbeaten in 21 games in all competitions, and it doesn’t look like there is a team in the Premier League who can stop them at the moment.
That has brought in claims that this City side might be better than the Arsenal Invincibles. Lehmann has rubbished that by claiming that teams in the modern game can never have the perfect physical and technical balance that Wenger’s men possessed.
He told The Daily Star: “We never discuss if we would beat them or not, but at the time one of our biggest advantages was our physicality. At the same time, we played some of the most fluent and nice to watch football, because technically we were fantastic as well.
“Our physicality was second to none, and probably always will be because the new style is based on smaller players who are technically very gifted, but this power, physical power, you need it. That is one thing that is hard to find in modern football.
“If we were playing now, I think we would have played a similar style because our style was a role model for so many other cultures like Pep Guardiola, who said that once when he was coaching Barcelona. Competing with us was not only on a technical level – it was to compete with our physicality.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
Lehmann is spot on.
Guardiola’s Manchester City are arguably the best side in the Premier League over the last 15 years. The technical skill in some of their players are second to none, but they aren’t even close to the physical level our Invincibles possessed.
Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure behind powerhouses in Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira were untouchable on their day. As good as they were physically, their skill on the ball was as good as any player we’ve seen in the league.
Manchester City are a fantastic team and they will surely go on to be remembered in history. However, the Invincibles were on a different level and that is exactly why no other team has achieved the feat we did back in 2003/04.