Can Arsenal’s Current Squad Rival Thierry Henry’s Invincible-Era Arsenal?

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Midfield vs Midfield

This is where the comparisons get incredibly complicated. The Invincibles had Patrick Vieira and Gilberto, two bruising, physical midfielders who aided the defense and sat back in the attack.

Today, Arsenal have Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey as the regular starters. These are attack-minded midfielders who mostly disappear on defense.

As such it’s nearly impossible to compare the two in anything accept overall contribution.

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Each midfield was a product of circumstance. Whereas the Invincibles didn’t need attacking help from the midfield, the current Arsenal squad’s attack begins with the midfield.

The Invincible’s midfield physicality aided the defense and helped them surrender only 29 goals on the year.

The current Arsenal midfield aids the attack and provides nearly all the assists, chances created and even a chunk of the goals.

Gilberto scored a goal every ten appearances, registering 11 goals once but never hitting double digits again. Vieira never passed 7 goals.

Both Cazorla and Ramsey have had seasons of 12 and 16 goals, respectively, and Ozil has the potential to do similar.

They were two completely different midfield sets for two completely different midfield needs.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can see what Patrick Vieira and Gilberto did for Arsenal. They were a physical duo that commandeered the center of the pitch and shut out opposing attacks.

But with creative masterminds like Ozil and Cazorla and the box-to-box talent of Ramsey, this current Arsenal midfield, when fully healthy, is as technically sound as they come.

Then there’s Francis Coquelin, who may take “bruising” too seriously, but regardless, he has been an invaluable member of Arsenal’s team of late.

Again, only time will tell. But to Arsene Wenger’s credit, he builds his midfield around what his team needs. While the current Arsenal midfield can’t control the middle of the pitch like they did in the early 2000s, they can score goals and create chances like they couldn’t back then.