Comparing Arsenal’s 2022-23 record to the Invincibles at the same stage
Arsenal can’t quite match the historic achievement of going unbeaten in an entire league campaign as their famous Invincibles did back in 2003-04, but their overall record in the league this season isn’t far off that legendary side.
After 28 games in 2003-04, Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles had taken 70 points from 28 matches. They’d drawn a quarter of their games and won the rest. In mid-March, they registered a routine 2-0 away win at Blackburn Rovers to open up a nine-point lead over second-place Chelsea.
This season, Mikel Arteta’s Gunners only have one fewer point after the same number of games. They have lost more matches, with defeats to Manchester United, Manchester City and Everton so far, but they’ve drawn fewer and won more than the legendary Invincibles at the same stage.
Arsenal have also scored 11 more goals than the unforgettable 2003-04 side of Thierry Henry and company managed after 28 games. But they have conceded eight more than Wenger’s side did at the same point of the campaign.
Back in 2003-04, Arsenal broke the back of their title charge with a brilliant run of nine successive league wins in the Spring. The victory at Blackburn was the eighth game of that run, which was extended the following week with a 2-1 home win against Sam Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers.
Wenger’s side ended up drawing five of their final nine matches, winning the other four, to keep their incredible unbeaten record intact. There’s every chance that this season’s team can surpass the final points tally (90) and win percentage (68.4%) of that season.
Remarkably, they could end up with more points than the Invincibles and still not win the title. Pep Guardiola’s Man City have notched more than 90 points in four of the last five seasons (each with a league title) and remain on Arsenal’s tail in the title race.
Arteta arrived at Arsenal seven years after the Invincibles season, at which point most of that squad had moved on, but he played under Wenger and has nothing but respect for the Frenchman’s legacy at the club.
“It did (cross my mind when taking the job),” the Spanish coach said of being wary of following in Wenger’s footsteps.
“But it was tiny in comparison to the excitement and the opportunity that I saw to join this club and try to do what we all wanted to do, which is to get it back to where Arsene took it at the highest level and obviously that desire was much bigger than the worries of failure.”
Here’s how Arsenal’s record in 2022-23 compares to the Invincibles at the same stage.
Goals for: 66
Goals per game: 2.35
Goals against: 26
Goals against per game: 0.92
Points per game: 2.46
Win rate: 78.5%
Loss rate: 10.7%
"To be at the top you need to be at it at all times and this group of players are ready to do that."
Mikel Arteta praises his side's desire to play, with injuries impacting the squad pic.twitter.com/R31ataFORI
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 19, 2023
Goals for: 55
Goals per game: 1.96
Goals against: 18
Goals against per game: 0.64
Points per game: 2.5
Win rate: 75%
Loss rate: 0%
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