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The Arsenal 2003-04 Invincible side: Where are they now?

Manchester United v Arsenal - FA Cup 5th Round
Manchester United v Arsenal - FA Cup 5th Round
Puneet Hooda
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In the history of English football, only two teams ARSENAL and PRESTON NORTH END have remained unbeaten in the top flight league. Preston did it in 1888-89 whereas Arsenal did it in 2003-04 and clearly, the competitiveness and intensity were much higher during Arsenal's time. The 2003-04 season is written in golden words in Arsenal's history.

They did something unimaginable and played beautiful football. Arsenal played 38 league matches during the 2003-04 season out of which they won 26 matches and 12 matches ended on equal terms. Arsene Wenger's side won the Premier League with 90 points, 11 points above second-placed Chelsea.

Here, we look at the Arsenal Invincible XI and where they are now.

  1. Jens Lehmann (Goalkeeper)
Arsenal v Manchester City
Arsenal v Manchester City

Lehmann left Borussia Dortmund and joined Arsenal on 25th July 2003. He replaced David Seaman and became the first choice keeper. He made 200 appearances for Arsenal. In 2008 he joined Stuttgart where he remained till 2010. The German international also made 61 appearances for the national team.

At the end of 2010-11 season, he announced his retirement from football. He currently works as a motivational speaker and he is also a UNICEF ambassador.

2. Lauren (Right back)

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Enter caption

In the summer of 2000, Lauren joined arsenal from Mallorca for 7.2 million fees. He was a midfielder but soon became the regular starter at the right back position. During the 2003-04 season for his excellent performance, he got a place in the PFA Team of the Year. The Cameroon international made 159 appearances for Arsenal.

After spending six years at the club he left Arsenal after the 2006-07 season. Later he joined Portsmouth and then Cordoba. He retired at the end of 2010-11 season. The right back also made 24 appearances for the national team and scored one goal as well. Currently, he works as a football pundit in Spain.

3. Sol Campbell (Center back)

Arsenal v Everton
Arsenal v Everton

Campbell was one of the most important players of that Arsenal Squad. He joined Arsenal in 2001 from arch-rival Tottenham Hotspurs. Campbell made his Arsenal debut in the opening fixture of the 2000-01 season against Middlesbrough. During his 6 years at the club, he made 135 appearances for them and also scored 8 goals.

In 2003-04 he got a place in the PFA Team of the year. This was his third consecutive place in the PFA team of the year. Later he joined Portsmouth, Notts County and Newcastle United. He also made 73 appearances for the England National team and scored a goal also. In May 2012, he decided to retire from Football. In 2017 he was appointed as Dennis Lawrence's assistant for Trinidad and Tobago.

4. Kolo Toure (Center back)

Arsenal v Wigan Athletic - Barclays Premier League
Arsenal v Wigan Athletic - Barclays Premier League

He along with Campbell played as a centre back for Arsenal. Toure joined Arsenal in 2002 from ASEC Mimosas. He spent 8 years at the club. During his time with the Gunners, he made 225 appearances and scored 9 goals. Season 2003-04 acted as a catalyst in the life of Toure. Wenger completely changed his role from attacking midfielder to defender.

He is the second most capped player for Ivory Coast with 120 appearances. Later he joined Manchester City and Liverpool. After leaving Liverpool in 2016 he joined Celtics. In 2017, he decided to hang his boots and announced retirement. He currently works as a Technical Assistant for Celtics.

5. Ashley Cole (Left back)

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal

The left-footed English international played as a left-back during the 2003-04 invincible season. Ashley Cole is a youth product of Arsenal Academy. At the age of 18, he made his first senior appearance for Arsenal against Middlesbrough in the League Cup and made his Premier League debut in 2000 against Newcastle United.

Cole spent 7 years at the club and made 156 appearances for them, moreover, he scored 8 goals for the club. In 2007 he joined rival club, Chelsea and was highly criticized for his move. The Englishman got a place in the 2003-04 PFA Team of the year. Currently, he plays in the Major league soccer side LA Galaxy.

6. Patrick Vieira (Defensive midfielder)

Patrick Vieria battles with Patrik Berger
Patrick Vieria battles with Patrik Berger

The arsenal legend was an integral part of the Invincible season for Arsenal and he played as a defensive midfielder for the team. Vieria joined Arsenal in 1996 and stayed till 2005. During his 9 years at the club, he made 279 appearances and scored 29 goals. After leaving Arsenal in 2005 he joined Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City respectively.

He was the heart of Arsenal's midfield. Vieria also made 107 appearances for the French national team and scored 6 goals for the country. In 2011 Vieria retired from Football. Currently, he is the manager of French top-flight club OGC Nice.

7. Gilberto Silva (Central midfielder)

Fulham v Arsenal
Fulham v Arsenal

Brazil-born central midfielder joined Arsenal from Atletico Mineiro in 2003. His stellar performance in the 2002 FIFA World Cup caught attention and Arsenal grabbed him in 2003. He spent 6 years with Gunners, made 170 appearances for Arsenal and scored 17 goals before leaving them for Panathinaikos in 2008.

Later he spent 2 years at Gremio and 1 year at Atletico Mineiro. He featured in 32 league games in 2003-04 season. In 2015 he retired from football with a plan of becoming a football consultant.

8. Robert Pires (Winger/Attacking Midfielder)

Arsenal v Fulham
Arsenal v Fulham

He was the most important player in the Arsenal midfield during the 2003-04 season. He was cool on the ball and provided some jaw-dropping assists during the season. The stellar performance earned him a place in the 2003-04 PFA Team of the year.

Pires spent 6 years at the club and made 189 appearances for them. He scored 62 goals for the Gunners and was voted as the 6th best Arsenal player in their history. Pires would later join other clubs including Indian Super League Side FC Goa in 2014 where he stayed for 1 season. Currently, he is a coach at Arsenal.

9. Freddie Ljungberg (Right wing)

Freddie Ljungberg of Arsenal
Freddie Ljungberg of Arsenal

Former Swedish International spent Nine years at Rightwing for Arsenal. Freddie was signed by Arsenal in 2003 for 3 million fees. During his days with Arsenal, he made 216 appearances for them and scored 46 goals for the club. Later he joined numerous clubs and one of them is Mumbai City FC in Indian Super League.

He also made 75 appearances for his country and scored 14 goals. He also did some modelling projects noticeably with Calvin Klein. In 2014 He announced his retirement from Football. Currently, he is appointed as the head coach of Arsenal's u-23 side.

10. Dennis Bergkamp (Left Forward)

Arsenal v Portsmouth
Arsenal v Portsmouth

In 1995, Bergkamp left Inter Milan to join Arsenal for a fee of 7.5 million. He made 28 appearances in the league that season and scored 4 goals for the club. He spent 11 seasons with Arsenal and 315 appearances for them, he also scored 87 in Arsenal's shirt.

He also made 79 appearances for the Netherlands and scored 37 Goals for the country. He ended his footballing career in 2006 with Arsenal only. He was appointed as assistant coach in 2011 and was sacked in 2017.

11. Thierry Henry (Forward)

Chelsea v Arsenal
Chelsea v Arsenal

Considered as one of the best players to grace the Premier League, Henry was the most important person during the Invincible season. He scored 30 league goals in 37 matches. overall he scored 39 goals in the season. He spent eight years with the club and is the all-time scorer for the club with 174 in 254 matches.

His 30 goals in 2003-04 earned him the award of PFA Player of the season and got him a place in PFA Team of the year. Currently, he is the manager of French club Monaco, where he started his career.

Edited by Emeka Monyei
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