Search

All Guns Blazing: 10 years on and Arsenal’s Invincibles still cast a shadow

12:01 30 October 2014

Arsenal Invincibles banner in the Emirates Stadium

Arsenal Invincibles banner in the Emirates Stadium

EMPICS Sport

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Layth Yousif looks back at the end of the Invincibles and Arsenal’s new artistic movement.

There was a recent 10-year anniversary no Gunners fan will look on with anything but sadness and regret.

Has it really been a decade since ‘match 50’ – a seismic 2-0 loss at Old Trafford on October 24, 2004, signalling the end of our glorious 49-match unbeaten run?

Some pundits argue the club has never recovered from the defeat, hastening the beginning of the end of the first ‘Wenger era’, and from which our ‘Invincibles’ saw their never-to-be repeated unbeaten run ended controversially on an awful Manchester afternoon.

I won’t discuss the details again – I’m sure they are all embedded in our psyche whether we like it or not – suffice to say even now, a decade on, Sol Campbell simply did not foul Wayne Rooney to concede a penalty for Ruud van Nistelrooy to net United’s 73rd-minute opener.

Bitter? No. Football is capricious, and we would have lost eventually. But the manner of the defeat – in terms of a referee being duped by a player who dived – makes the result and images from the day very hard to bear even now. History shows we drew against Southampton at Highbury in the next game – but it was clear to all our body language from then on never quite matched the Invincibles’ charisma.

Losing to Manchester United haunts some Arsenal fans to this day because of the fact we have failed to hit such consistently imperious heights again.

So it was a perfect antidote for me to interview Amy Lawrence for The Gooner fanzine around the date of the Old Trafford anniversary. The renowned journalist has a new book called ‘Invincible’, detailing our never-to-be-forgotten unbeaten season.

Amy, who has been watching Arsenal since the 1970s, tells the wonderful story of the time the Gunners ruled the Premier League with a team full of – as she says with admiration – exceptional characters as much as exceptional players. Their will-to-win and esprit de corps is testament to one of the finest teams the club has produced, and should be celebrated.

Speaking of celebrations, Operation Arsenal Art (#OpAa) is on this Friday and Saturday at Piebury Corner, featuring some of the best sports art around.

I would urge you to visit, make a purchase or two, and talk to the artists concerned – many of whom are genuine Gooners at the vanguard of a new movement. For that, we should be proud.

Follow me @laythy29

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

12:00
Dawid Malan hits out for Middlesex. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Skipper Dawid Malan believes Middlesex’s NatWest T20 Blast campaign is gathering pace after they recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

07:11
Isledon Wolves player Ethan Irvine (right) and coach Adrian Daley celebrate cup success in 2013

A decade strewn with silverware is not an achievement to be overlooked – but there are other means of gauging success at Isledon Wolves.

Yesterday, 16:50
Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones

It’s always great to see two young guys come together in a partnership like Nick Gubbins and Steve Eskinazi did this week against Lancashire.

Yesterday, 16:00
Islington side Access2Sports Under-16s, who won the Community Basketball League play-off final

Islington’s emerging basketball stars completed a double as both of their teams were crowned Community Basketball League champions at the play-off finals weekend.

Yesterday, 15:24
Fusion FC coaches Sarah Cleary (left) and Carrie-Anne Layton (right) with girls at the weekly coaching sessions at Market Road

The new Camden & Islington Girls’ League is to be launched in September following a successful series of weekly coaching sessions at Market Road.

Yesterday, 12:58
Arsenal's Asisat Oshoala

Arsenal Ladies boss Pedro Martinez Losa is backing Asisat Oshoala to be a long-term success despite a slow start to her Gunners career.

Yesterday, 07:07
Highgate captain Jake Sharland

Highgate captain Jake Sharland wants his side to forget about results and focus on enjoying the game as they attempt to turn their season around.

Tue, 10:13
North Middlesex's Connor Nurse took 4-20 against league leaders Ealing but was less successful when he opened the batting, being bowled first ball. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex find themselves just one point above the relegation zone in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League after their latest failure with the bat resulted in a defeat against leaders Ealing.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe