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Ticket Compare > The Arsenal Invincibles Squad of 2003/04: A Deep Dive

The Arsenal Invincibles Squad of 2003/04: A Deep Dive

We’ve witnessed some fantastic Premier League seasons over recent years, with Sergio Aguero’s last minute winner to seal Manchester City’s title on the 2011/12 season’s final day being a great example of the Premier League at its best.

One season that will always be memorable was the 2003/04 Premier League season. The reason for this? Well, north-Londoners Arsenal pulled off something unbelievable, which hasn’t been achieved ever since.

Under Arsène Wenger’s management, Arsenal were able to win the league without losing a single match. Yes, you heard that right! The Gunners finished the season with the following stats:


They won the league by 11 points, with fellow Londoners Chelsea coming in 2nd place with 79 points. They scored the most goals out of all 20 Premier League sides and conceded the fewest. It’s safe to say that it was a masterclass from Wenger and the Arsenal invincibles squad that season.

In this article, we’re going to look at each of the core players in more detail to see how they contributed to this unique achievement, as well as some of the fringe players. If you want to learn more about this topic, we suggest reading on.

Who Was in the Arsenal Invincibles Squad?

There were 22 players in the invincible Arsenal 2003/04 squad:

  1. Jens Lehmann (GK)
  2. Ashley Cole (DF)
  3. Martin Keown (DF)
  4. Lauren (DF)
  5. Pascal Cygan (DF)
  6. Gaël Clichy (DF)
  7. Sol Campbell (DF)
  8. Kolo Touré (DF)
  9. Patrick Vieira (MF)
  10. Robert Pires (MF)
  11. Freddie Ljungberg (MF)
  12. Ray Parlour (MF)
  13. Giovanni van Bronckhorst (MF)
  14. Edu (MF)
  15. Gilberto Silva (MF)
  16. David Bentley (MF)
  17. José Antonio Reyes (FW)
  18. Dennis Bergkamp (FW)
  19. Sylvain Wiltord (FW)
  20. Thierry Henry (FW)
  21. Kanu (FW)
  22. Jérémie Aliadière (FW)

Arsenal Invincibles Starting XI

Let’s have a look at each of the Arsenal invincibles starting eleven in more detail. During the season, Arsenal’s starting eleven players would change for various reasons throughout the season including injuries and suspensions, however if all players were fit, this would have been Arsène Wenger’s starting XI.

We’re going to look at the detailed stats around each player including appearances, goals scored, assists, yellow cards and red cards.

Jens Lehmann

Goals conceded26
Clean sheets15
Yellow Cards2
Red Cards0

Starting in-between the posts, we have German international goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann. Lehmann was only in his first season for the Gunners when they achieved the impossible, meaning he had the best possible introduction to English football.

During the season, he played 38 league matches, conceding just 26 goals at a rate of 0.68 goals conceded per match. In addition, he kept 15 clean sheets and received 2 yellow cards. An interesting fact is that he’s the only player out of the whole Arsenal Invincibles squad to have played all 38 matches during the invincibles season.


Goals scored0
Yellow Cards6
Red Cards0

First up in Arsenal’s back four is Cameroonian right back Lauren. He was a mainstay throughout the invincibles season, playing 32 matches. He is deemed an Arsenal legend, after making 242 total appearances for the club from 2000-2007.

During the 2003/04 season, Lauren didn’t get himself on the scoresheet, but recorded a single assist. In terms of bookings, he received 6 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

Lauren had a fantastic season in red, however, he did face four matches on the sidelines after hurling verbal abuse at Manchester United striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy, following a penalty miss during a 0-0 draw. He was also fined £40,000 for his comments.

Ashley Cole

Goals scored0
Yellow Cards5
Red Cards1

England international Ashley Cole is no stranger to Premier League football. Another Arsenal legend, the left-back played in North London for 7 seasons, with the invincibles season being his 5th season in red. Similarly to his full-back counterpart, Lauren, Ashley Cole made 32 league appearances that season.

He did, however, record 3 assists, received 5 yellow cards and a single red card. The red card came during a match against Leicester City away from home, where the foxes held the invincibles to a 1-1 draw.

Sol Campbell

Goals scored1
Yellow Cards2
Red Cards1

Another England international made up the brick wall that was Arsenal’s defence during the 2003/04 season. Sol Campbell had originally played for Arsenal’s rivals Tottenham Hotspur, before making the switch to Arsenal.

During this record-breaking season, Campbell played 35 times, scoring 1 goal and recording 1 assist, too. Not a terrible return for a centre-back. His disciplinary record was contrasting, after he received just 2 yellow cards but also picked up a red card.

Kolo Touré

Goals scored1
Yellow Cards4
Red Cards0

Sol Campbell’s fellow centre-back partner during this incredible season was Ivorian Kolo Touré. At the time, he was only 22 years old and played 37 league games, missing all but one match. To play at such a consistently high standard and a young age is particularly impressive, and probably makes Touré quite underrated in the football world.

On top of 37 league games, he made an additional 18 appearances in other competitions, including the Champions League. So in total, Touré made 55 appearances during the Gunner’s invincible season.

He also posted a healthy disciplinary record, picking up 4 yellow cards and 0 red cards in this season. He even chipped in with a goal and an assist too.

Patrick Vieira

Goals scored3
Yellow Cards11
Red Cards1

One half of Arsenal’s central midfield double pivot was one of the greatest Premier League midfielders of all time, Patrick Vieira. Not only that, but Vieira was the captain of Arsenal during this historic Premier League winning campaign.

Having made 29 league appearances, the Frenchman didn’t have the best disciplinary record, picking up 11 yellow cards and 1 red card. He was a force to be reckoned with in midfield, making a nuisance of himself, breaking up play and getting stuck into tackles.

He also offered some goal threat, scoring 3 goals and racking up 4 assists during the league campaign.

Gilberto Silva

Goals scored4
Yellow Cards2
Red Cards0

Often found playing alongside Vieira was Brazilian midfield maestro Gilberto Silva. He made 32 appearances in the title-winning season, with 29 of these being starts. His G/A output was well-matched, scoring 4 goals and chalking up 4 assists.

Silva was in the infancy of his Arsenal career, with the invincibles season taking place in only his second campaign with the north London club. In his 6 seasons at the club, Arsenal never finished outside the top 4, meaning Silva enjoyed a fortuitous spell with the Gunners.

The player was given the nickname “the invisible wall” in Brazil, and this reflects his playing style. The Brazilian would often go unnoticed on the pitch, getting on with his duties (mainly defensive) without putting too much limelight on himself.

This is also reflected in his disciplinary record, with the midfielder rarely picking up bookings throughout his career. During the 2003/04 Premier League season, he only picked up 2 yellow cards. Furthermore, he went on two separate runs of 45 consecutive games where he didn’t pick up a booking during his Arsenal career, an incredible achievement for a central midfielder.

Robert Pires

Goals scored14
Yellow Cards0
Red Cards0

One of the more lavish players in the invincibles squad, was another French midfielder, Robert Pires. Widely regarded as one of Arsenal’s greatest ever players, Pires was often deployed on the left side of midfield but was also able to play in other midfield roles, as well as a second striker.

His 2003/04 league campaign was arguably flawless, playing 36 matches, scoring 14 goals and producing 8 assists. His disciplinary record was spotless, too. It’s safe to say that there’s not much more Pires could’ve done to support Arsenal during their title winning season.

Freddie Ljungberg

Goals scored4
Yellow Cards2
Red Cards0

Another brilliant midfielder in the Arsenal invincibles was Swedish international winger Freddie Ljungberg. During this famous season, the player made 30 appearances, scoring 4 goals and racking up 5 assists.

Similarly to Pires, Ljungberg was more comfortable playing as a winger, but could also operate centrally and as a second striker. An energetic and technical player, the Swede was a vital part of Arsenal’s attack.

Edu Gaspar

Goals scored2
Yellow Cards3
Red Cards0

Now sporting director of Arsenal, Edu Gaspar was a vital part of Arsenal’s invincibles squad. A midfielder who could play in attacking roles or as a more traditional central midfielder, he made 30 appearances during the 2003/04 Premier League season.

He scored two goals during the campaign, both conveniently against London rivals Chelsea. He also recorded 2 assists. Edu was renowned for having an impressive work rate and brilliant passing ability.

Dennis Bergkamp

Goals scored4
Yellow Cards2
Red Cards0

The “Non-Flying Dutchman” Dennis Bergkamp hardly needs an introduction within footballing circles. The forward got his nickname through his fear of flying, aviophobia, making European away matches a huge difficulty for the player to attend.

However, on English soil, the player was a menace and a force, demonstrating a classy attacking playing style that was incredibly unique. He was most suited to the second striker or number 10 positions, and in the invincibles side he played slightly behind main striker Thierry Henry.

This position suited him so well, due to the fact he had brilliant ball skills and was not only a goal threat but a creative asset too.

During the 2003/04 season, he made 28 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 4 goals while creating 7 goals for his teammates. With 2 yellow cards and 0 red cards, he had a clean disciplinary record, too.

Thierry Henry

Goals scored30
Yellow Cards3
Red Cards0

The final piece of the Arsenal invincibles starting eleven needs no introduction. French striker Thierry Henry is one of the most famous attacking footballers of all time. Having enjoyed a fortuitous career, playing for Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona and New York Red Bulls, he also made 123 appearances for France.

A clinical striker, Henry made 37 appearance in Arsenal’s title winning season, missing just one match. He scored 30 goals, making him the top goalscorer in the league by 8 goals (Alan Shearer came second with 22 goals). In addition to contributing 41% of Arsenal’s league goals, he also racked up 6 assists.

Thierry Henry will easily go down as one of the greatest players to ever play for the Gunners, scoring 226 goals in 370 appearances, scoring at a rate of 61.1%. He would regularly score from free-kicks, penalties, with his left foot, right foot and his head. Thierry Henry could do it all, and was the spearhead behind Arsenal’s title win.

Arsenal Invincibles Substitutions

It wasn’t just the starting eleven players who made it possible for Arsenal to achieve the unthinkable. There were many well known substitutes that made many appearances throughout the season:

  • Ray Parlour (MF)
  • Pascal Cygan (DF)
  • Sylvain Wiltord (FW)
  • Gaël Clichy (DF)
  • José Antonio Reyes (MF)
  • Nwankwo Kanu (FW)
  • Martin Keown (DF)
  • Jérémie Aliadière (FW)

Between them, these substitutes amassed 110 appearances, starting 52 matches. They also added 6 goals to the overall tally and 4 assists.


Arsenal’s 2003/04 squad achieved the unthinkable by going 38 Premier League matches without losing a game. Although Arsenal’s unbeaten season squad was full of international superstars, it still took a great coach in Arsène Wenger to make it happen.

Will we see another unbeaten season in the Premier League? Will we see another Arsenal invincibles squad? It’s hard to say, and the fact that it hasn’t happened in over 20 years is testament to their achievements.

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Header image: Little Savage, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What Was the Unbeaten Run For the Arsenal Invincibles Squad?

During Arsenals unbeaten 2003/04 Premier League season, they won 26 games, drew 12 and lost 0.

Who Captained the Invincibles Squad at Arsenal?

Central midfielder and French international Patrick Vieira was the captain for the Arsenal invincibles squad, during the 2003/04 season.

Who Broke Arsenal’s 49 Game Unbeaten Streak?

Manchester United were the side to break the Arsenal Invincible’s winning streak back in 2004. This was a feisty and controversial match, where United were gifted a penalty by referee Mike Riley for a foul by Sol Campbell on Wayne Rooney.

Furthermore, defender Rio Ferdinand escaped a red card after a last-ditch foul on midfielder Freddie Ljungberg.

Chris Goodacre

Written by Chris Goodacre

Chris Goodacre is a specialist football writer at Ticket-Compare, a podcast host and a coach with a passion for the beautiful game. His in-depth articles provide insightful analysis and are a trusted source of football information for fans across the world. Having been a co-host on a dedicated football podcast and an FA Level 1 Coaching badge holder, Chris combines his extensive knowledge with a genuine passion for the game. Enjoy Chris’ perspective on the world of football.