Arsenal
Will Arsenal ever become the Invincibles again?
Nick Fraser
159 days ago
Arsenal's 2003-2004 unbeaten side has been written into Gunners folklore but it is open to debate as to whether they will ever return to those heady days.

After arriving from the relative obscurity of Japanese football in 1996, Arsene Wenger guided Arsenal to the Premier League title in just his second season at the helm and repeated the dose in 2001-2002.

However, it was the 2003-04 vintage who recorded 26 wins and 12 draws that will forever be etched in the fans' memory – not least because that is the last time they lifted the Premier League trophy.

The days when the north Londoners were Manchester United's main rivals for the title seem a long time ago and they can generally be backed at around 66/1 to win England's top division this season, with the Red Devils priced at 100/1.

Manchester City (4/9) and Liverpool (5/2) are the main protagonists these days, with Arsenal fighting for a top-four berth at best.

There is no doubt that a lack of investment in players for a number of years hindered the club's progress, with Wenger unwilling to bankrupt the club during the building of the new stadium, but Unai Emery has had cash to spend.

Nicolas Pepe became their record signing over the summer but they are still not in the same league financially as the likes of City, United or Liverpool.

Leicester City proved that it is possible to win the title with collective spirit, the right tactics and only minimal player outlay but that was surely a 'once in a blue moon' situation that will never be repeated.

Arsenal are a rung below the top English clubs and those in Europe at present, hence operating in the Europa League, and it will take a few years before they are able to compete for major honours.

A cup run may be the limit of their ambitions as other clubs simply have more class and depth than Emery can call on at present.

The Spanish tactician seems to be moving things in the right direction after a period of stagnation during the latter years of Wenger's reign but the expectation that they would be among the challengers as soon as the Frenchman departed has proved to be misguided.

Arsenal will be back in the mix for silverware at some stage but the 'Invincibles' handle will always be reserved for Wenger's stars.