Every season, each Premier League team plays every other side twice. With a focus on fairness, they play once at home and once away, resulting in a grand total of 38 games each. The Premier League formed in 1992 and in every season there has been a single constant, every team loses at least once. However, there is one notable exception. In the 2003/04 season, Arsenal Football Club played 38, won 26, drew 12 and lost 0. For the end of season parade, the streets of North London filled with hundreds of thousands of joyous Arsenal fans to celebrate what felt like an impossible feat. On May the 15th, 2004, Arsenal made history, and it was appropriately hailed as one of the greatest achievements since English football began.
In truth, it raised the bar in terms of the standards required to win the Premier League. Following Manchester United’s dominance, Arsène Wenger arrived at Arsenal and revolutionised English football forever, a point illustrated by his side’s performance across the 2003/04 season. It caused Sir. Alex Ferguson, then Manchester United manager, reacted with a vengeance and, additionally, it sped up Roman Abramovich’s plan to catapult Chelsea to the top by any means necessary, and by any means, we primarily mean by spending a lot of money. It triggered the Premier League to go into overdrive, and over the course of the following decade, the well-established top four expanded in order to become the big six. As the years pass, this pack of six looks likely to expand again and again.
The Modern Era
Following the impact of Arsenal going unbeaten for an entire season, the Premier League’s popularity took on a whole new light in almost every sense. Sponsorship grew, television deals exploded, new stadiums were built and/or redeveloped, and foreign investment became the norm. And it was not just dealings within the game that changed, football fans up and down the country couldn’t get enough of the action. The English Premier League is now widely accepted as the most exciting league in world football, with every Championship team doing their absolute utmost to achieve promotion, a notion reflected in how popular betting on the outcome of games has become.
The Demand for English Premier League Betting
As the quality of the Premier League grew, the demand for opportunities to place bets on games followed suit.
The rise of the internet and the ever-increasing quality of the league coupled with the ability to stream every game and see live EPL scores has cemented football betting as one of the most popular pastimes in the United Kingdom. Arsenal, as you would expect, is one of the most popular clubs people bet on and one of the most favored by the sportsbooks.
The Invincibles: Genius, Visionary, Obsessive
So just how did Arsenal manage to complete an entire season unbeaten in order to earn the name the Invincibles. One of the most amazing things about their achievement is that Arsène Wenger actually challenged his side to complete the feat the year before. He was mocked by many fans of opposition teams when he suggested his side had the ability to do it, but he could see something that others couldn’t.
Wenger’s ability to see what others couldn’t have a lot to do with Arsenal’s success, building a team with restricted finances by any means possible. While most will be aware of his role in moving Thierry Henry from the left wing to the central striker position, the majority will be surprised to learn that he was not the only player Wenger remolded when building the Invincibles. As reported by Amy Lawrence during the promotion of her 2014 book ‘Invincible: Inside Arsenal’s Unbeaten 2003-2004 Season’, Wenger turned both Kolo Touré and Lauren from midfielders into defenders, a master stoke in retrospect.
The Biggest Achievement in English Football?
It is an achievement that is still spoken about today. In fact, it is still celebrated by Arsenal every season. As soon as every team has been beaten, Arsenal fans rejoice in their unique standing within the English game. In the 2021 documentary film, Arsène Wenger: Invincible, a stunning portrait of one of the greatest football managers of all time, it is perhaps a comment from another manager that stands out most. Sir. Alex Ferguson, his greatest antagonist, makes the admission that Arsenal’s unbeaten season “stands above anything else”. This, coming from a direct rival and the man who led Manchester United to the Treble in 1999, demonstrates just how special this season was.
The standard of the Premier League has continued rising with each passing year, which raises the question of whether or not any team will ever repeat Gunner’s quest. It appears unlikely, but it should still always be remembered for raising the bar in terms of what it takes to life the Premier League Trophy.