The Manchester United 98/99 side were better than the Arsenal Invincibles
Debate Rounds (2)
Firstly, you have to look at the caliber of our players: The deadly strike partnership of Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, along with Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunner Solskjaer. The boss midfield of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane and David Beckham. The monstrous defence of Phil and Gary Neville, Jaap Stam, and Denis Irwin. And Peter Schmeichel in goal was just the business.
Also, what the Arsenal Invincibles didn't have, was the recognition of their manager after their success. Alex Ferguson was knighted by the Queen after winning the treble. What did Arsene Wenger get? Nothing outside of the league title and a winners medal, which aren't things to be laughed at, but at the same time, aren't as special as the league title, the FA cup, the Champion's League, and a knighthood all in one season. The manager was just as involved and well known as the players, and it stayed that way until he retired.
In conclusion, the 98/99 Man United team were better than the Arsenal Invincibles, because of the high caliber of players they had, and how the manager was just as involved and recognized as the players.
Arsenal's Invincibles are better than the United 98/99 side
Amongst the universal praise for Arsenal"s incredible unbeaten 2003/04 season, their achievements of two seasons before are often overlooked. In that season they became the first team in modern times to go the whole season unbeaten away from home (equalled, obviously, by themselves two years later), and they also became the only side in history to score in every league game that season. In addition, they won the FA Cup to achieve the double.
They probably should have won the league in 2002/03 " they were the best team that season, but showed the first signs of the lack of resolve that has troubled the side ever since. They made up for it in 2003/04, with an incredible P38 W28 D10 L0 record that seems all the more astonishing six years later, with the big Premiership clubs losing games all over the place.
It was a fairly similar side both seasons. The front four remained intact, and in its own way, this was perhaps an early example of a strikerless formation. Dennis Bergkamp dropped into space whilst Thierry Henry drifted to the left when Arsenal didn"t have possession, making Arsenal incredibly dangerous on the counter-attack. Additionally, the wingers made outside-to-inside runs, with Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg almost reinventing the wide midfield role with their incredible goalscoring records. Patrick Vieira was a more dynamic player than he is remembered as " with a more defensive partner in Gilberto, he often looked to join the front players and possessed too many offensive qualities to be regarded as a purely "defensive" midfielder.
The most interesting thing about Arsenal"s defence is that none were defenders when Arsene Wenger first set eyes on them. Ashley Cole was a promising forward in the Arsenal youth system, Lauren was a central midfielder for Mallorca, whilst Kolo Toure was a versatile player who played most often in an advanced midfield position. But Wenger converted all of them to defenders, assuring Arsenal"s ball-playing ability was evident throughout the side.
And equally, Arsenal"s defensive work started from the front. Henry prevented the right-back advancing and always pressed high up the pitch, Bergkamp dropped into a space so deep it took one central midfielder out of the equation going forward, and both Pires and Ljungberg were genuinely excellent at covering their full-back.
Although Wenger described it as a 4-4-2, it was perhaps a lopsided 4-2-3-1 in possession, and extremely difficult to defend against because of the movement from attacking players and full-backs in advanced positions. The left side of Cole-Pires-Henry was probably the strongest "flank" any side possessed all decade, and because opponents were so concerned with that, it was amazing how often Ljungberg found space by cutting in from the right, and how often the underrated Lauren had time to get crosses in.
Finally, it must be said that this side did play wonderful football. It"s become a bit of a cliche to say this about Arsenal, especially when in recent years it"s been prefixed with "Arsenal don"t win trophies but they"" but to go a season unbeaten whilst playing expansive, attacking football is incredible. This is why Arsenal's Invincible side are in fact better than the United 98/99 side.
Sean_Looney forfeited this round.
However, voters please vote con!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Close call, Both teams seemed to have achieved the impossible, Although I would favour the success of UTD as being a much greater task, I don't think I can award points to Pro, simply because of the forfeit, Neither get arguments but Pro is deducted conduct due to forfeiture.
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