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Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ record is hard to beat

OPINION: Arsene and Arsenal’s achievement will always be finer than Liverpool’s because it was in a more competitive league

27 February, 2020 — By Richard Osley

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger appears relaxed and happy as a FIFA bod

ARSENE Wenger once looked like he simply could not tear himself away from Arsenal. However miserable it had all become, the idea of not being Arsenal manager seemed impossible for him to compute.

And yet, look at how relaxed and happy he now looks as a FIFA bod, where he can throw out ideas to change the offside rule at will and make unshackled comments about financial fair play.

This week, he was there, grinning into a camera, as every woman at some conference he was appearing at gathered around for a photograph.

Life looked sweet.

If he had only realised there was something for him on the other side earlier, Arsenal might have had Jurgen Klopp in their dugout.

And it is Klopp who offers the only thing for Wenger to worry about during these retirement gig years, for it is Liverpool who now look almost certain to beat Arsenal’s “Invincibles” season. Not only will they go through the season unbeaten, but they will do it with fewer draws.

“I do not necessarily want it to happen,” said Wenger last week. “You want to always be the only one to do something special. But if they do it, I’ll say well done.”

Anfield could soon be celebrating an unbeaten season

Wenger’s old goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski, increased the building anxiety about the record when he handed Liverpool a couple of easy goals to avoid a surprise defeat to West Ham at Anfield.

Ultimately, Liverpool’s victory on Monday took them to more points than Arsenal won in their entire unbeaten season.

Does that make this Liverpool better? Not at all.

Arsene and Arsenal’s achievement will always be finer because it was hard fought in a more competitive league.

Liverpool, by contrast, are “invincible” in a league full of teams having awful seasons.

Manchester City won the title last season by coming ahead of two Champions League finalists. This year, our Champions League entries include Chelsea, who succumbed so easily to Bayern Munich this week.

For all of the glowing praise, Liverpool will finish first in a division where all of the major threats are changing managers and going through transition.

Put simply: It’s been easy for them, a perfect storm where, yes, they’ve been quite good, but all of the opposition bar Manchester City on their better days, have collapsed at once. It would actually be quite a disgrace if Liverpool did lose a match this season, given how pitiful the opposition are.

None of this is Klopp’s fault. You can only beat what’s put in front of you, but if the two teams could somehow magically play each other at their peak, there would be no doubt that Wenger’s Arsenal history-makers would come out on top.

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