Arsenal Invincibles 2003

Arsenal Invincibles Squad – Where Are They Now?

In the 2003/2004 Arsenal completed a sensational unbeaten season as they easily won the Premier League, a feat that has never been matched in the English top flight since. The final game of the season was a 2-1 win over Leicester City so let’s look at who started for Arsenal that day and where they are now!

Arsenal Invincibles Line-up

Jens Lehmann 

This was the Germans first season in North London, arriving from Borussia Dortmund to replace David Seaman who transferred to Man City, way back when they were terrible. Lehmann played in all 38 Premier League games in his first season and would spend five seasons at the club. Lehman then returned to Germany with Stuttgart, where he retired before a brief comeback with Arsenal, making just one Premier League appearance due to a goalkeeping crisis. He retired again in 2011, as well as goalkeeping the crazy German also dabbled with acting, playing the role of a football coach in Themba.

Lauren 

The Cameroon international spent six seasons at Arsenal before joining Portsmouth in 2006. At Pompey he won an FA Cup to go with the three he won at Arsenal. In March 2010, Lauren joined Spanish side Cordova and retired at
the end of the season.

Sol Campbell

Like Lauren, Campbell joined Portsmouth, a move that was a lot less controversial than his last one. The England international left Fratton Park in 2009 later suing the club for unpaid image rights and bonus payments. Strangely Campbell dropped down the League 2 and signed a five-year deal with North County but walked out on the club just three days after making his debut. He briefly returned to Arsenal and then turned down moved to Celtic in favour of joining Newcastle United. Since retirement Campbell got involved with politics and unsuccessfully ran for mayor of London in 2016. In January 2017, Campbell became Trinidad and Tobago assistant manager.

Kolo Toure

The Ivorian famously wiped out Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Arsene Wenger during his trial. Kolo had seven seasons before joining Man City in 2009. He won a Premier League at the Etihad before heading to Liverpool on a free transfer. At Anfield he became more of a meme than a footballer! Last summer Toure was reunited with Brendan Rodgers making 16 appearances for Celtic as they completed a remarkable invincible season, the second of Toure’s career.

Ashley Cole

Better known as ‘Cashly’ to Arsenal fans, the left back began his career with the Gunners by joining them as a youngster but dragged his reputation through the mud by joining rivals Chelsea in 2006 after turning down a £55,000 per week contract. He married and divorced Cheryl Cole and joined Roma, a club he clearly didn’t fit
in. He is currently playing in the MLS with LA Galaxy at the age of 37.

Freddie Ljungberg

The eccentric underwear model won two Premier League medals with Arsenal before leaving in 2007 to join West Ham. The move was a flop and the Swede then headed to America to play for Chicago Fire before returning to the UK to spend six months for Celtic. Following his move to Glasgow Ljungberg joined Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan before retiring in 2012. The winger came out of retirement in 2014 to join Mumbai City FC but injury limited him to just four appearances. Nowadays Ljungbergs is an assistant manager at Wolfsburg.

Patrick Vieira

The lanky Frenchman netted the winner in the last game against Leicester and then lifted the Premier League trophy at the end of an incredible season for Arsenal. His Gunners career ended in 2005 when he joined Juventus. Following the match-fixing scandal, Vieira moved to Milan and returned to England in 2010 with Manchester City. The midfielder has now moved into management as the head coach of New York City.

Gilberto Silva

Silva was unknown when he joined the club in 2002 but left as one of the finest holding midfielders in the country, forming a solid partnership with Patrick Vieira, once which Arsenal simply never replaced. Gilberto left the Gunners to join Panathinaikos in 2008 and later returned to Brazil to end his career. Now retired Gilberto is pursuing a career as an international consultant for clubs and players and also has an anteater named after him at London Zoo.

Robert Pires

The French midfielder scored 14 goals during the invincible season making him Arsenal’s second highest goal scorer behind Thierry Henry. Robert Pires joined Villarreal in 2006 working under former Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini. Pires made a return at the Premier League with Aston Villa in 2010 and then just like Freddy Ljungberg, he headed to the Indian Super League in 2014, joining Goa before retiring in February 2016 and took up a coaching role with Arsenal which now appears to have left.

Dennis Bergkamp

The non-Flying Dutchman spent over a decade at Arsenal retiring in 2006. Despite initially stating he had no interest in coaching and turned down a scouting job with the Gunners, Bergkamp changed his mind in 2008 and began his coaching diploma, beginning a trainee role at Ajax and then becoming Netherlands B team boss, before returning to Ajax to coach.

Thierry Henry

Mr Va Va Voom scored 30 league goals as Arsenal went a full season without defeat. He became Arsenal’s captain when Patrick Vieira departed but left himself in 2007 to join Barcelona. Following his time in La Liga which included seven trophies, Henry headed to the MLS to join New York Red Bulls forming an unlikely partnership with Bradley Wright-Phillips. Arsenal’s record goalscorer returned for a loan spell in 2012, scoring his final Gunners goal in a 2-1
win over Sunderland. Nowadays Henry spends his time working as Belgium’s assistant coach.

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