Throughout the history of English football there’s been a few teams that have stood out above the rest, whether that be due to controversial circumstances or because of their outstanding achievements.
In this instance, Arsenal and Manchester United fall into the latter category courtesy of their unbelievable accomplishments in the 1998/99 and 2003/04 seasons.
The Invincibles and the Treble winners are two of the greatest sets of English football teams ever assembled. Some of the most respected and highly acclaimed players were a part of these two successes, and as such we got to thinking about who would make the cut if we ever combined the sides together.
There’s no doubt that the choices in play here are going to warrant a bit of debate, but try to keep in mind that we’re referencing the aforementioned seasons as opposed to their entire careers. Obviously there’s quite a few of you out there who are going to ignore this paragraph completely, but such is life.
GK – Peter Schmeichel
Was there really any question about this one? Schmeichel was arguably the heart and soul of that Treble team, and you could just feel the passion flowing through his veins throughout every single game of that memorable season. Legend. Image Source: Twitter
RB – Gary Neville
Gazza Neville maybe a quality pundit, but people tend to forget that he was also one of the best right-backs of his day. There’s no debate to be had here, he deserves a spot in the starting XI. Image Source: Twitter
CB – Jaap Stam
Jaap Stam is not a mere mortal, he is a god among men. The Dutchman struck fear into the hearts of all who stepped in front of him, and there’s not a striker in the world that can claim to have not been afraid of this guy at one point or another. Image Source: Twitter
CB – Sol Campbell
What a partnership this would be. On his day Sol Campbell was potentially the greatest centre-back in Europe, and the Englishman was one of the core reasons behind Arsenal’s unbeaten success. Image Source: Twitter
LB – Ashley Cole
Despite being a ‘traitor’, Gunners fans will have to grit their teeth and admit that Cashley has earned his way into this team. The bloke was quite clearly the best left-back in the world for quite a few seasons, with this being one of them. Image Source: Twitter
LW – Robert Pires
Giggs is great, but in their respective seasons Pires was better. It’s definitely a close one as both players are legends of the game, but the Frenchman just edges him out with his intricate play and fantastic work on the ball. Image Source: Twitter
CM – Roy Keane
Being a big reason behind United making it all the way to the Champions League Final back in 1999. Image Source: Twitter
CM – Patrick Vieira
In comes the aforementioned Keane’s arch nemesis, Patrick Vieira. The midfield general was the heart of this Arsenal team and was able to drive them towards their greatest accomplishment. Image Source: Twitter
RW – David Beckham
Aside from having the most bipolar hair in the land, Becks was also one of the best right wingers of his generation. Image Source: Twitter
ST – Dwight Yorke
Now this is a controversial one, with many believing that DB10 should’ve made it into the starting line-up. However, bare with us here – as we’ve inserted Dwight Yorke into the mix due to his overall impact on the Treble season. Come on now, eight goals in 11 appearances in Europe? Undeniable. Image Source: Twitter
ST – Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry is the Premier League’s greatest ever striker, and the only other man who can lay claim to that title is Alan Shearer. So yeah, he’s a natural fit here. Image Source: Twitter
SUB GK – Jens Lehmann
We’re into the substitutes now and the mad German only missed out due to the legendary Dane currently occupying the No.1 spot. Don’t get it confused though, Jens was a sensational keeper back in the day. Image Source: Twitter
SUB LB – Denis Irwin
A painfully underrated full-back who was as reliable as they come. We’ll never see his like again. Image Source: Twitter
SUB CM – Paul Scholes
An extremely controversial option to leave Scholes on the bench, we know, but in the grand scheme of the seasons in question this call makes sense. Still, he’s one of the best of all-time and that moniker means much more. Image Source: Twitter
SUB LW – Ryan Giggs
Pace, skill, great on the ball – Giggsy had it all and more, with his tenure at United being the stuff of legends. Image Source: Twitter
SUB ST – Dennis Bergkamp
The flying Dutchman taking his place on the bench feels wrong in a sense, but as we’ve explained his talents stretched over many years as opposed to just the Invincibles campaign. Image Source: Twitter
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Now it’s time for the throwing of the knives and pitchforks to begin, with the Giggs and Scholes fans of the world throwing their toys out of the pram due to their relegation to the substitute bench.
In all seriousness, we should be looking past the inclusions and towards just how difficult it was to assemble a team of this nature. The Invincibles and the Treble winners revolutionised the game in their own individual ways, and because of that we should be eternally grateful.