'We were lunatics': Henry claims Arsenal's Invincibles 'hated to lose'

‘We were LUNATICS who hated to lose’: Thierry Henry says Arsenal’s Invincibles side were ‘all leaders’ who were ‘trying to be perfect’ after former Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said their season ‘stands above everything else’

  • Thierry Henry was part of 03/04 Arsenal side that was unbeaten in the league 
  • Retired French forward reveals what made Arsene Wenger’s squad ‘special’ 
  • Sir Alex Ferguson claims the stunning achievement surpasses any of his own 
  • Both Henry and Ferguson were involved in mega clashes between the two sides

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has revealed the mentality that inspired the Gunners to become Invincibles in 2004, claiming that they ‘were lunatics who hated to lose’. 

Led by Arsene Wenger, the iconic team earned their Invincibles title after becoming the first team to go unbeaten for an entire Premier League season – with their run stretching to 49 games in total.

Arsenal’s success created a fierce rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United as both clubs competed at the summit of the table. However, now the Scottish manager admits the achievement surpasses any of his own.

Thierry Henry (R) says that Arsenal’s Invincibles were ‘lunatics’ that were ‘trying to be perfect’

The former French forward has discussed the characteristics that he believes helped mould Arsene Wenger’s side into Invincibles.

Speaking to GQ, Henry said: ‘We were all leaders. We hated to lose. Obviously, we got sometimes smashed, sometimes we lost badly. But we were all leaders. We were always challenging each other. We were special. 

‘We were lunatics that were there to try to be perfect. And we managed to do it in a season. A lot of teams came close to it. I hope that it will happen again, like I always say, I don’t have a problem with that. But we were the first to do it in the modern era of the game. 

Henry claims the squad including Freddie Ljungberg and Patrick Viera ‘hated to lose’

Dennis Bergkamp (left) and Henry (middle) formed a formidable strike partnership at Arsenal

‘The likes of Patrick Viera in midfield and Dennis Bergkamp and then Sol Campbell, and Freddie [Ljungberg]. I’m not going to name the whole squad obviously. Because you easily could.

 ‘What kept us in some games is that we were arguing all the time at half time. And we woke each other up in games when we needed just to switch it a bit.’ 

Henry arrived at Arsenal in 1999 from Juventus having struggled to make an impression as a winger. Wenger deployed him as a striker and Henry hit new heights, scoring 175 Premier League goals in 258 games. 

Sir Alex Ferguson (middle) claims Arsenal’s Invincibles achievement surpasses any of his own

Wenger’s rival at the time, Sir Alex Ferguson, has since spoken highly of the French manager’s achievements and heaped praise on their unbeaten 2003-04 season.  

Speaking to The Mirror last month, Ferguson admitted: ‘I won 13 leagues but I was never near going through a season undefeated. The achievement stands above everything else, and it was Arsene’s.’

‘It became toxic for a while. The big change that made Arsenal was reinventing [Thierry] Henry. And the goals… he was fantastic.

‘Arsenal were catching us up, and their team was good enough to go above us, there’s no question about that.’ 

Pires added to Henry’s comments and said the Invincibles team simply had everything 

This month Sportsmail spoke exclusively to Robert Pires about his time in the famed Invincibles team and, just like his former team-mate Henry, was full of praise for the legendary side.

‘I’m not arrogant but I think we simply had everything!’ Pires said. 

‘Quality, ability, talent, spirit, commitment. If you are a manager you want to build a great team around this. 

‘Arsene focused on every single player and I think his secret was the way he mixed the English players with the foreigners. In the end it was fantastic but the most important thing we had was spirit. Without this, the unbeaten season would have been impossible.’ 

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