Arsenal’s Premier League Championship teams.

During Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal we have won the Premier League Championship on 3 occasions, 1997/8, 2001/2 & 2003/4. Since our last Championship victory we have finished an average of 14 points behind the Champions the closest was 4 points in 2007/8 and last season was 9 points. This season with 8 games remaining we are 7 points behind the leader Chelsea who also have a game in hand.

Today I want to take a look at the winning squads and our records for our 3 Championship winning seasons.

Here are squads for the winning seasons plus our current side showing only those that played in 10 or more games. (This assumes that Wilshere and Walcott will both play again this season)

PL winning teams 3 (1)

Continuity appears to have played a big part in our 3 Championship years, in 2 of our 3 winning seasons our goalkeepers were dominant – in 1997/8 David Seaman played in 31 games and in 2003/4 Jens Lehmann played all 38 games he was the only player to do so on any of the Championship winning teams.

Defensively Martin Keown played in all 3 of the winning teams while Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Gilles Grimandi, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole and Lauren each played in 2 of the sides.

Our mid-fields were dominant with Patrick Vieira and Ray Parlour playing in all 3 teams with Frederick Ljungberg, Robert Pires and Edu being present in 2 of the teams.

We were blessed with some remarkable forwards, the unbelievable Denis Bergkamp was a key part of all 3 of Arsene Wengers PL winning sides – he was a truly World Class Player and an absolute magician with the ball. Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord each appeared on 2 teams.

PL Champs Games Played


In 1997/8 there were 7 players who appeared in 30 or more games including 5 from the mid-field in 2001/2 those playing in 30 or more shrank to 5 and in 2003/4 it increased to 9 players.

Here are the records of the winning teams plus our record to date in 2014/15

1997/8 – W23, D9, L6, GF68, GA33, Pts78

2001/2 – W26, D9, L3, GF79, GA36, Pts87

2003/4 – W26, D12, L0, GF73, GA26, Pts90

2014/15 – W18, D6, L6, GF58, GA31, Pts60

Our 2003/4 team achieved what was thought to be impossible, they went unbeaten in 49 Premier League games including the entire 2003/4 season. (It still sticks in my craw that we were denied the chance of continuing our unbeaten streak by a Rooney dive at Old Trafford to gain a penalty).

Which group of players do you think were the best in their disciplines?

Championship marrix


62 Responses to Arsenal’s Premier League Championship teams.

  1. JM says:

    GK – 1997/1998
    (Mr. Safe Hands in goal)

    DF – 2003/2004
    (Unbeaten in the league, meant an exemplary feat for our boys in defence)

    MF – 2003/2004 (Pires, Gilberto, Ljungberg, Vieira, Edu, Parlour)
    (A good balance of steel & skill; tenacity & guile)

    FW – 2001/2002 (Bergkamp, Henry, Wiltord, Kanu)
    (All 4 regular strikers in goal scoring, assists & magical moments)

    Inconclusive for our team of 2014/2015 until season ends.

  2. RC78 says:

    2001/2002 – best discipline?

    We need to win this year so that next year we have continuity :-p

    In any case – we never had big teams but we had great quality…and resilient and fit players that were playing day in day out

  3. PV4 says:

    For me, The Invincibles cover every facet. Never has there been a squad assembled who reached their absolute peak of powers all at the same time. Your interesting stats reveal the key weakness for me since those days – the lack of a truly World class keeper – a commander of the box and all defenders around him.

    I don’t subscribe to the doom merchants now who hang on every tainted journo’s word, as I believe that we are not far short of winning the title again. A top keeper would be a great acquisition in the summer.

  4. fatgingergooner says:

    What fantastic teams and fantastic memories. What also stands out is how the teams each had their own personalities, even though a lot of the players were similar and the manager never changed.

    I’m going to have to go with The Invincibles team in every position though. Everything that lead up to that team was work in progress, whereas that side was the finished article. Some of the football they played was years before its time.

    Going unbeaten is so much more than any of the other achievements. The mental strength and ability needed to do that is extraordinary, and you could also argue the league was tougher then than in previous winning seasons, which makes it even more remarkable.

    All the teams had talented areas, but going unbeaten gives all those players involved in The Invincibles squad an extra edge IMO.

  5. RC78 says:

    In 2006, we should have done the double Champions League + EPL but our dear King Henry missed a glorious chance and we got done by an offside goal from Etoo in the last minutes of the game. Now, this was a defining season for us in the sense that it was a missed opportunity to keep continuity, build success and keep our best players the following years…

    Anyways – since then, we did not come close to winning either the CL or the EPL…As such – the FA Cup win of last year was more than welcome as the squad showed that it can win trophies…They know how to do it – now, they have to do it in the EPL and CL as well…

    Do we have the right squad to do so? Not yet but we are not far…We are just missing those title winning guys and this little bit of resilience mentally and physically to hold on to results…According to me, we are 3 to 4 players away to being genuine contenders…

    In our squad – who was a major actor of a major trophy-winning team?
    – Ozil and Sanchez and that’s it…unless we add Podolski who has played some part in the WC 2014

    Some of the other players may have won major trophies but were periphal in their acquisition…

    2 players out of 21 – that’s really weak…Success breeds success…Let us see if we can win again the FA Cup this year and then let us hope that we add steel to our squad for that you do need a core group of 16 players to play most of the EPL games…


  6. RC78 says:

    Cech wants to leave Chelsea but wants to stay in the EPL…Why don’t we approach him?

    Hummels to go to Man Utd – which leaves the door open for us to approach Garay who wants to change clubs…

    Bender is tipped to leave his club this summer – I think he is better for us than Schnederlin and at the same price, always go for German steel over French (history taught us that lesson…)

    Sterling wants to leave Liverpool – grab him quick! We are then covered up front for a while…

    Cech knows how to win titles and is a commanding GK ;
    Garay is a fighter that can lead a defensive line;
    Bender is a top HM with quality passing skills and has been playing with Germany at all levels
    Sterling – the most prized English player at the moment given his potential and proven abilities…

    Besides Sterling, the other 3 have a history of playing full seasons…


  7. RA says:


    A stunning Post with so much fantastic data. You should be writing as a college professor. 🙂

    The consistent quality of your output is something that only someone with a great dedication to statistical data, and its interpretation, could produce.

  8. RA says:

    Does anyone, [Rasp, Peaches or GN5] have an update on how Kelsey is doing?

    It would be good to see him back. 🙂

  9. RC78 says:

    There is a player that is a bit of an unsung hero but that was quite key to our successes and that is Lauren…For me, he still has not been replaced in our back four despite a good attempt by Sagna.

    Ultimately – we won the 2001/2002 and 2003/2004 leagues because we were extremely compact defensively and Lauren was a big part of it…

    2001/2002 – > Lauren – Campbell, Keown – Cole
    2003/2004 – > Lauren – Campbell, Toure – Cole

    2014/2015 – > Bellerin – BFG, Kos – Gibbs

    So who would you like to have in 2016 to match our EPL winning defense?

    In an ideal yet feasible world:
    2015/2016 – > Coleman – Garay, Kos, – Gibbs

    Now, if we cannot get Coleman, we can put Debuchy there 🙂

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning everyone,

    RA re your 1:06pm – ask Peaches to give you my contact info and I can give you an update.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    RA, I’m a closet accountant that’s why I use a lot of stats in my posts. Very few people appreciate them so I try to keep them to a minimum – but I wanted to make Arsenal info readily available and started to compile my spreadsheets back in the early days of Lotus 123.

  12. Rasp says:

    Fascinating and well researched post as ever …. thank you GN5

    The size of the squads is pretty similar. We have more midfielders in the 2015 squad – does this reflect a change in AW’s thinking I wonder. Perhaps if you put the size and weight of the players you might see an even greater difference? 🙂

  13. Rasp says:

    Pascal Cygan played 18 games in 2003/4? That’s a surprise, I was never impressed I must say.

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp, at first I thought that the use of more midfielders in 2014/15 might be due to injuries but when I looked at the players I wondered who I would leave out – Flamini – maybe?

  15. Rasp says:

    With Coquelin now doing a fine job, Flamini would be bottom of my midfield pecking order GN5. I’d only play Arteta in place of Coquelin in games where we were pretty sure we’d have the lion’s share of possession.

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp just to be clear I included substitutions in games played, Cygan came on as a sub on 8 occasions.

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    The 1997/8 team had 4 England captains.
    David Seaman, Martin Keown, Tony Adams & David Platt.

  18. RC78 says:

    GN5 – you should work for that football statistics institute or for the company that develops Championship Manager :-p great post as always

  19. RC78 says:

    now do we have any national captains among our team?

  20. Ramsey has captained Wales in the past.

  21. GunnerN5 says:

    Here are 8 great Arsenal captains

    Tom Parker
    (Arsenal 1926-1933)
    Captained the club to its first major trophy – the 1930 FA Cup. Signed by Herbert Chapman in 1926 and kicked off his Arsenal career with 172 consecutive first-team matches, a Club record that still stands today. A reliable defender, Parker led the side to the 1927 FA Cup Final but suffered defeat against Cardiff. Made amends three years later as Arsenal beat Huddersfield at Wembley. Parker skippered the side to its first League title in 1931 before leaving the Club in 1933.

    Eddie Hapgood
    (Arsenal 1927-1944)
    Hapgood succeeded Parker as captain and was a key figure in Arsenal’s all-conquering 1930s side under the stewardship of Herbert Chapman and then George Allison. Hapgood skippered the club to four League titles between 1933 and 1938 and lifted the FA Cup in 1936. He was just as influential for his country, winning 21 of his 30 caps as England captain. He wore the armband for the first time on November 14, 1934, in the infamous ‘Battle of Highbury’ against Italy.

    Joe Mercer
    (Arsenal 1946-1955)
    Mercer joined Arsenal during a barren spell for the Club but soon lifted the team to greater heights. Appointed captain shortly after his arrival in 1946, Mercer led Arsenal to the title in 1948 and lifted the FA Cup in 1950, scooping the Footballer of the Year award in the same year. FA Cup Final defeat followed in 1952 but Mercer’s influence told the following season when he captained Arsenal to another League championship.

    Frank McLintock
    (Arsenal 1964-1973)
    McLintock started out as an inside-forward but was converted to centre-half and made captain by Bertie Mee in 1967. It was a masterstroke. McLintock overcame two League Cup Final defeats in the late 1960s to inspire a famous comeback in the 1970 Fairs Cup Final before leading Arsenal to the Club’s first League and Cup ‘double’ a year later. The Scot led by example and was an influential figure in the dressing room and on the pitch.

    Pat Rice
    (Arsenal 1967-1980)
    One of the Club’s most loyal servants. Pat freely admits he wasn’t the most naturally talented but sheer hard work got him into the first team and he stayed there throughout the 1970s. Pat reaped the rewards for his efforts as a member of the 1971 ‘double’ side before captaining the Club to four Cup Finals between 1978 and 1980. Pat lifted the FA Cup at Wembley in 1979 after a dramatic win over Manchester United. Now assistant to Arsène Wenger and as respected as ever.

    Kenny Sansom
    (Arsenal 1980-1988)
    Not the noisiest of captains but his record for club and country demanded respect. Kenny is still the most capped left back in England history (with 86 appearances) and nobody has won more international caps as an Arsenal player. He led his club through a barren spell in the mid-1980s but got his hands on a trophy in his final full season as captain, lifting the Littlewoods Cup in 1987 after a 2-1 win over Liverpool at Wembley.

    Tony Adams
    (Arsenal 1983-2002)
    Often referred to as Mr. Arsenal, Tony was the ultimate one-club man. Became Arsenal’s youngest ever captain (aged just 21 years and 82 days) when he succeeded Sansom in 1988 and led the Club to nine major trophies, including League titles in three different decades. Tony was the ultimate leader, bringing the best out of his team-mates and putting himself on the line for the Arsenal cause. Now manager at Portsmouth but still a legend to Arsenal supporters.

    Patrick Vieira
    (Arsenal 1996-2005)
    Arsenal’s first foreign captain and the obvious choice to succeed Adams in 2002. Proved leadership credentials by skippering Cannes as a teenager and led Arsenal with distinction, lifting the FA Cup in 2003 before playing a key role in the unbeaten title campaign which followed. The captain of The Invincibles was probably the Premier League’s finest midfielder at his peak, helping Wenger’s Arsenal become a major force in Europe once more.

    Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source 24 Nov 2008

  22. Eddie says:

    Good little game, I only got 3 out of 11 right. Clearly Wenger is much more philosophical than Aristotle

  23. Rasp says:

    I got 8 / 11 😀

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Another epic.
    I do need a quick lie down to think 🙂
    Will report back with some answers.

    9/11. No cheating. Just guessing.

  25. mickydidit89 says:


    I’m going for GKs, Defence and Attack 2001/2 and Midfield from 2003/4.

    Midfield was tough because 2001/2 had the Paddy/Petit axis I liked so much, but the later vintage had Gilberto, Pires and Freddie.

  26. Eddie says:

    rasp and micky -it must be a ‘man’ thingy, I would have never guessed that ‘Reciprocity in love is the most difficult thing to find’ belonged to le Boss

  27. Rasp says:

    I got that one wrong 😦

  28. Eddie says:

    rasp 🙂 why the hell was saying that? What on earth warranted such deep thought from a footy manager?

  29. Eddie says:

    …and I just hope he doesn’t talk like that to the lads. Otherwise there is no wonder that half the time they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing.

    Can you imagine ‘Arry saying something stupid like that? He’d know that it is far more difficult to find a bank you can hide some dough in

  30. chas says:

    From 29 Dec 2012 Guardian….

    There will be continued speculation about Walcott’s future unless the player ends the long-running wrangling over a new deal. Wenger is confident he will do that soon because of his strong emotional bond with the club he joined six years ago. “The club loves him and he loves the club and reciprocity in love is the most difficult thing to find,” Wenger said. “My desire is to extend his contract and I think he belongs here. Hopefully we can do it.”

  31. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha, he really did say that 🙂 For a mo I thought it was Apriil fools

  32. chas says:

    Great post, GN5.

    While it was happening, 2001-2 was perhaps my favourite season of all time, so I’d probably go with the Defence and Forwards from that season. Gilberto over van Bronk in midfield so 2003-4 for Midfield and Spunky 1998 in goal.

  33. chas says:

    I got 10/11 from pure guesswork. 🙂

  34. Eddie says:

    no way! you didn’t!

    Explain this one then:
    ‘Any man who concentrates his energies totally on one passion is, by definition, someone who hurts the people close to him’

  35. Eddie says:

    GN5 – leaving you for tonight 🙂

  36. chas says:

    Redknapp on the beautiful Dani, then at West Ham: “My missus fancies him. Even I don’t know whether to play him or f**k him.”

  37. chas says:

    I’m sure he said that about always watching football at home instead of spending time with his family.
    (or maybe that was Aristottle 🙂 )

  38. chas says:

    9th February 2007………..
    ARSENE Wenger’s quotes in Thursday’s Sun were surprising.
    The quotes originated in So Foot, a French football monthly, published two weeks ago.

    “You need to be sensible, particularly as in my job you have to be absolutely passionate and also very selfish. Any man who concentrates his energies totally on one passion is, by definition, someone who hurts the people close to him. My job takes up 90 per cent of every day of my life and, as far as my family is concerned, they have had to be pretty self-sufficient.”

  39. Eddie says:

    @7:25 is about right coming from a football manager, Wenger is sometimes bang out of order

  40. chas says:

  41. chas says:

  42. chas says:

  43. mickydidit89 says:


  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh and Chas
    Will you please stop banging on and on and on about that Theo bloke. You’re as bad as that Eddie fella and Kane

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Just back from a few days in a teepee in the Swedish mountains. Chilly but beautiful.

    Have we signed anyone yet?

  46. Eddie says:

    yes Raddy – we’ve signed Harry Kane, a rare case of reciprocated love

  47. Big Raddy says:

    I would never swap Kane for OG. Never.

  48. Eddie says:

    course you wouldn’t – April fools was yesterday

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    “I would never swap Kane for OG”

    So The Retreat didn’t make Raddy better 🙂

  50. mickydidit89 says:


    May I remind you the ONLY reason you and I are not going for some Spanish sun in the next round of the CL is because of all the chances Pants Down missed in the first half against Monte Carlo.

  51. Eddie says:

    micky – that will learn him – missed out on a holiday

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s right Eddie. You’d think missing out on a holiday would inject some spunk into the old dear, but no 😦

  53. Rasp says:

    Morning all, we have a post for today but nothing for tomorrow if anyone’s in the mood for a bit of Easter Bunny 🙂

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m a respectable and married chap, Rasp, so don’t come sleezing about my parts with yer bunnies 🙂

  55. Big Raddy says:

    I had forgotten that Micky. The French donkey owes me a Spring break in Italy.

    Sell, Sell, Sell. Buy, Buy, Buy

  56. Eddie says:

    raddy – I didn’t see the full stop after ‘micky’ and for a mo thought you are calling him a French donkey 🙂 🙂

    micky – just married.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s better 🙂

  58. Rasp says:

    Everyone loves a bunny Micky, some made of chocolate, some furry and some with batteries 😆

  59. RC78 says:

    sent a post 🙂 feel free to amend – not my best piece

  60. Rasp says:

    Thanks RC78, I have one lined up for today but yours will be great for tomorrow 🙂

  61. Rasp says:

    …… New post …….

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