Robert Pires names three current Arsenal stars who would get into ‘Invincibles’ side | Football
Robert Pires says three current Arsenal stars in Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and William Saliba would get into the club’s famed ‘Invincibles’ XI.
The Gunners have made a long-awaited return to the top of the Premier League this season but suffered a setback against Manchester City on Wednesday, losing 3-1 to the defending champions at the Emirates to slip into second place.
It saw Pep Guardiola’s side return to the summit but Arsenal have a game in hand on their rivals, with the two still to meet for a second time this season in April.
The north London side last celebrated a league title success in 2003/04, their legendary ‘Invincibles’ campaign where they finished the season without a defeat.
Pires starred alongside the likes of Thierry Henry, Sol Campbell and Dennis Bergkamp in that famous side and when asked to pick a combined XI with Mikel Arteta’s current crop, only three of the new generation made the cut.
The former France international named Bukayo Saka ahead of himself, with Saliba coming in for Kolo Toure in defence. Pires also found room for Odegaard, taking Freddie Ljungberg’s place.
‘I honestly think the Arsenal of 2004 would beat the Arsenal of 2023,’ Pires told The Telegraph.
‘I feel sorry for the kids now, but I’ve no doubt.
‘I think the fans will give you the same answer: Lehmann, Lauren, Saliba, Campbell, Cole, Vieira, Gilberto Silva, Odegaard, Saka, Bergkamp and Henry.’
Arsenal head to Aston Villa, managed by former manager Unai Emery, on Saturday afternoon, needing a win to keep the pressure on City.
With questions being asked of his old side, Pires sent a message to Arteta insisting the belief is still with him and the players.
‘I sent him [Arteta] a message by WhatsApp,’ he said.
‘I told him, ‘Mikel, it’s OK. We trust you. You have to keep your head up.’ We have to support him in these moments.’
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