In 2004, Arsenal Football Club had done the unimaginable. An entire Premier League season went on with the Gunners failing to lose a match. The team was presented with the only golden trophy ever made, and the names of Arsène Wenger and his players have remained in the history books ever since.
Of course many teams have won the league in a dominate fashion, Manchester United in ’00 or Manchester City in ’18, however each season inevitably contained a loss. And while these losses are easily forgotten, and lack any significance in the grand scheme, the fact remains that no other team has lived up to the comparison of “The Invincibles”. That Arsenal side, the most dominant English team the birthplace of football has ever seen. Perhaps, until now.
Today, Liverpool find themselves 22 points clear at the top of the table. With 79 points taken out of a possible 81, Liverpool are doing what the Invincibles did, and then some. While the Gunners won 26 matches and drew 12, Liverpool have already equalled the number of wins with 11 matches remaining. Naturally, the comparisons have been made. Arsenal won the league without losing a match, Liverpool are doing it without dropping points.
As one would expect, the thought of “Invincibles” grows amongst the British media with every dominant performance, or even more so in every last minute winner. The claim amongst fans being fate is on their side, and 30 years without their long lost love of the Premier League might have been worth it. Even so, Jurgen Klopp has done his best to silence the talk of “Invincibles” but his team’s performances aren’t helping his cause.
And so with the Premier League just about over and Liverpool eventually to be crowned champions, the question becomes whether they will be invincible or not? With FA Cup and Champions League dreams still alive, the thought of resting players from a league already won becomes a very realistic option.
While any professional footballer would rightfully tell the media there isn’t a focus on becoming “invincible” within the squad- behind closed doors, on the training grounds, or at Anfield- I’m sure there most definitely is. Compare the number of teams that have played in the Premier League with the number of teams that have won it. It’s unbelievably small. Now think of the teams that have done it unbeaten. There’s only one. Of course winning every game is the mindset every footballer should have but there’s extra motivation in the fact that your name could be remembered forever and Liverpool Football Club’s dominance in a season would be above any other team in the history of the sport.
So while the excitement of who’s going to win the Premier League has dissolved, the world still sits on the edge of it’s seat to see how long this run of wins will last. However in all of sports- and football especially- wins aren’t so easily guaranteed. With this, Jurgen Klopp is faced with a dilemma. Does he opt to use his academy talent in a competition that’s already won, while pushing his superstars to pack the trophy cabinet with a potential double or treble? Or does he use his star players and risk injuries and defeat in order to etch their names into the history books of domination? Does he choose to be invincible or not?