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Let’s remember a happier time for Arsenal when they destroyed Man City 5-1

We feel sorry for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal. So let's remember a better time, when they were steamrolling Man City 5-1 for fun

We can’t take it anymore.

We know we should be piling into Arsenal at the moment, and normally we would, but the sadness in Arsene Wenger’s eyes has got us.

So let’s go back to 2001, when Arsenal Fan TV didn’t exist and Wenger couldn’t move for winning trophies.


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When someone opens the door on an underground train carriage

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When someone opens the door on an underground train carriage

The date was 22 February 2003.

Arsenal were unbeaten in 15 games, boasting a defence- Lauren, Martin Keown, Sol Campbell and Giovani van Bronckhorst- so dominant that they could afford to play Stuart Taylor in goal.

With Sylvain Wiltord, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires in midfield behind Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry in attack the goals could come from anywhere.

Compare that to nowadays, where Arsenal’s best hope of a goal is Danny Welbeck accidentally assisting a team-mate or Granit Xhaka scoring from his ninth long-range shot of the game.

Even the ref couldn’t believe Taylor was getting an outing

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Even the ref couldn’t believe Taylor was getting an outing

Talking of contrasts, City’s team was unrecognisable from the expensively assembled squad taking England apart this season.

For Ederson read Carlo Nash. Kyle Walker read Sun Jihai. Kevin De Bruyne’s role was taken by Eyal Berkovic.

The only two players who would arguably have been an asset to the current squad in their prime were playing together up top- Nicolas Anelka and Robbie Fowler.

Opposite Wenger in the dugout was Kevin Keegan who, at that stage, would ‘love it’ if City could keep the score down.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

A face Wenger knows only too well now

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A face Wenger knows only too well now

The game was over after 18 minutes.

Bergkamp, Pires, Henry and Henry gave Wenger the easiest half-time team talk of his career.

You could have made a valid argument for Henry being carded for unsportsmanlike conduct due to the way he was treating Richard Dunne.

Think The Tortoise and The Hare without the happy ending.

Wearing a hat so punters can’t see his face

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Wearing a hat so punters can’t see his face

Keegan put Dunne out of his misery by replacing him with Shaun Wright-Phillips in the second-half.

It didn’t make much of a difference.

Vieira added the fifth in the 53rd minute, allowing Wenger to bring Francis Jeffers off the bench. Yep, it was that convincing.

Strong boot choice

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Strong boot choice

When Anelka pulled one back in the 87th minute Maine Road was about as full as the Emirates was at the point Leroy Sane made it 3-0.

But this is Arsenal we’re talking about. They floundered for the rest of the season and were overtaken by Man United, who lifted the Premier League title.

There was, at least, an FA Cup to soften the blow.

The following campaign saw Arsenal’s Invincibles make up for that Premier League slip, although little did everyone know that that would spark a barren spell of 14 years and counting.

Stil, keep your chin up Arsene. You’ll forever be a glorious part of Premier League history.


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