When Theo Walcott boldly claimed that Arsenal’s current strike-force was better than the Invincible’s (via the Mirror), many were quick to castigate the England man for his ‘obscene views’.
However, on current evidence, there could be a legitimate debate to be had as Arsenal thrashed Liverpool 4-1 in arguably the most convincing performance against the Reds at home since Theirry Henry tore them apart over a decade ago.
The fact that Arsene Wenger was able to loan out three strikers in January including Germany’s third highest goalscorer of all time in Lukas Podolski (via Daily Mail), his abundance of talent up front is obvious.
Some may say that the Invincible’s forward-line cannot be compared to due to their achievements, but a simple glance at the numbers suggests otherwise.
Arsenal 14/15 forward line
Arsenal’s current strike-force are on course to break their predecessors goalscoring Premier League tally for the 2003/04 season with the Gunners currently on 62 goals. The team which last delivered the title for the north Londoners notched up 73 goals and with eight games remaining, Olivier Giroud and co look like exceeding that number.
This Arsenal squad may not have a lethal finisher such as Henry, but one would be hard pressed in finding a forward in world football (Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo apart) who can produce performances like the legendary Frenchman.
The likes of Alexis Sanchez and Giroud currently lead the charts in terms of scoring goals for the club and rank among the best in the division. One key comparison between the two sides is their respective chief creators. When Arsenal paid Real Madrid £42.4m (via BBC Sport), the feeling inside the club may have been that Dennis Bergkamp’s heir apparent had arrived.
Ozil has neither failed nor delivered on that promise but, at the age of 26, he can push on to become an Arsenal great and lead this forward line to the heights their predecessors reached, and perhaps even further.
The main difference between the two sides which makes it slightly difficult to compare them is that Arsenal in 2015 are no longer reliant on a handful of players to provide the goalscoring ammunition.
Arsenal have had 15 different scorers in the Premier League this season, more than any other team (via Premier League), a clear feature of their evolutionary football down the years.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s presence in the forward line above might back-up Walcott’s infamous claim. Freddie Ljungberg held down the right-wing position in 2004, whereas Wenger has the ability to field one of Chamberlain, Walcott or Danny Welbeck in that position.
Despite the qualities of both sides, Walcott’s statement rings true, until this current crop of stars deliver the Premier League title once again for Arsenal, to compare them to the best side the club has produced would be rather difficult and, quite frankly, rather irrelevant.