Last updated : 08 August 2004 By Editor

Let battle commence:

"Without hitting championship form, they had to go undefeated to win it. Normally you're going to lose about four games a year when you win a title but, with all the draws they were getting, four defeats would have cost them first place.

"What Arsenal did was quite incredible though. They used remaining undefeated as a driving force and it turned into an unexpected way of gaining the most points. In January or February they started realising they could stay unbeaten until the end and began talking about it. You can motivate in different ways. You can use religion but they adopted remaining undefeated as their great cause. It was a one-off, I don't expect it to be repeated.

"Does Arsenal's achievement make them the best team in England ever? They only won one trophy, and we've done nothing in the last 10 years, have we? Looking back, I think they used the target of going undefeated as their driving force. And that's where some of the draws came into it.

"They definitely wanted to win the title, but maybe in January and February they started to realise they could get there undefeated and they started talking about that.

"Some people use motivation in different ways, and Arsenal had the incentive of going unbeaten.

"Remaining undefeated was quite incredible really, but they didn't match our points total of 91 when we won the title in 2000 and only drew seven games.

"They have bought quite well over the summer for a team with no money."

SAF on Vieira situation:

"The thing about Real in the transfer market is that they stretch you and stretch you to breaking point. They wear you down. We've seen that before. Patrick Vieira would be a miss for Arsenal all right, he's a strong player."


"Everyone has the right to make their own judgement but over the whole country we got huge recognition not only for what we did but for the way we did it.

"Most people shared that view even if it is difficult for some people to accept.

"Twelve draws? I would sign for 12 draws and 26 wins today. And we certainly weren't negative. If you look at the way we played, we never went into the last 20 minutes of any league game behind.

"That shows just what a positive attitude we had. I believe that no-one in England would dispute the fact that Arsenal were a tremendous team and put in tremendous performances - we never played negative football."

When it was suggested that the United manager's views were preposterous, Wenger smiled: "That is why I don't really want to respond to them."