van Persie, Fabregas and Arshavin > Henry, Pires and Bergkamp?
After Arsenal’s 4-1 Champions League cakewalk against the Eredivisie champions last night, Arsene Wenger was moved to compare his young team to the unbeaten Gunners squad of 03/04:
We’ve never had as many options on the creative side. We still have Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott who are offensive players who are not available.
Denilson, Eduardo, Tomas Rosicky did not start – that is why I was amazed when people said, ‘Buy, buy, buy’. And Carlos Vela as well… I forgot him!
Fair assessment, or another one of Le Prof’s attempts to tack an extra psychological boost onto an impressive performance? Ljungberg, Henry, Pires and Bergkamp had racked up 16 goals and 10 assists in all competitions by this time in 03/04 season; while van Persie, Arshavin, Bendtner and Fabregas are already on 24 goals and 23 assists.
In terms of depth, Wenger has a point – as backups go, Eduardo, Rosicky and Nasri are a more desirable trio of reinforcements than Reyes, Wiltord and Kanu were. But does the overall attacking quality of the squad match up?