Arsene Wenger Invincible: Arsenal’s unbeaten record challenged amid ‘diving’ claim | Football | sport


Arsène Wenger: Invincible | Official trailer

Arsène Wenger’s finest achievement is at the center of a highly anticipated docu-film which premiered on Tuesday. The red carpet was rolled out last night in the presence of a host of Gunners legends, including Ian Wright, Mikel Arteta and Wenger himself. The documentary paints a picture of one of football’s greatest, framed against the backdrop of the unforgettable 2003/04 season and Arsenal’s record. ‘Arsene Wenger: Invincible’ is released in theaters today.

It will first screen in the Picturehouse cinemas in Finsbury Park and Hackney.

Then, starting Monday, November 22, it will be available to stream or purchase on DVD.

No team has had an unbeaten Premier League season since Wenger’s remarkable side.

Yet if the much-maligned VAR had been in place, things probably would have been very, very different.

The Gunners hosted Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth at Highbury in September of their stunning unbeaten campaign.

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“Arsene Wenger: Invincibles” premiered Tuesday night. (Image: GETTY)

Arsenal Invincibles team

No team has yet repeated the exploits of the Invincibles. (Image: GETTY)

Pompey led 1-0 at Highbury with a goal from Spurs legend Teddy Sheringham.

However, much to the chagrin of away fans, Pires fell in the penalty area under a challenge from Dejan Stefanovic.

Serbian defender Stefanovic recalled the incident in Played Up Pompey Too, written by journalist Neil Allen.

He said: “In September 2003 we drew 1-1 at Arsenal in a game that many Pompey fans remember for Robert Pires’ plunge.

“Teddy Sheringham gave us the advantage in Highbury and then, as half-time approached, Pires attacked from the lower left and fell under my challenge inside the box.

Mikel Arteta with his wife.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta attends the film’s premiere on Tuesday night. (Image: GETTY)

“The referee, Alan Wiley, awarded a penalty, which Thierry Henry transformed.

“It wasn’t a foul, I didn’t even touch him, he dove over my leg, it’s that easy.”

Stefanovic was convinced his team would have stopped the historic Gunners run before it really started.

He continued, “The Invincibles, they were baptized, but a dip kept us from beating them.

“After the match, Pires apologized to me: ‘It wasn’t my decision, it was the referee’s, what can I do? “.

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Dejan Stefanovic tackles Dennis Bergkamp

Dejan Stefanovic tackles Dennis Bergkamp in the game that could have ended Arsenal’s race. (Image: GETTY)

“I accepted that. He’s a good guy and what happened happened.

Pires, who has won the Premier League twice in six seasons with the Gunners, has previously been accused of bringing diving to English football.

Former Man City man Danny Mills said in The Times in 2016: “I will always remember him as the player who in my opinion really made the English game dive; his habit of throwing himself to the ground without any provocation has always infuriated me.

Writing in the diary a few months later, Pires replied, “I didn’t bring diving to England.

“There was a controversy against Portsmouth, but there was contact.

Arsène Wenger and Gabriel Clarke

Christian Jeanpierre, Arsène Wenger and Gabriel Clarke attending the UK premiere. (Image: GETTY)

“When you’re running fast with the ball and dribbling, a light touch from a defender or even a movement towards you can throw you off balance.

“I was looking for a foul sometimes, taunted the defender for sure and most of the time I dribbled, but I never dived and I never intentionally disrespected anyone.”

Wenger also referred to the incident in a furious post-match rant in 2012 following his side’s loss to Swansea.

He said: “Pires has dived against Portsmouth before. For six months, it was a story.

“[Nathan] Dyer dove in and no one said a word. If it doesn’t matter when Dyer is diving, why does it matter when Pires is diving? ”

Pires is one of many footballing legends to have provided interviews for “Arsene Wenger: Invincible”.

A heavyweight cast includes Sir Alex Ferguson, Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp, ​​under the direction of Gabriel Clarke, the man behind ‘Finding Jack Charlton’ which aired last year.

‘Arsene Wenger: Invincible’ premieres in theaters tomorrow. It will then be available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Sky from November 22.

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