Where is the last champion Arsenal now? One is still playing, another died in a car accident, the third saves children
Nostalgia for the invincibles.
Mid-January and Arsenal are still first in the Premier League. With Mikel Arteta’s team in form, a five-point lead and Manchester City’s never shot on target against the 20th team in the Premier League (and only once on target against Manchester United), the Londoners’ title no longer looks so unrealistic.
The drive of the golden race has not been experienced by Arsenal fans for a very long time, and the championship champagne was last opened 19 years ago. Mikel Arteta then ran for the Rangers, Granita Xhaka had not yet been sold beer, Alexander Zinchenko was just going to the football section, Bukayo Saka could not read, and Ethan Nvaneri’s parents were not going to have a child for another two years.
Let’s go back to 2003: every kid in the yard knew the composition of Arsenal. How could one not fall in love with the graceful performance of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires? We remember the legendary team that went through the Premier League unbeaten.
In 2003, Arsenal were preparing for a change of era: the 34-year-old Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Jens Lehmann took the place of the legendary David Seaman in goal. A good choice: despite the mistakes and eccentric behavior, the German became one of the heroes of the season and received the Golden Glove.
Jens spent five seasons in London, and in 2011 he even returned to the club after his retirement. Due to the epidemic of injuries, Arsenal lost three goalkeepers and urgently pulled his grandfather out of retirement. Lehmann even came in handy – he played in 41 against Blackpool after Almunia was injured in the warm-up.
There was another return: in 2017, he arrived at the Emirates already as a goalkeeping coach, in 2019 he surfaced as an assistant head coach at Augsburg, and in 2020 he joined the board of directors of Hertha. From there, he flew out with a scandal: ex-German national team player Dennis Aogo, published a screenshot of a message from Lehmann, where Jens called him a “black quota guy.” Hertha fired Lehmann, and Sky Sports no longer invited him to the role of an expert.
In 2022, the goalkeeper got into another scandal – he destroyed his neighbor’s garage with a chainsaw. Lehmann thought he turned off the security cameras, but he was wrong. In court, Jens argued that the garage had been illegally built on his property and blocked the view of Lake Starnberg.
The graduate of the club made his debut in the Premier League in 1999, and by the 2003/04 season he was already the main one. In 2006, he left Arsenal (fans nicknamed him “Cashley“) and became a Chelsea legend (took 9 trophies, including the Premier League, the Champions League and the Europa League). After playing out at Roma, Los Angeles Galaxy and Derby.
Immediately after the end of his career, he remained at Derby and entered the coaching staff of Frank Lampard. Ashley has been following the former partner since 2019: after Derby, he worked at Chelsea and Everton. Since February, he has been combining the roles of an assistant at Goodison Park and in the England U-21 team.
In 2022, Cole experienced two unpleasant incidents. He was first subjected to racist abuse by Swindon fans in an FA Cup match against Man City while working as a pundit for ITV. And later, together with his family (children and new girlfriend Sharon Kanu, he divorced singer Cheryl Tweedy in 2010), he became a hostage in his own house: robbers broke into Cole’s home, tied him up while he was holding his daughter in his arms, and threatened to cut off his fingers . Ashley thought that he would be killed, but nothing happened, and the robbers were detained thanks to DNA samples that one of the thieves left on the ties to bind his hands. Their leader was given 30 years.
The only champion of England-2003/04, which is still in the game. From that squad there is also Cesc Fabregas, Quincy Owusu-Obeye, Michal Papadopoulos and Justin Hoyt, but they played one match for four in the Premier League (with Hoyt) and are not considered champions.
And Clichy is still in business! You may have forgotten him right after Manchester City: he has been racing in Turkey and Switzerland since 2017. For three years he was the main player in Basaksehir and even won the championship. Now the third year does not give a place at the heart of Servette (was the third and fifth).
Yes, and in the invincible Arsenal, Clichy was quoted: it was his first season in the Premier League, but he knocked out 12 games in the base.