It’s one of football’s great debates – which top level team will go down in history as the best of the best?
The Premier League Show has drawn up a shortlist of eight teams from the four clubs that have won the title on more than one occasion, recruiting a panel of experts to debate which they think is the greatest of the era.
Could it be the Arsenal ‘Invincibles’, Mourinho’s Chelsea ‘machine’, Manchester United’s treble winners or Guardiola’s record breakers?
Former players Ian Wright (Arsenal striker), Wes Brown (United defender) and Chris Sutton (Chelsea forward), plus journalist Miguel Delaney, joined Gabby Logan to discuss the merits of all eight contenders.
Below are some of their reflections, plus an analysis of what made each team so special.
Other notable squad members: Keown, Grimandi, Platt, Anelka
“At first, I thought, what does this Frenchman know about football?” said Arsenal captain Tony Adams, unimpressed at the appointment of manager Arsene Wenger from Japanese side Grampus Eight.
But the Frenchman silenced critics in his first full season in charge.
The Premier League looked lost in February when the Gunners were 12 points adrift of reigning champions Manchester United, but a brilliant late-season charge that included 10 straight victories saw the trophy head to Highbury.
Having pipped United to the title by a single point and with Wenger now the first foreign manager to win the English top-flight title, Arsenal went on to complete a domestic double that season, beating Newcastle in the FA Cup final.
The team was packed with leaders including Adams, Steve Bould and David Seaman, and was sprinkled with the magic of Dutch duo Marc Overmars and Dennis Bergkamp, while midfielders Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit went on to win the World Cup with France that summer.
Ian Wright: “You look at the back five with Martin Keown in and around as well, and that was what it was built on. Then Wenger brought in the likes of Vieira and Petit. Nicolas Anelka joined too and when I saw him in training I knew my time was coming to a close. I had never seen anything like it.
“Overmars is easily the quickest player I have ever seen – once he broke you could not keep up with him.
“Wenger had changed everything right through the week. It was a different place – the diet, the training.”
Miguel Delaney: “There was that English defensive core and on top of it you had this modern athleticism that the Premier League hadn’t seen at that point.”
Wes Brown: “At United the perception was that they were big and strong, hard to score against and they did not give anything away.” Read more