Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva says he expected Liverpool to go the entire Premier League season unbeaten.
Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered their first defeat of the top-flight campaign on Saturday, going down 3-0 to Watford at Vicarage Road.
Liverpool’s surprise loss this weekend also ended a 44-game run without a Premier League defeat, which is five short of the record set by the Gunners in 2004.
And Gilberto believes the Reds’ setback on Saturday shows that Arsenal achieved something “special” 16 years ago.
“Liverpool came very close to the unbeaten record we hold with Arsenal. I have always said that one day it may happen and the way they have been playing, I was expecting them to do it,” he told The Times.
“For most people, it was unexpected that they would lose at Watford but we are still there as No.1, and this is a very special achievement.
“I was only talking about Arsenal’s Invincibles season last week over lunch with Jens Lehmann, our goalkeeper, and David Dein, who was vice-chairman. It is impossible not to talk about it. Every conversation I have with team-mates from that time is special.
“Jens and I spoke about the training sessions, the approach of everyone, when someone was maybe not in the right mood for training we pushed each other. Jens talked to everyone.
“If someone was not 100%, he would ask why not and ask for more. He was never afraid to say things but in a positive way.
“Compared to some games, our training sessions were even harder. Everyone trained to their limit, nobody at 80 or 90%. Sometimes Arsene Wenger, our manager, had to calm us down.
“I had the feeling many times in the tunnel, the way some opponents looked at us, I knew straight away that we were going to win this game.
“We won the league with four games to go. We thought, ‘OK, let’s keep winning’. Arsene said that we could become a special team, not only winners but a team everyone would know went unbeaten.
“I left the Premier League more than ten years ago. We won this in 2004. It’s such a long time and after the Liverpool game, ‘Arsenal the Invincibles’ came into people’s minds. It gives us a good feeling that people will still talk about us for I don’t know how long.
“Even though they did not break our record, what Liverpool have done this season is very special. It is not so easy with the competition nowadays. They face Manchester City, who have done so well, and the Premier League is a competition where anything can happen.
“Jurgen Klopp, his staff and the players have done a great job. They can still do marvellous things.”
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