Ranking the Best EPL Teams of the Last 10 Years

Sam Pilger@sampilgerContributing Football WriterSeptember 6, 2013

Ranking the Best EPL Teams of the Last 10 Years

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    Over the last decade, the Premier League has played hosted to many great teams, but who were the best during this period?

    The competition is fierce, from Arsenal’s Invincibles to Jose Mourniho’s title-winning Chelsea sides to several different Manchester United sides, who have won the Premier League title five times in the last 10 years.

    Here I rank in order the three best teams in the Premier League since the start of the 2003-04 season. 

Arsenal 2003-04

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    Arsenal’s Invincibles earned their lauded name for completing the 2003-04 Premier League season without losing a single fixture.

    The Gunners won 26 of their 38 league games and were held to a draw in the remaining 12.

    It was the first time in 115 years that an English side had not lost a game during a season in the top flight since Preston North End in 1888-89.

    However, this is a side that should not be remembered by mere statistics, for it produced football of rare beauty and brilliance.

    Bolstered by a defence led by Sol Campbell, the peerless Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva were the anchors in the centre of midfield, while Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pires provided the flair and creativity on the flanks. 

    Up front, while you could suggest Dennis Bergkamp was at this point past his prime, it didn’t matter. Thierry Henry was then arguably the world’s best player and contributed 30 goals in the Premier League.   

Manchester United 2007-08

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    In stark contrast to this summer, during the transfer window of 2007, Manchester United did impressive business by recruiting the quartet of Carlos Tevez, Owen Hargreaves, Anderson and Nani.

    By adding these players to a strong team that had just won the Premier League, United were able to retain the title and win the Champions League as well in 2007-08.

    The Red Devils boasted a formidable defence with the central partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Wes Brown at full-back and Edwin van der Sar in goal.

    In midfield, United rotated their personnel throughout the season, with Nani, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Hargreaves, Anderson and Ryan Giggs all contributing, but none of them playing over 30 games in the Premier League.

    United’s greatest strength was in attack, though. Their modern-day "holy trinity" of Tevez, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo between them scored an incredible 79 goals in all competitions.

    It was Ronaldo who dominated the season, finally proving beyond all doubt he was a world-class talent by scoring 42 goals in all competitions and going on to win both the European and World Footballer of the Year awards at the end of the year.  

Chelsea 2004-05

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    In the summer of 2004, when Jose Mourinho was unveiled as the new manager at Stamford Bridge, he famously announced that he should be respected as a "special one."

    The Portuguese manager immediately proved he was just that by toppling Arsenal’s Invincibles and leading Chelsea to their first Premier League title in half a century.

    Chelsea also racked up an impressively long list of Premier League records during the season, including the most points (95), fewest goals conceded (15), most clean sheets (25), most wins (29) and even the most consecutive away wins (9).

    This side’s strength was overwhelmingly in defence, where goalkeeper Petr Cech and a defence that included John Terry, William Gallas and Ricardo Carvalho made it very difficult for teams to have any success against the Blues.

    In midfield, Claude Makelele was at his brilliant best in the holding role he made famous, and was bolstered by the side’s top scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals in Frank Lampard, along with Damien Duff, Arjen Robben, Joe Cole and Tiago.

    Up front, new signing Didier Drogba contributed 10 goals and the underrated Eidur Gudjohnsen managed 12 in the Premier League.