The goalless draw on Saturday was not the only first for Arsenal this season - it was also the first time the Arsenal starting XI has not featured a Frenchman this campaign.

In fact, Saturday's stalemate at West Ham was only the second time the Gunners have started the game without a Gallic player in the line-up under the stewardship of Arsène Wenger - the first and last time being way back in the final game of the 1999/00 season at Newcastle.

According to Wenger, the consistency of ex-captain Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry - who is currently sidelined by injury - offer an explanation but the Arsenal boss adds that his players' nationalities are highly irrelevant.

"Thierry and Patrick did not miss many [games] for us and with both of them now missing for different reasons explains that," he said.

"I was amazed when somebody told me - it just goes to show how little I look at a player's nationality. I didn't know but it is amazing because we still have a few French or French-speaking players here."

Since former skipper Patrick Vieira made his Arsenal debut by replacing Ray Parlour as a substitute in the 28th minute of a Premier League match against Sheffield Wednesday at Highbury on 16 September 1996, there have only been five occasions during any moment of a match when a Frenchman has not been on the field for Arsenal:

ARSENAL 5-2 STOKE CITY
13 November, 1996
Coca-Cola Cup Third Round
Steve Morrow replaced Patrick Vieira in the 78th minute. The Arsenal team for remainder of the match was:
Seaman, Dixon, Winterburn, Keown, Bould, Adams, Platt, Wright, Merson, Bergkamp (Hartson), Morrow.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1-2 ARSENAL
21 December, 1996
Premier League
Steve Morrow replaced Remi Garde in the 78th minute. TheArsenal team for remainder of the match was:
Lukic, McGowan (Parlour), Winterburn, Keown, Bould, Linighan, Platt, Wright, Merson, Bergkamp (Hartson), Morrow.

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 2-0 ARSENAL
22 November, 1997
Premier League

Scott Marshall replaced Gilles Grimandi in 51st minute.The Arsenal team for remainder of the match was:
Seaman, Dixon, Winterburn, Keown, Marshall, Adams, Parlour (Hughes), Platt, Wright, Mendez (Wreh), Overmars.

NEWCASTLE UNITED 4-2 ARSENAL
14 May, 2000
Premier League

The squad did not feature a Frenchman. The Arsenal team:
Manninger, Luzhny, Keown, Weston (McGovern), Winterburn, Parlour (Silvinho), Malz, Vernazza, Cole, Suker, Kanu (Gray). Subs not used: Lukic, Black.

ARSENAL 2-0 EVERTON
19 September, 2005
Premier League
Alexander Hleb replaced Robert Pires after 29 minutes. The Arsenal team for remainder of the match was:
Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cole, Ljungberg, Fabregas, Gilberto, Hleb, Reyes (Song 85), van Persie (Bergkamp 66).

WEST HAM 0-0 ARSENAL
24 September, 2005
Premier League

The starting XI did not feature a Frenchman. The Arsenal team:
Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cole, Ljungberg, Fabregas, Gilberto (Flamini 71), Hleb, Reyes (Owusu-Abeyie 73), Van Persie (Clichy 82).

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 26 Sep 2005