By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger rates the current Arsenal side as the best - and the unluckiest - he has ever had.

The Frenchman has built some great teams during his 12-year stay in England, winning the 'double' in 1998 and 2002 before guiding 'The Invincibles' to an unbeaten title campaign in 2004.

The class of 2008 fell short in the Premier League after leading the table for much of the season and suffered a cruel Champions League exit at Liverpool. Nonetheless, Wenger believes they can eclipse their illustrious predecessors.

"I believe that this team was beyond expectation from the first day of the season," said Wenger. "Unfortunately they don't get the credit they deserve at the moment for the quality of their displays.

"I think we have learned a lot. We were very close to winning the European Cup and the Premier League. We were unlucky with some bad decisions from the referees' consistency since the Birmingham game.

"And maybe when we were under pressure we lost a bit of freedom in our display. That's what we have to learn.

"But I feel it bodes well for next season because since I have been in England this has been the unluckiest team I have had. But as well this is the best team I have had."


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Chris Harris 9 May 2008