Thierry Henry was the best player to ever play for Arsenal and in my opinion he was the best player to ever play in English football. Between 2003 and 2006 he was by far the best player in the world. The fact that he was ignored for the top European honours is more a reflection of Arsenal’s status in Europe rather than his own ability.
I know we all suspected he was going, but when I heard that the deal was done, a small part of my soul died. The realisation that on August 11, when Arsenal take on Fulham for the opening game of the new season Thierry is not going to lead the team out was too much to bear.
Thierry gave all Arsenal fans a lot of reasons to be cheerful, 226 reasons in fact, in 364 games, winning 2 tittles and four FA cups along the way and of course the crazy Champions League adventure of 2006.
Very wrong to say he went missing in the big games.
People always said that he went missing in big games and that he never scored in a final. It’s true he did not score in a final but it was his goals and assists that made it possible for both Arsenal and France to compete in those finals.
Did you know that Henry at the age of 19 was the top goal scorer for France in the 1998 world cup? The only reason he missed out in the final was that the coach decided that it was time for experience not youth.
Missing in big games? No way. In the Champions League: Goal away against Madrid, virtually guaranteed that we went through, second goal against Juve at Highbury, hat trick against Inter Milan when we won 5-1 in the San Siro, another hat trick against Roma in the Olimpico. Assist for the Kolo Toure goal against Villareal.
In the premiership, he scored a hat trick against Liverpool when the famous unbeaten season was stumbling after CL and FA cup heartbreaks. The famous goal against Man United, one of the best goals I have ever seen and of course the winner at the first ever Emirates derby against the Mancs. The goal against Spurs to make sure we kept in touch during the 05 –06 season, where we beat them to 4th place in our last game ever to be played at Highbury. The brace he hit against Chelsea in their first year they won the league….
I could go on, the list is endless, but I think that his record speaks for it self. A goal every 1.6 games cannot be questioned and I would think it stands against any other striker to ever play in England. I always felt that people who made these type of comments were deeply envious of his ability.
Thierry plays the game with the perfect blend of skill, balance, power and pace. Thierry Henry in full flow is the most amazing sight I have ever seen on a football pitch. If Wenger could play god for a day and he went about creating his ideal footballer I bet he would create Thierry Henry all over again.
He is not a spent force. Barcelona got a hell of a deal
I am not also one of those that buy into the theory that he is now a spent force. Thierry is a specimen of an athlete and I find it very difficult to believe that a player looking after his body so well can be finished at 29. Even if he lost a yard of pace he is still quicker than most. He is an intelligent footballer that would be able to adjust even if his pace had been compromised.
At the price quoted Barcelona got a hell of deal. Thierry would walk into any other side in the world, but even now when everybody says he is finished he chose the one team with arguably the best front line in the world. That to me says a lot about his character.
I feel privileged to have been able to watch the best player of our generation play week in week out. In no way do I feel resentful of his choice to look for a new challenge. If he ever came back to play against us, I would give him a standing ovation even if I was in a minority of one.
There were so many special memories that I cannot possibly pick only one. However the way I want to remember TH14 is getting down the left side of the pitch, toying with the right back, cutting inside to torment the centre back and finally curling a shot past a hapless goalkeeper with no effort at all.
Au’revoir Thierry, thanks for the memories and I sincerely hope that in the future you will be associated with Arsenal in some way or form.
There have been a host of names put forward to replace him; like Martins, Owen, Torres, Anelka (Arsenal in for Anelka? The return of the prodigal son) and others.
No one can even get near him. But just as Fabregas, with his own particular style of playing, replaced Vieira so will someone else step in to fill the void.
By Arsenal Analysis season ticket holder at the Emirates, South Stand: Row 5