Lehmann: Henry was the best

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann claims Thierry Henry was the best player of his time when they played together for the Gunners

The German revealed how he helped Henry improve his overall game by encouraging the French striker to work harder in training.

Jens Lehmann joined Arsenal back in 2003 as played in every single game as the “Invincibles” became a historical side when they won the title of the Premier League while remaining unbeaten.

The former goalkeeper is now publishing his autobiography, in which he says there was no player better than Thierry Henry.

“Over the years, I have been lucky to have had the pleasure of playing with a lot of very good footballers, from Olaf Thon to Andi Moller and Lothar Matthaus,” Lehmann wrote in an extract exclusive released to Omnisport.

“In the end, however, it was Henry who impressed me most,” the goalkeeper admitted.

“Not only with his speed and the spectacle he would create on the pitch but with that so very different, intelligent personality of his. To me, Thierry Henry during his Arsenal years was the best player in the world.”

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Despite his greatness, Lehmann tried to guide the French star from day one.

“In one of my first training games, I was on a team with Henry, and when he lost the ball once, I did what I still do to this day: get players moving. ‘Hey, Thierry! Go on, pursue the ball, go and get it!” – he said.

“I had not meant to show him up; I merely considered myself a player of a certain status who was in some charge when it came to his team-mates. I was, after all, the only player besides Dennis Bergkamp who had won the UEFA Cup,” Lehmann added.

The German found it difficult when Henry moved to Barcelona in 2007, saying the king of English football had left.

“I was very upset when he left for Spain, and I was not the only one: really, all of English football was mourning, because he had become a kind of common property.”

“His playing ability, his pace, his goal-scoring abilities and his effectiveness had ennobled the entire league,” Lehmann added.

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