In another brand new series by the name of Premier League Legends, we take a look at the career of one of the best strikers in English football history: Thierry Henry.
As part of the squad that Arsene Wenger led through his career as a manager for Arsenal FC, Thierry Henry became one of the biggest Premier League Legends and today we celebrate his incredible run with the Gunners. First, we will look at his arrival and the complicated decision Henry had to make when he arrived in England, Wenger asked him to play a different position than the one he played for Juventus without realizing this would change his career forever. At the start of his career with both AS Monaco and later with Juventus, Thierry Henry played as a left winger whose main objective was to send crosses to the strikers but Arsene Wenger had a very different plan in store for the French forward. The Arsenal boss was a visionary who had deep knowledge about each and every one of his compatriots that he brought to the club, Wenger knew all about how to exploit that French flair to the team’s benefit.
Instant success with the Gunners.
For Thierry Henry, coming to Arsenal as a young talent with a whole new role in the club was something that he needed getting used to. It took the striker a little time to understand what Wenger wanted from him, but when he finally got the idea there was no stopping him from that moment moving forward. The first couple of years we all about adaptation, Henry was able to get more familiar with all his teammates and even reached a UEFA Cup final in the year 2000 but lost it against Turkish club Galatasaray. The learning process was going to help Henry develop properly and the success with his national team in both the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship, was the taste for glory he needed to find that balance that came a few years later in his career for Arsenal. By 2001, Thierry Henry was ready to lead Arsenal into one of the most successful runs any Premier League side has experienced.
With him as the team leader and already used to playing that forward role completely free to move as he saw fit, Thierry Henry began a fruitful romance with all Premier League fans who paid their ticket to watch Arsenal play in every stadium throughout England. There was no one who could resist to the temptation of falling under the spell this squad provided, people around the world got infatuated with this squad’s style f play and mostly it was thanks to the football that Thierry Henry provided week after week. Highbury Stadium became a sanctuary for the striker, who became its all-time goal scorer and will remain as such because years later it was demolished. Thierry Henry won four Golden Boot trophies playing in the Premier League and scored a total of 174 goals in 254 matches played for Arsenal in that competition. In any of the all-time squads that have been discussed between experts, Thierry Henry is always next to Alan Shearer up front because he revolutionized the competition during his spell.
Henry’s style of play can’t really be included in a specific category, this man played as an all-around forward who could perform just as well inside the box as he could get out and combine with the midfielders behind him. But Henry’s story for Arsenal wasn’t perfect, all he missed in that period of time was a Champions League trophy which he nearly won in 2006 but lost it to Barcelona in the Paris final at Parc des Princes. What he did dominate was the Premier League, he was part of the legendary invincible Arsenal side that could not be defeated during 49 matches in the Premier League, a team that won the 2003-2004 tournament undefeated and has been the only club that has accomplished this in the history of the competition. Today, a statue of Thierry Henry sits majestic outside of the club new Emirates Stadium, as a reminder of the legendary player who once defended the Gunners’ colors.
What is your fondest memory of Thierry Henry during his Premier League spell with Arsenal? Please share your opinion in the comment section below.