Arguably the best signing If the Arsenal Wenger generation, trust me as a young football fan in the early millennium, the name Thierry Henry caught my attention. This young man was causing waves in the EPL and to my amazement he was French. This was just the beginning of a journey I have not so far regretted, being a fan of an Arsenal and French Legend! A man who’s statue welcomes you to the amazing Ashburton Grove otherwise known to most of us as the Emirates, surely a honour befitting of a legend, but a legend who still enjoys playing the game.
A name endeared to the gunners hearts and a hero in his own right, Henry caused damage to even the best defensive walls in the world of football, thus was an enemy of most defenders who came up against him in the pitch. Finding the net in not just one, or two but 226 times for the gunners the legend just the other day added to his Arsenal tally with an explicit finish that left the Leeds defenders wondering where on earth TITI’s marker was when he scored. A second goal by any Arsenal player against Leeds would have not made the story so enjoyable and just the single strike is what even made the FA tie interesting as it showed that without TITI(as he is fondly referred to as by his teammates) would have forced a replay later at Leeds giving Arsenal an extra game they would surely not want to have played.
Not so known when he joined Arsenal in 1999 from Italian giants JUVE, maybe only to Wenger who was just three years earlier greeted by the headlines of ‘ARSENE WHO?’ By the English media, Henry years later made a name for himself as one of the best strikers of his generation among a pool of the ever rising football stars each year. In his first spell he managed to collect, 2 league titles, 3 FA cups, 2 FIFA World player of the year nominations among other numerous personal accolades not a mean feat by a player of any standards in the English game.
His goalscoring attributes are rivaled to none who ever graced the game in an Arsenal jersey. Lethal infront of goal and a proven team player, the gunners faithful who only believe in PROFF as far as I’m concerned, surely were meant to believe that the 11 million pound fee this young man was bought for was just a deal worth it. With the likes of Reyes, Pires, Nwankwo Kanu, The Great Viera, Freddie Lunjberg and his strike partner Dennis Bergkhamp, Henry together with these amazing players led Arsenal to a whole season unbeaten a record every GUNNER will sing to you when you remind him/her of their silver drought.
It was not only his goals that endeared him to the fans but it was his celebrations that always had a thing in them. The emotional attachment he had with the fans, the attachment he had and still has with Arsenal one he himself says ‘A choice made by heart’.
Discipline is a key aspect in every player’s path to success, and Henry is one who’s path to success has always had discipline as a pillar. In a world where Money gets into footballers heads, he’s maintained his calm and how he does cope with the fuss about women in his life is not meant for me to know but his best kept secret.
In 2012 alone he has scored 1 goal since he came to arsenal in actually just under 20 minutes of playing time, (with all due respect) a record even Fernando Torres hasn’t been able to match. Hehehehe juzsaying; Chelsea fans please don’t crush me. Should he stop his goalscoring exploits while he is on loan at arsenal or even get a career threatening injury (God Forbid) he will still surely not stop being a legend, it will just be the end of an era for a man who has class, a class that never ages, a class that is ROYAL, and that’s why he is still referred to as King at the GROVE.