You may have noticed that it is now twenty years since Arsène Wenger took the hot seat at Arsenal.
Here, at DCHQ, we thought it was time to have a look at his top five captures since his arrival in north London.
Thierry Henry: 1999-2006 & 2012
Incidentally, I was very, very tempted at this point to add the prototype enfant terrible, Nicolas Anelka. £500k turned, one double later, into £23m, Monsieur Henry and a new training ground, merci beaucoup.
However, I feel certain that you’d end up hating me for doing so.
So, you want reasons for Thierry’s inclusion at number two? Well, how about 228 of them?
Strangely, Thierry never managed to score in any one of the finals he played in for us, but such was his record, particularly at Highbury, against the big sides in England, I think we can let this scourge of top class defenders – and Danny Mills – off.
For me, there wasn’t a player to touch Thierry Henry in the years 2001-06 and this was reflected in the fact that he was permanent fixture in the Ballon D’Or top three (although strangely, he never won it) at this time. The thing (apart from his pace, his nerveless finishing, the variety of his finishing) about Thierry was his intelligence.
Never one to do the selfish thing if there was a better option around him, he assisted almost as many as he scored. However, if he wanted to be selfish, he certainly could be. Roy Carroll and David James were just two goalkeepers made aware of Thierry’s fearsome qualities in the high watermark season of Thierry’s time at Arsenal. 2003/04.
I suppose Thierry’s landmark Arsenal performance also came that year, at home to Liverpool as the title challenge lingered on the edge of a cliff. One hat-trick later, crisis averted and history beckoned.
His time at Arsenal came to a slightly bitter end, as he skulked around the Emirates in his injury-hit last season. However, he still found time to register the first big moment in our new surroundings, heading home a last minute winner against Manchester United.
His departure to Barcelona a few months later seemed to guarantee that would be his last Emirates goal, but no…
So, it was only Championship Leeds (it’s never “only” Leeds for me), but this moment cemented Thierry’s status as Arsenal’s real life Batman.
In our moment of need, he answered the call.
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