Joseph Yobo says Arsenal were one of his favourite teams, and he loved testing himself against a striker like Thierry Henry who had everything.
Joseph Yobo spoke to Goal this week, and admitted he loved to play against Thierry Henry and Arsenal.
“I loved playing against Arsenal and they were one of my favourite teams,” Yobo said. “Even when I was injured, my manager would get me from injury and say ‘Hey Joe, you are the only one who can keep up with Thierry Henry. Get ready!'”
Unfortunately, just being able to keep up with Henry wasn’t usually enough. You had to be awake and alert for the entire 90 minutes, or he’d ghost in behind and score. Yobo explains how easy it was for a player of Henry’s talent to embarrass you.
“He would stretch you and if you are not ready, he would embarrass you,” Yobo said. “That was how good he was.
“Basically, you have to be super ready when you are playing against someone like Henry because he had the skills, the techniques, then he had the speed.
“You have to be mentally ready and physically ready for him – if you miss any of those two, then you are in for a horrible day because he can score a hat-trick against you and still embarrass you as a player.”
Yobo can’t claim to have stopped Henry completely. His team lost four of the six match-ups against Arsenal with the French striker in the lineup, for a start. Henry scored once and assisted four goals in those games as well.
It could’ve been worse. Henry’s only goal came from the penalty spot, so at least Yobo can say he forced the striker to lay it off to teammates more often than slotting it away himself. In the end, it doesn’t matter if it goes in the net, though.