The numbers above have no obvious connection, just random numbers that could mean anything. Yet when you connect them to the name Thierry Daniel Henry these numbers come alive, take meaning and they begin to tell you the story of one of the greatest players ever to grace the Premier League. With the Arsenal badge on his chest and the number 14 on his back, he scored 228 Arsenal goals, 175 of them in Premier league alone. Both tally’s higher than any other player in the club’s history. His influence wasn’t just confined to domestic competition; the 42 goals in European competition, 35 of which came in the Champions league stand as testament to a striker who at his best was described by his peers and contemporaries as simply unplayable.
‘“The only way to stop Thierry Henry? With a gun!” – Gianluca Vialli
Whichever way you slice and dice it, when they write the history of Arsenal Football club, Thierry Henry will have his own chapter and deserves every word written.
Loved by few, Feared by many, Respected by everyone
“I watched him a long time ago when I was manager of Fiorentina and he was playing for the French Under-21 team, I said to my chairman he is the Muhammad Ali of the football pitch because he has such elegance, such speed. He does everything with such style, I said please buy him because he is one of the best, but it did not happen for some reason” – Claudio Ranieri
6’2”, with the pace of an olympic sprinter, strong, skillful, two footed, and unselfish.
Not a natural goalscorer in the traditional sense, Henry joined Arsenal as a young left winger who had just won the World Cup in that position. It took him 8 games to show the world what Arsene Wenger already knew…and the rest is literally history. He would go on to become the greatest goalscorer in the history of Arsenal Football Club, score more goals (137) at Highbury than any man alive or dead, and in the process set a record that will NEVER be broken.
His name will forever stand alone in history.
“Thierry Henry, he was definitely the best. He was just too quick. Oh God, what a player he was. I was so relieved when he went to Barcelona. He used to have everything. You couldn’t even kick him, he was big and strong, oh, Jesus, he was a nightmare” – Jamie Carragher
An unselfish footballer who created almost as many goals as he scored but was also the focal point of one of the greatest teams in Premier League history. A joy to play with, and a nightmare to play against. Speaking personally as a non-Arsenal fan; Win, lose or draw Henry was an absolute privilege to watch. A leader amongst men with a deep rooted and insatiable will to win. When Arsenal needed a big goal, in a big game, against big opposition Henry was the go to guy.
It is probably right to give the last word to the man who gave him his chance as a 17 year old at Monaco. The man Henry himself still calls ‘The Boss’
“What makes him special? He has a mixture of physical talent and technical ability, as well as remarkable intelligence and above all a great passion for the game.” -Arsene Wenger