Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The King of Highbury: Welcome Back to N5

On Wednesday 31st March, a certain Thierry Henry will return to face his former side Arsenal, in one of the biggest and most intriguing Champions League ties in recent years. Henry, arguable Arsenal’s greatest ever player, an accolade he's competing for against the likes of Charlie George, Tony Adams, Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp and many more to achieve that title, will return to face boss Arsene Wenger for the first time since his departure in 2007.

Thierry Henry, a former club captain, was everyone’s favourite player and gained the respect of every football fan in Europe.

In his time at Arsenal, his achievements are as follows:

• FA Premier League 2001/02, 2003/04
• FA Cup 2002, 2003, 2005
• FA Community Shield 2002, 2004
• PFA Player of the Year 2002/03, 2003/04
• FWA Player of the Year 2002/03, 2003/04, 2005/06
• Premier League Top Goal scorer 2001/02, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06
• English Football Hall of Fame 2008
• FIFA World Player of the Year Runner-up 2003, 2004

With all these awards, the French striker biggest accomplishment was breaking Ian Wright’s goal scoring record, finding the net 226 times in 380 games, not to mention 92 assists in his 8 years at the club. Along with the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg, he was the focal point which helped the Gunners go 49 games unbeaten in the 2003/04 season. The Frenchman joined from Juventus in August 1999 for a fee of £10million, and after taken his time to settle at the club became undoubtedly the best player to grace these shores.

Wednesday will be an emotional return for Henry, just as Beckham’s return to Old Trafford was last month, within a big game with a range of subplots. Henry has been in good form lately, and was quoted as saying he never wants to play against Arsenal, but after being rested this weekend against Mallorca, he will probably start. It remains to be seen whether the striker will be the key man and make the same impact on games as he use to, even more so with the likes of Messi and Xavi on show, he will undeniably be apprehensive and emotions could get the best for him, which will please all Arsenal fans.

The spectacle of Arsenal-Barcelona game has somewhat overshadowed the return of Henry, as so many people are looking forward to seeing this “pure football”. Arsenal will be underdogs and Barca will be clear favourites. Henry will return and Cesc will meet his makers. It will be a brilliant match and I cannot wait.

Arsenal vs Barcelona. Wenger vs Guardiola. Messi vs Fabregas. Who do you think will come out on top?

Thierry Henry: Arsenal Legend

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