My passion for football began when I was around six years old, back in the 2001-02 Premier League season and I fell in love with the mighty Gunners for the way they played the beautiful game was truly unique. Highbury became the home to some magnificent victories along the way and the players who graced the field became legends. Dennis Bergkamp was a magician, Robert Pires and Freddy Ljungberg were beginning to shine through and the old guard of Parlour and Keown were still going strong. But one man in particular turned me into the die hard Arsenal fan that I am today, the one and only king that is Thierry Henry.
His pacey runs towards goal and his ability to seemingly score from anywhere and anytime made him an idol. I’ll never forget the “invincibles” season of 03/04 where he was absolutely phenomenal, scoring 30 league goals and it was at this point that people realised just how dangerous he really was in front of goal.
A total of 175 goals in 259 Premier League appearances saw the French striker become Arsenal’s record goalscorer, surpassing the likes of Ian Wright and Cliff Bastin and well and truly cementing his name in the club and indeed the league’s history (fifth in Prem’s total goal ranking, although he ranks top of players who have scored for just the one club)
In honour of the finest (don’t argue with me) player to have ever graced the Premier League fields, AFEfootballnews ranks his ten best goals for Arsenal below … enjoy some of these screamers!
10. Arsenal 3-2 Newcastle United. September 26th 2003.
Back in the day when penalties were taken properly (without the horrendous Zaza style run ups involved) King Thierry decided to show everyone how it was done. With the game tied at 2-2 and not much time left on the clock, the Gunners were awarded a penalty after a handball in the box. The Frenchman stood up to take it and chipped it cleverly down the middle of the goal sending goalkeeper Shay Given the wrong way in the process. Genius.
(Fast forward to 1:36 to see the penalty).
9. Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United. January 9th, 2012. (FA Cup)
I chose this one more for the importance of the goal to the fans and Henry himself rather than the actual quality. Henry had signed for New York Red Bulls at this point but during the MLS off season decided to come back to Arsenal on loan for a handful of games. Little did he or any of us Gooners imagine that he’d come back and actually score one final winner for us again. It sent shivers down my spine this one.
8. Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa. April 1st, 2006. (Premier League)
Racing on to the end of a through ball, Henry took the ball down with a brilliant first touch and then expertly lifted the ball over Villa keeper Sorensen’s head, making him look a right fool (just look at his attempt to win the ball!).
(Fast forward to 00:30 for this goal!)
7. Charlton Athletic 1-1 Arsenal. October 26th, 2003. (Premier League)
Arguably his best freekick ever, I mean seriously how many players were in that box?! Henry managed to find the top corner with and absolutely precise shot on goal. Top drawer stuff.
6. Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur. November 16th, 2002. (Premier League)
It doesn’t get much better than taking the ball down in your own half and running all the way to the opposite end of the field before slotting the ball into the back of the net now does it? Oh wait it does if it was against your arch rivals! His infamous celebration in front of the Spurs fans after this goal is now in bronze statue form outside of the Emirates Stadium, as shown in the video below.
5. Arsenal 4-0 Charlton Atheltic. October 2nd, 2004. (Premier League)
The pure cheek of this goal! I have never seen anyone attempt something so daring in football in my 15 years of watching the sport and yet Henry made it look so easy. With his back to goal and Charlton defender Johnathan Fortune marking him tightly, Henry received the ball of Jose Reyes then whilst still being marked by Fortune, backheeled the ball through the defender’s legs, past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Outrageous.
4. Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United. March 28th, 2004. (Premier League)
The dip and swerve on this one was sensational, so much so that United goalkeeper Roy Carroll seemingly had absolutely no idea where the ball was heading as he attempted and failed to keep the ball out of the back of the net, as Henry’s ferocious 25 yard strike flew past him.
3. Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool. April 9th, 2004. (Premier League)
Much like the run against Tottenham, only with added Dietmar Hamann and Jamie Carragher confusion. Henry dribbled past so many Liverpool players that it looked as though he was playing FIFA on amateur difficulty. He scored a hat-trick that day and set Arsenal seven points clear at the top of the table and on their way to an unbeaten season.
2. Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City. February 1st, 2004. (Premier League)
He only ever needed half a chance didn’t he? Just when it looked like Man City had enough players back to stop Henry from scoring he decided to pull out this absolute arrow of a shot that nestled in the top corner, following a pass from Robert Pires.
1. Arsenal 1-0 Manchester United. November 10th, 2000. (Premier League)
Although he has so many great strikes to choose from, for AFEFootballNews this is without a doubt Thierry’s best ever goal in an Arsenal shirt. He took a touch, half turned and hit a volley which looked as though it had gone way over the bar. Instead, it dipped and curved majestically into the right hand side of the goal giving Fabien Barthez (at the time one of the best goalie’s around) no chance whatsoever of keeping it out.
And there you have it, there’s my top 10 Henry Arsenal goals. it was tough picking out just 10 if I’m honest as there are so many more that were left out due to these goals being that little bit better or significant in my opinion.
What are your best Thierry Henry moments/goals? Let AFEootballNews know in the comments section below!
All videos of Thierry Henry goals belong to Youtube and their rightful owners.