Va Va Voom: Ranking 9 of Thierry Henry’s Greatest Premier League Goals for Arsenal

It’s 13 years to the day that Thierry Henry became Arsenal’s record goalscorer, when he scored his 186th goal in a Gunners shirt against Sparta Prague in the Champions League.

The Frenchman went on to score 228 goals in north London, cementing his status as one of Arsenal’s greatest ever players.

Needless to say, Henry scored a number of blinders over the years – so to celebrate the king of ‘va va voom’, we run you through nine of his most stunning Premier League strikes.

9. Watford (a) – April 2000

Our first trip back through the Henry archives takes us to Vicarage Road, and a superb individual strike against Watford in April 2000.

Picking the ball up just inside the Watford half, Henry drove at the Hornets defence with his fearsome pace, weaving past two or three half hearted tackles. Fronted up as he got just inside the box, Henry was forced to improvise with his finish – and did so to absolute perfection.

Arcing the ball from outside the post, he bent the ball past Alec Chamberlain into the far corner – before tearing off to celebrate in front of the visiting support.

8. Manchester City (h) – February 2004

Next up on the list is a truly magnificent strike against Manchester City, with Henry showing just how pinpoint accurate he could be.

Picking up the ball in treacherous conditions out on the left hand side, Henry cut inside (as he so often did) before fizzing an unstoppable bullet past David James into the top corner. The sheer ferocity of the strike took the ball past the England goalkeeper before he could really move, bringing the house down at a raucous Highbury. 

7. Manchester United (h) – March 2004

The wonderful thing about Henry was that he had the ability to conjure something out of nothing – and that’s exactly what he did against Manchester United at Highbury in March 2004.

Having collected the ball around 35 yards out, Henry had only one thing on his mind – firing a long range effort at goal. And what a long range effort it was. Cutting across the ball, his arrowing drive swerved past a helpless Roy Carroll in the Red Devils goal, sending the home fans wild.

It was a sensational strike but one that we’d come to expect on a regular basis from one of the Premier League’s greatest ever frontmen.

6. Charlton (h) – October 2004

Cheeky, impudent, audacious – all of those adjectives describe Henry’s next goal against Charlton to a tee.

Receiving the ball with his back to goal inside the box, it looked like Henry had nowhere to turn with Addicks defender Jonathan Fortune close behind. Henry had other ideas however, outmuscling his foe before pinging a sublime backheel through the defender’s legs and into the far corner past Dean Kiely.

A moment of sheer magic and one that defines the style and charisma that Henry brought to England’s top flight.

5. West Ham (a) – August 2002

If nothing else, Thierry Henry was a heartbreaker. He scored umpteen late goals over the course of his career, and instigated the vast majority of Gunners’ comebacks from precarious positions.

One such occasion was at Upton Park in August 2002, as Henry’s stunning shot helped overturn a two-goal deficit against West Ham. Firing past David James once more, Henry left him groping at thin air – arrowing a cannon of a shot into the top corner from all of 30 yards.

The goal would spark Arsenal into life and soon enough, Sylvain Wiltord levelled the game up at 2-2 to rescue a point.

4. Blackburn (a) – January 2007

In his final season with the club, Henry scored an absolute pearler against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park – adding another club to the list of teams he scored crackers against.

Neatly linking up with the emerging Cesc Fabregas in midfield, Henry strode down the left hand flank as he advanced into the penalty area. And then, quick as a flash, he pinged an arrow of a shot in off the underside of the bar – leaving a perplexed Brad Friedel with no chance in the Rovers goal.

3. Manchester United (h) – October 2000

One of Henry’s most iconic Arsenal goals again came against Manchester United – with his celebration after scoring equally as notorious as the goal itself.

Receiving the ball on the edge of United’s box, Henry seemingly had few options on again – making what he did next even more sensational. He flicked the ball up with his right foot, before swivelling to fire a dipping volley over Fabian Barthez into the corner.

What came next? Bombing off to the Arsenal bench to celebrate with the ‘wasssuppppp’ phone signal – ahhhh memories.

2. Tottenham (h) – November 2002

Now we get down to the business of individual brilliance. 

Henry was never one to shirk away from putting in a top drawer performance in north London derbies, and produced one of his most outstanding performances against Spurs at Highbury in November 2002.

Furthermore, he produced one of the best individual goals the Premier League has ever seen against Glenn Hoddle’s side – breaking away from inside his own half, running at the Spurs defence with pace and imperious close control before drifting across the area to fire past Kasey Keller.

A truly magnificent goal that will make highlight reels for years to come.

1. Liverpool (h) – April 2004

Top dog on this rundown of Henry’s greatest ever goals takes us back to Highbury (Henry’s spiritual home if you will), and Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool in April 2004.

The Frenchman was again solo master craftsman, picking the ball up by the halfway line before driving at the Liverpool defence. His balance, agility and trickery saw him glide past Steven Gerrard among others, before dumping Jamie Carragher on his backside with a lovely feint.

The finishing touch was a precise low strike past Jerzy Dudek, sending Highbury wild once more. Henry would finish the game with a hat-trick as the Gunners ran out 4-2 winners in a season where he, and his teammates, proved they were ‘Invincible’.

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Reiss Nelson Reveals Fellow Bundesliga Youngster Convinced Him to Complete Switch to Hoffenheim

​Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson has revealed that fellow England prodigy Jadon Sancho convinced him to take the leap and go on loan to Hoffenheim in order to kick-start his career abroad.

The Gunners’ winger scored for the second time in two games when he dispatched an exquisite free-kick on his full England Under-21 international debut on Tuesday against Scotland, after impressing in three Bundesliga outings, netting twice off the bench.

Sancho, who signed for Dortmund last season, is good friends with the ​Arsenal academy graduate and was adamant his fellow winger would flourish in Germany.

“Jadon knows I like one against ones, he knows I’m a fast player and said there were a lot of those opportunities,” Nelson said in an interview with the ​Daily Mail. “We’ve got a lot of similarities so he said I should go over there and that’s how I can show my brilliance.”

​Borussia Dortmund starlet Sancho has received continued recognition for his impressive displays at the Signal Iduna Park, culminating in the 18-year-old’s senior international debut in Croatia last week.

Nelson found games hard to come by during his first year at Die Kraichgauer, and the youngster’s family have all moved close to Hoffenheim’s base to counter any potential loneliness.

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“I’ve a really tight family,” he added. “We’re taking life as it is in England – my mum (Jackie), my sister (Tessa) and my brother (Ricky).

“We all made that decision together and they thought it best to come over and help me during my time over there. It’s helped me, 100 per cent. My mum’s cooking has been great!

“Luckily for me loneliness isn’t an issue. There are boys over there who will say “come over Reiss, I’ve got nothing to do,” so I do see the down side sometimes.

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“Sinsheim is a little village where everyone loves football. If you go out to Heidelberg, where I’m living, it’s a bit more like a city and we can go out as a family. It’s not just training then home.

“They’re loving it to be fair, treating it like a holiday. I come home from training and they’re not even there, in the middle of Frankfurt doing a bit of shopping.”

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Nelson also relies on advice from the likes of ​Alexandre Lacazette and ​Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, remaining in regular contact with some of the senior stars at Arsenal.

The 18-year-old said: ‘You’d have Lacazette, Hector Bellerin, Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all there taking free-kicks after training. We used to have a bet on who could take the best.

“They’ve all taken me in as a youngster, helped me into the player I am today by giving me that confidence and a lot of encouragement. They are great guys, always there if I want a quick chat.”

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Arsenal Academy Chief Per Mertesacker Invited to Join Advisory Board for German National Team

​​Arsenal Academy Chief Per Mertesacker has been invited to join the advisory board of the German national team by general manager Oliver Bierhoff.

Mertesacker, a World Cup winner, retired from international football in 2014 after he won 104 caps for Die Mannschaft, ending his club football career four years later.

Mertesacker will be the third member of the group, formed by Bierhoff in the aftermath of Germany’s disastrous World Cup defence in which Die Mannschaft finished bottom of the group. He joins former national team head coach Berti Vogts and ex-Adidas CEO Herbet Hainer.

“Per will be part of the new expert advisory board,” Bierhoff told German tabloid ​Bild. “Per is very much looking forward to the future task, has many interesting views and expresses his opinion.”

This new role for the former defender is not expected to have an impact on Mertesacker’s responsibilities at the Gunners, where he has headed up the Hale End academy since his retirement at the end of last season.

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The former club captain’s latest task is to find a replacement for Under-18’s manager Kwame Ampadu, who left the club last week to join Arsenal legend Thierry Henry’s coaching staff at French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco.

Arsenal are yet to confirm who will serve as Ampadu’s replacement on a permanent basis but it is believed his former assistant Ken Gillard will step up on an interim basis.

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Arsene Wenger Confirms Intention to Return to Management in January After Receiving Multiple Offers

​Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he is ready to return to management, after having already received multiple job offers from across the globe.

The Frenchman has been out of work since he left Arsenal during the summer, bringing an end to his legendary 22-year reign as manager of the club. He enjoyed a phenomenal amount of success with The Gunners, especially during the early years of his tenure, and is now looking forward to returning to work.

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In an interview with German outlet ​Bild, Wenger revealed that he is looking to return to management in early 2019. The 68-year-old said: “I believe I will start again on 1 January. I don’t know where yet. I feel rested and am ready to work again.

“There are associations, national teams, it could also be in Japan. From my 22 years at Arsenal, I have big experience on different levels. There are enquiries from all over the world.”

He also gave his opinion on ​Mesut Özil‘s international future with Germany, after the ​Arsenal midfielder brought an end to his Germany career following clashes with some of the senior officials in Germany’s football association. Wenger added: “I believe that Germany needs Özil. I hope that Joachim Löw can convince him that he will come back. 

“Özil is a super football player – he was not the worst in the World Cup. I did not love that he left the German national team.

“I love it when the players are as good as possible. He loses a bit if he does not play at international level.”

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Wenger certainly has experience working with Özil, having signed the German for Arsenal in 2013. Under Wenger, Özil made 196 appearances for the club, racking up 71 assists in the process.

The Frenchman is widely regarded as one of the finest managers in the history of football, leading Arsenal to an impressive 16 trophies during his time in charge. He will certainly have no shortage of offers for his services, and the majority of football supporters from around the world are eagerly anticipating his next move.

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6 Things Fans of Big Clubs Across Europe Need to Know About Rumoured Target Nicolas Pepe

Lille winger Nicolas Pepe has been the subject of growing transfer speculation in recent weeks as he catches the eye of a number of clubs who could potentially prise him away.

With several of Europe’s elite sides among those apparent suitors, here’s a look at six things you need to know about this highly rated and extremely coveted emerging talent…

6. He’s Primarily a Right Winger

Although he has been known to operate through the middle as a central striker or ‘number 10’, Pepe primarily occupies a role on the right wing.

Standing at 6ft tall, it is there he is at his most dangerous, providing a direct threat either a goalscorer himself or laying on chances for others to finish.

5. He’s Still Inexperienced at Top Flight Level

Pepe is not the product of a prestigious academy and started his senior career at Poitiers in the amateur French lower leagues. From there, he moved onto Angers as a teenager and made his professional bow in Ligue 2 in 2014.

With Angers earning promotion in 2016, he only has two full seasons of top flight football under his belt, although it must be said that the 23-year-old made the step up look rather easy.  

4. He’s an Ivory Coast International

Although born in the suburbs of Paris, Pepe has represented Ivory Coast at international level since his first call up in 2016, receiving eligibility through his parents. Ironically, he actually made his debut in a friendly against birth nation France.

Pepe has appeared nine times for Les Elephants to date. He has also scored three goals, all of which have come in games played this calendar year.

He was named in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations squad and any club looking to sign him will have to make peace with the fact that he could be missing for several weeks in the middle of the season every other year for further AFCON tournaments in the future.

Bizarrely for a winger, Pepe usually wears the number two shirt for his country.

3. He’s Done More Than Neymar & Mbappe This Season

Pepe has enjoyed a blistering start to the Ligue 1 season with Lille. He was the standout player in a poor side that flirted with relegation in 2017/18, but now the team is singing from the same sheet and is currently second behind only reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Pepe himself has scored six goals and provided six assists in nine Ligue 1 games so far this campaign, including a hat-trick in a 3-2 win over Amiens.

His tally of 12 combined goals and assists is actually more than PSG superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe (both 11), bought for a combined €400m, have managed in the same period.  

2. He’s Under Contract Until 2022

Pepe signed a long-term five-year deal when he joined Lille in 2017, which puts him under contract until the summer of 2022.

That means Lille are in a strong position to command a big fee should they wish to sell as the threat of losing him as a free agent is still barely visible on the horizon.  

1. He’s Been Linked With a LOT of Clubs Already

The other thing that will help Lille receive a handsome pay day is the potential for a bidding war if the reports of just how many clubs are taking an interest in Pepe are to be believed. 

Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are the four most high profile clubs currently alleged to be keeping an eye on the player.

But Borussia Dortmund are also rumoured to be interested, along with Schalke, Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Lyon. It has even been suggested that the latter two have already made offers, with La Real reportedly bidding €20m and Lyon apparently bidding €30m.  

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