Arsenal’s Century Club – Thierry Henry

Nineteen players have achieved the feat of scoring 100 goals for the Club over the past 96 years. The players are sorted by the number of games taken to reach the 100 goal mark. Thierry Henry sits at number 11.

Thierry appeared in 377 games over a 13 year period and scored 226 goals.

Thierry was born and raised in Les Ulis suburb of Paris which, despite sometimes being seen as a tough neighbourhood, provided good football facilities. As a seven-year-old, he showed great potential, and was recruited by the local club CO Les Ulis. He joined US Palaiseau in 1989, but after a year his father fell out with the club, so Henry moved to ES Viry-Châtillon and played there for two years.

In 1990, Monaco sent scout Arnold Catalano to watch Thierry, when he was just 13 years old, he scored all six goals in a 6–0 win. Catalano asked him to join Monaco without even having a trial first, later he joined Arsène Wenger’s Monaco as a youth player. Subsequently, he signed professional forms and made his professional debut in August 1994. Although Wenger suspected that Thierry should be deployed as a striker, he put him on the left wing because he believed that his pace, natural ball control and skill would be more effective against full-backs than centre-backs. He was named the French Young Footballer of the Year in 1996, and in the 1996–97 season when Monaco won the Ligue 1 title. By his third season, he had received his first cap for the national team, and was part of the winning team in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He continued to impress during his tenure with Monaco, and in his five seasons he scored 20 league goals in 105 appearances.

Thierry left Monaco in January 1999 and moved to Italian Serie A club Juventus for £10.5 million. He played on the wing, but found it difficult playing in an unfamiliar position against the Serie A defensive discipline, and scored just three goals in 16 appearances. Unsettled in Italy, he transferred from Juventus in August 1999 to Arsenal for an estimated fee of £11 million, reuniting with his former manager Arsène Wenger.

It was at Arsenal that he made his name as a world-class footballer. Brought in as a replacement for fellow French forward Nicolas Anelka, Thierry was immediately moulded into a striker by Wenger, a move that would pay rich dividends in years to come. However, doubts were raised about his ability to adapt to the quick and physical English game when he failed to score in his first eight games. After several difficult months in England he conceded that he had to “be re-taught everything about the art of striking”. These doubts were dispelled when he ended his first season at Arsenal with an impressive goal tally of 26. Arsenal finished second in the league behind Manchester United, and lost in the UEFA Cup Final against Turkish side Galatasaray. Despite recording fewer goals and assists than his first season, his second season with Arsenal proved to be a breakthrough, as he became the club’s top goal scorer. Armed with one of the league’s best attacks, Arsenal closed in quickly on perennial rivals Manchester United for the league title.

Success finally arrived during the 2001–02 season. Arsenal finished seven points above Liverpool to win the league title, and defeated Chelsea 2–0 in the FA Cup Final. Thierry became the league’s top goal-scorer and netted 32 goals in all competitions as he led Arsenal to a double and his first silverware with the club. 2002–03 proved to be another productive season for him, as he scored 32 goals in all competitions while contributing 23 assists, remarkable returns for a striker. In doing so, he led Arsenal to another FA Cup triumph, where he was man-of-the-match in the Final.  Even though Arsenal failed to retain their Premier League crown, he was named both the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. His rising status as one of the world’s best footballers was affirmed when he emerged runner-up for the 2003 FIFA World Player of the Year award.

In the 2003–04 season Thierry was again instrumental in Arsenal’s exceptionally successful campaign; together with team mates the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pirès, he ensured that the Gunners became the first team in more than a century to go through the entire domestic league season unbeaten, claiming the league title in the process. He was named as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year, for the second year running. With 39 goals scored in all competitions, he led the league in goals scored and won the European Golden Boot.

In the 2004–05 season he maintained his reputation as one of Europe’s most feared strikers as he led the league in scoring, and with 31 goals in all competitions, he was the co-recipient (with Diego Forlán) of the European Golden Boot. In mid-2005 Thierry became the Arsenal Captain. The 2005–06 season proved to be one of remarkable personal achievements for Thierry on 17 October 2005, he became the club’s top goal-scorer of all time; two goals against Sparta Prague in the Champions League meant he broke Ian Wright’s record of 185 goals. On 1 February 2006, he scored a goal against West Ham United, bringing his league goal tally up to 151, breaking Arsenal legend Cliff Bastin’s league goals record. He completed the season as the league’s top goal-scorer, and for the third time in his career, he was voted the FWA Footballer of the Year.

In a surprise move Arsenal sold Thierry to Barcelona on 25 June 2007, for €24 million.

Henry left Arsenal as the club’s leading all-time league goal-scorer with 174 goals and leading all-time goal-scorer in Europe with 42 goals; in July 2008, Arsenal fans voted him as Arsenal’s greatest player ever in Arsenal.com’s Gunners’ Greatest 50 Players poll.

Following his time with Barcelona, he signed a four-year deal for a reported €6.8 (£4.6) million per season, with the Red Bulls of the MLS.

After training with Arsenal during the MLS off-season, Thierry re-signed for the club on a two-month loan deal on 6 January 2012. This was to provide cover for players participating in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. He made his second Arsenal debut as a substitute against Leeds United in the FA Cup third round and scored the only goal. In his last league game on loan, he scored the winning goal in stoppage time in a 2–1 win against Sunderland.

Awards and honours:

Monaco:

Ligue 1 (1): 1996–97

Trophée des champions (1): 1997

Arsenal:

Premier League titles: 2001–02, 2003–04

FA Cup: 2002, 2003, 2005

FA Community Shield: 2002, 2004

Barcelona:

La Liga: 2008–09, 2009–10

Copa del Rey: 2008–09

Supercopa de España: 2009

UEFA Champions League: 2008–09

UEFA Super Cup: 2009

FIFA Club World Cup: 2009

New York Red Bulls:

MLS Eastern Conference: 2010

National:

1998 FIFA World Cup

UEFA Euro 2000

FIFA Confederations Cup2003

Individual:

UNFP Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year (1): 1996–97

PFA Players’ Player of the Year (2): 2002–03, 2003–04

PFA Team of the Year (6): 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06

FWA Footballer of the Year (3): 2002–03, 2003–04, 2005–06

Premier League Golden Boot (4): 2001–02, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06.

Golden Boot Landmark Award 10 (1): 2004–05

Golden Boot Landmark Award 20 (1): 2004–05

Premier League Player of the Month (4): April 2000, September 2002, January 2004, April 2004

Goal of the Season (1): 2002–03

UEFA Team of the Year (5): 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006

MLS Best XI (2): 2011, 2012

MLS Player of the Month (1): March 2012

Onze d’Or (2): 2003, 2006

European Golden Boot (2): 2003–04, 2004–05

French Player of the Year (5): 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006

IFFHS World’s Top Goal Scorer of the Year (1): 2003

FIFA FIF Pro World XI (1): 2006

FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (1): Germany 2006

FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball (1): France 2003

FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Shoe (1): France 2003

UEFA European Football Championship Team of the Tournament (1): 2000

FIFA 100: 2004

English Football Hall of Fame: 2008

A statue of Thierry statue stands outside the Emirates Stadium honouring him as one of Arsenal’s all time greatest legends.

Thierry scored his 100th goal for Arsenal against West Ham at Highbury on January 19th, 2003.

GunnerN5

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28 Responses to Arsenal’s Century Club – Thierry Henry

  1. chas says:

    Cheers, GN5

    Such a great idea listing the Centurions in terms of the number of games it took them to reach 100 goals.

    Titi at only number 11 – quelle surprise!

    One of Henry’s great strengths was ……. his great strength. He hardly ever seemed to be injured. Until he started sulking in his final season with us, that is.

    Thanks again.

  2. LBG says:

    Where’s Fred?
    Thanks GN5. A worth Centurian who brought so much pleasure, on what seemed to be always sunny days, at Highbury.

  3. GoonerB says:

    Thanks GN5

    Always been a toss up between TH14 and DB10 for me for our greatest player so I don’t bother trying to separate them any more. We were lucky to have them both at the same time.

    Not only was TH14 our greatest ever striker I think he is the best striker the EPL has seen.

  4. Sue says:

    What an article, GN5!! 👍 and what a player!
    That long list of honours & awards, just shows how special he was! I loved the guy!
    Was gutted when he left us.. but couldn’t believe it when he came back & popped up with the winner against Leeds (pity about the beard though 😄)

  5. RA says:

    Wonderful – GN5.

    Memories, eh? Unfortunately that is the only thing Arsenal are good for nowadays — looking back with nostalgia, for the way we were.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    TH14 not in the top ten?! Feck me GN5, you have me scratching my head now. What a player! He had all a British football fan loves: athleticism, power, energy, passion and a lethal finish. Probably the best PL player ever (after DB10 who just had that extra dimension). Top stuff, GN5. 🙂

  7. RA says:

    You made me think too, GN5 and I googled ‘goal scorers across English clubs, and was surprised that the top 5 was as follows – one of whom really surprised me — but ……. no Thierry. 😁

    1 Jimmy Greaves 357
    2 Alan Shearer 283
    3 Ian Rush 233
    4 Tony Cottee 215

    Tony Cottee?? I don’t know how up to date that list is mind you.

  8. Sue says:

    RA…on another blog last night, one of your blogging buddies from on here, asked me to mention him to you – Le Coq Monster!
    His comments were bloody hilarious (about the spuds!)

  9. LBG says:

    RA
    Always thought goals per game ratio is best assessment, and League games, since Cup so depends on quality of opposition you draw.
    In that case TH comes in fourth
    Dixie Dean 383 in 433
    Jimmy Greaves 266 in 380
    Aguero 177 in 262
    Henry 228 in 377

  10. GoonerB says:

    As LBG mentions stats can be looked at in different ways and switch how a player is perceived.

    When you consider that TH wasn’t a striker when he arrived and endured a barren start as he converted to striker his stats look more amazing. If you look at average goals per season he looks even better than the others RA mentioned. Greaves being the next most impressive.

    Thierry 228 goals in 8 yrs = 28.5 per season.

    As a converted winger he brought so much more to the team in assists and link play that the other more out and out goal scoring forwards couldn’t. All those factors considered he was the best of the lot for me.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    I omitted the final two goals of Thierry’s time at Arsenal the correct total is of course 228, however his placement in the Century Club does not change.

    Thanks for the comments, all will be revealed shortly.

  12. allezkev says:

    Another great post GN5, always rated him, gutted when Juve got him and delighted when we finally brought him to Highbury, saw him score his first Arsenal goal at the Dell and heard his song for the first time, what a player although it’s still a mystery to me how a striker of his quality never got a goal in a cup final for Arsenal, 2006 remains a painful memory.

    Saw his goal vs Leeds, what a state the team was in at the time, but it was almost preordained that he would enter the fray and slide one into the corner of the net, quite an emotional occasion.

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    allezkev, his miss in the CL final when we were leading 1-0 must have haunted him, it looked like such an easy goal for a player of his skill level to score.

  14. RA says:

    Sue,

    Thank you for passing on the message from my good friend Monsieur Le Coq Monster who always makes me laugh.

    Should you happen to chance across a white van going around roundabouts on two wheels, then going around them again, and again, because he likes getting dizzy, especially with delicious Cornish pasties falling of the back —- that will be him! 😜

    He is a known associate of Terry Telescope, VCC, and Cicero, if it is the blog I think you mean, and they are a notorious gang of Arsenal fans — all of whom can make you laugh! 🤪

  15. RA says:

    LBG and Gooner B Good,

    I agree with you both that stats can be interpreted in many ways, and certainly Thierry is better, in my opinion, than any of the other players mentioned, whatever they say.

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    LBG,GB,RA,

    In the end you will see that the player who scored his 110th goal in the lowest amount of games is also the player with the highest goals per game ratio. All is well that ends well.

    Only ten more posts until we get the big reveal – that many of you may have already sussed; if you have then please keep it under wraps.

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    100th goal not 110th………………

  18. GoonerB says:

    Is it Steve Archibald?

  19. LB says:

    Beautifully written, doing justice to a beautiful player, thank you as ever for the read, from somewhere else out here on the west coast of France.

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Magnificent player, not just for his goalscoring. Never dived, reprimanded a magazine which suggested he was drinking champagne at a party, stylish both on and off the pitch. For many years he was The Man and the best player I ever saw in an Arsenal shirt (I would love to have seen Alex James)

    The goal vs MU at the Clock End is etched forever in my brain (I was right behind the trajectory) but also the wonder goal which ended with his slide towards the Spurs fans (Pic above) – my ST was 12 seats from the away supporters, and I can assure you they were not impressed 😀

    Thank you GN5.

  21. LBG says:

    Boy oh boy Leeds are an exciting team and will be dangerous next year if they come up. Two or three players in midfield and defence who look really good prospects.

  22. Sue says:

    LBG… it’s been a great game so far (better than last night!) What a turnaround from Derby though.. how good was their second goal?!

  23. LBG says:

    And now what a Derby turn round! Brilliant.

  24. Sue says:

    Harry Wilson has had a great season for Derby! Will he go back to the bin-dippers next season?

  25. LBG says:

    Sue
    I would take Shackleton and Phillips from Leeds straight away.
    One of the best games I have seen all season by any team.

  26. Sue says:

    This game has had everything, LGB.. yeah Shackleton has been really good. Been really impressed with both teams! One player I can’t stand is Patrick Bamford!
    Dare I say it, LGB – even Anthony Taylor has had a good game 😳😂

  27. fred1266 says:

    Baku tickets still available like they want me to pull through

  28. chas says:

    NEW POST

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