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Thierry Henry: The Complete Attacker

As far as Premier League legends go, it generally doesn’t get any better than Thierry Henry. As far as offensive players in football go, you could practically say the same. Here we take a look at the qualities why he is the complete striker

Last updated: 04.05.2020
Thierry Henry | Sports Social Blog

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As far as Premier League legends go, it generally doesn’t get any better than Thierry Henry. As far as offensive players in football go, you could say the same. The French striker made Arsenal into a household name and was arguably the queen chess piece of Arsene Wenger’s board. There’s also the fact that he’s a World Cup winner and almost won a second time in 2006. Even at a time when France had players like Zinedine Zidane, Makelele, and Vieira, he managed to distinguish himself. He is arguably the crown jewel of the English Premier League, which has arguably been the most competitive football league for the past few decades. He managed to be considered the best despite being surrounded by some of the greats. There’s a lot of great things to think about when you go about the way he played. 

No real weakness?


Starting out as a winger, moving to the striker, and moving to the lone striker after that made Henry highly adaptable. It gave him a wide array of skills and made him a very dependable player. He was one of the most composed players around which made him deadly in one-on-one situations and why he rarely missed the target. He was precise with his shooting and maintained his nerves while doing it. Another key aspect was his dribbling which is certainly a notch above even most great strikers. It was almost like that of a winger or midfielder, something he surely picked up when he played like one in his earlier days. His pace was exceptional which really helped him with both his positioning and dribbling. There was also his passing ability. Not only were his passes accurate, he rarely hogged the ball and is often considered the definition of an unselfish player. To date, he has the record for the most assists in a single PL season. It’s ironic that the league that boasts midfielders like Ozil, Fabregas, and De Bruyne has a striker at the top when it comes to record assists. It’s also a testament to how dependable he was as a player and how good his general passing ability was. Last but not least is the set pieces. Henry’s free-kicks have been the subject of many a highlight reel and it’s hard not to see why. He’s come out victorious on quite a few of those set pieces, despite the long distance from the goal. His free-kick against Wigan is often considered to be one of the best of all time. As an attacker, you couldn’t even wish for any more skills, and Henry had it all in spades.

The Numbers

With such amounts of acclaim attached to him, it would be surprising if he didn’t have statistics to back it up but that is not the case here. Henry is Arsenal’s all-time top scorer with 228 goals, 175 of which he scored in the league. He racked up 20 assists in a single PL season which is the most in any season in the competition’s history. He is the fastest Arsenal player to 50 goals (83 apps). He is also the only player to have 20+ assists and goals in a single PL season and is the player with the most PL golden boots to date. He won the treble with Barcelona and he was integral there as well; something that is sometimes overlooked given his status as a Premier League legend. He won 2 Premier League titles with Arsenal one of which was the result of a historic unbeaten season dubbing the team as ‘The Invincibles’. It stretched Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 49 at the time, extending past the length of a single season.

Whichever way you look at it, Henry is a bona fide legend of the game. Whether you prefer statistical data or deriving a player’s worth by seeing him play on screen or through the number of championships. He molded Arsenal into a top-grade club, he was part of Barcelona’s treble-winning season and also won the World Cup. An icon of the game, you’d be hard-pressed to find a fledgling athlete who doesn’t look up to Thierry Henry.

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