The Day I Stopped being Kanu Nwankwo’s Number Two – Thierry Henry


Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has opened up on how he won the race to become the Club’s number one striker after a long battle with former Nigerian striker Nwankwo Kanu and Netherlands legend Dennis Bergkamp.

Henry and Kanu arrived Arsenal from Juventus and Inter Milan respectively back in 1999 and the pair both went on to win laurels for the Club, including the 2004 premier league title without losing a game.


While reflecting on his time at the North London Club, the France 1998 World Cup winner revealed he struggled to adapt in the beginning and was behind Kanu and Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp in the pecking order.


”The game that changed everything for me was Middlesbrough at home in November, my first season.


“We won 5-1 with three goals from Overmars and two from Bergkamp. Kanu was playing and Suker came on. I stayed on the bench.


”It’s November now. I scored in Southampton and after that game home, I went back home and I actually took the tube. I walked amongst the fans and nobody saw me.”


Henry added : ”By doing that you have to be good, you can’t be sitting here saying this and that. You play and don’t score.


”When people saw me starting to play on the left, cutting the ball back, scoring goals and giving assists; scoring from outside of the box. People are like he’s a bit different.


“That game was very important for me in realising what I needed to do.


”I needed to wake up really early if I wanted to move Dennis Bergkamp and Kanu. You come after Anelka who was destroying the league.”


Henry went on to score 228 goals from 377 appearances for the Gunners, while Kanu netted 44 goals in 198 games.


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