By Jonathan Birchall & Graham ListerThey say you should never go back but for Thierry Henry and Arsenal, there always seemed to be an air of unfinished business between. Ludicrous, you’d think, for the club’s leading goalscorer and greatest ever player.
But Henry’s departure from Arsenal in 2007, following eight years of unparalleled success at the club, was unedifying for a man whose impact has now seen him immortalised in bronze outside the Emirates Stadium. The departure of vice-chairman David Dein, coupled with doubts over Arsene Wenger’s future, saw the striker move to Barcelona and deliver a sour ending to one of English football’s great player-club romances.
Or so we thought. Now, with Robin van Persie the king of north London and Wenger admitting Henry is at Arsenal to provide simply a helping hand, Gunners fans are unlikely to see a repeat of the moments that made him the darling of the Clock End.
However, with his second coming confirmed, what better time could there be for Goal.com to take a look at some of the defining moments of Henry’s first spell at Arseal. Here are 10 of the best…
|August 4, 1999 – Henry arrives at Highbury
New face | The Frenchman signed from Juventus for €13.5 million to replace Nicolas Anelka
|September 18, 1999 – Duck broken at Southampton
Off the mark | Nine games into his Arsenal career, a goal at Southampton opened his account
|October 1, 2000 – Incredible volley downs Manchester United
Flying Frenchman | Henry beat former team-mate Fabien Barthez with a stunning effort
|November 16, 2002 – Wondergoal wins north London derby
Untouchable | Henry downed Spurs with a neat finish after a remarkable 70-yard run
|November 25, 2003 – Inter hit for five at San Siro
Italian Job | Henry inspired his side to one of the great English victories on the continent
|April 9, 2004 – Hat-trick vs Liverpool sends Arsenal seven clear
Comeback kid | The Gunners came from behind twice to boost their title chances with a win
|May 15, 2004 – Invincibles crowned champions
38 not out | Wenger’s men won the title without losing a single game all season
|October 18, 2005 – Brace in Prague cements place in history…
Record breaker | Henry scored his 186th goal to replace Ian Wright as the club’s top marksman
|February 1, 2006 – …then he smashes Bastin’s league record
Greatest ever | The striker topped the legendary Cliff Bastin’s league goal record
|May 7, 2006 – Goodbye to Highbury with a hat-trick
Fond farewell | Henry scored a hat-trick as Arsenal said goodbye to Highbury after 93 years