I hear the name and I think mainly, even after a couple of years of watching him in blaugrana, of Thierry Henry. It’s funny, when I first began to watch the game with any regularity, there was this Frenchman with his funny-shaped head who just kept scoring goals. He was a joy to watch, as was the rest of his team. I mean, who scores these goals? A genius surrounded by geniuses, that’s who scores 226 goals in 8 years.
Perhaps it’s because I don’t watch a massive amount of EPL, but I still think of Arsenal as one part Invincibles and one part 2006 Champions League finalists. Obviously the core of the team was similar, but they were very different teams and they were in very different situations, but they both had Thierry Henry leading the line and while the former didn’t intersect with Barça’s particular path (we weren’t in the Champions League that year) the latter season was something to watch and enjoy. I remember being two minds in the semis of the ’06 CL: do I root for Villarreal and Riquelme or Arsenal and Henry? I finally settled on letting it play out as it would, rooting for no one because I couldn’t choose (now I would root for Villarreal without batting an eye, but at the time I was interested in a Barça-Arsenal/Ronaldinho-Henry final as much as I was interested in the little guy making it farther and another Spain vs Spain matchup). That, I supposed, saved me a few fingernails or hurt feelings for Riquelme. I still feel bad for him, but we would have beaten them in the final too, right?
Anyway, it’s Arsenal week and I’ll be exploring the team over the next two days in as much detail as possible. But for now, enjoy the scenes from our last meeting: