Thierry Henry's secrets of success
BE YOUR OWN RIVAL
I had no rivals. I don’t want that barrier of, “I can’t play against him.” People can take it however they want to take it. For me it was like, I missed the goal, not that the goalkeeper made a great save. He should never get that ball. I gave him the opportunity to make a save. If they defended well against me, it’s because I didn’t play well, I didn’t make the right movement. I wasn’t disrespecting those guys – that was my way to improve and get better. If you talk teams, then we’re talking Manchester United and Tottenham, for obvious reasons, but I didn’t have one guy.
PLAY FOR THE TEAM
I was a player that scored goals – I wasn’t a goal-scorer. I was making passes. I could have won five Golden Boots in a row. But in 2003, in the last game versus Sunderland, I gave Freddie [Ljungberg] three goals. I’m battling with Ruud van Nistelrooy, but I gave him three goals [Van Nistelrooy scored 25 league goals that season, Henry scored 24 – and made 23 assists]. Is that the sign of a guy that wants to win a Golden Boot? If I have to make a pass, I’m making a pass. I’m more proud of my assists than my goals. I’ve said it many times. I gave people penalties. With Edu [Gaspar], I gave him the penalty in his last league game [Arsenal beat Everton 7-0 – Henry didn’t score]. I was fighting with James Beattie, but that was better than winning the Golden Boot. If I had to score a goal, I’d score a goal. If I had to make a pass, I’d make a pass.
I try to do the right thing, and at the right time. Sometimes you get carried away. For example, the goal against Tottenham, when I went from one end to the other. Because it was Tottenham, I said to myself, “I have to finish that.” Every time I see the goal, I think, “Thank God I scored,” because Dennis [Bergkamp] was in space, and if I hadn’t scored he would have killed me. And rightly so. So sometimes you get carried away, but if you get the balance right you can do both things. We had a great team. People say they were feeding me, but we were feeding each other. That was the beauty of our team. At one point it was almost “you score… no, you score”. It was like a four-person moment and whoever was in the box, it was for him. Whether it was me, Robert [Pires], Freddie or Dennis.
Sky Sports’ sport coverage includes the Barclays Premier League, England’s