Arsenal’s greatest ever striker is…

WTTGT Writer: Matt Mace

No, before you ask, it’s not Nicklas Bendtner. In fact the Danish striker shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as some of the goal scoring heroes of Arsenal FC. Whilst there isn’t too much room for debate as to who is Arsenal’s greatest striker, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty who deserve to have “legendary” status for the Gunners.

Strikers Jimmy Brain and Jack Lambert had stunning goals per games ratios for the club during the 1920s. Both were influential in steering Arsenal to the First division title in 1931. Cliff Bastin amassed well over 400 appearances for Arsenal and can now be seen on the outside of the Emirates Stadium. Ted Drake, Reginald Lewis, Doug Lishmen and John Radford were others that were regular scorers for the Gunners during the 40s and 50s.

More recently there was Ian Wright who signed for a then Arsenal transfer record of £2.5m in 1991 and since became a cult hero for Arsenal fans. Dennis Bergkamp is another that will always be in the hearts of Arsenal fans, so much so that the 16th of April was dedicated as ‘Dennis Bergkamp Day,’ after the Dutchman scored his last Arsenal goal in the 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion. Another Dutchman, Robin van Persie could well be on his way to emulating these other strikers and is close to reaching 100 goals in Arsenal colours.

However, there is no doubt as to whom Arsenal’s greatest striker was. Just 3 goals in 16 appearances for Juventus hardly backed up a transfer fee of around £12m. But Arsène Wenger had seen enough of Thierry Henry from their days at Monaco to know what this winger-come-striker was all about. 

Coming out of his first season at Highbury with 26 goals to his name, Henry was well on the way to becoming the decorated world class footballer that he is known for today. The 2002/03 season saw Henry named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year as well as coming runner up the 2003 FIFA World Player of the Year award. During the ‘Invincibles’ season, Henry again picked up the same accolades as well as again finishing runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year award.

He is the only player to be named as the European Golden Boot winner twice (although the second time he was joint leader with Diego Forlan). He became Arsenal’s all-time leading goal scorer after scoring against Sparta Prague, seeing him pass Ian Wright’s 185 goals for Arsenal. A goal against West Ham in 2006 saw him pass Cliff Bastin’s record of 150 league goals, and he is also the only player in Arsenal’s history to score over 100 goals at Highbury, something that will definitely never be beaten.

He’s a player who has won everything there is to win in world football. Every one of his 338 games for Arsenal was a joy to watch, as was each of his 226 goals that helped cement his title as one of the greatest players to ever grace the footballing world. And whilst Arsenal fans no longer get the delight of watching Henry strike fear into the opposition with every touch of the ball; he will be returning to the Emirates with current club New York Red Bulls in the Emirates Cup and is sure to be given a hero’s welcome.

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7 Responses to Arsenal’s greatest ever striker is…

  1. bunty eindhoven June 11, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    not just arsenals best player but the best player in the premier league ever

  2. Viking June 11, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    You just wrote the most obvious post ever matt mace.

  3. arshnal@yahoo.co.uk June 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Are you bored? So bored that you felt the need to write all that before stating the answer we all new before reading the article?

    Are you paid per post/ lost for ideas to get people to visit so that some might hit the links? There must be better things to write. How about your favourite memories at Highbury … or your funny experiences when being a Sardine on the tube at Arsenal Station. First impressions the first time yo walked into the Emirates, what's your opinion about players.

  4. Spud June 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    Why are there people hating on this post? It made me smile from ear to ear remembering how much Henry made my day. I will be on my feet to welcome him to the emirates at the end of July 🙂

  5. arjay@cwgsy.net June 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    Don't want to nitpick but "every one of his 338 games for Arsenal was a joy to watch" is a little bit over the top. I recall his last season when the writing was on the wall. He played as a lone striker, with, on a number of occasions, a bit of a disinterested attitude as though his mind was elsewhere. By the end of his last term at the Emirates, I seem to remember that not too many fans were anti his departure. Having said that, the joy of most of his goals will be for ever written in the history of Arsenal and I wonder whether we will ever see his like again.

  6. Darren June 12, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Comments are obscene…

  7. Stuart June 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Which of his goals was your favourite?

    I liked this one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_Tm83-7Ork

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