France legend, Thierry Henry has revealed how he managed to keep Nigeria hero, Kanu Nwankwo on the bench during their time at Arsenal.
Kanu and Dennis Bergkamp were initially ahead of Henry in Arsene Wenger’s pecking order of strikers when he joined the North London club from Juventus in the 1999-2000 season.
The former France striker and 1998 World Cup winner admitted that he struggled in his first few months at Arsenal before forcing his way into the starting line-up.
The Frenchman became untouchable world class striker at Arsenal, scoring a remarkable 228 goals over the course of 377 games which made him the club’s record goalscorer in history.
Speaking on Jamie Carragher’s Greatest Game podcast, Henry said, ”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 Southampton and then I am not doing anything again. After that game home, I went back and I actually took the tube. I walked amongst the fans and nobody saw me….
”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, goal and assist. Let me move a bit then. Scoring a goal from outside of the box.
”People are like he’s a bit different. Before people are accepting of what you are, you have to give them something to allow you to be you.
“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.”