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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Henry set for new Arsenal record
By Ian Hughes

Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry is renowned for his pace - and the speed at which he has neared Arsenal's all-time top scorer Ian Wright's goals total is remarkable.

The Gunners' current talisman needs to find the net only five more times to pass Wright's mark of 185.

Henry has averaged 0.61 goals per game since his 10.5m arrival at Highbury from Juventus in 1998.

Or to put it another way, the 27-year-old gets on the scoresheet about every 1.5 games.

On that basis - although not accounting for injuries and/or suspensions - Henry could become the north London club's leading scorer six games into the season.

So, pencil 19 September 2005 in your diary, for that is when a strike from Henry against Everton at Highbury may make history.

Wright's achievement, though surely soon to be surpassed, will never be forgotten.

The extrovert Englishman has an astonishing record, reaching his tally in 288 matches - the more introspective Henry has already played eight games more.

Both men have been lauded in their careers for often inspiring Arsenal to victory as well as at times salvaging a result in the face of adversity.

HENRY V WRIGHT
HENRY
League: 189 (16) games 137 goals
FA Cup: 15 (6) games 6 goals
League Cup: 2 (0) games 1 goal
Europe: 66 (4) games 37 goals
TOTAL: 272 (26) games 181 goals
WRIGHT
League: 212 games (9) 128 goals
FA Cup: 16 games (0) 12 goals
League Cup: 29 (0) games 29 goals
Other: 22 games (0) 16 goals
TOTAL: 279 (9) games 185 goals

Perhaps harshly, they have also been the subject of debate as to whether Arsenal have relied too heavily on their talents.

Could it be true that to stop Henry now and Wright then is, and was, to stop Arsenal?

Hardly an easy task, as countless defenders have found out.

They have both scored every kind of goal, from every kind of position - although Wright was far more proficient in the air than the taller Henry.

Size, it seems, is not everything. That is particularly true of the tenacious Wright, whose 5ft 9in frame often reared up to taller rivals.

Standing at 6ft 2in, it is a mystery why Henry does not cause opponents more problems aerially.

It remains the one area of his game that cannot be described as world class.

Just about everywhere else Henry has few equals - and the same can be said of Wright.

Searing speed, exquisite close control, clinical finishing and imaginative movement set the pair apart.

Henry, it could be argued, has the more complete game - he regularly tops the charts for assists as well as goals.

Whereas Wright was the archetypal selfish striker, with an insatiable hunger for goals, driven by a sometimes too-fiery competitive streak.

To have followed the legendary Wright must have been daunting for Henry, who struggled to make an impact when he first joined the club.

And Henry admitted he was helped by watching hours of tapes of his predecessor, learning his craft from the man he considered the master.

Since then, Henry has overhauled Wright's total of one league title and two FA Cup final successes, managing one more of each.

It is merely a matter of time before he passes his goals record too.




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