Football: GOALDEN DAYS OF HIGHBURY'S DYNAMIC DUO

The People (London, England), January 26, 2003 | Go to article overview

Football: GOALDEN DAYS OF HIGHBURY'S DYNAMIC DUO


Ton-up terrors reveal why their deadly double act is going great guns: THEY are both new members of Arsenal's 100-up club, two supreme goalscorers who have completed the march to a ton of goals in the colours of the champions. jHere, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry - Arsenal's centurions - reveal the secrets of their scoring successes, their favourite goals and their views on each other. . .

WHAT targets did you have when you joined the club?

DENNIS BERGKAMP: When you join a new club you never know what to expect. When you are there, people expect you to score goals if you're a striker. But every season you may have one target in your mind but that can change from season to season.

THIERRY HENRY: When I first joined Arsenal I just wanted to play. I couldn't really think too much about scoring because I was not even in the team at the beginning.

YOU both scored your first goals against Southampton. What are your memories of that first strike?

DB: It was very important. I was in a new country and I didn't know about all the media attention. There was a lot going on about me not scoring for six or seven games. I remember it well and it was a great relief for me. I knew then that I could do it here.

TH: It showed I could do it. Some people were asking questions about me, which was right, so it was a big relief for me.

YOU both set up a lot of goals, too. How can you compare the feeling of making a goal as opposed to scoring one?

DB: Thierry and myself are players people expect certain things from. It is as important to score goals as to make and assist or do well for the team. I don't consider myself a better player because I have scored more goals than a defender. Scoring goals is a talent, like defending is a talent.

TH: When you are a striker, people only look at you to score, but it's important to defend well, too, right from the top. The most important thing is that Arsenal wins. Everyone is pulling in the same way. When I look at Dennis, if he has to score he will score, if he has to pass he will pass, if he has to make a run to defend he will do that.

IF THERE was one goal from each other's tally that you would like to claim as your own, which would it be?

DB: I think Thierry has got a different sort of talent in front of goal to me. They are not tap-ins, they are much more than that, but he makes it look so easy with the side of his foot. He has amazing pace but still keeps control, and can keep relaxed at the moment he shoots. At that moment you have to have perfect balance. It's not easy when you are at full speed to keep control, and he has scored many goals like that, so you could pick any of those.

TH: There are a lot of Dennis's goals that I would have liked to have scored! His touch is amazing - I've never seen a player like it. Obviously, his goal against Newcastle ... well, what can you say?

There are not a lot of players who could have scored that goal. Not only to score it but to think about doing it. That is the difference between a great player and a normal player.

That was the thing with that goal. Dennis was just ... well, it was just like he knew. He knew what he wanted. When you see a goal like that you think "I'm going to try that next week." Well, you can try all your life.

Another goal was the one he scored against Argentina in the World Cup. I remember watching the game and when he scored I was speechless.

I was with David Trezeguet and when Dennis scored we just looked at each other ... there was nothing you could say.

DO PLAYERS have trademark goals, then? What are your trademark goals?

DB: What I can do is control the ball, maybe take a defender on, and then try to curl it beyond the keeper. Perhaps that is my trademark. I think when there are more defenders then I will struggle because that's not one of my talents.

If you are talking about trademarks for Thierry, then you have to say his one against Tottenham this season. …

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