Pires was a French international since 1996 and was part of the World Cup squad in 1998. That was some years before he joined Arsenal. Obviously he wasn’t a stalwart of that team, but he was regconized as a player.
The claim that Bergkamp could do things Henry couldn’t implies that. Don’t think Sheva was on Henry’s level as good as he was. Nedved and Figo were very good again but they weren’t dominating in the same way as Henry was.
That doesn’t really answer the question if Henry made him look better than he was
You could argue Pires and Henry made the growth together and took the next step/established themselves at Arsenal at the same time. One came here in '99, the other in '00 and were at similar stages in their careers.
Arsenal 1998-2004 didn’t need any carrying by anyone. They were a sum of their parts and incrementally better because of all those parts, but no one part defined the team.
At the time Sevchenko got the vote. Henry didn’t. Now it good very well be that people were biased towards Serie A at the time as the best League in the world.
You could argue that. I’d argue that while Pires was very good, that Henry made him look better
Henry got robbed multiple times, Sevchenko wasn’t fit to clean his boots
From 01/02 to 03/04 Pires was definitely better than any winger United had.
In 01/02 Pires got injured with loads of the season to go, still won the PFA and had his teammates literally bowing at his feet when he hobbled up and lifted the trophy. He was arguably the best player in the league in that double season, let alone simply being the best wide player.
Pires was a fucking God and you should wash your mouth out with soap you filthy fucking swine.
We wouldn’t have won the league titles we won with Henry without him. We got our highest points totals in the PL with him. He was by far the most productive player in those squads.
So you may consider carry too strong a word but we couldn’t have achieved the titles we did without him
Both of these guys really found their footing for Arsenal as top level footballers during that 01/02 season. This is just a discredit towards Pires.
Btw. Everything Wenger touched during that time turned into gold. You don’t think that if the Henry experiment had failed he wasn’t going to find somebody else?
Are we still arguing who was better?
Just don’t join in if it’s boring, some people are enjoying the discussion
Yea Pires was very good and one of our best players but I didn’t agree with him being better than the United wingers at the time and I don’t now. Giggs had some average years were Pires was better maybe but Beckham was certainly more effective as a creative player around that era
Tbf we did beat United at OT to win the league without him and the FA cup in 2005.
Beckham did one thing exceptionally well. His right foot was absolute gold and he wasn’t lazy and all that which helped to perform. But I do think he was a bit overhyped.
I think it’s criminal to say that about Shevchenko. That guy was a legitimately elite striker who had one of the best goal scoring records in Europe in the late 90s and early 00s. He was every bit as important to Milan as Henry was to Arsenal. And whilst Arsenal were better domestically, Milan were much better in Europe.
What we can all agree with though is the late 90s and early 00s have us a genuinely elite group of strikers. Vieri, Ronaldo, Batistuta, Henry, Shevchenko and the list is literally endless.
I’d say the late 90s and early 00s was genuinely the era with the greatest depth in terms of producing elite strikers.
By the way I would like to note that I rank Henry above Shevchenko I just don’t agree that he wasn’t fit to lace his boots. That guy tore apart Real Madrid in the 90s playing for Kyiv and then lit up the best league in the world as soon as he arrived.
I’d agree, I think from about 1997-2002 Sheva was a beast.
I think they were close but Henry a little better like you say.
It’s funny you say that about those strikers, because they all have pretty poor scoring records in comparison to the present day ones. Just underlines how much more valued goals were back then, and how much tougher defences were.
It really shows how much easier it is to score goals these days, when a poor man’s Inzaghi imo (Kane) can get a similar goal to game ratio to Henry now.
One thing I’ll say is 20 years ago the quality of defending I think was a lot better than it is now, when you think of elite centre halves how many spring to mind in 2018 ?