There’s very little positive that can be done during the international breaks but for gooner addicts it does allow an uninterrupted chance to revisit some of the old tapes/dvds.
Amazing how the heartache can return as well as the joy.
But amidst all this history/euphoria/sadness a disturbing thought came to mind. Was Ian Wright a more natural striker than Thierry? It seems almost heresy to ask but watching replays of all their goals via the “Legend” series, a few things stand out that lead me to think that Wrighty was better. Not as an all round player. Purely as a striker.
Admittedly his 128 goals in 221 league appearances do not compare with Thierry’s 174 in 254 (All games 185 in 288 appearances vs 226 in 369 for Thierry) and for sure, he never made nearly as many goals as TH.
So why the thought?
Simple really. He mainly played for us when we had a good defence, not a bad set of forwards (Merse, Rocky, Anders) and a midfield of baggage men. Think back to the Jensens, Hilliers, Schwartzs, Sellys and Morrows…really without a creative brain in their collective heads. Even The Romford Pele was very young and still with so much to learn.
Thus if Wrighty was playing, the one thought that seemed to pervade Arsenal’s play was “Bang it somewhere near Wrighty and he’ll do the rest.” And did he ever do it. Now try to imagine Thierry in those circumstances…. ‘Le Pout’ might have been double the size.
Thierry’s silky skills aided and abetted by the Vieiras, Pires and Bergkamps made scoring a great deal easier for Thierry. Wright really had to work at it.
Which leads me to comparing techniques. To my mind Wrighty’s directness leaves the feeling that purely as a striker, he shades it. There’s the ball. There’s the goal. To hell with any defenders. There’s a gap. Shoot. More often than not, a first time shot out of the blue at that. 1-0 to the Arsenal.
The first time shot was far less common with Thierry. His pace and ball control skills allowed him to set himself up more often than not…though who could decry Wright’s ball control when scoring against Everton? Certainly as good as Bobby Pires lobbing Schmeikel in the Villa game.
Be interesting to hear other views. For sure I think we might just find a place for either of them at their peak even now when the whole side wants to score!
If you would like to write for Untold Arsenal, please do drop me a line with your idea to Tony at Hamilton-house.com Meanwhile over on the MAKING THE ARSENAL site there is a further extract from the Making the Arsenal novel. The novel is published on October 30 and will be available via this site.
Coming up next on this site: Arsenal vs the Evil Empire, this saturday
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the team and league positons AFTER the game.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: injuries, yellow cards and recent form
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the referee who just doesn’t oversee home wins
- Newcastle United’s weakness revealed and what they could do. Arsenal v Newcastle United.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the tackles, fouls and yellow cards compared