Henry's advice to current Gunners? 'Become boxers, go to kill'

If Arsenal are to maintain top spot in the Premier League, over Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, they need to fight like warriors.

If the current roster of Arsenal players such as Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere want to emulate the successes of previous sides built by Arsene Wenger, then they must adopt a kill-or-be-killed mentality, they must play with a fierce, combative spirit and fight for every ball.

That is the opinion of veteran striker Thierry Henry, a 36-year-old N5 legend who won two Premier League titles, is the club's highest goal-scorer in their decorated history, is currently represented by New York Red Bulls but has trained at his former club's base at London Colney.

Throughout the historic Invincibles team there were competitors throughout, from defence to attack, beginning with eccentric goal-keeper Jens Lehmann, under-rated strongman Lauren at right back, physically adept Sol Campbell, influential midfielder Patrick Vieira and rugged yet technically gifted trequartista Dennis Bergkamp.

Henry, in a documentary available for download to UK-based customers and as quoted by the club's official website, may have inadvertently given advice to the current Arsenal team by claiming that it was Arsene Wenger's team-talks that helped steer the 2003-04 class away from complacency.

That year, Arsenal already had the Premier League crown secured, but they maintained their quality and consistency of play to go the whole season unbeaten.

'The main thing is to be champions,' began all-time great footballer Henry. 'You still have six or five games to go and I remember the boss coming in every morning saying 'guys you are maybe going to be able to do something amazing. Are you realising that?' "We were like 'we're champions man, come on!'"

Presently, Arsenal have suffered a series of blips… they dropped points at home to Everton, were defeated 2-0 by Napoli and missed out on top spot in their Champions League group and were convincingly defeated by Manchester City 6-3 at their gaff.

When Arsenal were first beaten this season, against Aston Villa at home, they went on to win five on the spin in the league and were undefeated in nine until they met Manchester United. After United, they won three Premier League matches on the trot.

Starting at the Emirates Stadium on Monday, December 23, Arsenal need to bounce-back once more by scalping Chelsea, creating distance between themselves and Jose Mourinho's Blues, before embarking on another winning run.

In order to do that, they must adopt the mentality of a combat sportsman… specifically, Henry claims, of a boxer, who used that metaphor a decade ago: 'A boxer doesn't go in the ring just to have fun. You go out there to kill and that was our mentality.'

image: © Ronnie Macdonal

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