Thierry Henry says Arsenal are reaping the benefits of fielding Alexis Sanchez as a central striker as the Chilean’s energy creates space for teammates Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil.
In the absence of the injured Olivier Giroud, last season’s top scorer for the Gunners, the attacking trio have netted 20 times so far this season to help the Gunners to top spot in Champions League Group A and to the same number of points as Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Speaking at a Puma promotional event in Kolkata, India, the ‘Invincible’ played up Wenger’s change in tactics and made clear he’s not surprised Alexis is thriving in the middle having proved himself in the position for his country.
“I always said in the past two years that Sanchez could be used as an option as a centre forward,” Henry said.
“He’s finally playing as a centre forward. He does it for Chile. So it’s not something that he doesn’t know how to do. He did it for Udinese also in Italy and he does it ever so well.
When you have a guy who as a number 9, the way he puts pressure, the way he moves, his vision for the ball, that creates a lot of holes for (Mesut) Ozil. That’s why Ozil is scoring a lot of goals off the movement of Alexis Sanchez.
“Ozil can now go and make those runs as a number 10. Theo (Walcott) is scoring a lot of goals also because there is a lot of movement.
“I think Arsene (Wenger) did it pretty well and I think the reason why Arsenal is doing well so far during this season is because Alexis is playing up there and making all those movements to create a lot of space for others.”
Henry also touched on his aims for the future stressing he’s a long way from being in a position to inherit the reins from Arsene Wenger anytime soon. The Frenchman spent last year coaching Arsenal’s Academy prospects but recently took up a role with the Belgian national team.
“That’s a long way [off],” he said when quizzed on the possibility of becoming the next manager at the Emirates.
“People keep on asking that. First and foremost the boss,and we have to respect that, is still there and is doing a good job. Hopefully, we can win the league. As you guys know I am an Arsenal fan. It will be great on the season of his (Wenger’s) 20 years at Arsenal.
“Right now, I’m in a learning process, trying to know the job. It’s not easy. It’s a difficult job, trust me. Hopefully one day, if it can happen, I can be a manager (but) I don’t know when and I don’t know where.”
Cheers to @aeroberg for the heads up on the quotes.