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Robert Pires Talks About That Penalty With Thierry Henry

Robert Pires Talks About That Penalty With Thierry Henry

At their pomp there wasn't much Thierry Henry and Robert Pires couldn't do and yet somehow the Arsenal legends once managed to mess up a penalty in the most ridiculous way possible against Manchester City.

"Hey Bobby, what is the French for the worst penalty the Premier League has ever seen?"

It's no wonder Renault decided to go for a snappier and more confident line on their advert when they got Thierry Henry and Robert Pires to help sell their cars back in the early 00s.

The two Frenchmen were an excellent double act during their time at Arsenal with Henry uptop and Pires on the wing. Two of the classiest footballers of their generation, together, in a ridiculously successful side.

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Pires spoke to exclusively about all things Arsenal. Image: PA Images
Pires spoke to exclusively about all things Arsenal. Image: PA Images

You can rather forgive fans of the Gunners for looking back at that period with wistful fondness as they try and work out what happened from the time they were not only title challengers but often title winners.

The pair were part of the famous Invincibles in the 2003/04, the last time the Gunners won the Premier League, and yet their most famous moment as a duo was in a total screw up in October 2005.

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In a game against Manchester City Arsene Wenger's side won a penalty and the pair decided that Pires would pass the ball to Henry, in the way that Ajax used to. It didn't go well with Pires messing up the pass.

Pires told me all about the screw up saying, "It was Thierry Henry's idea and of course it was my mistake, because I missed the ball. I regret the pass but not the penalty. It was a good idea, the people need to watch something new and the penalty between me and Thierry was a new thing."

"Sometimes in football, I know it was a big mistake, but sometimes you need some fantasy on the field. For me it was a good fantasy but unfortunately I missed the pass but it was a good idea."

There's something so wonderfully French about caring about the 'fantasy' of football and not thinking it was a bad idea considering how badly it went.

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Henry clearly knows it was a mistake. Image: PA Images
Henry clearly knows it was a mistake. Image: PA Images

Despite still thinking it was the right thing to do the 44 year old revealed he told his partner in crime that he wouldn't do it again adding, "I said to Thierry, 'thank you very much but for me it's finished, the penalty like this.' He said 'Okay no problem Robert.'"

Pires could only tell me that Danny Mills had sworn quite violently at him when running up to remonstrate over the penalty but he did remind me that he'd actually won the game from the penalty spot earlier in the match adding, "We won the game against City 1-0 and I scored the penalty, so it's funny."

It's unlikely we'll see anything like that in the Premier League anytime soon, but then there's few who had as much va va voom as Pires and Henry.

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Topics: Manchester City, Football News, Robert Pires, Premier League, England, Arsenal, thierry henry

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

 

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