In this week’s Comments Below, Poet and Vuj discuss this weekend’s action in the Premier League and the rest of Europe. The stand-out match was Sunday’s showdown at Old Trafford between old rivals Manchester United and Liverpool. It provided plenty of drama; a perfectly executed training ground set piece, an outstanding overhead freekick, and a debut wonder goal that provided us with one of Martin Tyler’s finest moments of commentary. It was this debut goal, from Man United new boy Anthony Martial, that made United fans make some interesting comparisons with a certain French striker who played for Arsenal – that’s right, Thierry Henry.
Though it is certainly very early in the Frenchman’s career (Martial is still only 19), the comparisons are to be expected, particularly after his goal against Liverpool. The control, run and finish were all reminiscent of the famous goal scored by Henry for Arsenal in 2004. Though Henry’s goal was from further out and was far more significant in the context of their season (Arsenal were losing to Liverpool during what was their unbeaten season in 2004), you can’t blame United fans from highlighting the similarities.
— Andy (@TheDaveSave) September 12, 2015
But the similarities run deeper than just this one example of play. Not only does Martial mirror Henry in his style of play (often coming in from the left wing, and combining good technical ability with superior pace), he also bares comparison with the French legend off the pitch too. As well as growing up in a town just a few kilometres from Henry’s childhood town, Martial also started his footballing career at the same local club, OC Les Ulis. More recently, Martial moved to Man United from Monaco, the same club where Henry signed his first professional contract and spent 5 years.
Though Martial has a very long way to go to emulate Henry’s illustrious career, he has started his own at United in the best way possible. When Henry scored his first goal for Arsenal, he couldn’t stop. Let’s see if Martial can do the same…