Robert Pires didn’t name Arsenal legend Thierry Henry as one of the two best players he’s played with during his career.
The two former France internationals played with each other for six seasons at Highbury, winning the Premier League on two occasions in that time.
Henry scored 226 goals in 370 appearances for Arsenal with the club building a statue of him outside the Emirates Stadium to signify his legend status at the club.
Speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe, Pires chose Dennis Bergkamp and Zinedine Zidane after he was asked to pick the best players he played with at club and international level.
“With both, I have improved enormously,” Pires told L’Equipe.
“It is not enough to copy them, it is impossible, but to observe, to learn. When I arrived in 2000 (at Arsenal), Dennis said to me: ‘The most important thing is the first control. It puts you in a good mood. If you miss it, you will be disturbed’.
“He didn’t talk much. Zizou either. Both were class.”
Pires explained how he could’ve potentially missed out on playing with Bergkamp and Henry as he had offers from Real Madrid and Juventus.
The World Cup winner added: “In 2000, I was lucky to have Real, Juve, Arsenal… A very hard choice.
“Everyone told me that I was crazy not to have gone to Real. It was very heated though.
“I even took the photo with the Real jersey during the Euros in Belgium! For the newspaper AS, I believe. And everything happened very quickly.”
⚽️ Pires 70′
⚽️ Henry 87′
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 31, 2021
Meanwhile, Paul Merson disagrees with Mikel Arteta’s decision to make Alexandre Lacazette – who is out of contract in the summer – Arsenal captain.
“Kieran Tierney should be Arsenal captain – because you can’t put your faith in Alexandre Lacazette,” Merson told the Daily Star.
“And my old club should start sorting out better contracts for young players like Bukayo Saka right now instead of wasting their money like they have before.
“They moved one step forward getting rid of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his massive wages – but giving the captaincy to Lacazette was going two steps back.
“Give it to someone like Tierney and start building now.
“I like Tierney. I think he’ll run through a brick wall for you. I think Ben White could be captain as well. One of those two. They are there for the long run. Why not?
“Lacazette is 30 years old now. I think he needs to show some leadership. But I do not agree with him being made captain one iota.
“He’s not going to be there next season. What’s the point? That worries me. It makes me wonder if they want to offer him a new contract.
“That would be a mistake. Of course it would. They haven’t looked like challenging for the title with Lacazette up front have they? He hasn’t always been able to even get in the team.
“His contract is up. You’d have to offer him a fortune if you give him a new one. And he hasn’t ripped it up for the last few years so why would he do it for the next few?”