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28th Sep 2021

Thierry Henry says Robert Pires ‘lost his composure’ for famous botched penalty

Callum Boyle

“I thought the big man Robert wouldn’t have lost his composure. But he did.”

Admit it, we’ve all tried to be cocky on a football pitch at least once. Sometimes it works, but more often than not, it just doesn’t quite pay off.

Back in 2005, at the peak of their powers, Arsenal were no different. After going 1-0 up against Manchester City at Highbury thanks to a Robert Pires penalty, the Gunners were awarded a second one and a chance to double their lead.

He’d already scored one so it only seemed right that Pires would step up and take the second one, right? Oh no, it couldn’t be just as simple as that.

Instead, Pires attempted to lay the ball off to an on-rushing Thierry Henry only for his legs to turn to jelly and make a complete mess of it. Something that had been practised for hours on end turned out to be a complete disaster in front of the Arsenal faithful.

So what actually happened? A lack of communication? Stage-fright? Well, according to Henry, he believes his former French teammate simply lost his composure.

Speaking about the incident on Sky Sports, the Gunners legend said: “On that one, the only mistake I did was that I didn’t do it. I should have passed it to Robert. We did it so many times in training, but in training everything is easy.

“I thought the big man Robert wouldn’t have lost his composure. But he did. I don’t know why he tried to roll it. If the goalkeeper went diving maybe I would have dummied it, but maybe I would have passed it back to Robert.”

Thankfully for the pair, manager Arsene Wenger found the funnier side of it, stating: “It’s part of the game to make these kinds of mistakes. He’s a lucky boy because the team has not been punished.”

Luckily for Henry and Pires, they weren’t punished as Arsenal held out for the victory in the end.

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