Arsenal hero Thierry Henry was one of the first two players to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame, alongside Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer, last week.
The Frenchman, who won two league titles with the Gunners, is regarded by many as the best player in Premier League history.
Henry scored 175 Premier League goals in 258 appearances for the north London outfit. Only Shearer, Wayne Rooney, Andy Cole, Sergio Aguero and Frank Lampard have netted more since 1992. He also provided a further 74 assists.
Henry played against many fellow Premier League legends between 1999-2007, including Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
The 43-year-old appeared on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football (MNF) this week and was asked to select six players to join him in the Hall of Fame.
He named both Scholes and Lampard but could find no room for Gerrard.
Henry explains why he picked Scholes over Gerrard
Explaining why he opted for Scholes over Gerrard, Henry told Jamie Carragher and the MNF audience: “Listen, I’m a Stevie G lover, as you know. And he knows that, too. But Paul Scholes…
“When we used to play Man United – and you guys know the team that they had and how great they were – we wanted to stop him. He was making the team tick in *that* team.
“That first pass to the striker, coming in and joining them, smashing a ball in from 25 yards off [Dwight] Yorke and Andy Cole. We were scared of him.
“I’m not saying we weren’t scared of the others but *him* first and foremost. If you stop him, you stop a lot of Man United. And that speaks volumes because they had a great team.”
Carragher explains why he picked Gerrard
Carragher then explained why he selected Gerrard above both Scholes and Lampard.
“People will look at that list and say all the other players have won the Premier League. Stevie didn’t win the Premier League,” the Liverpool hero said.
“My two arguments to that is: there’s no player in the history of the Premier League, even you [pointing at Henry] or Alan Shearer, who were in the PFA Team of the Year more than Steven Gerrard, so that shows what players he played against thought about him. Eight times. Nobody has ever got to that many, so that shows how dominant he was in the Premier League.
“I’ve always said the man sat across me is the best player to play in the Premier League, but I would say Steven Gerrard is possibly the best all-round player.
“And what I mean by that is that Stevie could have played right-back for England, he played in holding midfield, attacking midfield, he had two or three seasons as a No. 10 off [Fernando] Torres and how he performed in those years, you’d put him alongside any No. 10 in the Premier League… the goals he scored and the assists. Right-midfield, he could PFA Player of the Year for Liverpool in 2006, he scored 20 goals.
“In terms of all-round quality and someone that could play all over the pitch to a similar standard, that’s the two reasons Stevie has gone in.”
Henry & Carragher’s Hall of Fame picks
Henry named Scholes and Lampard alongside his former Arsenal teammates Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira. Roy Keane and Eric Cantona were also included by the World Cup winner.
Carragher opted for three of the same players (Bergkamp, Cantona and Keane), but went for John Terry and Peter Schmeichel over Vieira and Lampard, as well as Gerrard instead of Scholes.
(Credit: The Football Terrace)