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How I Man-Marked Thierry Henry – Taribo West

How I Man-Marked Thierry Henry – Taribo West


Former Super Eagles centre-back, Taribo West has responded to France legend Thierry Henry’s comments that he was the defender that gave him nightmares most during his playing career.

The Arsenal legend, while speaking admitted he had a tough time playing against the Nigerian centre-back during his active football days.

One of the deadliest strikers of all time, Henry, now the assistant coach of Belgium, admitted Taribo was the hardest opponent he played against.

Henry said, “For direct opponent, I would go back in the days – Taribo West. ABecause at Auxerre, they did man-marking. He followed you everywhere, even in the dressing room.”

West, well known for his unusual and colourful hairstyles, in his interview with The Punch, praised Henry for his qualities but said he never gave him the chance to score against him, just like he did to other top strikers.

He said,  “While I was in France, Auxerre manager Guy Roux assigned me to always man-mark Thierry Henry until he moved to Juventus where he was not really a regular. I also moved to Inter Milan.

“During the time I played against him, Henry was a very good player, it was very difficult to mark him as a younger player because he had pace, knew how to dribble, and could score good goals.

“But he never scored against me. I didn’t allow him to score because I never gave him breathing space. I can say in Europe that most of the top strikers never scored against me. The only player that scored twice against me was Lyon’s Florian Maurice in France and he wasn’t that popular. Even the great George Weah never scored against me. Think of all the top scorers in the world, none of them scored against me.”

The Olympic gold medallist also talked about how he frustrated his opponents during his time.

“Auxerre manager then Roux adopted the man-marking style and he usually assigned the toughest strikers to me because I was very strong. Once he assigned me to a striker, I would follow them anywhere, even down to their own goalposts.

He added that “I was very difficult to play against and if you didn’t have the strength you would die because I would mark you out.”

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