Like Henry, Like Yaya Sanogo

Hold that thought, we all know its blasphemy to even mention both names in the same breath when it comes to their abilities on a football pitch and the only relationship they have is having come from the same birth country. However, they also have an attribute they share together; struggling in their early days at Arsenal even though Henry did overcome his in months, Yaya seems to have taken a year to give an indication that he has arrived. Yaya however has not been helped by the injuries he has suffered.

Arriving as a replacement for Nicholas Anelka after an unsuccessful spell at Juventus, Henry struggled to adapt to the Premier League and questions were asked as to if the club had not replaced a goal scoring machine, Anelka with a pretender. The rest is his now as Thierry himself under Wenger’s guidance had to alter his game to be successful.

When asked if he had altered his game by Anthony Andrew of The Observer in October 2004 if he altered his game, Henry’s response was

‘So many people say that obviously my game has changed since I arrived here and I say that it’s good that it changed, otherwise it would show a lack of intelligence. You learn from your mistakes. When I was younger I was trying to do what I wanted to do, not what the game wanted me to do. I would say that’s the difference.’

An attribute with young players is the self-confidence they have in their abilities and everyone thinks they are the greatest striker that ever lived. Yaya Sanogo himself is not short on self confidence in his abilities, however early indications were that he lacked the application to deliver.

At 21, in a new league, a key ingredient of Sanogo’s game is presence. Physically he stands at 6.2ft, just about the same height as Abou Diaby and this is a worry for defenders. Although gangly he has some pace in him and is very willing to run at players with the ball and get into very good scoring positions. All key attributes for a successful striker.

It’s actually a combination of all these attributes that made Yaya seem a frustrating player at times last season as he would find his way into good scoring opportunities and not have the composure to score. A close range last minute miss against Stoke and several clear cut chances in the FA Cup semi-finals against Wigan are examples of how frustrating he was.

In stark contrast to last season when Yaya failed to score, he picked the perfect day to break his scoring duck, scoring 4 goals in front of the home faithful on a day when the game was billed to be an Alexis Sanchez show. Yaya stole the headlines from the clubs prettiest new addition as if he wanted to lay a marker to everyone saying you might have a new pretty bride but I am that ex that will never go away.

Speaking on Sanogo after the game against Benfica Wenger stated

We worked hard with Sanogo for six months and from January onwards he was slowly getting better. Now, we want him to stay here.“Sanogo was injured for basically two years before he came to us. If you look at his goal-scoring record before he got injured it is quite frightening.

“For a while when he came back last season he could not score. You could see when he scored the first goal today, suddenly they came raining in.

The manager seems to have a lot of faith in Yaya and if he keeps this up, who knows we might just have a new Thierry Henry on our hands. Forgive me, I blaspheme again.