Saturday 3 December 2016

Paul Hayward: Paul Scholes and Thierry Henry hired by Manchester United and Arsenal for their brains, not bodies

Published 10/01/2012 | 11:30

Thierry Henry celebrates after coming off the bench for Arsenal to break the deadlock against Leeds United. Photo: Reuters
Thierry Henry celebrates after coming off the bench for Arsenal to break the deadlock against Leeds United. Photo: Reuters

TWO idols have stepped back out of the history books to assist a pair of clubs where youth-cultivation is the usual religion. Under pressure from the upstarts, Manchester City and Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester United have knocked up a quick bulwark of experience with Thierry Henry and Paul Scholes.

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With a combined age of 71, these two Premier League aristocrats might now be confined to celebrity beach football, or the AC Milan side of a couple of seasons ago. Instead a nostalgia-laden 24 hours brought Scholes and Henry back into the colours they graced when United v Arsenal was the big power struggle in the English game.

Robbie Keane is back, too, for a couple of months, with Aston Villa. At 31, Keane is not in the Scholes-Henry age class but his acquisition on a two-month loan from America reaffirms the premium being placed on know-how.

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