Exclusive: Ray Parlour Talks Henry As Manager, What’s Missing At Arsenal & More


On Sunday afternoon we were lucky enough to be invited to a Europcar event at the Emirates. Ray Parlour was in attendance and answered a few of our questions.

Embed from Getty Images

Our editor Oli Price-Bates and writer Steve Wallbridge sat down with Parlour to answer some questions exclusively for FreshArsenal.com. Here are the highlights from the interview:

Fresh Arsenal: What do you think is lacking in this current Arsenal team?
Ray Parlour: “It was always going to be difficult to topple Chelsea and Man City this year.

“It’s got to be signings (though) centre half we are a bit short at the moment, Monreal’s playing centre-half so it just shows you how short we are. I’m sure Arsene Wenger will address that in January.

“Leadership too, we need 5 or 6 on the pitch. It’s up to the players on the pitch, we never looked to the bench when we were losing, the players on the pitch need to sort it out themselves’

FA: Would any player from this team get into the Arsenal teams you’ve played in?
RP: “Ummm….. not in the back four. Midfield: Vieira, Gilberto or Petit, not in the midfield, Sanchez would be up there definitely. Strikers Henry and Bergkamp – no chance. I love Jack Wilshere, I’m a big fan of Ramsey – on his day he could get into the team. If I had to pick three players it’d be Sanchez, Wilshere and Ramsey at their best.”

Embed from Getty Images

FA: One current Arsenal player you’d like to play with if you had the chance.
RP: “Definitely Sanchez, with his work rate, the way he tracks players and chases people – he would definitely be the player”

FA: Thierry Henry has hinted at one day managing Arsenal, do you think he would be suitable?
RP: “Brilliant. Yeah, a very intelligent guy, knows his football, can attract big players. I’d be the first to say definitely. I mentioned him two years ago to say maybe one day. He loves the club and he’s got a good football brain – a brilliant choice.”

Embed from Getty Images

FA: Bergkamp or Henry?
RP: “I’ve always gone Bergkamp, it’s a toss of a coin sometimes. Tight one to call, both top class players. 50% of me says Henry, 50% Bergkamp. I’ll go Bergkamp”

FA: Quickest player you’ve played with?
RP: ‘Anelka is the quickest player I’ve played with, over 20 yards. I was gutted he left. Thierry Henry maybe over 40 yards.”

FA: One Arsenal player that you’ve played with that Arsenal need most?
RP: “Tony Adams. Without a doubt. If we had Tony at the back, things wouldn’t be happening that happened the other night. He’d be pulling people back into position. I think the leadership as well, I know he’s my mate, but he was great to play with.

“He was a great leader. With him at the back we’d be a totally different side. They’re hard to find them sort of players.

Embed from Getty Images

The Romford Pele also spoke about one of his greatest memories of Arsenal in Europe when Tony Adams got plastered in the hotel and ordered 20 trays of room service. It was an interesting, but slightly alarming story.

On injuries Parlour said: “The training methods are the same today, I was there the other week. The injuries are a lot worse. I don’t know why”

On Diaby: ‘I’m really gutted for him, he could be a really brilliant player’

This interview was brought to you by Europcar, the official car and van rental partner of Arsenal Football Club. Find more quotes from this interview on our Twitter feed @Fresh_Arsenal

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for Arsenal news and stats including breaking transfer news.