MUMBAI: Arsene Wenger is one of the longest-serving and most successful managers in Arsenal's history but Robert Pires believes Wenger is one of the finest managers in the world.
The former Arsenal player also rated Thierry Henry as one of the best forwards. "Oh, for me, Arsene is one of the best managers. I know him since a long, long time because he's French. I'm French. I used to play for Marseille. He was in Monaco and I remember because he called me six months before I joined Arsenal and for me. Yeah, it was a great call from Arsene, from Arsenal," said Robert Pires.
The former Arsenal left winger also regarded fellow Frenchman Thierry Henry as one of the best forwards the world has ever seen, especially during Arsenal's Invincible season of 2003/04.
"Thierry is one of the best strikers for me. And this moment [2003-04] he was maybe number two just behind Ronaldo, the Brazilian. Thierry was an amazing, amazing player," said Pires on Home of Heroes show.
The legends were also asked which the more difficult away stadium was to play at during the 2003/04 season - Liverpool or Manchester United.
Gilberto Silva felt both the teams gave them a hard time but the rivalry between United and Arsenal was fiercer back then.
"I think both, but I think the rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United was for me I consider bigger that time because they used to fight each other for the title. I know the time and many times when they go to Highbury was tough for them because we need to give back something.
You know, you play against one of your main rivals, you have to be up for it, up for the battle because it won't be easy."
On the other hand, Sol Campbell, who was also on Viacom18 Sports FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 expert panel alongside Pires, Silva, Wayne Rooney, Luis Figo, felt playing at Anfield, Liverpool's home ground, was harder than at Old Trafford.
"Liverpool back then...I used to find going to Anfield, playing there, harder than Manchester United. It's just one of those stadiums that you had to... like if you work on it, you really got ripped apart, you know, if you weren't on it."
Mikel Arteta's Arsenal side has struggled in recent times but has come out on a thunderous note during the current season. They are the league leaders with 40 points trailed closely by defending champions, Manchester City at second place. Campbell gave a piece of advice to the squad and supporters.
"It's all about consistency now and maintaining that. if they stick together and they kind of be true to themselves and play to their maximum and be a family and be close-knitted and humble about it as well. Never lose your way. Just keep playing and keep winning. Don't get too high, and don't get too low. Be consistent then they'll do it."
"This is once in a lifetime, you have this opportunity to be there. We don't choose it, we were chosen to be there. The good thing is that look back and see that we left a good place for others. We left the club in a better place, a better position. We did the best we could. When they see Arsenal, they somehow remember little bit of us." added Silva.