Steven Gerrard’s career in numbers ahead of MLS move

Steven Gerrard has played his final game for Liverpool after 28 years of loyal service and will now look ahead to his next adventure at MLS side LA Galaxy where he arrives as one of the most recognised figures in the game, looking to help the Galaxy win a record sixth MLS Cup title.

The 34-year-old has endured a career of ups and downs, which included turning down the opportunity to leave Liverpool on numerous occasions, instead opting to stay with his boyhood club.

Despite the success, Gerrard will always be disappointed that the Premier League title eluded him. The Reds came agonisingly close to winning the league in the 2013/14 season when a 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea and a 3-3 draw away at Crystal Palace in the last few games of the season allowed Manchester City to swoop in and lift the crown.

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Gerrard has won seven major trophies in his career so far and here is a look at those honours:

Trophies:

  • FA Cup (2) – 2001, 2006
  • League Cup (3) – 2001, 2003, 2012
  • UEFA Champions League (1) – 2005
  • Europa League (1) – 2001

Notable individual awards:

  • PFA Young Player of the Year (1) – 2001
  • PFA Team of the Year (8) – 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014
  • Ballon D’Or Bronze (1) – 2005
  • UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (1) – 2005
  • PFA Players’ Player of the Year (1) – 2006
  • UEFA Team of the Year (3) – 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Liverpool Top Goalscorer (4) – 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2014/15
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The highlight of Gerrard’s career will most likely be the incredible 2005 Champions League final triumph in Istanbul after Liverpool came from three goals down against AC Milan to tie the game 3-3 before winning on penalties.

The Liverpool captain hasn’t claimed a wide array of club and indivdual awards without earning them, having scored 120 goals in 504 league appearances, with 186 goals from 708 appearances in all competitions. Gerrard also captained the England national team, making 114 appearances and scoring 21 goals for his country.

How good will Steven Gerrard be for LA Galaxy and how excited are you about his move to MLS?

 

 

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Are Crystal Palace on course for their best ever Premier League season?

Crystal Palace enjoyed their third consecutive away victory in the Premier League when they beat West Ham 3-1 at Upton Park on Saturday and have been in fine form since Alan Pardew took over as manager at the beginning of January this year.

The Eagles travel to Southampton tonight and a positive result at St Mary’s would certainly leave Palace pondering over the possibility of achieving the best Premier League finish in the history of the club.

Considering last year’s unbelievable turnaround under manager Tony Pulis, many would have predicted that Crystal Palace would struggle this season after he walked out just days before the first game of the campaign.

When Pulis quit, Keith Millen briefly took over before reverting back to assistant manager when Neil Warnock was appointed. Warnock struggled for results, picking up just three wins from the 16 games that he was in charge and was consequently shown the door, which made way for Alan Pardew’s arrival from Newcastle.

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Pardew has been an instant hit both with the players and the fans and has been welcomed with open arms as many can probably still recall his playing days for the South London side in the late 1980’s through to the early 1990’s.

He has re-instilled belief and positivity at Selhurst Park, and generally brought a feel good factor back in to the Holmesdale air.

The 2013/14 season was the club’s best ever Premier League finish, but breaking down the numbers of Crystal Palace’s form under Alan Pardew shows there is a real chance that the red and blue army can make history for the second year running.

Palace in the Premier League

Palace eventually managed to survive relegation comfortably last season and in doing so, consecutively maintained their Premier League status for the first time since its inception. They had never avoided the drop when competing in the Premier League and they now look set to further establish themselves in England’s top division.

Crystal Palace's Premier League record under Pardew

If Pardew ensures Crystal Palace continue to pick up points at the same rate they have done since he took over, then they will amass 50 points come the end of the season – five points more than they did in last year’s record-breaking campaign.

It’s certainly a big ask to maintain such consistent form, but it isn’t out of the question and Palace fans may be pinching themselves at how well the team are performing.

You only have to cast your mind back to May 2010 and this was a club not only struggling in the Championship but also on the verge of extinction due to extreme financial issues. A 2-2 draw away at Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the season that year under the management of Paul Hart almost certainly saved Crystal Palace from going under.

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Palace were in administration at the time and demotion to League One would’ve had a huge financial impact that they may not have been able to recover from. They battled through some bleak times with incredible spirit and determination and it’s been onwards and upwards since then.

Recognition and credit must be given not only to Pardew for the most recent turnaround, but also to everyone involved with the club over the last five years.

Can Crystal Palace record their best ever Premier League season this year?

Thierry Henry retires: The story of his career

Thierry Henry has announced his retirement from football after 20 years of service to the game which saw him play for five clubs, winning 19 titles and an endless list of individual honours along the way.

He said, “it has been an incredible journey and I would like to thank all the fans, team mates and individuals involved with AS Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal FC, FC Barcelona, the New York Red Bulls and of course the French National Team that have made my time in the game so special.”

The 37-year-old confirmed that he will now be working as a pundit for Sky Sports as of 2015.

“It is now time for a different career path and I am pleased to say that I will be returning to London and joining Sky Sports. I will hopefully share some of the insights, observations and experiences I have learnt over the years with you guys.”

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There aren’t enough superlatives to describe a man of such legendary status but hero, icon, genius, idol are just a few words that have been used in an attempt to label the Frenchman.

Monaco and Juventus

Henry’s professional career began at Monaco in 1994, aged 17, where he went on to make 141 club appearances, scored 28 goals and won Ligue 1 and the French Super Cup before leaving for Juventus in January 1999.

The move to Italy was probably the lowest point of his career as he struggled to settle in and was unable to influence the game playing as a left-winger.

Arsenal

Just eight months later, Henry was on the move again and this time it was to be a life-changing moment as he joined Arsenal, but perhaps more importantly at the time, he joined up with his former Monaco manager Arsene Wenger.

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Wenger decided to push Henry up-front as opposed to out wide, and essentially the rest is history.

He notched an incredible 226 goals in 369 appearances for the club and in the meantime became Arsenal’s all-time top goalscorer as Ian Wright’s previous record of 185 was blown out of the water.

As well as numerous Golden Boot awards, he lifted three FA Cup’s and two Premier League titles and was part of the famous ‘Invincibles’ side of the 2003-04 season.

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Barcelona

Desperate for Champions League success that eluded him at Arsenal, Henry made an emotional farewell in 2007 to join Spanish giants Barcelona.

He spent three years in Spain scoring 49 goals in 121 appearances, winning two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and his dreams also came true when the Catalan side lifted the Champions League title in 2009. He then went on to also win the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with Barca.

New York Red Bulls

In 2010, Henry made his move to MLS and joined up with the New York Red Bulls where he spent four seasons and scored 52 goals in 135 appearances in all competitions. He returned to Arsenal for a brief loan spell in the 2011-12 campaign and scored twice for the Gunners taking his overall goals tally at the club to 228.

France national team

As well as the remarkable achievements in club football, Henry was also part of the French national team between 1997 and 2010. He scored 51 international goals in 123 appearances and was a World Cup winner in 1998, a European Championship winner in 2000 and a FIFA Confederations Cup winner in 2003.

He finishes his career having played an overall total of 915 competitive matches for club and country, while scoring a monumental 411 goals.

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Key moments of each year from Henry’s illustrious career:

  • 1994 – Professional debut for Monaco on August 31
  • 1995 – Became first-team regular with Monaco
  • 1996 – French Young Footballer of the Year
  • 1997 – Ligue 1 winner with Monaco
  • 1998 – World Cup winner with France
  • 1999 – Joined Arsenal from Juventus
  • 2000 – European Championship winner with France
  • 2001 – Included in PFA and UEFA Team of the Year
  • 2002 – Premier League and FA Cup winner with Arsenal (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2003 – FA Cup winner with Arsenal and FIFA Confederations Cup winner with France
  • 2004 – Premier League ‘Invincibles’ winner with Arsenal (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2005 – FA Cup winner with Arsenal (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2006 – Champions League finalist and scored last ever goal at Highbury in a 4-2 win vs. Wigan (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2007 – Joined Barcelona
  • 2008 – Entered into English Football Hall of Fame
  • 2009 – La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup winner with Barcelona
  • 2010 – Joined New York Red Bulls and topped Eastern Conference
  • 2011 – MLS All-Star
  • 2012 – MLS All-Star and returned to Arsenal for loan spell
  • 2013 – MLS Supporters’ Shield winner with New York Red Bulls
  • 2014 – Retired from football and became Sky Sports pundit

In his announcement Henry mentioned how he hoped that we have “enjoyed watching as much as I have enjoyed taking part” and it’s fair to say that we have all enjoyed watching him play and many will continue to reminisce in years to come over some of the incredible goals and special moments in his career.

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He also added that he has “had some amazing memories (mostly good!) and a wonderful experience” – as have we thanks to his elegance on the field.

You rarely come across anyone who has a bad word to say about Thierry Henry and tributes will continue to pour in for a legend who will be sorely missed on the pitch, but he will have a place in history forever in the shape of his statue outside Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

Thierry Henry is quite simply, a living legend.

Thierry Henry: The living legend – A look at the New York Red Bulls stars MLS numbers

Legend is a word sometimes brandished loosely, but in the case of Thierry Henry, it’s about the only word that does him and his achievements justice.

No one knows what his next move will be since his recent departure from the New York Red Bulls, but one thing that is certain is that he has enjoyed an illustrious career and his services to soccer will never be forgotten.

Here is a breakdown of Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls career:

Titi Red Bulls in numbers

Statistically, 2012 was Henry’s best season in Major League Soccer as he recorded his highest goals tally in one MLS season, his best goals-per-game ratio, goals-per-minute ratio and goals contributed.

His final season saw him take on the role of provider and he notched 14 assists (his highest number of assists in one MLS season), many of which would have been for top goalscorer Bradley Wright-Phillips who has become a designated player since Henry’s departure.

Four years and five seasons at the Red Bulls brought some moments to remember and here is his time at the New York club in numbers:

Rumours are swelling about his next step with many linking him with a possible return to Arsenal – perhaps in a non-playing role – but whatever happens, everyone in MLS and at MLSGB will miss seeing him play in the USA.

What will be the next move for Thierry Henry?