ARSENAL icon Edu has revealed he was inspired to speak English after Thierry Henry moaned about him to Robert Pires in the dressing room.The 43-year-old, who is the Gunners’ current technical director, joined the North London outfit from Corinthians in January 2001.
Arsenal technical director Edu has recalled the time Thierry Henry moaned about him in the dressing roomCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Edu and Henry won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups together at HighburyCredit: Reuters
Though the player had agreed to make the move to London Colney the previous summer, only for the midfielder to encounter passport problems.
He was detained at Heathrow’s detention centre for ten hours after arriving into England with a fake Portuguese passport.
And after finally linking up with Arsene Wenger’s side, Edu encountered problems with the language barrier between him and his team-mates.
The former Valencia man has declared it was an incident with Arsenal’s all-time top scorer Henry that proved to be his lightbulb movement to learn English.
After compatriot Sylvinho departed in the summer of 2001, Edu found an ally in skipper Patrick Vieira.
And the Frenchman defended Edu after Henry had criticised him to Pires following a match in which he was at fault for a goal.
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Discussing the incident, he told The Athletic: “Ashley Cole went towards one guy but the ball went past him, so I tried to cover.
“I made a foul — and from that free kick, the opposition equalised.
“Thierry got the ball out of the net, put it under his arm, and walked back to the centre circle staring at me the whole time, showing he was unhappy with my foul.
“I went back to the dressing room at full-time, and Thierry was in there complaining in English and in French.
“I turned to Robert Pires, who spoke Portuguese, and said, ‘Robert, What’s going on?’ He said, ‘Oh, don’t worry, Thierry is complaining about the score, about the game — no problem’.
“I knew that something didn’t smell right. Thierry was talking and talking, and what was even worse was that I couldn’t understand, or explain my feelings.
“And then Patrick jumped into the conversation. He started to ask what was going on, why there was arguing.
“He really showed he was the leader of the team. He said, ‘Listen, it’s in the past. Anyone can make a mistake’.
“That’s the first image I think of when I remember Patrick. I’m not saying he protected me — he was on the side of protecting the team.
“That day, I said to myself, ‘I need to talk in English — starting tomorrow!’”
In total, Edu featured in 127 appearances for Arsenal during his spell at the club.
Along with two Premier League titles, he also won the FA Cup twice – featuring in the final victories against Chelsea in 2002 and Manchester United in 2005.
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