When he first came to Arsenal in August 1999, Thierry Henry had to adapt to a new role.

Having played for France and Juventus on the left wing, Arsène Wenger asked his protégé to reprise the attacking role he had first handed him at Monaco as a teenager. After a little adjustment, Henry took off. He needed only 303 appearances as an out-and-out striker to score for the 186th time and become the Club's highest goal-scorer.

Now Henry is having to adjust again.

Last season Wenger switched from his familiar 4-4-2 formation and started to play one striker up front. Now it is the norm. Even the captain, top scorer and team icon has had to adapt.

"It's different now," he said. "When we used to play 4-4-2 I had another role. Now I have to learn to wait and keep the ball.

"If you look at our first goal on Sunday it was not in an Arsenal way. It was a long ball, I went to win the header, Cesc won another header, we put it down on the wing - goal. Usually you don't see that from Arsenal. It's another role but that's what I have to do to make the team win.

"It is difficult. You are surrounded by two defenders in front of you and two at the back. Usually, you can trick them because there is another one running behind.

"Still when you play with Dennis Bergkamp or Kanu they shield the ball for you. It's the same when you play with someone like Peter Crouch, you can wait for the ball to come. But as a skipper [adapting] shows you have character."

Henry accepts the new formation is now established and, despite the odd hiccup, has proved successful.

"That's what I said to myself," he said. "So I need to do something for the team. When you play like that you need to make sure you don't lose possession, make sure you join the game and shield the ball. It is not really my type of game but [on Sunday] I showed I can adapt to any kind of situation."

8/1 - Arsenal to win the 2006/07 Premiership title


Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 14 Nov 2006