Arsène Wenger says Robert Pires’ “intelligence and huge technical quality” was responsible for his scoring record in the north London derby.
The ex-France international was on target eight times in 12 appearances against Tottenham, including one goal as Arsenal secured the Premier League title at White Hart Lane in 2004.
"He was not what you call the typical goalscorer for his commitment but his anticipation, the speed and quickness of his feet and his cool finishing was exceptional"
That record did not surprise Wenger, who says Pires possessed all the necessary goalscoring qualities.
“He was a guy who when you looked after at on video, was always on the move in the box when everyone was standing,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “He was not what you call the typical goalscorer for his commitment but his anticipation, the speed and quickness of his feet and his cool finishing was exceptional.
“At the end of the season, Robert was always between 10 or 15 goals. That has its weight. When you look at a midfielder that is outstanding.
“I remember Pat Rice, many times asked me, do you think Robert Pires is a player for the derby against Tottenham? I could understand his question but at the end of the day he always scored because of his intelligence and huge technical quality.”
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