Posted on Tuesday, 31st August 2010 by Sean
This young man, with dreadlocks flowing, cast aside his career in dutch football when an afro haired manager called Wim Jansen came calling for his services.
Until this point the blue half of Glasgow dominated Scottish football and the Bhoys had been second best for many a year. Rangers where about to go into a season in which if they won the league they would have won the league 10 times in a row.
We needed to stop Rangers from gaining the pinnicle double figure which would have sealed and confirmed their dominance over Celtic for a decade of football.
This number 7 backed, Swedish exocet, with the help of a team of leviathans and a manager that knew how damn good he was went on a stopped the rot.
Fast forward to the end of August, year 2000. One of the most breathtaking matches I have ever witnessed in my whole life so far. This time Martin O’Neill was at the helm stood in his usual attire with rolled up sleeves and tracksuit jogging pants. The sun was shining that day and it shone brightly on us with a 6-2 victory.
I remember as Larsson going through on goal, after the memorable run, as he easily carved through the hun defence like they where made out of a mixture of dairylea and cheesestrings, the little nutmeg left him one on one with Herr Klos.
The consummate goal as I call it for a consummate striker, It was the best chip I have seen and quite possibly one of the best old firm goals in modern times. I can guarantee that Klos probably still has nightmares over that goal. I sometimes watch the goal itself and wonder what Klos was thinking as he saw Henrik slicing through the ‘great’ defence in front of him. I think his thought pattern consisted of a lot of “Oh no’s” and one possible “It’s ok Bert might stop him”.
When Henrik started his run leading to the ball floating majestically above Klos’ head and whilst it was sailing through the air I got this feeling as if time had stopped. A feeling I had experienced only previous to this moment watching the likes of Zidane, Ronaldo in the late 90s (arguably in his prime) and in vintage footage of Jinky. I thought to myself, after celebrating wildly, how will we ever replace Henrik if he goes?
Present Day: I still don’t think we have replaced Henrik (and probably never will) since his departure. The likes of 7′s like Zurawski, McDonald and others et al all offered different things in the years that followed, some great short term solutions with goals akimbo but none of which with the added magic that Henrik could produce, a deft flick or a defence splitting pass or a moment giving us something out of nothing.
The question is can Stokes be the number 7 we have dearly missed for so long? I am sure he will offer us goals (as his record in the SPL shows) and his signing suggests that we want nothing more than to be a goalscoring, domineering team who can be a force again like we once were.