The Super Eagles icon remains the worst footballing nightmare of the former Arsenal and Barcelona great
Former Nigeria international Taribo West was one of the topics of discussion when Arsenal great Thierry Henry met with retired football coach Guy Roux at the weekend.
While Henry is best known for his time at Arsenal and Barcelona, Roux built his legacy as the single most influential factor in the historical success of French club AJ Auxerre.
After playing for AJ Auxerre for over a decade, Roux took charge of the club for more than 40 years, leading the team to national and worldwide prominence.
Guy Roux is also credited with having spotted and further developed the talents of several football icons, including Eric Cantona, Basile Boli, Djibril Cissé, and Philippe Mexès.
Roux also managed Nigeria’s Taribo West for four years in the mid-nineties, turning him from a relatively unknown quantity to one of the most notoriously feared defenders in Ligue 1.
Deployed to great effect at Auxerre, Taribo tamed the best strikers the French first division had to offer, including Thierry Henry, then at Monaco.
Even Henry recently confessed that Taribo was the toughest defender he ever faced during his illustrious career across five countries.
Henry finally met Roux, who unleashed Taribo to such devastating effect, on Saturday when Auxerre faced Olympique Marseille.
And the meeting presented Arsenal’s all-time highest goalscorer the chance to congratulate Roux on his glorious coaching career.
And as per BFM TV, Henry also used the opportunity to jokingly tell Roux he did not take it kindly that the 83-year-old Frenchman always set Taribo to man-mark him.
The retired forward asked: “Why did you always put Taribo West on my back? You are not nice.”
How did Guy Roux respond?
Roux, however, took time to explain to Henry that he was not the only striker that had trouble dealing with the former Super Eagles centre-back.
The veteran manager revealed that Taribo was also the worst nemesis of Brazil and PSG great Raí Souza Vieira de Oliveira.
“He (Taribo) was always designated to tackle the biggest players of the opposing team,” says Guy Roux.
“(PSG’s) Raí once said that if he hadn’t been a great professional, he would have had a sore throat every game night because I had him shackled by Taribo West.”
Taribo West retired from football in 2007 but not before playing for Germany’s FC Kaiserslautern, England’s Derby County, and two of Italy’s biggest clubs, Inter and AC Milan.