Thierry Henry wasn’t the first player ever to leave Arsenal and he certainly won’t be the last, but no one could have left in a more dignified manner. Thierry graced Highbury and then the Emirates for the best part of 8 years and gave us moments that we simply won’t forget. People talk about how great Messi is playing right now, but don’t forget what Thierry was doing about 6 years ago down at the Arsenal…
Thierry has a certain level of humility that has gone from the game in modern times. You’ll never hear him say a bad word about Arsenal or Arsene – why? Because we gave him everything we could and he gave us everything he could. Players like Adebayor, Flamini and Ashley Cole, three players whom Arsenal have trained, educated and made who they are. Before they played for Arsenal who were they? The words they’ve said since they’ve left the club have been a disgrace.
Back to King Henry, and there you have someone who realises what the club did for him and has a bond to a club that is like a son has to his family. When he left the team, he said a part of him was lost and that one day he would return. For those of you who don’t remember, he made it clear when he left Arsenal for Barcelona that we were his team for life.
“It doesn’t matter what happens with my new club, I will never find the same affection that I was shown at Arsenal, partly because I think I will never play for another squad for eight years – my legs won’t let me. To play for Arsenal for eight years, winning or losing at Highbury, the joy, the sadness, everything was simply incredible. You often return to the place that you belong and, therefore, I hope one day to be able to work with the club. I have the club in my blood – I always follow Arsenal when they play and I’m happy when they win. I’m proud to have played for Arsenal and to be a fan. Before I didn’t support any club, but now I’m an Arsenal fan and it’s difficult for me to not follow the matches.”
And of course, having won everything in the game – the league, the cup, the European championship and the World cup – one thing that he hadn’t in his time at the Arsenal was the Champions League and he went to Barcelona with that purpose. He achieved what he set out to do last season as Barcelona brushed aside United and his cabinet was complete.
The reason I’m writing this piece to remind everyone of what a legend Thierry Henry was because if you saw his interview of Sky Sports News yesterday, you’ll have seen a man who has such a high level of respect for Arsenal – not only for the team but for the Arsenal fans.
Here’s a snippet…
“Whenever there is a draw for the Champions League I’m in pain. I’m not saying I won’t try to fight or whatever because that’s the way the game is. But I don’t want to play against Arsenal. It will be weird for me to step on the pitch, even if it’s at the Emirates and not Highbury, with another shirt on. When asked if he would celebrate a goal, he added: “Forget about it. No. I do not want to play against Arsenal, simple as that. The bond that I have with the Arsenal fans I will never get anywhere else. Because I don’t think I will ever play for another team for that long. Eight years – I don’t think I will be with another team for eight years, I am getting old now.”
Take a look at the full video here….
Now that’s what I call a genuine love for the club, a genuine Arsenal fan and a genuine legend.