Thierry Henry… A Legend…

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….

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid29318049001?bctid=73141285001

Now that’s what I call a genuine love for the club, a genuine Arsenal fan and a genuine legend.

  • devday

    PS, we’ve appealed Vemaelen’s sending off – could be a good move or a bad move… fingers crossed…

  • Dzole

    Wow!!! That’s Thierry Henry!!

  • Sam

    The man deserves all our respect. A legend and a gentleman. It’s very hard to find another one in this day & age.

  • Kuka

    my gut feeling tells me, we should not have appealed against Verm’s red card….

  • Josiah

    A great man

    Is it me or does anybody else sense pompey doing us a favour tomorrow night against chelsea?

  • tom G

    @Kuka, I have the feeling too that the red card decision won’t get overturned, but I think it was still right to appeal. If there’s a chance they overturn it we get him back, if not we only lose him for one more game: that game is home to Wolves, in between the two Barca games – so he’ll be fresh for the CL games and if there are ANY games we could risk being without him (and though I think Birmingham will be tough he’s banned for that anyway) then it’s these next two in the PL.

  • Kuka

    @Tom G- Makes sense. Thanks mate

  • devday

    I doubt Tommy V would get banned for another game if the appeal was rejected – it’s not usual practice – I think it only happened to Rio on grounds of the frivulousness of the appeal. If we go to appeal, it will be based on the laws of the game and unlikely to incur any additional bans.

    If it is over turned, then we have Tommy V back this weekend – I have the feeling that Arsene wants one of Vermaelen or Gallas to play alongside Campbell or Silvestre…

    Appeal results today.

  • Nick

    LOL, I love how an article about the great one leads to everyone talking about Vermaelens appeal, lol.

    Henry is pure class both on and off the pitch. No way about it. There are very few players left with his kind of humility and honor.

  • goonerman

    Henry has shown what a true legend he is! to come out and say you dont want to play against us and he plays for barca just shows that his heart completley rules over his head!

    To the vermaelen appeal i agree with dev the reason rio and a couple others i cant remember is becuase the appeals they made were actually a joke. rio clearly hit a hull player so for man united to appeal was silly were as vermaelens red card was very debatable, the ball was not in control of franco and the contact made was absoulutley minimal so hopefully theres a chance of the ban being overtured but if not it should just be the 1 game!

    what does worry me is that wenger surely cant play against birmingham on saturday becuase he may not be fit for barca so we will have to go with song and silvestre at the back which doesnt fill me with joy! go on FA do something good for a change lol.

  • kodjo

    fingers crossed i hope the ban gets overturned. and i read allardyce says he is ready for the big games…i wonder if the game against sp*rs wasn’t big enough for him. i guess doing man utd a favour by kicking arsenal off the park is a big game for him.

  • Simon

    I have rated Fernando Torres as the best striker in the world for some, before he went to Liverpool and before his goals helped Spain to win the European Championships. Didier Drogba probably has a wider range of influence and can make some of his own goals, whereas Torres needs service, but Drogba is repugnantly and unpalatably unedifying whereas Torres is admirably and honourably grounded. Torres would fit Arsenal beautifully.

    Torres is a magnificent finisher, on his favoured right foot and with his head. He is a little wilder with his left foot, but still often scores with it. Torres knows exactly what he is doing and executes goals with calm assured technique. He is somewhat impotent in a team that cannot find him, which is why he has suffered when fit at Liverpool this season because they are so ordinary and offer paltry service.

    At Arsenal, Torres could become practically obese on the goalscoring chances we could gorge him with. But obviously Arsenal signing Torres is a total no-go, as Liverpool wouldn’t sell him and we couldn’t afford him, especially not during a World Cup summer. Or maybe the idea does have some wings.

    Torres comes from an Atletico Madrid background, with no desire to play for Real Madrid or, it would seem, for Barcelona. He could have joined either club when he left Atletico, as so many Spaniards do, but showed his principled and independent nature by choosing to leave Spain and move to England to join Liverpool.

    Torres has reiterated several times that he is very happy at Liverpool and has no desire to leave. That assertion was made before Liverpool made a mess of this season’s Champions League campaign and before Liverpool looked likely to miss qualification for next season’s competition. A top-level world-class talent will not want to miss out on the Champions League.

    If Liverpool cannot match that opportunity, it would be understood why Torres may have to reconsider his club. Liverpool would have no choice but to sell him, for football reasons nevermind the financially problems they would face without Champions League action, or quite possibly Europa League action either.

    So once the concept of Torres leaving Liverpool becomes viable, where would he go? I cannot really see him in Italy. He might fancy it but he could be clattered mercilessly and Italian football is not as attacking as English football so it may feel pedestrian in comparison. The Premier League is a drug to many players. Having already left Spain for England, I think Torres would only be likely to return to Spain or stay in England, where he is enjoying his football.

    We have already seen that Torres has not yet shown a desire to join Real Madrid or Barcelona. That could change of course, as many things do when official bids come in – speculation is meaningless, bids mean everything – so that leaves England. As a man who seems to recognise the palatable from the unpalatable, I could not see Torres being interested in Manchester United and frankly Chelsea are less desirable.

    Arsenal on the other hand is a real football club, playing entertaining football, with cultured players that believe in staying faithful to their ideals. That doesn’t always do us a favour but one favour it could do is to attract Torres to the club. Torres would be a mouth-watering target for Cesc Fabregas’s passes and for our endless array of attacking midfielders, who often don’t know when to end moves. What a formidable goalscoring target Torres would be for our passing game, which often doesn’t know when to end. Torres joining would surely end the fears of Fabregas leaving and Arsenal would finally land the awesome striker to make us strong and credible for the major prizes.

    It all sounds good so far, right? So how do we afford him? This is probably the main obstacle. He cost Liverpool a good £20-25m. He has since won the European Championships and should star at this summer’s World Cup. So could he have a £30m+ price tag, if available? Maybe, maybe not. You can have a big price tag if there is a host of possible suitors, as that then opens a bidding war, but the cost comes down if the destinations decrease.

    If it does become viable to prise Torres from Liverpool this summer, we’ve already seen that the Spanish clubs might be turned down and that Italy is not the great pull it once was. With United and Chelsea probably not pleasant to Fernando’s taste, that leaves Arsenal. We could be the one destination that would interest Torres and which he admires.

    If Liverpool accept that they have to sell Torres and it becomes apparent that Torres wants to join Arsenal, then the asking price has to fall. Arsenal may not like to spend money, they may not like to sign players ahead of youngsters, but Fernando Torres is a class A world-class striker, pure gold. At least one club will try to prise Torres from Liverpool this summer – and it is definitely plausible for Arsenal to sign him.

  • Nick

    If Liverpool have to part with Torres I can see Sir Alex sparing no expense to bring him to Old Trafford. He and Rooney together would be lethal.

    I think his skills and style of play are far more suited to Arsenals style. I’d love to see Torres as a Gunner.

    David Villa and David Silva are both due to be sold by Valencia this summer since they are so in debt. There’s gonna be a feeding frenzy for Villa who we’d also love to have but won’t splash the cash for. Chelsea and Man U. are lining up at that door as we speak.

  • Simon

    not sure if FT would go to OT due to rivalry -

  • Sam

    TV appeal rejected, it remains a one match suspension.

  • andrew

    I love you, Thierry!!