Arsenal - Thierry Henry: It Was Very Special
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Thierry Henry: It Was Very Special

The return of Thierry Henry was never going to be the centre piece at the table of football at Ashburton Grove last night, but it was a pretty tasty hors d'śuvres.

The former Arsenal captain left the Gunners for Barcelona in 2007 after a glittering career in North London that saw him gain many honours, both personal and with the team, break the lan Wright's goal scoring record and achieve all round legendary status.

But we never really got chance to say goodbye.

Henry got his chance to play against his former employers as he came off the bench with the tie finely balanced at 2-1. The Frenchman received raptors applause from all sides of the stadium, and was then (quiet rightly) promptly booed every time he touched the ball.

Thierry is too smart a fellow to take the boos as a sign of disrespect however, knowing that they were only intended to put him off his game, and when the final whistle blew, Henry took centre stage to receive the goodbye he is worthy of.

Henry claims that moment was extremely special for him. 'It was very emotional. It was very special, obviously coming on I got a good reception but the special moment was at the end.

'I said to myself I had to clap the Arsenal fans for the welcome back and you saw what happened after that. Obviously I have never hidden my love for the club and I think the fans showed there was still love for me. It was amazing.'

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 1 2010

Time: 11:02AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I have a feeling that Thierry was secretly smirking inside when Cesc buried that penalty.
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01/04/2010 11:19:00

Was thinking the same thing Julie. I think the whole night worked out quite well for Titi. Neither of his teams lost and he didn't even have a sniff at scoring a heart breaking goal.
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01/04/2010 11:22:00

but why was he booed? i don't understand.
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01/04/2010 12:22:00

To throw him off his game. He knows it wasn't personal. It was nice to seem him back, but the game was the most important thing. He understands that.
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01/04/2010 12:34:00

In the end it was a bit of a non-event. Pires seemed to have been received with far greater acclaim last season. Can't help feeling he'd get far more if he didn't keep seeking it.
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01/04/2010 13:04:00

Yeah I agree that it's a special occasion to see the legend back. But what Amos said is my sentiments exactly - afraid he tried just a bit too hard to make sure he'd get the love he so craved. Maybe he didn't want to lose face, maybe he knew he'd be on the bench so he said he 'couldn't' play against Arsenal, etc. But a proper Arsenal legend nonetheless. I sort of miss guys like Bobby and Dennis a bit more for this very reason.
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01/04/2010 16:27:00

hes a true legend, but after 3 years we've got to move on.. hes moved on, hell even got a champions league and league title/cup to show for it
shady gunna
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01/04/2010 16:44:00

Amos, i absolutely agree about Thierry Hairy's need for aclaim. Basically, despite his legendary status, he was sacked for being a pain in the dressing room. I was also wondering when he would pipe up about this game in order to try to make himself a more central part of what was going to happen. In the end, the truth was he looked a real shadow of his former self, and for someone with an ego as gargantuan as his, it was probably a painful experience.
Tony Rocky Horror
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01/04/2010 19:00:00

I don't agree at all. There was no reason for him to applause the fans after the game. He went through so much with Arsenal and his whole career status as being such a good player was built here. His first game back, why the hell can't he applaud the fans? Get your heads out of your arse.
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02/04/2010 06:23:00

As far as I am concerned this is the true Arsenal, he lived, breathed and slept with Arsenal running through his veins. Why all the doubts, let us for once appreciate a good fella that really loves us. In this times of so much falsehood and insincerity why can we not just appreciate for a moment the real thing!!
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02/04/2010 10:10:00

no reason for him not too applaud*
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02/04/2010 12:39:00

Ok, that's enuf for me. I can recognize Henry's faults and I don't mind people pointing them out up to a point, but I'm sick and tired of how this now has reached the level of sneering, dismissive, demonization of the man. Here is something that NO ONE ever recognizes: the famous egomaniac Thierry Henry went to Barca where he was forced to learn to take a back seat to all the big name stars there, get used to playing in the wrong position (learning to do a lot more defensive work) while his body was aging while learning to adapt to a new country and a new club. And all this without a word of complaint. Guardiola and Rijkaard have both testified to his professionalism and his immense value in the dressing room, esp. to the younger players. Henry's presence helped dampen the poison that Eto'o and Ronaldinho injected into the dressing room. You'll notice both managers gladly wanted to rid themselves of Eto'o and Dinho but wanted to keep Henry. He's now viewed as the equivalent of a mass murderer in Ireland and elsewhere because of a handball that supposedly denied Ireland its rightful place in the wc (which is total bull****). What was esp. shameful was how the FFF never once supported him while he was being internationally demonized. This is something that I truly despise in football: great, extraordinary players who give us so much become objects of ridicule and demonization once they age and because of whatever small character flaws they have. What do we expect from these guys? That they be saints? Ethically impeccable? The other side of demonization is sanctification and I certainly don't believe in that either, I've never felt that way toward any footballer -- even zidane who I regularly call a "god of football." I simply take a comparative view: compare Henry with many others and he comes out pretty damned well. Give me 10 Henrys to 1 Terry, Matterazi or JBartons any day. So he's a footballer with a big ego, big whoop. Like that's anything unique. I expect footballers to have big egos, I'm hugely surprised when they don't. His love and support for Arsenal is genuine. So he loves basking in the love we have for him. Big fkg deal.
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02/04/2010 13:39:00

Has anyone 'demonised' Thierry Henry here? Not that I'm aware of. Defo not what I meant to do anyway. Calm down.
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02/04/2010 17:57:00

Henry was and always will be one of the foreign imports that is recognised as a great everywhere in this country. (Everywhere not biased anyway). I saw him a few times and cursed him on occasion for scoring against us but he was pure class. I thought that generally your crowd acknowledged his status and in returning the applause at the end of the game I thought he was simply saying thank you.
SFC Forever
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02/04/2010 21:45:00

It's observation not demonisation Jaelle. Thierry is probably the greatest player ever to wear an Arsenal shirt - in fact not really much probably about it. He knows it and he knows we know it but sometimes, and I don't even doubt that he is sincere, he does come across as a lonely family relative competing with your kids for your attention. In some ways I agree with you and it does seem a silly observation to make considering what he has achieved with us but he really needn't try so hard. Then again perhaps I'm wrong to see it that way - I dunno.
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02/04/2010 21:47:00

A true legend, a true gooner, he will always be loved and I will always love him for everything he did at Arsenal, and Im glad he got his chance to say goodbye. He can say whatever he wants at the end of the day his goals do all the talking
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02/04/2010 23:08:00

This new found 'lets attack Henry' thing is going too far though. The guy pureley waved his his old fans and favourite fans. Imagine if he didn't wave, you'd probably also be attacking that.
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04/04/2010 03:24:00


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