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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Henry Apologises, He Didn't Need To

Thierry Henry has publicly apologised for his confrontation with an Arsenal fan following the 3-2 defeat at Swansea on Sunday.

The Frenchman allegedly told the fan to "support his team" (along with an expletive or two) after the fan hurled abuse at the defeat Gunners after the final whistle.

An emotional Henry had encouraged the Arsenal players to thank the fans for their support after the game only to be met with a volley of abuse, and he responded in kind. The legendary striker later apologised for his actions.

'I was really shocked and disappointed on Sunday, and not just at the result,' Henry told The Sun. 'After the final whistle of a very tricky game, I insisted the whole team go and applaud the Arsenal supporters.

'When I arrived in front of our own fans, I couldn't understand the abuse the team were getting from one of them. I wanted to tell the fan in question that we need their support not abuse. The sentiment was right but in hindsight could have been better expressed."

'So I would like to first and foremost apologise for using inappropriate language to that particular 'supporter'."

'I didn't intend to be malicious or threatening and am aware that it could have been said in a calmer manner.'


Whilst Henry`s actions might not have been particularly professional I don`t feel he needed to apologise.

If fans think it`s ok to swear and abuse our own players for trying to do their job (Ok, they might have not done it that well) then I see no reason for the supporters to get all precious when someone points out, in a similar manner, that they`re not doing that great of a job themselves.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 17 2012

Time: 9:23AM

Your Comments

Did the supporters get precious?
shewore
I'm not saying all of them SW. But I've heard and seen some fans getting arsey over this. Don't dish it out if you can't take it I say!
Rocky7
Spot on Rocky.
alwaysgunner
Agreed with the writer. I'd love to live in a world where everybody could behave like a bloody adult without the media being so desperate to insist we be mortally offended. One adult said something to another adult, the other adult gave his point of view back. Where's the biggie? Tis culture of entitlement really *****es me off.
Little Dutch
I agree, but did anyone make a complaint? Not sure anyone's actually been offended by this. Just media ****stir and AFC PR machine making Henry issue a statement methinks. Rocky I agree that if you can't take it then don't give it. It's interesting though, remember Adebayor at City the other year, a similar sort of thing applies.
shewore
Maybe just "Don't dish it out", perhaps we could live by that? there's no need for anyone at a football ground to be shouting obscenities at anyone else (particularly with all those women and child around).

Unless Joey Barton's playing.
damiano_tommassi
I hope that's tongue in cheek.
shewore
Course. Anyone who screams abuse at someone else is acting without dignity and decency. No need for it. Whether it's racism, 'sit down you p-file', 'you're all a bunch of f in seas' or whatever.
damiano_tommassi
Storm in a teacup, I'd rather see negative supporter/team interaction than no interaction sometimes you just have to run the gauntlet, it's easier to disappear down the tunnel back into your fluffy isolated millionaire idyll. Win lose or draw the team should always acknowledge the efforts of those that spend hrs and much dough following away and you take the licks in the same manner as you do the praise. Although maybe Djourou could be excused given the wonder wall "Today is gonna be the day that we're gonna have to play Djourou" chant that went up lol.
nikolaijns
Perhaps in the same token we should be taking defeats in the same manner as we do the victories? With a bit of common sense. People seem to think that buying a football ticket entitles you to some kind of warrante that ensures you'll get something at least positive from the game. When in truth all it entitles you to is to see a football match.
Rocky7
Footballers need to grow a thicker skin. Its part of the package to get abuse. Stfu and start scoring some goals Henry...
Sajit
Nice that Henry repeated. But he shouldnt have reacted in the first place. Players get paid big money to act as model professionals - ie to take possible abuse and yet act professionally. Stupid to start reacting to every abuse you get. If you did that, there would be no end to it.
Sajit
Rocky I think it also entitles you to play a part in the overall football match and have some sort of impact (no matter how small) on it, also it enables you to get your point across (if there's enough of you). If it simply enabled you to turn up, sit down, shut up, then ppl wouldn't go, they'd stay at home and watch it on Sky Sports & ruin the complete spectacle you get with matches. Our players always seem to struggle to clap the away end when they lose, so it's nice that Henry's done this & agree with Niko that it's a massive storm in a teacup.
shewore
Everyones' different though aint they Rock, and everyone is at a different stage in their relationship with Arsenal, for every disgruntled bitter cynic who has been through a pack of straw filled camels' backs there is a wide eyed kid starting off on a red & white odyssey. Again I cannot condemn any Arsenal fans present for their reaction to that display because it's groundhog day all over, failure to do the basics, the same amateurish defensive suicide, I just cannot be arrised to list the same shortcomings that time after time the management has failed to address, to a point where it is now endemic, not just a malaise but endemic in the very fabric of the squad. That's what your ticket price should guarantee you with Arsenal, a professional, well drilled showing, can't always be the case but against an albeit decent Swansea? Against Fulham? Against Wolves? Against Blackburn? Dropping points from 4-0 up? The rollcall from this season and last just keeps on trucking, we're constantly told this team will learn lessons from these games but they never do. As Martin Samuels recently stated "Henry has no right to demand a devotion from the fans that he would not match. They didn’t quit after two seasons without a trophy, he did, and while his temporary return to our game is very welcome, that is all he is, a visitor, passing through on the way to his full-time job in America. He will be gone before the first blossoms of spring, unlike those he berated, who will be here through this bleak mid-winter, and the next, and the one after that"
nikolaijns
Simply put, fans will be fans so, model pros should be just that. The only reason this story is getting the air time it is rests on the fact of Henry's status as a pro and a world soccer legend. While the fans needed to be more gracious in defeat, he didn't have to respond to the spontaneous reaction of a fan or a pocket of fans in an agggressive way. I am not sure if a lot of fans lost any sleep over it until the papers took it up and Henry did a retraction. We are a family and should be allowed to have our 'fights' and resolve things like family, OURSELVES. Shewore makes a good point about the Adebayor @ City incident having a similar ring; only difference though is that Arsenal fans were opposition fans that day and Ade came to our section, taking the fight to us, so to say.
Naijagunner
Niko, Martin Samuels was rather harsh there. It was almost a slight on the legendary status of Henry to suggest he was a "deserter".
Naijagunner
Rather harsh it may be Naija but it's a valid point he makes in the article. I agree with this article that Henry has nothing to apologise for and I know there can be poison in the stands, but after that performance you're never gonna get the polite applause and cries of 'what ho, awfully hard cheese chaps' that someone above was calling for.
nikolaijns
Doug and Dinsdale eat yer 'eart out.
lordjohnny
Buying a ticket DOES NOT give you the right to abuse anyone, and being in a football stadium does not remove from you your responsibilities as a person.
damiano_tommassi
What denotes "abuse" Damiano? Can you remind me what was said to Thierry again? Are Arsenal fans allowed to sing about Redknapp's pending court date.. or is that too harsh for people's sensitive little ears?
shewore
Shewore, I'm sure you know what abuse is; the sort of stuff you wouldn't say on TV because you'd be arrested, you wouldn't sign your name to in a letter, you wouldn't say in front of your family, etc. but people feel happy to say when they're hidden anonymously in crowds of up to 70,000. Cowardly. There's a fine line between banter and abuse, as we all know, but we also know right from wrong. Me calling a mate of mine 'fat' might be considered funny amongst us - saying it to a stranger in the street is abusive. Screaming racism, singing songs about Adebayor and elephants, or Wenger and children, or Munich - that's abusive. Redknapp going to court? Factual and funny, I think.
damiano_tommassi
Right so there you go it's completely subjective. I think most people would tell you that those songs are wrong, but let's not over sanitise something that's becoming more and more like a gentile afternoon stroll or a visit to a big B&Q Warehouse instead of going to a football match with you know, an atmosphere.
shewore
It's very subjective (in all occasions where it doesn't cross the line into illegality, of course). See, you're presenting the argument the same way 'pundits' present the tackling argument; you can commit firm, strong, fair tackles without threatening someone's bone structure; and you can have atmosphere at a game of football without being abusive.
damiano_tommassi
I don't actually think you can, Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn't have played half as well against us if he wasn't getting gyp all the time, same with Rooney, other players, like Cole and a few others it actually affects. I remember Gary Neville being hooked off in a Manc Derby @ Maine Rd by Fergie cos he bottled the atmos, it plays a massive part. You need players in your team that thrive off the abuse, taking that away isn't something that'll happen in the future, thankfully. I'm not talking about tackles here that's completely different.
shewore
The debate around tackling recently has appeared to be 'what, you can't rattle into people with two feet, studs up, off the ground, from 10 yards away? They're trying to take tackling out of football', which to me is the most ridiculous and idiotic commonly-shared-football-based opinion I've heard in a long time. In my opinion, to say 'without abusive behaviour, there could not possibly be an atmosphere at a football ground' is similarly daft, and that's how I read your previous.

The fact that being abusive towards other players can sometimes make a difference to their behaviour doesn't change my opinion on it. If you kidnapped their kids it'd probably affect their performance too, it doesn't make it right.
damiano_tommassi
I love your morals, but unfortunately, in top level sport, there's no room for them. No matter how smaller part you play in it. I've already said above what I thought was wrong, giving Ronaldo abuse for being an arrogant **** is a good thing in my eyes.
shewore
There's room for morals in everything. If those with the power to control things don't have any interest in them, though, it becomes impossible to introduce them. I don't think those in charge of football here or around the world are the slightest bit interested in stamping out fan abuse, corruption, racism, etc. If they were they would've taken serious action against Blatter, or against clubs/nations that are repeatedly found guilty of abusing players.

What, do you think, is the difference between "giving Ronaldo abuse for being an arrogant ****" and calling Evra 'Negro', or racially abusing another player? Where's the distinction - you're allowed to be abusive and hurtful towards other people, unless it includes race? It's only racial abuse that counts as real abuse?
damiano_tommassi
I haven't come close to trying to define what constitutes "abuse",and I don't plan on doing so. I believe above somewhere you said as long it doesn't become illegal, which abuse of a racial nature would be. I don't really have too much interest in continuing this conversation, you keep on talking about different things instead of focussing on the main backbone of the article, corruption, tackles etc, merit a different debate entirely. If you wanted to sanitise football matches you'd have to strip it of all its working class roots, and transplant rugby, or opera fans into it. Even middle class journalists who feel they need to tell football fans how to behave don't even do that.
shewore
Shewore, you're failing to read my words as written. I won't waste my time on morons.
damiano_tommassi
Don't be so abusive.
shewore
Haha.. Daminao_tommasi after all the preaching resorts to absue. ***** off with the morals and ***** ok.
Sajit
Classless and brainless. You sure you're not Spurs fans?
damiano_tommassi
Just how do we confirm just what is "abuse", now Wikipedia is down for 24 hours? Shucks! Hehehehe!!
Naijagunner
d_t, they are Arsenal fans, I can assure you. It is just that they "thrive" best in the club's worst moments or periods of adversity.
Naijagunner
More gold from the confused mind of tomassi. Anyone who is abusive toward someone is acting without dignity and decency but only a few posts down the line his fellow posters are "morons, classless, brainless and spurs fans". The abuse dealt out anonymously in football stadia is "cowardly" but to do the same anonymously on a football forum toward your fellow supporters when your arguments fall apart is obviously the mark of an upstanding heroic individual.
nikolaijns
That was a good debate between shewore and d_t, until the latter got frustrated and threw his toys out the pram. No need to call anyone a moron, especially when they are eloquently expressing themselves. d_t - The thing that amuses me the most about this is that you are trying to imply that abuse towards players should be removed from the game because there's no place for it in football, and yet you manage to call shewore a "moron", "brainless", "classless" and "Spurs fan" within 200 words of this statement. If you get like this fighting your battles on your keyboard stallion, I dread to think what kind of thing comes out your mouth in the heat of the moment when you see Phil Dowd making his 863rd and most important wrong decision of a game. Or when you've travelled for 6 hours on a sweaty, smelly bus to see a sloppy last-gasp equaliser go in because of someone's laziness. In short, you defeated yourself in that argument. You proved that football can turn everyone (even you) into rabid, abusive yobs. And it's true. And that's why I love it. Over and out :)
Chipo
Don't apologise, you deserve each other. Henry is washed up, about time you got the message, why don't you bring back Tony Adams, Charlie Nicholas and Keown while your at it. Desparado's
YidEdy
 

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