Arsenal - Thierry's Final Farewell?
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Thierry's Final Farewell?

Arsenal`s record goalscorer and the apple of many a Gooner eye, Thierry Henry has admitted that he "hasn`t thought about" how he will sign off his second stint at Arsenal after Wednesday night`s encounter in Milan. Having already secured two late winners and a last gasp goal against Blackburn last week, Henry has ensured his league and cup sojourns have been an unqualified success. But with the Frenchman`s return to Champions League action on Wednesday and his last game before jetting back to his New York pied a terre (for surely London is his home?), even the least romantic Gooner cannot deny themselves a daydream about a prospective Henry goal in the San Siro- the setting for one of his greatest Arsenal triumphs.

In line with the role he has played in his second stint, Henry urges that his professionalism has prevented him from dreaming of another fairytale, "I just want to help Arsenal on the night. I am an Arsenal player for one more game. Milan is another type of game and it`s never easy to win away in the Champions League." Henry has rather excelled in the role of elder statesman- a role I must confess I doubted he could ever fill. His influence appears to have been positive- from training ground testimonies, to the image of Henry thumping his fists from the sidelines as a chance goes begging. Possibly the best indicator of the rapport he has created would be the reaction of his teammates to each of his goals.

However, there`s always a sense that the vaudevillian in Henry is always lurking. Endearingly, you can tell that he recognises and appreciates the romance of his fairytale return. On the Arsenal Legend DVD released in 2007, a return to the club was put to Henry and he answered, with typical Gallic charm, "You always come back to where you belong." Even then, Henry can`t seriously have thought that reprieve would come as a player. So when Henry was put the question of a third return, it`s perhaps unsurprising he playfully answered, "When it comes to Arsenal, it`s difficult to say no."

This was before adding, presumably with a string heavy, weepy tune playing over the top, "One day if they need any help, I will be around." It`s achingly fashionable amongst supporters to urge their clubs to hand out "ambassadorial" roles willy nilly, without ever actually considering what it is an ambassador actually does or whether the return from such a role is worth wage bill space. (For all the hand wringing about Vieira`s 'Development` role at City being an opportunity missed by Arsenal, can someone tell me what that job entails for eight hours a day and why exactly it is such a missed opportunity?) However, given Henry`s effect on the squad this time around, questions will persist as to whether he returns post retirement. Particularly as you can hardly see the man himself doing anything to douse that innuendo. You rather imagine he`d be happy to come back and clean the bogs. LD.

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

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 13 2012

Time: 3:41PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Was a great player in a great team... now sadly a crap player in a even worse team. COYS
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13/02/2012 15:44:00

Sounds like someone's very relieved he can't play on the 26th?
Little Dutch
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13/02/2012 15:59:00

I am if im on honest.
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13/02/2012 16:09:00

A crap player who has scored 3 goals in 6 games (A little over 90 minutes of football truth be told) Two winning goals and another that helped put us in a CL place. Pubplayerlechenko or Defoe would love those stats.

I think Henry will always be around the club in some capacity, a love affair that will only end when the club ends or he does.
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13/02/2012 21:18:00

Tbh i was looking forward to the NLD before he signed because i believe we will win. When he signed and scored against Leeds and the commentator said his last game was against us i felt sick. He used to destroy us and it was a mental thing just as much as his ability. He's the last hurrah of Wengers glorious past that is thankfully over. He will be gone, and rightly or wrongly i'm no longer scared. The league table doesnt lie & we are a better team than you these days imo.
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14/02/2012 00:18:00

And we will be signing there long term target Hazard HuddersfieldYiddo. I would say the tide has turned. About time!
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14/02/2012 00:30:00

Keep your panties dry girls, no tide has turned, it's just a freak ripple.
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14/02/2012 02:39:00

ye sure niko.
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14/02/2012 02:47:00

You keep Hazard..We getting Sessegnon.... :)
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14/02/2012 05:04:00

I doubted Henry too .. but hes more than made up for that.
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14/02/2012 05:07:00

If there's one thing I didn't doubt about Henry it was his desire to play for us, not for himself or to enhance his own reputation, but for the team. That's what players like Giggs/Scholes/Henry add to a team. It's arguably one of the reasons that Man United with probably the weakest team in the top 4 still do so well.
Arsenales F.C
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14/02/2012 06:41:00

Spurs fans should just be thankful we're not signing Pires for a one game loan
Ozi Gooner
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14/02/2012 07:20:00

Henry's return has been a success. However, it just shows that Wenger may have missed a trick like this for the past 3-4 seasons where the value of experience has proved so valuable. Sol did help for a bit, as did Lehmann, but if we had 3-4 players in this mould on a permanent basis for a season, it could have reduced some of the problems in the recent past.
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14/02/2012 10:23:00

The table doesn't lie at the end of the season Spurs fans, it does through the season .... remember 06? It will be hard for us to catch you, but if anyone can eff it up it's you guys :)
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14/02/2012 11:28:00

Pires used to rape us. Rocky7 i do remember, but i also remember our fullbacks were lee young pyo and paul staltieri that year., Mido upfront...Hossam Ghaly etc. We we're punching above our weight, and your great team started to crumble that year. Thank goodness times change. Looking forward to FFP where we both start competing
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14/02/2012 21:41:00

To be fair, I've resigned to Sp*rs finishing above us. But 4th place is still on.
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15/02/2012 14:55:00

The vaudevillian indeed - you should re-post your very perceptive summary of Henry's personality. He is my absolute favourite player and the reason why I follow football and support Arsenal. Henry has indeed grown and matured since he left us and has burnished his legend. But I'm quite glad he's going now. We've all had closure, he's had a chance to relive a dream he thought was gone for ever and he has helped the team at a critical time, he's mainly stayed fit - we're quitting while we're ahead. The impression he has made on players like AOC will last longer because of the brevity of his return visit and now they can carry the torch.
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15/02/2012 16:38:00

hey Sajitii, why don't you tell the midget to pay up the 3,000 then
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15/02/2012 20:32:00

O M D, KPB is ripping you lot to shreds, tut tut. tut
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15/02/2012 20:34:00

Well i must say that inspired substitution was a master stroke 3-0, and a great fairwell he shall have ..... I'll get the sausage rolls in
Report Abuse
15/02/2012 21:01:00

Apparently wenker studied the Milan v Spurs game, then just changed a few things to complete his preparation ...... hhhhmmmmm
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15/02/2012 21:08:00


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