Morning, delightful creatures.
As you might expect in light of his retirement, the column inches throughout media outlets and blogs are taken up with praise for the great Thierry Henry. As an Arsenal fan, it would be close to sacrilege to not dedicate even a few words to the man who gave us so much.
Where to begin? There are ample superlatives in the English language, a plethora of appropriate words at a writers disposal. However, none seem enough as I’m typing – brilliant, awesome, incredible, fantastic, wonderful…. All perfectly acceptable descriptions of Thierry Henry, but somehow lacking. In my eyes, the man was more than that.
Looking back at his career, he was something else – a player so breathtakingly talented that it’s easy to ponder whether he was birthed in a distant realm and is not of this planet. Thierry had everything; pace, skill, technique, desire and an ethic to the team that saw him regularly chalk up assists for teammates. On of the best descriptions I’ve ever heard of him was this:
Watching Thierry is like watching an 18-year-old play in a game for under 12s
I forget exactly who is responsible for that quote, but it’s always stayed with me. At times, the combination of Thierry’s talents could make even the staunchest and tactically aware of defenders look extremely foolish. Jamie Carragher, a superb defender in his time at Liverpool, was one of many regularly turned inside-out by Henry’s brilliance.
His retirement brings to a close a fabulous career in which he won every honour within the game. For his prime he was an Arsenal player, an ‘Invincible’ and a record breaker in the scoring charts. He’ll be remembered as one of the greatest Premiership players of all time, not just by me and fellow Gooners, but by football fans of all persuasions across the globe.
Over on the Goonersphere blog site, Dan Betts took the time to compile a list of Thierry Henry’s top 20 goals in an Arsenal shirt. If you’re keen to wallow in glorious nostalgia, I recommend you give it a whirl.
Elsewhere, my personal favourite member of The Invincibles, Gilberto Silva, is rumoured to being weighing up an offer from Arsenal to take a coaching role. Whilst the story does have undeniable elements of hogwash to it, it’s an idea I really like. When I see Patrick Vieira in his role at Manchester City, I can’t help but feel we missed an opportunity. Having a member, a vital member at that, of The Invincibles passing down his knowledge to the squad could only be a good thing.
Gilberto was one of the un-sung members of that famous Arsenal team. Whilst others waltzed around the opponents half displaying moments of skill and finesse, the Brazilian “Invisible Wall” sat diligently is his position shielding the back four. He broke up attacks and he kept our play ticking over. He was vastly important. Someone as positionally disciplined and tactically astute coaching our current defenders could only be a good thing.
That’s all I’ve got to say today, folks. However, before leaving I feel I should share with you the latest Goonersphere Podcast. The regular bunch of scallywags and dubious characters discuss the recent Arsenal performances and renowned reggae artist, Crucial Jok makes his debut appearance – something that is truly a work of unbridled genius.
Here it is folks, enjoy.
The comments await you below should you wish to discuss anything I’ve mentioned, or simply because you need an avenue to purge yourself of troublesome inner-demons. Feel free either way.
I’ll be back soon with more. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading (and listening), you beautiful bastards.