December 16, 2014

Tell Your Kids About Him

By Michael Clements

Thierry Henry officially retired from football Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 and although the sport has seen the end of a supreme talent, we'll get to see rip Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville apart on a regular basis now, as he joins Sky Sports as a 'Football Expert'. That he is.

Some are disappointed not to see him take up a role at Arsenal, but I think it's just a matter of time before we see him somewhere at the club. We'd be stupid not to utilize someone of that quality in some way, shape or form. Imagine training along side that bloke, if that's not motivation I don't know what is. Install some of his natural passion about winning and everything Arsenal into this squad can only be a good thing.

Now, the purpose of blogs is to spout off opinions, but when it comes to Thierry Henry there are no opinions, just fact. Thierry Henry was the greatest player to grace the field at both Highbury and The Emirates. Arsenal were lucky to have him, the Premiership was lucky to have him and, perhaps unknown to them, France were extremely lucky to have him.

Thierry Henry joined Arsenal Football Club in 1999 after a brief stint at Juventus. More important to both his career and his eventual move to Arsenal was the fact he started his career with none other than Arsene Wenger at Monaco. It was the elder Frenchman who played the most important role in getting him in an Arsenal shirt and moulding him the one of the world's great strikers. After beginning his career as a winger, it was Arsene who managed to convince Henry that he was destined to play up front. The rest of his career, and his greatest moments as a footballer came in the forward role, which seemed to be the role in which he was born to play.

Two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two Community Shields was what he helped give to the Arsenal fans and it will never be forgotten. Some of the most spectacular goals we've witnessed were scored by this man and those, too will always stick in the memories of Arsenal fans.

It was the immense, yet classy Ian Wright who gave up his all-time Arsenal scoring record to Henry, as the Frenchman went on to score a massive total of 228 goals for Arsenal Football Club, a record that will no doubt stand for decades to come. It was only when the Arsenal legend was wooed by Spanish giants Barcelona did he decide to leave his home in North London. Henry fared well in Spain, winning the illustrious Champions League - a feat he was unable to attain at Arsenal.

After 3 years at Barca, Henry joined American outfit, the New
York Red Bulls - a move that was not only big money, but big expectations in his role as he played a huge part in gaining popularity for the sport in the United States. The Arsenal man did make a comeback for The Gunners, joining us on loan in 2012, making 5 appearances and scoring the winner in an FA Cup game against Leeds.

"I played in some big games for Arsenal, Barcelona, France, Juve, Monaco... nothing will ever top that night for me. I really thought I was in a dream. I remember staying in the dressing room for two hours just contemplating. To score a goal again for Arsenal was out of this world." 
- Thierry Henry, referring to his FA Cup goal against Leeds in 2012.

The stuff this fella produced for Arsenal was absolute magic, and proved a vital part of our most successful era as a club. Take a look at some of the comments made by his peers after the announcement of his retirement from football;

"Defenders everywhere will be breathing a sigh of relief that he has hung his boots up, he was certainly the toughest opponent I ever faced and possibly the best player the Premier League has ever seen." 
- Jamie Carragher (former Liverpool defender)

"His game was built around incredibly pace, power and finishing, not to mention the ability to read the game better than most." 
- Jamie Redknapp (who cares)

"We were blessed in this country to see Thierry playing at his peak, potentially one of the greatest players in the world and even if you supported another team you couldn't help but enjoy watching him play." 
- Gary Neville (wanker)

"He could do most things a footballer wanted to do. He could dribble, he could head, his control and his technique were excellent," 
- Alan Shearer (former Newcastle striker)