Monday, January 9, 2012

The Return of the King...Thierry Henry Adds to His Legendary Arsenal Status

The King returns
Thierry Henry! There's nothing else to say. The name says it all.

Arsenal's all time leading goal scorer left the club five years ago to sign with Barcelona and has since moved on to New York and the Red Bulls. His heart, however, has never left North London and he is still and will always be revered by the Arsenal faithful.
Henry salutes the fans
So, when the MLS season ended Henry returned to London. His intention was to stay in match shape during the MLS off season by training with the Arsenal first team. It wasn't long before rumors started to build that Henry would return to Arsenal on loan until the start of the new Red Bulls season. Then last week, it became official
Henry shoots
Henry is now 34 which for a football player is considered "old". Despite losing a bit of pace, he still possesses more talent and skill than most players ever will. Plus, Henry's presence at Arsenal alone is enough to lift the club and its fans.
Henry scores
Then came today's FA Cup 3rd round match versus Leeds at The Emirates. Henry was named to the squad and started the game on the bench. Just the sight of him warming up made the crowd go nuts.
Henry celebrates
As too often seems to be the case, Arsenal were dominating the possession, but their finishing was awful. The crowd had been chanting Thierry Henry's name throughout the match and it was inevitable that he would come on as a sub.
1-0 to The Arsenal courtesy of Thierry Henry
Henry came on in the 68th minute along with Theo Walcott. Ten minutes later a brilliant pass from Alex Song found Henry who coolly slotted home the only goal of the game.  The crowd went nuts, the commentators were yelling and Henry showed such exuberance and joy that I'm sure many fans (even big tough guys) shed some tears. Seeing Henry salute the fans and immediately run over to hug Arsene Wenger was amazing. It was better than any Hollywood movie. It's as if whatever higher power there is out there is a Gooner. It was truly written in the stars. It was one of the greatest Gooner moments in recent history.

Henry celebrates the victory
One thing that does need to be addressed is the vitriol coming from the inevitable "haters" (mostly from Spuds fans). Comments such as "it's only Leeds" and "Arsenal were lucky to win" were interspersed with hundreds of tweets from happy Gooners. What these idiots seem to be missing is that this was a celebration more about welcoming back a hero than simply beating Leeds.  It is a feel good story that was magical and brought happiness to so many. It is worthy of a massive celebration.
The script was written
Here's the goal and what the press had to say about the return of "the king" Thierry Henry.

BBC Football - Arsenal 1-0 Leeds   
The Guardian - Thierry Henry Revils in 'dream' return to Arsenal against Leeds United           
Guardian Blog - Fans go wild for Thierry Henry, the genius who writes his own scripts
Daily Mail - It was written in the stars...Henry's sensational return to Arsenal in pictures
Red Bulls website - Photo Gallery: Thierry Henry's Return To Arsenal

Henry celebrates with the boss
Telegraph - Arsenal 1 Leeds United 0
Daily Express - Arsenal Boss Arsene Wenger In Dreamland At A Legend's Return
ESPN Written in the stars - Written In The Stars
Telegraph - Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger says 'it was like a dream' when Thierry Henry scored winner 
Daily Mail - Arsenal 1 Leeds 0: Va-Va Boom! A classic touch, a clinical strike. King Henry reigns again
Daily Mail - Henry Savours Magical FA Cup Moment After Netting Winner on Stunning Return to Arsenal

No comments:

Post a Comment