We’re a bit in the doldrums here at Arsenal Arsenal. At the moment we’re still numb from the defeat on Sunday and finding it hard to be upbeat and forward thinking. Our twin posts today are in celebration of the return of Thierry Henry. Hopefully our bloggers will come out from behind the sofa and remember the positives of this season so far, but don’t let that stop you commenting on where we go from here.
Written by Total Arsenal
On Monday 9th January 2012, we, the Gooners, witnessed a truly special moment. The return of King Henry to the Home of Football was not just a joyous occasion, it was also magical; even a near-spiritual, transcendental experience for all those present at The Emirates and, to a lesser extent, to those who watched the game in pubs or at home. What made it all the more special was Henry’s response to the occasion: he, himself, wanted this return so much, but just like us had not believed it possible anymore. From an unknown player he had grown into a legend at Arsenal, to then become an ex-player and transform in a fan for life. This fan was given the unique opportunity to play for the club he had fallen in love with. For TH14/12 this meant the world.
On these rare moments, when a pivotal part of the glorious Arsenal past is brought back into the future, and we are being allowed – against all expectations – to experience it once again in its full intensity, we all know we are witnessing/taking part in something truly special.
The scene was set beautifully for Thierry. Arsenal were struggling to break down a stubborn Leeds to such an extent that the return of Henry was not just a luxury Arsene could afford itself – no, it had become a necessity. We needed a shot in the arm, a spark to lift the place and that is exactly what he gave us that night.
What followed next will be remembered by every Gooner for decades to come. Thierry’s goal was a good goal, but by itself not a great goal. What made it a great goal is totally down to its historical value. It was a trademark Henry goal, showing us all again how important it is for a player to move in the right positions, and what it means for a striker to make a great first touch in the box. He basically took on the ball in such a way that he used his right foot like a hockey stick: at the same time as he touched the ball with his foot he allowed his body to move ever so slightly away from the ball, in order to line himself up perfectly for a deadly second touch. He sat himself up with the best possible angle to place his diagonal shot, low and precise, past the keeper and in the corner of the goal.
At that moment in time I literally pinched myself, thinking this is too bizarre to be true, that I must be dreaming. I had never expected to see one of my three greatest Arsenal heroes back playing real football for us. To see him score such a quintessential TH14 goal, the only goal on a dull night, was simply magical.
When something truly special happens, people will express themselves in heartfelt superlatives. To prove just that, here are some of the comments from fellow AA’ers:
Peaches: Thierry ……. ahhhh Thierry, he just loves playing for Arsenal and we just love having him back. How fantastic for those youngsters to play and train alongside him for the next few weeks. Almost too good to be true and I was there.’…. ‘We can discuss formations and players good and bad points for eternity but tonight one man and his song and our song raised the roof at The Emirates and made thousands of gooners very happy. He’s really special our Thierry Henry, be in no doubt ………
MickyDidIt89: ‘We [Micky and his son] watched the game. First half…dull, but the conversation kept coming. “Just imagine Dad, 0-0, maybe 1-1 and Thierry comes on to score the winner”. Later I put him to bed, kissed him goodnight and turned off the light. As I closed the door I heard a whisper: “Dad….can’t wait to tell my friends at school tomorrow that I saw Thierry come on and score the winner for The Arsenal”.
Best part for me? Not TH, not the win but being with my Son the moment he experienced his first real piece of Arsenal Magic.’
Chas: ‘I’ve never seen excitement like that in an Emirates upper tier crowd. People on their feet singing and dancing, it really was the second coming……A bizarre night at the football, as if it was scripted, yet pulsing with an expectant excitement.’
VCC: ‘Needless to say we had a ball last night down our local, high fives all round after The King scored.’
Big Raddy: ‘Does it get better than that moment? To be treasured forever.’
SharkeySure: ‘A living eulogy !!!!!’
TMHT: ‘Thierry and Arsenal is like a fairytale. Wonderful stuff.’
FGG: ‘I’ve died and gone to heaven!’
Seven days on from that fantastic evening, our feet have been put firmly back on the ground again. However tough the next few months MIGHT be though, nobody will be able to take that great night, in which we witnessed the temporary return of the King, away from us. A night we will remember for decades to come – a modern day fairytale.
Written by Illybongani
On Monday night the Emirates stadium witnessed the rebirth of one of football’s all-time greats – Thierry Henry. Almost 5 years since he left for greener grass in Spain the mercurial goal machine returned home to visit his family after travelling round a bit to see the world.
When the loan deal was first mooted a few eyebrows were raised; was it just Arsène being tight and not bothering to put is short arms in his long pockets again? Was it just a sentimental grab for a handful of straw that would only sully a reputation cast in bronze on the plaza outside the stadium? Or was it another shrewd piece of business by the Professor to fill in gaps left by Chamakh and Gervinho who have gone off to the African Nations Cup?
Well we found out on Monday night didn’t we? If he doesn’t score another goal in his 6-week home visit then it will all have been worth it. Someone needs to get on Wikipedia and update that scoring record.
Thierry coming home was like having sex with your ex-wife…you know it used to be good, she knew what turned you on and almost always delivered – but after a long break, she’s put on a few pounds and has a few wrinkles. But, heh, maybe she’s learned some new tricks since the break up! Well she managed to give me a semi on Monday!
Well it wasn’t a new trick, it was the same old stuff that he delivered year after year. Clinical with passion. But this time it felt so much more special. But yet it showed just how far backwards we have gone since he left. The poor performance of the rest of the team against an even poorer Leeds left a sour taste in the mouth.
Isn’t it time we divorced Chamakh and Arshavin on the grounds of diminished ability? And maybe it’s time to end the trial separation of Thierry and us? We forgive you darling – now come home where you belong.