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Decoding The Return Of Thierry Henry – Arsenal Paradox: From A Life Long Gooner

Thierry Henry celebration

As Thierry Henry is tipped for a return to Arsenal, where he is worshipped, we take a look at why the Gunners never quite replaced the Frenchman. Soccer Acme Blogger Chirayato Banerjee pens his thoughts…

Finally, it has happened. Thierry Henry has announced that at the end of his contract, he is not returning to MLS side LA Galaxy. Is this an early Christmas present for the Gunners all over the globe?

Now that the cat is out of the bag, speculations are rife.  What is the next move? Is he going to end his career as a player at Arsenal? Are we going to see him as an assistant striking coach with Arsene Wenger? Or is he the most eligible successor to Monsieur Wenger? The possibilities are endless. The King himself has suggested that he will be associated with Arsenal in some manner.

All that glitters is not gold

This seems hunky dory to any Arsenal and Henry fan. But as a well-wisher of the club, there is an inherent point to ponder. Today, at 37, Henry is still needed to save the club from its woes. In 2011-12, when Manchester United blanked the Gunners 8-2, he was called on. He came, he scored, he lifted the spirits, and the club was in safe waters.

As an ardent Gooner, I shudder, at the thought of losing out on Champions League action. Well, thanks to TH14, it did not happen. King Henry is there whenever Arsenal needs him. The real question however remains; why the club could not produce any able successor after the Frenchman left the club for Barcelona FC? There have been players who came in and left but just could not garner that reliability which is associated with the name, Thierry Henry.

Will the King return again?

Will the King return again?

The likes of Bendtner, Park, Chamakh, Gervinho- they came and played for the Gunners. But their impact was quite negligible; so much so that, all of them are plying their trade elsewhere now. An exception was maybe Robin van Persie, but he too failed to stick on. Henry had been through the club during its good and bad times. Well, the fact of the matter is, with him around, there can hardly be any bad times.

Anybody dare to stand up to challenge TH14?

These days we have prodigal talents who run the opposition riot with their craftsmanship. The sublime touches or that flashy skill thwarts the defenders. Be it Messi, Ronaldo, Hazard, or Diego Costa. They are brilliant players with impeccable ability. However, the issue is, with regard to their impact on the team, in the dressing room. These players will not be able to stand up and lead when the morale of the entire team has taken a beating. The credibility is not questioned. Currently, these are the best players of the world. However, it is the stature that creates the difference.

Thierry Henry Arsenal Return

Only one King!

That was the kind of belief and confidence that the mere presence of the talismanic French striker injected in the team. The belief that we too can beat the top teams had vanished after that shocker of a game against United. Arsene Wenger realized this and called on his trusted disciple. Reposing faith in his gaffer, Henry performed and the team turned around. Till date, nobody could have created this kind of an outcome for his team.

We have excellent players who are magical on the field. Off the field, these players have fans who worship them maybe. It nowhere comes close to the effect that King Henry has on his fans as well as enemies. During the 2003-04 season when Arsenal were crowned the ‘the Invincibles’, rival supporters could not hate him anymore. Respect overshadowed any form of negativity and the rise of the Frenchman was acknowledged. Till date, nobody can seem to find a better player to grace the English Premier League. (Yes, that is what it used to be called when the King ruled)

Is it the style of play or just oodles of talent?

When Thierry Henry used to break down the opponents’ defence, he was unstoppable. That ravaging run with the ball, used to wreak havoc on the opposition. The sight of him running towards you, with the ball at his feet caused unrest in the backline. That kind of an aura cannot be replicated. Nowadays, players are endowed with trickery, but the fear, the panic, that a Henry run would generate, is missing. His surging runs were lethal and scoring goals after starting from the halfway, was a common feat for him. That, surely, is not to be found anymore.

Thierry Henry Arsenal Return

I want You back Baby

Messi can dribble past an entire fleet of defenders; Ronaldo can dazzle the opposition with his free kicks and nutmegs. The Frenchman was a perfect combination of both. His strength did not allow defenders to foul him; his pace did not let anybody catch up with him. If he had stepped on the gas, then it was goal from the word go. Rarely, such runs would be stopped and definitely, it would not be a legitimate tackle. Henry, as a player would train hard and that used to reflect in his performance. The strength, the indomitable speed, it was unvanquished.

To a neutral, it may seem like a desperate rant from a Henry fanatic; but are there any neutrals when it comes to King Henry? That certainly is a massive question to answer.

Arsenal needs him, always…

The bottom line is he is needed at Emirates. At any given point of time, even if Arsenal is leading the race, 12 points adrift, his presence might just lead to another Invincible season. When the club is battling off a tough fight for the top 4, TH14 scores and suddenly it becomes all too easy.

On his second homecoming at Arsenal: It's all so easy

On his second homecoming at Arsenal: It’s all so easy

That is why, still today, arrival of King Henry ushers in colossal amounts of faith, relief to the club and its supporters. His integrity towards Arsenal is unmatched. Football today is ruled with money and professionalism. Players like Henry create the difference between winning a game and winning hearts if the supporters of the beautiful game.

So, if the King, at the sunset of his playing career, decides to grace the field for Arsenal, it would be a moment of sheer euphoria. If he is at the dug-out motivating the players, then it would be a sight which any Arsenal fan will die for. In the end, there is only one King and he cannot be replaced.

Vive le Thierry Henry!!

Thanks to our friends at socceracme

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