Saturday, May 20, 2006

To accompany the announcement of Thierry Henry’s new contract with Arsenal, the BBC Sport website put together a page of comments about the event from various fans. Now, it’s hardly surprising that Arsenal fans have practically – in some cases, probably literally – been weeping with relief that he’s going to stay. But what’s really striking is the number of fans of other clubs who expressed their delight at his decision, and the fact that there wasn’t a single negative or even apathetic comment.

Henry is like the footballing equivalent of the Elgin Marbles: he’s not from Britain, but he’s a national treasure all the same and we’d really rather not lose him. In fact, he’s better than the Elgin Marbles because he chooses to stay here and so there isn’t the same sense of post-colonial guilt.

I don’t disagree with this mass jubilation: I’m similarly pleased that he’s staying and that we’ll still get to see him on a weekly basis. The Premiership would be a poorer spectacle if he left, and there’s surely a sneaking sense of pride that one of the world’s best players wants to play here. As well as being arguably the best footballer to have played here in decades, he’s an inspiration in terms of his attitude and I never cease to be amused by the fact that he actually does proper Gallic shrugs when he disagrees with an off-side decision. But does nobody in Britain have a bad word to say about this man?

The ex-Liverpool player Michael Robinson declared in today’s Guardian that Henry had demonstrated poor sportsmanship and a lack of dignity by complaining about the referee after the European Cup final. It’s notable, however, that Robinson did this from a safe distance, i.e. Spain. It’s obvious that he knows that such talk will not be tolerated in Britain, and so he has taken the coward’s way out, i.e. Spain. The offence might not have been so serious had he not zoned in on Henry’s dignity, when everybody knows that Henry is the most dignified footballer currently playing (admittedly this is not a hotly contested award).

Hence, I don’t expect to get much of a reaction when I ask: Does anybody not love Thierry Henry? If you don’t, leave your comments (with reasons) at the bottom, where they will be preserved for the ridicule of future visitors.

1 comment:

backcare said...

Thank you for your blogger about football,I’d like to exchange message with you:

Motto of different country FIFA2006 world cup team
1.We are football >Germany< on the road to gold Netherlands
3.Liberte,Egalite,Jules Rimet >France<
4.Never-ending legend,united Korea
5.2006,It's Swiss o'clock
6.A passion to win and a thirst to succeed
7.angola lead the way,our team is our people
8.get up,argentina are on the move
9.australia's socceroos-bound for glory
10.vehicle monitored by 180 million brazilian heart
11.our army is the team,our weapon is the ball,let's get to germany and give it our all Costarica
12.ecuador my life,football my passion,the cup my goal
13.come on the elephants!win the cup in style nation,one trophy,eleven lions ENGLAND
15.go black stars,the stars of our world > Ghana<
16.stars of Persia pride,italy in our hearts
18.light up your samurai spirit Japan the finals with fire in our hearts "> Croatia<
20.aztec passion across the world
21.from the heart of america...this is the guarani spirit
22.white and red,dangerous and brave >Poland<
23.with a flag in the window and a nation on the pitch,forca Portugal
24.the green hawks cannot be stopped > Saudi Arabia<
25.fight!show spirit!come on!you have the support of everyone >Sweden<
26.for the love of the game
27.spain,one country,one goal
28 with our support,ukraine cannot fail to win come the soca warriors-the fighting spirit of the Caribbean
30.belief and a lion's strength,for victory and our fans > Czech<
31.the carthage eagles...higher and stronger than ever
32.united we play,united we win>UNITED STATE<

Dr Han (Super football fans)
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