LOL, when credit is due you have to give it. He had a very good outing today, hope to see more consistency and more of that.
Pep must have a headache now as in who to put up front. IMO, Eto'o should be up there hands down, but Henry played pretty well today down the flank and managed to cause a lot of problems for Valencia's defence.
Henry was the shizzle tonight. It's annoying though, with Eto'o out he probably felt he needed to get more involved, which makes it clear that his poor performances are NOT because he simply does not have it in him, but rather that he's just not doing enough most of the time.
More of this from now on, and everyone will like him, simple as.
difference in his game was that he finally made those interior runs instead of trying to make his game only on the wings. he was confident to enter into the space of the center forward and he showed his class in front of goal. good for him.
I feel that he did it because there was no clear striker on the pitch except him in our team. Would he do the same if Eto'o was on the pitch? So far he hasn't although I'm not certain if that is because of Pep's instructions or not.
This is a very nice in depth interview with Henry. I'm not sure if anyone read this before in Sport just a couple of days ago but I was just able to read it translated in English from FCBlog. He talks about everything from football, woman, music, politics, marriage, life...to his wrist kissing celebration...well kinda! p
Great interview! :thumbsup:
Henry: "I'm a bit of a loner because of my youth"
Barcelona player Thierry Henry gave an interview to Catalan sports paper Sport.
We'll talk about everything. It's not that I'm bored with football, I love the game. But it's good to talk some more about other things. Only talking about football is fatiguing.
They accuse you of being disgruntled.
It's now one and a half year that I'm talking about the same things, answering the same questions. When you talk about other things, about the city, about where I come from, what I'm thinking of, that's when you are able to get to know a person. There are a lot of things behind the person you see.
Well, let's start with Les Ulis, the place where you were born.
It's a district a few kilometers from Paris. I learned a lot of things out on the street. If I could choose, I would do it all again. I am who I am thanks to my father. I saw hard things when I was a child but I was lucky to have very correct parents. Sometimes I didn't understand why my friends could go out at night. They came looking for me at my place and I saw them through the window. That frustrated me. While they were enjoying themselves outside, I asked my mother why I couldn't go out. The answer was always 'no' and it hurt a lot.
You're describing a complicated adolescence?
Almost all my friends from that time are in prison now. It wasn't easy to get out of there. But I understand that if you're a father, you need to be severe in a neighbourhood like that. Ours was complicated, although it wasn't a slum area. There are a lot of young guys who don't listen to their parents and that's a problem. Mine were strict but that way I was able to get somewhere.
Tell me something about your family.
My mother is Maryse and my father Antoine. I have two brothers, Willy and Dimitry, my half-brother. My father left home when I was eight years old. I left the area when my father went away although I never stopped seeing him. When I got out of there, it was clear to me that I had to walk a straight line in my life. I felt that I had to do something. I was alone in the house with my mother, Willy was in the army and I noticed that I was unsettled.
This has affected you?
People don't understand why I'm a bit of a loner but that's the reason. My brother was in the army and I was at home alone, being eleven years old. I felt like I was the only child. I couldn't go out and that explains why I like to be alone. I had to do something and, luckily, football was a way to escape.
How did you start playing?
I started at Les Ulis, thanks to my father. I was just trying to make him feel happy. He took me to the stadium and I saw that he was more happy than I when I was playing. All children want to do something for their father, but at that time football wasn't the number one priority in my life.
Henry: "I find peace in Guadeloupe"
Your family originally comes from Martinique and Guadeloupe. You're in touch with those roots?
A person looks for himself and when I was trying to build my personality I didn't forget that's were my parents came from, despite being born and raised in Les Ulis. I knew the music, the culture, the food, they spoke Creole to me. One always looks for his roots and when I travel there, that's where I find peace.
You feel at home there?
When I go there, I feel naked. Nobody watches me. When France won the World Cup, I went on holiday to Guadeloupe, more specifically to La Désirade, a small island. There were celebrations but the look of the people is different. Everything is more normal. The day I arrived, there was a dinner at the house, they played bongo, everybody came to my house to sing... But the next day, everything was over! I'm just walking around in shorts, I drive around on my Vespa, wearing no shoes.
You're describing paradise.
It is. To me, those are incredible moments, life to the fullest. Sometimes people think I'm dull, but that's not the case. What happens is that I don't understand euphoria. I've been playing football for fourteen years but I still have a hard time understanding that. I'm always very calm. I would like to be the Thierry Henry from La Desirade, the son of Antoine and Maryse. I like to go unnoticed and that's why I also like to go to the United States.
Do you like the anonymity?
I find it hard to understand that people think that football players are different. We are not. Yes, I'm a football player but I have good days, bad days, problems like everyone, feeling happy, feeling sad...
You have been described as a loner.
I like to be alone, sometimes. It reminds me of my youth. It's a way of living. I also like to be with my friends but my life has always been like that. At Arsenal, at Monaco, I always liked to stay at home alone.
Do you feel fortunate?
I make a life of my passion, which is football, but it's not easy to get there. I feel privileged because there are people who have a job for which they wake up at five o'clock in the morning and on their way they're thinking about how they don't like what they're doing.
You feel like you didn't yet show the real Thierry Henry here?
It was the same in England. Or I didn't talk, or I talked very little. For me, the important thing is to be sincere and to talk when you feel the need to do it. In the world of football there are people who do things without feeling them, in an artificial way and that's not my style because I'm honest and you get what you see. In England, they asked me why I didn't celebrate my goals. I will explain you something.
Tell me, tell me...
I was around ten years old. I had played a match during which I had scored six goals. I sat in the car with my father and he looked very serious. I asked him what was going on and he asked me if I was happy. I replied that I was but he blamed me for missing a centre in the tenth minute and a goal in the fourteenth minute and a control... Every game, it was like that! Since then, when I score a goal, I thought more about the chance I have failed before than about celebrating. My father didn't talk about the good things and I grew up thinking about how to improve my mistakes.
Does it worry you that people might have a wrong image of you?
Look. When the season began, a month after having played at Numancia, I still was questioning my performance in that match. I have blood in my veins. What happens is that when I'm angry, you can notice it a lot.
Which is normal...
It's my sport, my life but you cannot only judge a person by his work. When I'm playing, I cannot smile. I had a though upbringing and I always keep my parents in mind. When an actor plays a sympathetic role, that doesn't mean he's a nice guy for 24 hours.
Henry: "Kurt Cobain was a genius"
What did you meet when you joined Barça?
Arriving here was a 'shock' because of the timetables, the travels. In England, the press or the fans never traveled with us. And we didn't have fans close during training sessions. If we wanted, we didn't see anyone. I adore quietness but here you can't be relaxed. It was a radical change. In England we had a private zone at the airports and on my first trip with Barça I was overwhelmed.
And regarding football?
It's different. The passion in the Premier League is unrivalled. The intensity, the fans...
Is there selfishness in football?
It's logic. A great football player has a bigger ego than normal, and that's why he's great. I played with Dennis Bergkamp, an incredible guy. They called him 'Ice Man' because he never smiled but in the dressing room he was the bomb. He had an impeccable attitude. Great players have something extra, an element that others don't have. Football is complicated because you must have a selfishness that helps the team. If you can pass the ball but instead you score yourself and you help the team by that, that's good.
You have to communicate with each other?
It's vital. You have to learn from others. In your family, with friends, with your partner, at work. I have a lot of Muslim friends and I like to talk with them about their religion. I like to understand their traditions. To know a man, you need to know his past, his origins, his roots.
Are you religious?
I was born and raised as a catholic but I don't practice it.
Is it clear to you who your friends are?
It is complicated because you're approached by too many people. When I started playing football, I had many friends. When I made my debut at Monaco, we won the league. I was a regular and the best player in France but it was hard trying to maintain the same level in the second year. I didn't play well, I had difficulties keeping my level and I had a really hard time. People said that I was not going to go to the World Cup and I had a breakdown. There are still people who believe that everything was given to me the easy way but I know very well who my friends are.
You prefer to be the best or the first?
I've said it many times but people think it's just some cheap way of making myself interesting. I could be the best player of the season or the top goalscorer but the most important thing is the team. Never in my life have I put my personal benefit first.
Who did you admire when you were young?
Van Basten and Michael Jordan. That seriousness in his face!
You like music?
Music is very important for me. I can tell you where I was the first time I heard a song. I like to go back to places where I spent my youth. With the music of Kassav' I can travel to Martinique, to Guadeloupe, recall things I did at home. With hip hop, on the other hand, I return to my neighbourhood. Music allows me to dream, to travel. I sit down in my couch, I put some music on and I'm off. I have a broad taste. I listen to Kassav', Nirvana, Kurt Cobain was a genius, Aerosmith, Luther Vandross, The Commodores, Al Green, Ray Charles, Public Enemy, 50 Cent, Eminem, Jay Z. Groups and singers who transmit something.
Henry: "I'm tired, my career will end soon"
The idea people have of you can depend on two seconds...
I know. One day, at Arsenal, a father and his son were waiting for me at the stadium's exit. I was talking by telephone with my father about personal issues and that man didn't stop touching me. The first time I said him that I was sorry but that I was talking about an important issue. He touched me again and said that I should talk with my father later! Incredible! Things like that happen to me the whole time. But you have stay calm and shut your mouth.
What makes you angry?
Injustice. When something is not fair, I get really angry. There are people who don't like how I behave, but if I'm not happy with something, I make sure it's noticeable. I cannot function in another way.
What worries you about the world?
There's no respect. I cannot accept that. For me there's no way back. If you don't respect your mother, that's the end. I have a bad feeling about the new generation that is now growing up. They are told that they can earn easy money and they don't study anymore. In France there are people who have an impressive level of education but are working in the supermarket.
What do you think about French politics?
I hardly follow the world of politics. Although when I saw that president Sarkozy was together with Carla Bruni, I thought it was a good thing because that way they showed they're human. I'm not talking about his political decisions, but people sometimes forget that politicians are also human beings.
You feel a connection with Barack Obama?
I have a hard time understanding why they are pointing out that he will be the first black president of the United States without making a judgment on him going to be a good or a bad president. Because it could be a good thing that America has a coloured president but I hope in the first place that he'll be the best president because of having an accurate government project and not because of the colour of his skin.
What is your motto in life?
All the decisions I have ever made in my life, I've taken myself. You must be the man you really are inside. Today it's not always easy but you have to do it.
You're not affected by it, but what do you think about the global crisis?
How come that's not affecting me? It affects my family, the people I know, my brother who works in the Paris subway.
You have a good feeling about Barça under Guardiola?
I have a very good feeling if I see how we play as a team. I can see it on the faces. We can receive goals, but we're united. Last year every opponent was dangerous. The objective is winning something. When I finish my career in Europe, I've said that I would like to play in the United States and maybe I shouldn't wait too long anymore. But I'm happy at Barça!
Are you tired?
I'm not tired but... During my career, I've played two or three times without being one hundred per cent fit but there comes a point where your body cannot resist anymore. My career will end soon and if you're a forward, things go even faster. As I've already said, I have never run as much as with Barcelona. Physically, I'm fine and if you see how I'm running, that proves it. But the hotels, the traveling, all that is getting difficult. To play and to travel is very tiring and I'm already doing this for fifteen years.
What would you say to those who say that you're finished?
They are not far from the truth. My career will end one day or another. Look, I started playing at the highest level fifteen years ago. Always at the top, not one good year and then one bad year. In the end, you're paying for that.
Henry: "I'm in love"
What do you admire in a woman?
That I know a first sight that she will be my soul mate. When I was younger, I used to watch other things (laugh), but not anymore.
It's difficult to find the right woman?
You bet, and much more in my case.
Is it hard sentimentally?
Not only sentimentally. When I tell the truth or I tell what I feel, it may be difficult to understand me because I'm a complicated person. And I've already changed a lot in that perspective! Before, I got angry over small things but now I can hold myself better.
Your world is dangerous. Fake friends, women,...
It's not easy. When I as twenty years old, I took some bad decisions, but in the end it turned out well and it helps you in the rest of your life. Since I was young, I knew that I wouldn't make friends easily. Friendship is a special thing. It's unique. You can have a good relationship with someone and that's it. Friendship is something else, it's telling your friend everything about your life, the truth. So the other knows absolutely everything about you. I have friends with whom I don't talk or don't go out every day but when they have a serious problem, we talk about it. If you're not standing by a friend when he needs you the most, that's the end of it.
Do you need love?
Mmmmm... yes. It's very important.
Are you in love?
Right now I am.
What does your daughter Tea mean to you?
Oh man! Until you don't have your daughter in your arms, you cannot know that. It's indescribable. Do you have children?
Well, then you cannot understand it. Before, I only thought about my career, about dedicating all my time to my own things and suddenly your whole priority list changes drastically.
How are you dealing with your divorce?
It's never easy, and even less when there's a child involved. Looking back at it, last year was hard. I arrived here without speaking the language, I was injured, in full divorce... It wasn't easy at all.
When you joined Barcelona, people said that you were fleeing London.
When I signed, nothing had happened yet. So that rumour was very annoying to me.
What frightens you?
Dying. It's something that we all have to go through but that frightens me.
I have time for one last question?
Of course, no problem.
What does the kiss on your wrist when you celebrate a goal mean?
We were on our way out, right?
You think Henry has already fully adapted?
He gets better every day that goes by. The fact that he scored three times against Valencia maybe set him free and he's making good progress. His last three games were the best I can remember since he's at Barça. I'm convinced that he will have scored a lot of goals at the end of the season and that he will be important for us.
I guess Blau will feel a great satisfaction after reading this, I can picture him having a cigarette with a relief sign on his face as if the unthinkable has finally happened .
On a serious note, I do believe that criticizing him was justified and supporting him at the same time was really needed. This is going to be really interesting to see if he can maintain such a level during the remainder of the season. Let's hope he does, because having more options up front is always a luxury rather than shifting someone to play out of position (Iniesta) to cover up for the missing link in attack.
Henry makes stand in face of Spanish inquisition to prove he is real deal
The explosive return to form of Thierry Henry at Barcelona is a timely reminder to Arsenal fans of the club's failings this season.
Midway through last season, with one of the deals of the year starting to look like a big fuss about surprisingly little, a Spanish newspaper inquired: "Will the real Thierry Henry please stand up?"
The £16m that Barcelona had paid Arsenal in the summer of 2007 suddenly did not seem like so much of a steal. Arsène Wenger appeared to have done it again, bidding au revoir to an iconic player when he had spotted the signs of dwindling force. Once Arsenal fans had got over their depression they gossiped that Henry's body was falling to bits, and Barcelona fans did not take long to pick up the baton. Had their club made a foolish mistake?
Midway through this season, the real Thierry Henry, now 31, has not just stood up, he has started sprinting again. So switched on are his performances he looks as if he has stepped out of a time machine in a period where his legs did what his head wanted them to do, without any pain or frustrating resistance. He is even playing football and smiling at the same time – talents that seemed not so long ago to be mutually exclusive. Mind you, it would require an insanely contrary nature not to be glad to be in Barcelona's current gang of thrillers.
Pep Guardiola has been virtually flawless in piecing together the best team in Europe right now. It certainly helps that Lionel Messi has evolved into the kind of specialist for whom even Manchester City would not dare bid. But perhaps Guardiola's biggest achievement is re-enthusing both Samuel Eto'o and Henry in order to craft such a terrifying attacking trident. When he arrived, the Barcelona coach told the former where to go in plain enough language and shunted him on to the transfer market. He told the latter he had absolute faith in him. In both cases his man-management turned out to be perfect. In last weekend's hard-fought victory at Osasuna, all three were brilliant. Henry wore them down, Messi dissected them, and Eto'o destroyed them.
Henry's first season at Camp Nou was a struggle, even if the statistics tell you that he finished Barcelona's top scorer and second in the assists ranking behind Messi. It was not his happiest time. The Frenchman is one of the brightest and most eloquent footballers around and a man who adores watching and studying the game, but he did not seem to be in the right frame of mind to communicate any of it very well. So often did he lament his injuries, it would be no surprise if he spent a fair bit of time wrestling with the fear that he would not be able to run freely again. On top of that he had complications in his family life, which meant he was not living in the same country as his young daughter, Tea.
He became increasingly introspective , cutting out media appearances and interviews that were once routine, and giving much less of his time to sponsors.
All the preconceptions about Henry last season – that he was physically wrecked, that he only flourished if the team was built around him, that he was not happy to be parked on the left flank – turned out to be wrong. This term his statistics are still impressive – his nine goals in 15 La Liga appearances are all the better because Messi and Eto'o is enough of an argument over the penalties and free kicks – but his tricks, his sharpness, and his love for playing add immeasurably to his worth.
Messi-mania has such a powerful effect it is not always easy to notice the other success stories at Barcelona. And there are plenty. Daniel Alves's rampaging, Xavi's goals and the rebirth of Henry explain why Ronaldinho and Deco are not missed at all.
Barcelona's socios now stand up to lavish applause on Henry. Back at Arsenal, seeing their cherished No14 back in full flow only reminds them of how far they have sunk.