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Thierry Henry (Arsenal 1999–2007, → 2012)

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Senior Career
Monaco 1994–1999
Juventus 1999
Arsenal 1999–2007
Barcelona 2007–2010
New York Red Bulls 2010–2014
→ Arsenal 2012

 

Titou, Tezza, King Henry... Rakkaalla pelaajalla on monta nimeä.

 

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Tänne juttua kuninkaasta.

 

Thierry Henry-mania in this week’s L’Equipe Magazine

 

Get French Football News takes you through the highlights from L’Equipe Magazine’s 100 page special on French striker Thierry Henry, with interviews from all the influential individuals on the New York Red Bull man’s career as well as an extended conversation with Henry himself. 

 

Highlights from The interview: Thierry Henry

 

“I would not like that people love me for someone who I am not.”

 

On whether or not he has reached “a perfect form”…

 

“Collective perfection, I reached at Barca. It is not me who is saying that, it is the results. We won in 2009 all the competitions that we participated in. In modern football no team has ever achieved that. With Barca, we did it, what’s more by deploying possession football, constructive and not destructive, spectacular play… Maybe one day a club will do better in terms of titles per year, by winning 7 trophies in 7 competitions played. It could happen because there is no League Cup in Spain and we were therefore not able to compete in a seventh competition.”

 

“But even during this extraordinary season, during which I played a lot, I feel that I could have individually done more. Each game, I messed up one situation, one action. So I was against the game. And individual perfection would be to stay placed, throughout the whole match, in the direction of the game. In this movement. And to repeat this without mistake, game after game. Individual perfection does not exist.”

 

 

On Barcelona’s style of play in 2009…

 

“I remember what Pep (Guardiola) used to tell us. He would never discuss the result, event before crucial dates. He would repeat: “We have an identity, we are the possessors of and we are responsible for this identity. I want us to say, whatever the score is it at the end of the match, that our Barca team plays football.” And “playing football” for Pep, for myself and for the other players in this team, means something great. And so playing [it], of course, is a joy.”

 

 

Is it fluidity you are referring to, what you call “being in the direction of the game”, that is the source of joy?

 

“The source, is work! But I have to admit that it has happened to me a few times, that when the referee blew for the final whistle, I would ask myself: “already?”, yet we had run for ninety minutes… But it was like that when I played with my mates in the street and my mother called me for dinner. “Already? Has it really been for three hours that we have been playing?”"

 

“With my guys at Barca, we spoke the same language, that of the game, of passing… It was so perfect in our joint expression because Pep had brought discipline into this team and this club. Before him, Barca scored a lot but also left a lot of opportunities for the opponent. Our opponents regularly didn’t have a single chance, a single opportunity.”

 

 

How did you manage it?

 

“Entirely systematic high pressing, positioning down to the millimetre, a tempo down to a 100th of a second. Leaving no spaces for the opponent, never allowing them to position themselves between our lines. At home and away, we kept this identity. Always high. And that, that was repetition, day after day, a certain hygiene of life, total discipline to be performing at each training session with maximum intensity, concentration and necessity. After that, there was individual quality in every position…”

 

“With Pep, if you were 50 centimetres too much to the right, he would stop the session and replace you.”

 

 

On adapting to Barca…

 

“At Barca, it is always more. You need to work more, give more, score more… If you are 5-0 up in a match, you need to go and score the sixth goal. The fans demand that… Is it difficult to to adapt to Barca when you weren’t made at Barca… you have to unlearn, go against your reflexes and relearn how to play football almost like it is a new sport. But once you understand how it works… it is extraordinary to live it.”

 

“For me listening and being ready to do a service is not humility, it is professionalism. I am neither humble nor am I not humble.”

 

 

On his supposed blazé style of play…

 

“I am not in the heads of those who think they know me. Contrary to them, I don’t feel this way. From my side, I have never changed and I will never change: on a pitch you will always see me get annoyed, moaning. I know that I am a pain, but it is always about the game, the team, that we go in the direction of football. It drives me crazy when I have failed to respect the movement of the game, when I have hampered it, badly or well perceived it, but not being able to do the right thing… I can list games where I am still annoyed with myself for not opening up my feet, for not laying off to a teammate… And during those moments, even if we score anyway, even if we win the game, I am frustrated, annoyed.”

 

 

Aren’t you a bit crazy then?

 

“My father gave me this education, and my apprenticeship at Clairefontaine reinforced it. It is all of my grounding that has made me into what I am. At Clairefontaine, I was raised, educated. Claude Dusseau, André Merelle, Christian Damiano opened my eyes and marked my life. My intransigence in terms of the game, the respect that we must offer it. I will die with that, with the love of the game. It will be a beautiful death!”

 

 

Before that, if you become a manager, you will be a pain in the neck for your players!

 

“I don’t know. Would I be a good communicator of the game? A good educator? I know only that I know a bit about the game and that I feel profoundly about it. I have ideas, a personal version of football, a want to confront it and relay it. I have spoken with Arsène and Pep, they told me the same thing: it is not easy to educate, to stay calm, to let things go. You have be in total control of yourself, every day. That cannot be easy. We will see…”

 

 

On the problem with youngsters in football these days…

 

“[They think] “The coach doesn’t like me, he isn’t playing me…” But no! The problem is not the coach. It is you! The solution? You are the one who has it. I do not know a manager in the world who will not play you if you can help him win. Not a single one! It is like with Thuram. He gave me blows at training, he would ridicule me if I lost the ball. He was harsh! I can not thank him enough for having been so harsh. He wanted me to be my best.”

 

 

On working up the ranks in the national team…

 

“In the French national team, when you are starting out, do you think that the old ones are waiting for you there with a box of croissants? You are there because you took somebody else’s place! And if you want to play then you have to take the place of somebody else! So you need to show the players that you have what it takes. If you do that, maybe they will start to talk to you and eventually give you advice. But if you haven’t shown anything, these guys won’t even look at you, and that is normal. We are competitors. If you make the team win, you exist. If you don’t make the team win, you don’t exist.”

 

 

On records…

 

“The only record that I will keep with me, is the number of goals I scored at Highbury because the stadium doesn’t exist anymore. My other records, we will forget them when they are beaten…”

 

 

On not having a Ballon D’Or…

 

“But it is pointless to ask this question! Of course it would have been nice to have had a Ballon D’Or, I finished one time second, one time third, that’s already good, who can say more? I won the World Cup, I won’t be complaining!”

 

 

You deserved the Ballon D’Or in 2003 and 2006… and the reason that you didn’t get it at least once, is maybe because you did not win over the press, because you came across as someone a bit arrogant…

 

“You’re the one saying it. I think if I had not missed those two chances in the Champions League final against Barcelona in 2006, we wouldn’t maybe be having this discussion. And, honestly, it hurts me a lot more not to have won the Champions League on that occasion… After that, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this [theory]. “And if you were more like this or more like that…”"

 

“The “if’s” are not really my thing. I sleep well at night. I do what I have to do, what I can do, with successes and failures. My longevity, more than 20 years, playing as an attacker, that has meaning for me. My work is recognised by that. For the rest, I have my own way of celebrating my goals, my own way of answering questions that seem twisted or outside of the scope.”

 

“I came into football to perform. The way in which I carry myself or who I am, maybe cost a certain number of things, certain things more important than the Ballon D’Or, but I don’t gain anything by focusing on that… People think what they want. Thinking, is not knowing. I would not like me to to like me for someone that I am not. If you tell me a joke, and I don’t find it funny, I will not laugh. Does that mean I am a horrible guy?”

 

“If I do not celebrate a goal like you want me to, because I still have in my head the pass that I missed ten minutes ago, because it is not in my nature to make a fuss, I am arrogant. But strangely when I say that I am not in the right head space or that I defended badly because I do not give enough of a fuss to do it, there people don’t say “he is honest”…”

 

“For my part, I have always contented myself with the way that my coaches and my teammates look at me. It is the only thing that I care about. I have always wanted to be able to look them in the eyes. So that I can be able to do my work for 20 years, day after day. It’s why I have refused dinners at a restaurant because there was a game four days later, why I spend time at home, as I still do today, so that I can recuperate and do well in training the next day.”

 

 

On his daily life…

 

“I don’t have many friends. I stay at home with my girlfriend and my kids. I see a bit of friends that I have in New York, sometimes Peguy (Luyindula). On Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s there is the Champions League which I never miss out on, on the weekend there are the leagues… I am not much of a people person. I know that people will say that they cannot imagine that.”

 

“But yes, it is that my life. And I like it. Since we have started talking, I have missed four or five European Championship games! Since the age of 20, my life is home-training, home-match. People think its crazy, but it doesn’t bother me to be crazy like this. The “people” life doesn’t interest me. My life is “Saturday we have to win.” And in London or in Barcelona it was “Saturday we have to win and in the Champions League as well, and with France too!” and I knew very well that, on one of the games if we did not perform, it would fall on me.”

 

 

On England…

 

“They adopted me and I am at home over there. My “home sweet home” is London. My club, is Arsenal. When I put on that red and white shirt it gave me the same effect as the French shirt. Like when Clark Kent puts on Superman’s cape. I become somebody else, somebody stronger. Since my first season, I wanted to do that for my whole career… When I left the club, a part of me died. I cried…”

 

 

Why did you leave then?

 

“Because I am a competitor.”

 

 

And because Arsène Wenger wasn’t ambitious enough?

 

“I have nothing else to add. I am a competitor… but I returned, you have to leave to return no? The fans maybe understood that I was transparent, that I was never a “character”. Maybe they respect that… In England, certainly in London, I think that the people loved me for the player that I was.”

 

 

On the statue at the Emirates Stadium…

 

“Statues are for heroes and I am not one. I haven’t saved anybody’s life. I only kicked a ball.”

 

 

On the handball against Ireland…

 

“It was a reflex, a bad reflex that any player could have had. It was me who had it, I shouldn’t have had this reflex, but I had it. And I take responsibility for it. Maradona scored with his hand, Messi too, in France we find it very “romantic” it “adds personality”. But when it is me, it is something different.” 

 

 

On Raymond Domenech…

 

“The coach had an important influence on my career. He helped me a lot.”

 

 

On finishing his career for France at the 2010 World Cup…

 

“There is no good or bad ending. The end is always unjust, except in Hollywood films and maybe for Didier Deschamps and Laurent Blanc who had the option to quit after a great victory. I wanted to stop in 2008, after the Euros, I was asked instantly to continue, to bed in the new generation, to help. I accepted it at the time and if I was given the choice again I would still do it, I do what I have to, to help the French national team and I will always do… I have finished talking about it (2010 World Cup) and I think that everyone should talk about something else. At least out of the respect for the current players who are building something.”

 

 

On his future…

 

“Nothing is clear. I have not taken a decision yet and speculating isn’t my thing. One thing is certain: I will stay in football, to manage, as a pundit, as a director, we will soon see. The second thing that is certain: I would like to see Arsenal win the Champions League. After that, whether I am witnessing it from afar or from close by, it doesn’t depend solely on me, but it is certain that I would like to help. Because it is my club and as a player I never succeeded in giving it the Champions League.”

 

 

Basketball Player Tony Parker on Thierry Henry:

 

“I view him a bit like the older brother than I never had. We have known each other since 2003 and we clicked straight away. We have the same views on sport, life, and we have always got on, always have things to say. I have met a lot of sports people, but I have never clicked like that.”

 

What qualities of Henry would you like to take?

 

“I would say his kindness and straightforwardness. Titi is someone who is very sincere. Everything that he says, he thinks, he is very positive with his attitude.”

 

“When we are in private, it is clear that Titi is one of those guys who jokes the most! We like to go to dinner and often after we stay at home, speak a lot, watch a film, a TV series…”

 

“When I need advice, Titi is, since the last ten years, one of the first people that I call. He has a good way of looking at life, lots of experience. We have come across similar things in our lives. He dealt with them before me and therefore his advice is important. He has always been there, even in the worst moments.”

 

Is he retiring or not?

 

“Honestly, I don’t know! One time he told me he is going to continue, the next he tells me he is going to stop… It is not an easy choice to make and I think that he himself has yet to make it.”

 

 

Arsène Wenger on Thierry Henry:

 

Would Thierry Henry be a good manager, in your opinion?

 

“Yes, of course, because he is intelligent, impassioned by football. It is a good basis to have to be a great player, but there are lots of other ingredients. But, yes, he can become a very good manager.”

 

What qualities does he have?

 

“He understands quickly, he understands the game. He has good sensitivity, good contact with people. He has all the qualities. But it is a decision that must come profoundly from inside him, because it is a life decision. It is not a decision about potential, in my opinion. You have to sacrifice your life to be a manager. There is nothing else in life apart from it. The real question that he must ask himself is: “Do I want to sacrifice my whole like for that, spend the rest of my days for this?” After that, his potential, exists. That is so obvious.”

 

Is it better to learn the job as an assistant like Ryan Giggs at Manchester United for example?

 

“It is better to take responsibility of a team, like Zidane is currently doing at Real Madrid. Because you learn how to deal with a dressing room, deal with people. This job, it is about above all having ideas and putting them into practice. And you can only do that if you have responsibility of a team. You have another example in France with Claude Makélélé. He was a coach, but didn’t have the responsibility of a team before and I think that it is important. To expose yourself directly to enormous pressure is maybe not the best way of becoming used to dealing with the players.”

 

Should he coach youth teams like Patrick Vieira at Manchester City or Dennis Bergkamp at Ajax?

 

“Yes, he needs to learn the job. As a player, we have a simplistic view of the role of a manager. And as soon as you become a manager, it becomes quickly very complicated. I have seen so many people who had enormous potential to be a manager and did not survive their first job because they were not ready, because they had not learnt how to do their job. If you are not prepared, you will not survive.”

 

Will he be able to deal with the criticism?

 

“I don’t know. But one of the qualities that you need as a manager is to be resistant towards critics, and resist them when you think that they are not justified.”

 

Would you be ready to welcome him at Arsenal? Could he learn by your side?

 

“It is not a topic at the moment. And then, there have to be positions available. At the moment, there aren’t any. But it is not impossible. I encourage every player with a positive philosophy to be a manager. And I welcome with pleasure all the players that I have played here to come back if they need to do something. But not an honorary position. There is nothing worse than honorary positions. It has to be a position at the heart of the club, a position that forces you to get up in the morning to do something. We live in a society where people talk a lot and do very little. I am for a system where everyone has to accomplish something.” 

 

 

Tributes to Thierry Henry:

 

Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich manager: “It was an honour to work with such a player. At New York, I was surprised that his playing level was still so high.”

 

Michel Platini, UEFA President: “You want me to speak about Titi? That f***** that nicked my record for goals in the French national team? Um… I am very happy that it was him who beat me, because I like the man as well as the player. I like his personality. He is an exceptional athlete.” 

 

Zinedine Zidane, Castilla manager: ”Thierry enters the line of the very great players that France has given us. Since 1998 I knew that he was someone special. Thierry Henry has had a magnificent career and I think that, in one way or another, he has given a lot to football.”

 

Johan Cruyff: “I liked the way in which Thierry Henry carried himself at Barca a lot. He showed a particular elegance and remarkable quality. I can say that he honoured the number 14 shirt even if it has more significance for commentators than for me.” 

 

Raymond Domenech: “To train Titi, it was to find yourself in front of a boy who wanted to make things happen, who asked questions, who has energy and vision. If he scores 2 goals but the team loses 3-2, he will be enraged. This need to always reach perfection is a form of humility. He should be an idol for us, like he is in England.”

 

Bixente Lizarazu: “The prints that he has left on French football will be permanent. He deserves that that is the case on an international level also.”

 

Emmanuel Petit: “I love Titi!”

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Jotenkin näkisin itse, että Titi tulisi seuraavaksi Arsenaliin.

 

Ehkä pelaajana ja ripustaisi sitten kauden päätteeksi nappulat naulaan. Toinen vaihtoehto, jonka näkisin tällä hetkellä todennäköisempänä olisi liittyminen Arsenalin valmennukseen. Haistelemaan hieman miten hommat hoidetaan kunnes kurssit ja luvat ovat kondiksessa, jonka jälkeen reservijoukkueen luotsiksi kuten Zizoun kanssa tehtiin Madridissa.

 

On tietysti muitakin vaihtoehtoja, vaikka Arsène oli pressitilaisuudessa maininnut Henryn palaavan vielä joku päivä Arsenaliin, mutta ajankohdasta ei ole tietoa ja Thierry saa rauhassa miettiä tulevaisuuden suunnitelmansa.

 

Ligue 1:ssa ollaan myös kiinnostuneita:

 

The striker has been widely tipped to rejoin the Gunners to work alongside manager Arsene Wenger, but his former France team-mate has opened the door to a move to Ligue 1

 

Bordeaux boss Willy Sagnol has moved to gazump Arsenal in offering Thierry Henry a coaching role at the Ligue 1 club.

Henry is widely expected to hang up his playing boots after New York Red Bulls were beaten in the MLS Eastern Conference final by New England Revolution on Saturday.

The 37-year-old has been strongly linked with a return to the Gunners to work alongside manager Arsene Wenger, but his former France team-mate has got his request in early.

“If he wants, yes,” Sagnol, 42, told reporters when asked if Henry could join the club. “If there are some finances [available], then perhaps.

“I saw in an interview that he still wasn’t sure what was going to do with the rest of his life. 

"I take this opportunity just to get a message across: If he wants to train and become a coach, if he wants to learn some craft, to come and give a hand to the attackers at Girondins de Bordeaux, on everything, on the analysis of the game, the analysis of movement, on specific sessions, he is welcome. The door is open at Girondins for him."

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Lisää artikkelia pukkaa.

 

Thierry Henry: I wasn’t born with a gift for goals

 
Thierry Marchand flew to New York for the Blizzard on a wing and a prayer hoping to secure an interview with Thierry Henry before his retirement. As the journalist queued with the fans, the player recognised him and welcomed him like a long-lost friend. It was agreed the two would meet a couple of days later at the New York Red Bulls training ground, where the conversation that follows took place.

When you look back and think of your first game as a professional, do you say to yourself: ‘It is so long ago’ or ‘It seems like yesterday’?

[He hesitates] A bit of both. But what I tell myself, above all, is that not everything [that happened] was always set in stone. At the same time, I’m always aware of the road I’ve followed, and of the work I’ve had to do to stay on course. Especially that it’s not a given in my kind of position. I insist on the word ‘work’, as it is the basis of everything. You may have a gift, but if you don’t work…It wasn’t a sacrifice for me. I do what I wanted to do. I loved working and I wanted to be the best at everything: the way I headed the ball, free kicks, reading of the game…

In your case, what was that gift?

I was quick. I had to have 10 chances to convert one into a goal – but at the same time, I kept creating these chances. Then I told myself: “You won’t have these chances all the time. You must stick them into the net.” Then, to avoid over-thinking in front of the keeper you work on your finishing, so that it all becomes automatic, so that you don’t think anymore. The hardest thing for an attacking player? When he has time to think. So, with Claude Puel, who was then a fitness coach at Monaco, I went through session after session with dummies. I wasn’t born with a gift for goals. As I started my professional career on the wing, I also worked on my crossing – which helped me understand the role of the guy who passes the ball. We give praise to the guy who scores and, as a result, we’re too quick to forget the guy who busts a gut to cross the ball behind the defence.

And that’s unfair in your opinion?

No, that’s the way it is. How many times did I save games in which I’d been poor by scoring the winning goal? But it helped me to understand things better when I played in the middle again. I’ve often been told, when talking about Dennis Bergkamp or Robert Pires, “These guys have fed you.” No, we fed each other. It’s a team game. The goalscorer shouldn’t have all the glory and I’m not humble-bragging. I’ve often been unhappy with games in which I scored.

What difference is there between the joy of scoring and the joy of providing the assist?

To me, the most beautiful thing is making the pass when you are in a position to score yourself. You know you’re good enough to score, but you give the ball. You share. And you see that joy in the eyes of the other guy. You know, he knows, everyone knows. People have never understood that when I do that [Henry mimics a gathering gesture, his hands above his shoulders], that’s not to say, “Come and see me, I’ve scored!” but, “Come here, so that we celebrate together, so that we savour it together.”

c319144c-b842-45e0-8d6f-6053534e7b06-460‘I wasn’t born with a gift for goals’ – Thierry Henry celebrates scoring for Arsenal in 2002. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

But haven’t celebrations become a show, a game in themselves?

Those who know me will tell you that it can take me 10 minutes to get over a mistake. Even if we lead 7-0. Because in my head, I tell myself: “It could have been the only chance of the game, I should have dealt with it better.”

Are you constantly looking for perfection?

It enables me not to rest on my laurels, to keep going forward. I’ve always been like that and I like being like that. My team-mates will tell you that I have to be on edge to be good. Pat [Vieira] knew it and kept pestering me. It’s when I’m bothered that I play well.

What’s the secret of longevity for a player?

First, to avoid injury [he touches wood]. I’ve also had a fairly healthy lifestyle. I’ve never been someone who drank or partied regularly. If we play a one v one against each other, I have to make you feel that I’m stronger than you are. It’s as simple as that. Lilian Thuram taught me that. The aim is to be the best you can be. What matters is not to get there, but to want it, to have that desire.

So that gift is desire?

Exactly. Then it’s up to you – up to you to work or not. When I see guys turning up late for training, when we train an hour and a half a day … It happened to me once, in Monaco, and it wasn’t my fault. Jean Tigana made it clear to me that it would be the last time this happened and he was right. If you’re late for training when you’re driving a car, you’ll be late in the game when you’ll have to use your legs.

Have you ever questioned your worth throughout the 20 years of your career?

Every day. I’ve always wanted to be judged on the next game, not on the one I’d just played. What’s happened is behind me. It’s up to you journalists to comment on it.

But you’ve won everything, with your clubs and with the French national team. Have you never felt you had reached the absolute top?

No. You should never feel satisfied. Aim higher, always.

How do you do that when you’re on top?

Every game is a mountain. Each time, you climb down, better to climb it again when another game comes. And each of these mountains is different. Sometimes, you stop and take a deep breath in. At other times, you don’t climb at all, because you’re crap.

But you don’t play a World Cup final every day …

What helps you to get back to earth after a World Cup final is when, three months later, you find yourself playing for the Under-23s in Ukraine, in front of 200 spectators [as happened to Henry in 1998]. People have erased this chapter from my story – but I’m proud of it. I won’t say it was easy to swallow, but it helped me question myself. I was part of that generation of players who played in the 1997 Under-20 World Cup in Malaysia – Silvestre, Gallas, Luccin – players who’d helped me go further. It hurt me to go back to the Espoirs, but I couldn’t look down on these guys. So I played. I was good on some occasions. On others, I was not. People said: “His heart is not in it.” But three months earlier, I had been lifting the World Cup trophy. Once, as part of the Espoirs team, I travelled with the A team. I was at the back of the plane when, just a few weeks before, I’d sat 10 rows further up. I even played in a B international against Belgium, in front of 202 spectators. Two more than in Ukraine. I haven’t forgotten that.

34b32de3-470a-4f77-8d49-7153a756ac91-460Thierry Henry with Youri Djorkaeff, kissing the World Cup after France’s triumph in Paris in 1998. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/EPA

What was going through your mind then?

That I had to work and that things would get back to what they’d been before. It was a pain, but I did come back. You grow thanks to others. You’re nothing without your team, whoever you are.

Is longevity the toughest thing to achieve in football?

Yes. But it’s also the ultimate accolade – especially when you’re a striker, with all the young guys coming through. It’s not just a question of staying power, it is also an obligation to perform. There is no more beautiful trophy than longevity. To stay at the same level, when people are expecting so much at each game … Ronaldo, Messi … Are people really aware of what they do, of their consistency of performance? Do they realise how tough it is to be always at the top?

The sportsman, the star, has erased the human being …

That’s true, but that’s part of the game. “If you’re on the pitch, it’s because you can play.” I say that often. People don’t have to know whether you feel good or not. I’ve often come back to the dressing room, telling myself, “You just couldn’t do a thing today.” But if you know how often I’ve scored a goal in those games … I remember a Champions League game with Arsenal, against Sparta, in Prague. I was just coming back from an achilles injury, I’d only started training again on the eve of the match. The manager told me: “You’re travelling with us, but you’ll stay on the bench.” Then José Antonio Reyes gets injured after a few minutes. I wasn’t even looking at who was warming up, as I was certain I wouldn’t be asked to do it – and the manager tells me to get on. I do so, I score twice and I beat Ian Wright’s record of 185 goals with Arsenal. Even when you’re not feeling good, you always believe you can help the team.

Were you given advice when you started as a pro that you’ve never forgotten?

What Thuram told me, which I mentioned earlier. Tutu was very tough with me, but I thank him for that every day. My dad, too, above all others. Christian Damiano, Gérard Houllier, all my youth coaches. But Tutu was tough, during the games, at training … His words were tough. It helped me. When you join the national team for the first time, you must impress Desailly, Lizarazu, Zizou, Djorkaeff …At Monaco, when I didn’t cross a good ball in front of goal for Sonny Anderson or Mickaël Madar, they kicked it high above the wire fence of La Turbie [Monaco’s training ground]. And guess who had to go and fetch the ball? David Trezeguet and me. Even after I’d become a world champion, Tigana asked me to carry the kit bags. There was a woman and a couple of kit men who wanted to take care of it but he said, “No, no, it’s up to the youngsters to do it.”

Do you do the same with the young Red Bulls players?

Very often … but when you’re the only one to say it …

A question of education, then?

When I was a young player at Monaco, there were no names on the lockers. I waited until all the pros had arrived to find a place to sit. In the team bus, when we left at 10am, I turned up two hours earlier to make sure I wouldn’t miss it. I stood there for two hours, waiting. I didn’t sit until I was told I could.

How does it feel to see these values disappear from the game?

It’s a pity. We’re losing something. Becoming a pro is not something that is owed to anyone. It shouldn’t be a reason to celebrate or an attainment it itself. When I was younger, I went to all the pros to say hello to them. Nowadays, it’s almost the other way round. I started getting massages when I was 21, 22. If Tigana saw us on the massage table, he said to us: “What are you doing here? Where do you hurt? Your back? You’ve played five seconds in Ligue 1 and you hurt? [He mimics Tigana’s voice and accent] Go train, go run, and leave your place for Franck Dumas or Enzo Scifo.” He was right.

You seem to get worked up about these kind of things …

Yeah. Too much. I lose it when a guy is late for training. Look around you. What is it that prevents the young guys coming and training this afternoon? Six years ago, the San Antonio Spurs provided Tony Parker with a shooting coach. Tony Parker. It wasn’t a lack of respect – just so that he could improve a part of his game which could be improved.

Is it this kind of adjustment which enables a footballer to last beyond his physical limits?

I worked on my passing game. When I was young and I was playing on the flank, then when I played down the middle at Arsenal.

What were the most striking changes that you noticed in the game itself over the past two decades?

Take Ronaldo – the Brazilian Ronaldo. He did things nobody had seen before. He, together with Romário and George Weah, reinvented the centre-forward position. They were the first to drop from the box to pick up the ball in midfield, switch to the flanks, attract and disorientate the central defenders with their runs, their accelerations, their dribbling. Who’d done that before? Gerd Müller? Paolo Rossi? No. George Weah was a big influence on me. I copied his game, maybe. But how many guys can claim they have reinvented a position? Not many. One of the consequences has been that there came a time when media and marketing people started to individualise football performance. People stopped highlighting the collective dimension of the game, how a goal was constructed, how a phase started. Everything has been geared towards the individual. We are not talking about football anymore.

Physically speaking, Müller and Rossi did not have much in common with Weah or Ronaldo …

Sure. But we shouldn’t believe that’s the norm. Who’s got Cristiano Ronaldo’s body? Lionel Messi’s game? They’re one-offs. But if you want to educate players, if you want to talk about the game, you can teach a youngster what Xavi does. Xavi, yes, you can do it. Ronaldo … not so sure. What’s true is that if I am shown step-overs and nutmegs on a loop, I’ll want to execute those on the pitch. When I was a kid, I wanted to be [Poland’s Zbigniew] Boniek – on the end of a pass by Platini. Ronaldo executed a skill to go past an opposition player, not gratuitously. Not everyone is Zizou, Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. I’d like to have an explanation of the fact that no Spaniard has won the Ballon d’Or over the last four years. The game is too focused on the individual. Stars are fine. But within the team, not without.

That’s a very American perspective …

I’ll tell you: I grew up with Michael Jordan, who scored up to 60 points in some games at the beginning of his career. He scored fewer when Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant came to Chicago, but he started winning titles too. He was a star within a collective. When you’re not at your best, the others conceal your weaknesses.

c3aa7bba-15c9-4457-833a-0eaca3437a11-460After defeat with Arsenal in 2006 - to Barcelona - Henry finally gets his hands on the European Cup when the Catalans defeated Manchester United in Rome. Photograph: Giampiero Sposito/Reuters

How does a footballer know when it’s time to call it a day?

[Lengthy pause] I don’t know. The love of football will always be there. But I think it’s when you start to force yourself to do it. I cannot say or think: “I must go to the training ground.” When you breathe, you don’t think about the act of breathing. It’s natural. Same with football. I’m not talking about a reticence that would be linked to a physical problem, I’m talking about the heart that’s not quite in it anymore. When you don’t feel like it, repeatedly.

What’s left when that happens?

The fundamentals. I didn’t learn football, I was educated. Not the same thing. At Clairefontaine, Christian Damiano and others educated us. Whether we lost or won, we had an identity. We had to play a certain way, we had to respect football. They put that in my veins. We all reflect the education we received. When my parents sometimes complain about my being hard, I answer: “Who educated me?”

And you think you’re hard?

Yes, I’m hard, demanding, especially when it’s about football. But always in the name of love and respect for the game.

When you talk of identity what do you mean? A club, a style of play?

They go together. Barça have an identity. The most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard from a coach was Guardiola’s talk before the 2009 Champions League final. He said: “Guys, all I want is that, at the end of the game, people tell me that Barça played football. The only thing I don’t want us to lose tonight is our identity. Have a good game.” And that was that. It was the same at Clairefontaine. [On one occasion] Francisco Filho told us: “I do not want to see a back pass.” That was the theme of that particular game. But we also had to win. Another time, he forbade us to tackle for a whole game – he only wanted interceptions. In other words, he wanted to teach us how to read the game.

Isn’t that forgetting the game’s ultimate objective – to win?

No, because victory is forged in identity. It is when you forget the principles that winning becomes difficult.

What about you? If you were to become a manager, could you go anywhere?

The important thing for a manager is to affirm his identity, whatever it is. If your identity is defending, no problem. You can win that way. But you shouldn’t change it if you lose. In 2009, Guardiola didn’t talk about the result. The same goes for Arsène [Wenger] before the 2006 Champions League final. They are aesthetes, they want everything to be beautiful. You act that way when you love your work. When you paint a picture, it is so that people look at it and like it.

How do you feel now, 20 years after that first game?

I think a lot about the extra training sessions – work pays off. I kept telling myself: “If I don’t do this

, someone else will do it instead of me.” And I’d love to be remembered by people when my career is over. I’ve always dreamt of leaving a trace.

As a manifestation of respect?

Towards the quality of my work, yes. I’m immensely proud to have been part of these winning generations, with the Bleus, with Arsenal, with Barça.

What if you had to pick one memory from those 20 years as a footballer?

[Long pause] The first time that my father saw me on a football pitch. Because everything started there. The rest of the story, everybody knows it.

Will Thierry Henry the manager be as demanding as Thierry Henry, the player?

I’d certainly want people to respect football. It’s impossible to have a great career and be out partying at midnight. I’ve done it, like everyone else. But a mistake shouldn’t become a habit. For me, the pleasure lies in improving and being demanding with yourself. I cannot play a game to have fun. Either you play, or you don’t. Winning is only the end credits sequence of that particular film.

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Hattu päästä !

 

After 20 years in the game I have decided to retire from professional football. It has been an incredible journey and I would like to thank all the fans, team mates and individuals involved with AS Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal FC, FC Barcelona, the New York Red Bulls and of course the French National Team that have made my time in the game so special.

It is now time for a different career path and I am pleased to say that I will be returning to London and joining Sky Sports. I will hopefully share some of the insights, observations and experiences I have learnt over the years with you guys.

I have had some amazing memories (mostly good!) and a wonderful experience.

I hope you have enjoyed watching as much as I have enjoyed taking part.

See you on the other side...

 

- Thierry Henry

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On se todella merkillistä, että miten paljon voi vaikuttaa omaankin mielialaan, kun tajuaa sen olevan ohi nyt.

 

Linkkaisin tähän Puman julkaiseman kiitosvideon, jos löytyisi jo YouTubesta. Siinä osoittaa kiitoksensa Henrylle monet pelaajat ja ei tässä oikein muuta voi sanoa.

 

He is the best player you will ever see - Thierry Henry

 

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Monta tippaa tullut housuun, kun on saanut seurata Henryn peliuraa. Vaikeaa se oli aluksi, kun ei ollut laajakaistaa ja Kaleva ei ihan hirveän usein miehestä kirjoittanut. Kai ne muutamat lehtileikkeet jossain varmassa tallessa on edelleen. Pakko sanoa, että tällä kertaa tuli pari tippaa silmäkulmaan..housut pysy sentään kuivana. Itelleni se suurin ja ensimmäinen idoli jalkapallosta. Vaikkei Barcelona pystynytkään liian hyviä puitteita tarjoamaan niin hienoa, että mies sai kaipaamansa UCL pytyn Espanjasta hankittua.

 

03sld5.jpg

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Thierry Henry to make Sky Sports debut for Arsenal's trip to Manchester City

 

Thierry-Henry-signs-for-Sky-Sports.png

 

 

The former Gunner will be joined in the studio by Graeme Souness as Arsène Wenger's side go in search of a first win at the Etihad in five years

 

Thierry Henry will make his debut as a Sky Sports pundit when his former side Arsenal travel to Premier League champions Manchester City.

 

The Frenchman retired from professional football in December before agreeing a deal with Sky later the same month.

 

Sunday's match doesn't represent the 37-year-old's first taste of punditry - he was recruited by the BBC as part of their team to cover the World Cup in Brazil.

 

Henry presented Cristiano Ronaldo with the Ballon d'Or in Zürich on Monday.

 

Manuel Pellegrini's men are looking to bounce back from their 1-1 draw at Goodison Park which has left them two points off the pace at the top of the table.

 

Meanwhile, Arsène Wenger will be keen to avoid a repeat of last season's outcome when his side suffered a 6-3 reverse at the Etihad.

 

 

The Gunners don't have a good recent record in Manchester, having not won at the homes of either City or United since 2010.

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51qHyRmdHqL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

Tämä tuli poistettua kaupasta ja tänään sain viimein luettua. Pitää lukea joku toinen kerta uusiksi, sillä nyt tipuin vähän väliä kärryiltä, kun luin aika pitkällä aikavälillä, ja kieleen oli välillä vaikeuksia tottua. Mielenkiintoista pohdintaa kuitenkin Auclairilta. Kirja ei siis ole Zlatan-tyyppinen omaelämänkerta, vaan ranskalaisen toimittajan näkökulmasta kerrottu tarina Thierryn noususta Pariisin banlieue'sta maailman huipulle. Auclair jättää välillä myös Thierryn sivuun ja keskittyy erityisesti Ranskan maajoukkuekuvioihin. Kyllähän tätä on suositeltava. 

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Tässä vielä tämä mainitsemani Puman julkaisema #MerciThierry-video:

 

Merci Thierry Henry - Thank you Thierry Henry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxzDyYiaYz8

 

 

Sitten nykyhetkeen.

 

Kuten aikaisemmin tässä ketjussa olen todennut, niin olisi mielestäni oikea ratkaisu Tezzalta. Zidanen tavalla nuorten joukkueista ylöspäin tutussa seurassa.

 

Thierry Henry offered chance to begin coaching career at Arsenal's academy

The Frenchman is currently a pundit on Sky Sports but is taking his coaching badges and looks set to work at the Gunners' academy

 

Arsenal-Training-Session.jpg

Learning from the master: Henry hopes to follow in Arsène Wenger's footsteps

 

Thierry Henry has been offered the chance to start his coaching career at Arsenal.
 
Arsenal legend Henry, now a Sky Sports pundit, is taking his coaching badges and will be given the opportunity to work at the club's academy.
 
The Frenchman has already taken some sessions at the club's Hale End centre for their youths and needs more hands-on experiences to get his UEFA qualifications.
 
Gunners boss Arsène Wenger has already tipped Henry for a future in coaching - as long as he can adjust to the pressures and criticism involved.
 
It is early stages and clearly Henry is a long way off senior management but he obviously wants to move into coaching at some stage.

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Ylempään jatkumoa.

 

Erotettuna värillisenä Wengerin sanomisista kohta, jota ollaan spekuloitu muuallakin mediassa. Nähtäisiinkö Arsenalissa jatkossa muitakin entisiä pelaajia valmennuksessa mukana? Ainakin Sol Campbell ja Robert Pirès ovat nimiä, jotka itselleni tulee ensimmäisenä mieleen. Varsinkin Bob on kasvo, jonka tuntuu näkevän usein Arsenalin harjoituksissa mukana.

 

Thierry Henry to take on Arsenal coaching role

 

henry.png

 

Arsène Wenger spoke about Thierry Henry’s appointment as a coach for the Arsenal U15s.
 
Wenger had the following to say:
 
“Thierry [is studying for] his badges. He makes his first steps as a coach and that’s always a bit impressive when you start. It’s good for our young players to be coached by him, a legend of the club. He has been here once or twice but I don’t know how often he has to do his sessions. I don’t see him when he’s here because he’s on a different ground and he’s with the youth team. We are very happy to welcome everybody. All our former players come back here, all of them.

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Henry: Respect for Ronaldo but Leo is the best


Former World Cup winner Thierry Henry exclusively talked to us about Germany's triumph in Brazil 2014, Manuel Neuer's way of playing as a goalkeeper, and the best football players in the world.


 



 


 


Au Revoir Thierry Henry! Top 5 World Cup Goals


Say goodbye to retired striker Thierry Henry by watching his five best goals for France from the FIFA World Cup™


 



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Thierry kertoilee, että ei pystyisi kieltäytymään managerin pestistä Arsenalissa, jos joku päivä tuota tarjottaisiin. Ei tiedä milloin Arsène aikoo siirtyä sivuun, mutta Henry haluaa olla valmiina tuon päivän tullessa. Tässä siis yksi syy jo aloitettuihin valmennuskursseihin.

 

Thierry Henry has admitted becoming Arsenal manager would be a "dream" that he couldn't reject.
 
The Gunners legend—who recently took up working as a Sky Sports pundit after retiring from the game—spoke honestly about the possibility of replacing Arsène Wenger during an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show, to be broadcast by ITV on Saturday (h/t Ed Malyon of the Mirror):
 
"I don't know what Arsène wants to do and how long he wants to stay. But I just want to be equipped...to be in the position, maybe one day to be a manager. Being the manager of Arsenal FC would be a dream. I need to learn first. That is the most important thing. I could not say 'no' to Arsenal. So I would say 'yes'. It should be great."
 
Such comments are likely to get Gunners supporters thinking. Arsenal embarrassingly rolled over during Wednesday's 3-1 home defeat to Monaco in the Champions League round of 16, an all too apparent occurrence for the north London side.
 
Henry could provide an enticing future option for the club. He is already working with the side's under-16 squad, and is obviously putting things in place to ensure he is properly qualified to coach.
 
The Gunners' all-time leading goalscorer still has that quiet assertiveness and desire to be successful which fuelled his playing days, the kind of aura which coagulates and turns to bronze outside the Emirates Stadium. Wenger has perhaps lost this quality over the years, ensuring fans are likely to experience a frustrating range of emotions toward him.
 
Although it's unlikely the French boss will move on soon, Henry's interview points toward an exciting, and indeed inevitable, future for the club.

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Thierry Henry: These 2 can lead Gunners to title

SunSport columnist backs Ozil and Giroud to lead Arsenal to championship

 

Na_ytto_kuva_2016_01_17_kello_16_17_35.p

Mesut Özil has become the king of the assists, while Olivier Giroud has found his goalscoring touch for Arsenal

 

Olivier Giroud and Mesut Özil are finally showing the consistency to match their unquestionable ability.
 
Now they can lead Arsenal to the title because the team has learned how to win the big games even when they don’t dominate possession.

 

In the past Arsenal have always been accused of having only one way to play — passing their way through opponents and walking the ball in.
 
But this season they have developed a Plan B which is proving so successful in matches that really matter that it has almost become their go-to system.
 
Not so long ago Arsenal would start every attack patiently building out from the back. The full-backs would split wide to take a throw from the keeper and they would work the ball patiently up the pitch.

 

Now Petr Cech is not afraid to launch a quick counter-attack by kicking long to Giroud.
 
It proved particularly successful in the crucial wins against Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Olympiakos and Manchester City.
 
In virtually all of those games, Arsenal did not enjoy the majority of the possession. Yet they still won.
 
They are able to do that by making themselves much more compact. The distance between the lines is shorter, making it difficult for opponents to pass the ball through them.
 
They don’t allow teams to play through the middle. They force them to go wide, win the ball back, then hit them on the break
 
This system works better with natural wingers such as Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell, who are prepared to run back beyond the halfway line to help the full-backs.
 
But the biggest change this season is that they are not afraid to play to their strengths by going long.
 
I would have struggled to play in this way because I wasn’t the greatest in the air and wouldn’t have won enough headers. But that is what Olivier brings to the team.
 
He is very good with his back to goal, he holds the ball up well and he sees the pass — such as the one which set up Özil’s goal in the win against Bournemouth.
 
There is nothing wrong with a long pass if a team is struggling to find a way through.
 
A long pass is totally different to a long ball, which I regard as a stupid punt into the channels.
 
It caused a real stir last year when I said that Arsenal couldn’t win the title with Giroud as their only striker.
 
But what I was trying to say was that Arsenal needed more variety to their game up front.
 
Everyone knew who was going to be leading the line and how they were going to play.
 
Now, when everyone is fit, they have Walcott and Giroud competing for the centre-forward spot. It gives Arsene Wenger another option and another way of attacking.
 
There have never been any doubts about Giroud’s ability. We all know he can score goals and is a great finisher and that he loves to share and help his team-mates.
 
But when you play for Arsenal you have to turn up and perform in every match. And Giroud is finally showing the consistency that was missing in previous seasons.
 
It is the same story with Özil, who is now showing he can deliver in the games against the big teams.
 
For a team to win the title they need a striker who is capable of scoring 30 goals a season and a number ten who is creating like crazy.
 
Arsenal now have both of those players to rely on in the title run-in.
 
Giroud-Ozil_AI_2673750b.jpg
Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud haven't always been favourites with the Arsenal fans
 
Yet I am still not totally convinced about Arsenal. And the fact they conceded seven goals in their last two away games at Southampton and Liverpool is a real concern.
 
Even at home against Newcastle and Sunderland they only took maximum points because of Cech’s saves.
 
Today’s game at Stoke will be a huge test. It always seems to be wet and windy at the Britannia, the crowd is right on top of you and this is the fixture their supporters look forward to more than any other.
 
But Stoke are a totally different proposition to the Tony Pulis team which established itself in the Premier League through fighting and bullying opponents.
 
This team can outplay anyone. They didn’t just beat Manchester City last month, they toyed with them.
 
Arsenal will not need reminding how Bojan tore them apart during last season’s painful defeat.
 
It was after that 3-2 reverse that some Arsenal supporters turned on Wenger and abused him as the team waited for their train back to London.
 
Of course they were out of order and what they said was unforgivable. But people will only have a go at you if you give them a reason.
 
In football particularly, it is what a team, a manager or a player delivers that decides whether you get praise or criticism.
 
Right now Arsenal deserve all the plaudits because they are top.
 
And if Giroud and Özil keep performing at their current level, there is no reason why they can’t stay top right to the end of the season.

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