Thierry Henry has retired, in case the news hasn’t been covered extensively enough.
The news broke yesterday, courtesy of the King himself, and spread a tornado of statistics, numbers and figures which were created to prove us how great the man has been. As if anyone who has seen Thierry Henry playing needed statistics to appreciate the greatest player the Premier League has ever seen…
Don’t worry then, I am not here to bore you with some additional statistics but just in case……………….
I would like to talk you about how badly we need Thierry Henry to pick up a non-playing role at the Arsenal.
Personally, I still hurt since I read how Brian Kidd – former Gunner – decided to give Patrick Vieira – another former Gunner – a chance to kick-start his off-the-field career and become manager of Reserve team…at Manchester City! Patrick Vieira was an Arsenal man; he arrived as a young talent and left as one of the finest midfielders who ever graced the turf at Highbury – and captain, as well.
He went to Juventus first, then to Internazionale and finally spent the last one and a half year of his career at Manchester City. Despite having played over 400 games for the Arsenal but less than 50 games for Manchester City, he is now developing young talents in Manchester instead of working with our youngsters in London!
That’s unforgivable, in my opinion.
We had a true Arsenal man who could have been a role model and a catalyst for many generations of talented boys and we let him go; he chose to pursue his path at Manchester City because they have been the only ones who offered him the chance to learn his new job, quietly, behind the scenes. We should have done the same, we should have been first to do that. The way we let this opportunity slip away from our fingers is unbelievable.
Arsène Wenger built the best team in the Premier League era, the Invincibles, but is yet to pick one single man from his ideal XI and ask him to join his backroom staff; that’s quite strange. Of course, some of them are still playing football at minor Clubs like Robert Pirès at FC Goa in India and Kolo Touré at Liverpool, however one of the most representative players of that team, Patrick Vieira, retired and moved to another Club.
We made this mistake once; I hope we won’t be doing it twice.
Thierry Henry must have a role at the Arsenal for the same reasons Patrick Vieira had to be offered one; he’s a hero to at least two generations of young footballers and could be the perfect man to teach some kids what it takes to be playing football for our Club.
He always had the desire, focus and drive needed to succeed at top level, having a mentor like him could prove to be an invaluable asset for our future footballers; I don’t even think about anything he could teach about skills, finishing or take-ons because we won’t be seeing another Thierry Henry for decades – what I care most are the values he could be able to transmit to his young pupils, shall he get the chance.
He dedicated his whole life to football and was one of those very unusual anti-stars, despite being one of the best players in history; he stayed focused on his job on the pitch and never lost his hunger and his desire to improve.
That is the kind of mentality I would like to see in my players. I would like to see the Akpoms, the Mavididis and the next two generations work as hard as Thierry Henry did since he was young.
Is there a better way to teach this to them than having the man himself on the pitch? I don’t think so.
Let him enjoy his time at Sky Sports, making fun of Jamie Carragher as he used to do on the pitch, and as soon as he feels he is ready to go back to real football, we need to be first to offer him a position.
Got it, Arsène?