Has Thierry Henry bottled it?

by Charlie Coffey

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I came to play football,” said Henry as he was unveiled as a New York Red Bulls player yesterday. Well that’s good of you Thierry, it is kind of the reason they’ve signed you!

Thierry Henry has moved to New York because no other team would be crazy enough to offer a 32-year-old in decline a four-and-a-half year contract, and because it is one of his favourite holiday destinations. At the same time he has retired from international football.

It is a sad way for the European career of such a talented player to end: A mediocre season at Barcelona, the shame of cheating to win France a place at the World Cup and then being involved in the disgraceful French implosion in South Africa. It seems that Henry has accepted that his career is in freefall and is cashing in rather than proving he still has a lot to offer at the top level.

At least David Beckham was still desperate to play for his country after his move to L.A and showed his commitment in air miles and jet lag. Henry is leaving France at the very time it needs leaders with a winning mentality like him, the former captain and record goal-scorer who was in the team that won both the World Cup and the European championships, to drag it out of the dark patch the national team finds itself in.

Henry deserves to be remembered as a legend but that is impossible now. He is in a lose-lose situation. If he plays well in the states everyone will say it is because of the poor quality of the opposition. If he doesn’t perform he will be seen to have lost it completely. A player who was adored by Arsenal fans and respected by all has bowed out at the worst possible time, showing that he did not have the bottle to fight when the chips were down.

Bon vacances Thierry!

Read Charlie Coffey’s World Cup every weekday at my11.com.

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