Success is spoiling Thierry Henry

By Myles Palmer


Arsenal 1 Olympique Lyonnais 1


Bergkamp 33, Edmilson 90


Noon, Thursday: I have just watched the video and put Arsenal’s eleven starting players into four categories.

EXCELLENT : Bergkamp, Cole, Vieira

VERY GOOD : Seaman, Dixon

OK : Pires, Luzhny, Grimandi, Parlour

DISAPPOINTING : Henry, Ljungberg

Having been a journalist for 30 years I now find that I love people who can survive success and fame.

I like to see dedicated people who can work hard and become famous millionaires and then sustain it for ten years or twenty years.

Bob Marley,Elmore Leonard, Alex Ferguson, Miles Davis, Sting, Luis Figo, Steve Redgrave, people like that.

Thierry Henry is a lovely, gifted boy who has been carried to fame and fortune by a fantastic French national team.

As a striker he is long way from being the finished article and that is why I scoffed when he was voted NO 4 footballer in the world.

Thierry Henry is a long, long way from being the Worlds No 4 footballer.

If he works hard and thinks about his game he might be 14th in the world by the year 2003.

His on-the-ball play is 500 times better than his off-the-ball play.

His runs are terrible.When it comes to reading the play, anticipating openings and chances, he is dyslexic.

He leads the offside table in Premiership stats.

He ran offside four times last night and fouled six times. So he lost possession ten times right there. Plus his bad passes.Plus when he was tackled.

If Thierry Henry can be on the cover of L’Equipe every week, and on the cover of France Football every month, and do Nike commercials, and survive the mind-bending mirror of fame and still improve his game,I will be delighted.

Delighted for him and delighted for Arsenal. Delighted for the other players and delighted for the fans.

Thierry’s life, and his football matches, are not easy.

But if he squanders his phenomenal talent I will just place him in the dustbin of dimwit heroes alongside all the other stars who did not survive success.

Henry has a choice to make : Do I want to be a poser or an achiever?

22nd February 2001.