There's always been an air of class about Thierry Henry. On and off the pitch he's a polished knob and you can bet your life he smells wonderful up close. All the time.
In his time at Arsenal, Henry won English hearts and had the Gunners' fans fainting with excitement every time he touched the ball. How they loved those curling finishes and his blinding pace down the flanks. Quality Street.
- France 1-1 Ireland: Match report
- France 1-1 Ireland: As it happened
Henry made Arsenal sexy. Suddenly the most boring team in football were beating teams 6-0 and their supporters went from cavemen to footballing intellectuals overnight.
Nick Hornby's 'Fever Pitch' started it, but it was old Terry Henry who stuck it in the onion bag. Arsenal were officially the coolest and cleverest band in the land - and their French maestro was their lead singer.
Henry was a revolution in the English game. Eloquent in every way, and blessed with the kind of chemistry that makes men want to be you, and women want to be with you. Everything told you to hate him. But you couldn't. What a *******!
All of which brings me to his outrageous act of cheating against the Republic of Ireland last night - an act that broke the hearts of the nation and sent the lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky French to the World Cup next summer.
It was the kind of thing we've grown to expect from the Cristiano Ronaldos and Eduardos of this world, but me and the boys had hoped for better from King Thierry.
It could have been his defining moment. Had he gone straight to ref and admitted his crime Thierry Henry would have gone to football heaven. The Irish would have erected a statue in his honour and he could have joined Bono, The Corrs and Jack Charlton in the 'never need to pay for a drink ever again' club.
Let's be honest, the French would have won on penalties anyway, so it's not like he would have sacrificed anything.
But no, Henry chose instead to carry off his blatant act of fraud and suffer the consequences. In one moment, he proved he wasn't that special after all. He was just like the rest of them.
Me and the boys were proper livid. And there was no amount of 'consoling' that Henry could do to make things better.
The real hero last night was Richard Dunne, who had to suffer Henry sitting on the turf next to him after the game, playing the Freddie Flintoff card.
Dunne should have sent him sparko.
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