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Feeling conflicted about Thierry Henry? Get in line

Oct 30, 2012, 9:59 AM EDT

Chicago Fire v New York Red Bulls Getty Images

What to make of New York Red Bulls’ striker Thierry Henry? It’s not such an easy question.

The man has certainly arranged a spiffy set of numbers; this year 15 goals and 12 assists were enough to garner some Most Valuable Player consideration.

On the other hand, the consideration falls off the table upon further, well, consideration. That’s because so many of Henry’s goals came against the clubs of lesser, the teams that are done for 2012. Less of his good work came against playoff-bound teams like D.C. United, the Red Bull’s opposition as they open the MLS tournament this weekend.

Meanwhile, his standing as a good teammate certainly deserves discussion. His body language on game-day is abysmal, consistently demonstrating outright disdain for players who can’t do things he can do. That cannot be ideal inside the locker room.

On the other hand, tales of his studious preparation and dedication to winning are regularly exchanged inside MLS circles. That part surely is endearing to teammates.

Some of his behavior toward opponents has been wholly unbecoming, speaking poorly of a highly decorated World Cup winner who should be above the cheap stuff.

And he certainly is a moody fellow, isn’t he? Sometimes, his communication with fans through media can be candid and wonderfully revealing. And other times, he can be a petulant little kid, obtuse and uncooperative.

So, if anyone feels conflicted about Henry, they certainly are not alone.

And if you still need to weigh the evidence ahead of Saturday’s playoff opener, Fox Soccer’s Leander Schaerlaeckens takes a nice little stroll back through Henry’s time with the Red Bulls in this piece.

  1. joeyt360 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    I think RBNY fans, given all that franchise has been through, have to take ’em as they come. I’d have to say that Henry has given them the most relevance and watchability they’ve ever had as a team. I think it’s pretty clear he cares a lot about the club and about winning, and even his frustrations seem evidence of that. If I were a fan of that franchise, I’d be strongly in the pro-Henry camp.

  2. arjanroghanchi - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Pretty bizarre piece by Leander. I think the question boils down to: Are the Red Bulls a better team on the field and organization off it by virtue of Titi’s presence.

    Leander seems to think the answer isn’t clear and may even be no.

    But that is pretty far off the mark.

    I continue to be confounded by the tone that most national writers (Ives, Leander, especially Grant Wahl) take when writing about the club, Titi, Backe, and Marquez.

    We’ll see what the playoffs bring I guess.

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