All Guns Blazing: Thierry Henry is risking a backlash from Arsenal fans
PUBLISHED: 10:51 29 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:05 29 April 2015
In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Uche Amako says the Arsenal legend is struggling in his new role as a TV pundit.
When Thierry Henry was a pundit for the BBC during the World Cup, he was a breath of fresh air, so it was no surprise to see Sky Sports hire him shortly after his retirement.
Having the man who won everything, widely thought of as the best to ever play in the Premier League and easily the coolest man when he walks into any room was a no-brainer.
However, Henry has struggled under the weight of his expensive-looking suits, as every comment is dissected and analysed on social media.
Last week he was roundly castigated for his bizarre rant against Real Madrid’s Javier Hernandez after the Mexican, in Henry’s eyes, failed to give Cristiano Ronaldo enough credit for an assist.
Following that, in the aftermath of Arsenal’s 0-0 draw against Chelsea, Henry chose to turn his ire towards the club and Olivier Giroud in particular in a lengthy rambling monologue, saying: “He does a job but you can’t win the league with him.”
Henry is paid to give his opinion but he’s failed to make an educated comment, which is inexcusable given his status at Arsenal. Given Giroud only has two fewer goals than Diego Costa in all competitions, it’s very tough to pin blame solely at the feet of his fellow Frenchman.
Henry also dropped the oft-used line that Arsenal need four world-class players but, like many in this modern era of punditry, opted not to identify who these ‘world-class players’ are.
The barometer of what is world-class is getting so low now that a couple of decent games is all it takes for someone to be handed that tag. Giroud might not be world-class but he’s better than most and people seem to have difficulty recognising that.
Henry then brought up Arsenal’s injury record, which is fair enough because the number of injuries has certainly crippled the team over the years.
But he failed to recognise the impact of Shad Forsythe, who was brought in at the start of the season and has made a real difference to the energy, fitness levels and injury prevention.
When Henry talks, people listen. His opinion carries weight. But he is not doing his job if what he says is disjointed and irrational.
Every Arsenal fan loves him, and nobody should want him to be blindly biased, but he mustn’t get caught up in the demand to be sensationalist, otherwise he could face a backlash from fans.
Follow me @UcheAmako