Thursday, July 22, 2010

Henry to NY

So Thierry Henry is coming to America -- incredible. I wonder how he will adapt.

I was thrilled when he moved to Barcelona -- I thought the move was a smart one for both player and club. Henry at the time was 29 years old and had done pretty much all one could have done with Arsenal in London. He topped the Arsenal all-time goal scoring charts. Helped them win the league twice, going undefeated in one season. He nearly won the Champions League with them, only to lose to...Barcelona... in the final.

While he led that Arsenal team with arrogance and at times petulance, he also did so with tremendous style and flair. Henry made a significant contribution to the Barcelona teams that won the last two league titles -- but it was hard for him to shine in a team with so many amazing players. Perhaps that is a credit to him -- he proved that he could adapt and contribute to a team effort after playing the role of superstar for so long at Arsenal.

Among the many different types of players in the game -- the industrious worker-bee types, the hard-men tacklers, the playmakers -- players like Henry, Ibrahimovic, Zidane, Larsson, Maicon, Luis Fabiano, Kaka are a class above. The have a certain coolness, a confidence and grace that distinguishes them from the rest -- good though they may be.

Michael Jordan had that grace; many say Lebron James has that grace now. You could argue that Tiger Woods is of the same ilk, though his crass life choices have tarnished his reputation.

I think Henry will find it rough going in the MLS. Hopefully he can avoid the tackles from the graceless cloggers that abound in our league here.

The run out in New York will be a new adventure for him. Welcome to America, Henry - and good luck to you.

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