Thierry Henry. His name is one of the biggest names in world football. He became a worldwide icon with Arsenal of the English Premiership, and then he went on to win a plethora of trophies with F.C. Barcelona in Spain’s La Liga. After getting the heave-ho from Barcelona, the big moment came to Major League Soccer and the New York Red Bulls when Thierry Henry joined the club after the 2010 World Cup.
There was a lot of pomp and circumstance when he came over to MLS and made a big splash during the Barclay’s New York Challenge after he scored his first Red Bulls goal against a common foe when he faced Tottenham Hotspur late in the first half. Since that friendly he has registered only two goals in league play with a couple of assists. Not surprisingly, some have complained he doesn’t bring a workman’s attitude here like he did when he was playing in Europe.
Well that hasn’t been the case at all. He has been involved in the matches and he has been a good soldier. But as of right now maybe we are seeing a broken down Henry that no one expected. After admitting he was tired after coming over last summer, the start of this season hasn’t been fantastic either. He has looked promising during the pre-season, but when the regular season got started the nagging little injuries suddenly popped up.
During the home opener he already suffered a hamstring strain before Juan Agudelo was fouled in the area by the Seattle Sounders and didn’t take his penalty well. He missed the road match against the Columbus Crew, played against the Houston Dynamo and now, after the road loss to Philadelphia Union, he has suffered a slight achilles tendon strain. Is the soil different in the United States than in Europe? Are our physical trainers not as good as the ones in Europe? I can honestly say that is not the case.
Yet it’s getting very concerning that with four matches into the start of the 2011 New York Red Bulls season, this has become a problem. The supporters have already started to grow tired of Henry. If you go to certain forums and social media sites, there is plenty of disappointment going around. The “Same Old Metro” sign has been brought back and passed around once again. But as I have said on another story in the comments section, I’m not going to make an opinion on Thierry Henry until the end of April.
But the way things are going right now, that opinion might be a bit earlier than originally scheduled. It’s not about making excuses for such a world class player like Henry, it’s to look at the club as a whole and see where things are going. Two goals scored in four matches is concerning, but picking up five points in the first four games of the season isn’t. But I will admit that it should have been seven points before the gaffe against the Dynamo. Having the advantage on the percentage of possession is not a problem for this club. Right now it’s creating chances and the quality of those chances being converted.
That’s where things are for Thierry Henry at the moment. Two goals scored within fourteen matches played. There is a problem right now and hopefully these nagging injuries and bad luck can be erased quickly and before it really gets out of hand when the league is nearing the CONCACAF Gold Cup.