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THE VOTE Was Henry right to goad Chris Kirkland?

Picture_1_279 Thierry Henry is not very popular right now, after a couple of incidents during Arsenal's jammy 2-1 win against plucky Wigan. Not only did Henry dive in the box, he also gloated in the face of Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland (who had, admittedly yet understandably, been guilty of time-wasting). All very unsavoury. Now Arsene Wenger has come out and said that Henry was 'right' to do what he did to Kirkland. Pathetic, Arsene.

The Guardian's Rob Smyth has waded into the debate, accusing the Frenchman of 'increasingly infantile behaviour'. I agree with much of what Smyth says. Henry is going down and down in my estimation. He is an incredibly talented but also incredibly vain player – perhaps that explains why he didn't want to go to Barcelona, where he would have been just another superstar, and also behind Ronaldinho in the pecking order.

February 12, 2007 in Arsenal, Wigan Athletic | Permalink


As a Gunner's fan, I was mildly disappointed by Sunday's taunting episode. But let's not blow it out of proportion.

I don’t believe this incident or the one with Gary Neville will tarnish Henry’s reputation. He is one of the most talented players in the world and usually conducts himself with class and dignity. That said, it is my hope that we’ve seen an end to these sort of displays from him.

I’ve noticed the British press never miss an attempt to slight Arsenal and seem to unfairly hold them to a higher standard. Where was the outpouring of criticism when Sheffield United’s Chris Morgan sucker-punched Robin van Persie? Sure, the FA punished him, but most of the press accounts I read excused it as an expected byproduct of the Blades manly brand of football.

Rob Smyth’s bias is particularly well known. If Wayne Rooney took a shit in the middle of the pitch, Smyth would most likely be the first to proclaim it “the most stunning display of gamesmanship ever seen”.

Things might have been different had the referee applied the rules with more of an even hand. Kirkland was repeatedly allowed to waste time with nary a warning, while Lehmann gets handed a yellow card the first time he drags his feet.

Posted by: Mark | Feb 12, 2007 5:33:29 PM

I don't deplore it at all, I condone it, and I would do even if done by an opposition player to an Arsenal player. When playing football it is extremely frustrating when you see opponents cheating, and it's natural to want to get at them. He didn't hit the guy, or make any obscene gesture. Effectively what he did was an 'In your face' for what Kirkland had done. Not saying Kirkland's time-wasting was a heinous crime, but neither was Henry's. All blown out of proportion. Any deliberate foul on an opponent without attempting to play the ball is much more deplorable, and we see that week in, week out.

Posted by: Nicky S | Feb 12, 2007 9:34:12 PM

Henry conducts himself with class when Arsenal are winning.

I do agree that his getting at Kirkland has been blown pretty far out of proportion. It goes along with the same over-officious assholes who won't let a player take his shirt off after scoring or go near the fans.

His dive however, was not only blatent cheating but not even a convincing dive. He took a few steps after contact, thought about it, and then went down. Would have been a booking if it was Nicky Butt.

Posted by: joe | Feb 12, 2007 10:50:22 PM

Henry is arrogant bitch. I wish he would go to Spain - even though it would be a great loss for the Premier League. He and Wenger have no respect for their opponents... Sad.

Posted by: mkl | Feb 13, 2007 3:34:53 AM

I understand what motivated Henry to chastise Kirkland, but to do it right in his face was lacking in class - he didn't need to go nose to nose to make his point.

Posted by: Ollie, Pies Ed. | Feb 13, 2007 12:25:09 PM

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