Henry admits struggling to adapt at Barça

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The Independent Football

Thierry Henry has admitted he is frustrated with life at Barcelona's Nou Camp. The former Arsenal striker was clearly agitated yesterday after continued negative questioning from Catalan journalists, one of whom asked him if he was scared of playing for Barcelona.

"The only thing I am scared of is dying," he replied. "And the only time I am not happy is when I don't give anything to the team. If I don't score or give an assist I am not happy."

Henry has so far not shown the form which saw him worshipped in north London, but the notoriously fickle Barça fans have stuck by him, even if they expect more.

"Stop looking for the player who was at Arsenal," demanded the Frenchman. "I am not at Arsenal any more. It's a different type of game and most of the time here I play with my back to the net, but I have four goals and three assists. It's not just about me – I look at how I can help the team."

Henry was keen to stress the contrast between the Premier League and La Liga: "The game is much quicker in England and there are other differences. Whenever you touch somebody here it is a foul. I never thought it would be easy to play in Barcelona, but it took me nine games to score my first goal when I arrived in England, then I went another month without scoring."

He agrees that things could have run smoother.

"It would have been better to go into the team step by step, but then Samuel [Eto'o] got injured and other players were not ready after the Copa America. I had to come back to fitness and play at the same time. I don't have any excuses though, I just have to get on with it. Physically I feel OK, but I have been playing with an Achilles problem for the last three games. All that I am missing is a bit of speed in the last 20 minutes."

Asked whether he was struggling to form a playing relationship with Brazilian star Ronaldinho, Henry said: "It's nothing to do with Ronnie; it just takes time. I play in the way that you saw at Arsenal, a more direct way. Here, we pass the ball more from right to left and the approach is different. I have to adapt to that. At Arsenal, when we counter-attacked, the ball came to me straightaway. That doesn't happen here, but it's up to me to adapt. Barça have played this way for a long time and have been very successful."

Questioned on Ronaldinho's perceived lack of form, he said: "Ronnie can't always be a machine. He's not playing that badly, but it's always difficult when someone expects so much from him. What he did in playing at such a high level for so long, was abnormal, but people began to take it for granted [as if it was normal]. Now he's not doing it as he was before, but just having him on the pitch occupies the minds of other teams and gives more freedom for others. He's still a great player."