Problems mount for Henry
Saturday 12 April 2008
While Emmanuel Adebayor's reputation has soared this season, the man he has replaced at the head of Arsenal's attacking line-up, Thierry Henry, is finding plaudits harder to come by. The Frenchman is out of position and out of sorts in Barcelona and this week, despite his team defeating Schalke in the Champions League, he could hide his frustration no more.
"I have never run as much in all my career. Never, never, never, never, never," Henry told L'Equipe after another outing on the left wing. The 30-year-old finds himself behind Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o, Lionel Messi and Bojan Krkic in the strikers' queue at the Nou Camp.
"Instead of running off the shoulder of defenders 30 metres from goal I'm going from 60! As far as beating [the last] man is concerned, forget it, my legs are gone by then."
A France team without their star centre-forward would have seemed unthinkable a year ago but Henry fears for his chances at the European Championship this summer. "I'll be honest," he said, "against Spain in February I'd lost my bearings up front, made the wrong calls [and] runs and was poor in front of goal. I'm not in position and my sharpness is gone. So yes, it's a problem."
Statistics bear this out. Henry has scored seven goals in La Liga this season – one every 273 minutes. At Arsenal he scored every 121 minutes in the Premier League.
And the outlook remains gloomy, given his subtle admission that coach Frank Rijkaard is unlikely to hand him the forward berth he craves. "I hope that between the end of Barcelona's season and the start of the Euros I'll be able to get my bearings up front again [with France]."
Henry, who is not in the squad for today's visit to Recreativo Huelva after picking up a knock against Schalke, admitted to personal problems a month ago – his divorce has been well publicised – but his relationship with his team-mates may be under stress too. Asked if he felt he was getting the service he needed he said: "I've nothing to say there. You can analyse things how you want. Me, I've nothing to say."
Latest in Sport
England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup after Sepp Blatter resignation - Qatar and Russia under pressure
Sepp Blatter quits as Fifa president live: South African government admits 'thin line' between bribery and legacy contributions
Sepp Blatter resignation: The exit of the Fifa president must lead to real change
Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
Brendan Rodgers' job safe for now but Liverpool owners plan for improvement
- 1 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers