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
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant