Elder Statesman? (or Thierry Henry’s Loan to Arsenal Helps No One)

Henry-01The Daily Mail is alleging that English futbol club Arsenal have finally offered former star Thierry Henry a two-month loan with the hopes that the French legend can inject some much needed firepower into their 2011/2012 Premier League campaign.

The question is this: Does a loan of this sort really help anybody?

Thierry Henry is still in fine form, but he’s becoming more elder statesman as opposed to the lightening-quick juggernaut that Arsenal needs if they intend to “gun” (pun intended) for a top-four spot in the English standings.

Why would Red Bull New York have any interest in letting this happen? Perhaps they have little choice. Similar to the bind the L.A. Galaxy found themselves in time and time again with David Beckham, the weight that Henry carries on the international scene may just be too heavy for the MLS side to command without concession.

If Henry wants to go, he’ll find a way to go.

But should he want to?

Henry has already accomplished so much with Arsenal. His legendary status is cemented at the Emirates (he has a statue erected near the stadium, for God sakes). Returning to the team in this fashion would only read as a hollow sequel.

In addition to that, he’s been carrying injuries that could easily find him losing speed once he returns to Harrison, New Jersey for MLS regular season.

Henry has always struck me as someone who greatly respects his new domestic league. He does his homework. He knows the league, the teams, the players. Whatever his tactics on and off the field (I’ll be the first to admit he can be a dirty player), he seems genuinely determined to win an MLS Cup during his tenure in the States.

I think a loan to Arsenal would compromise that. He’s too ingrained in the history – the very DNA – of that club to simply check in for a short fling and then check back out.

His focus needs to be here stateside. He’s becoming a true playmaker for the New York team and should focus his energies there.

Henry came to the States with bold declarations that he wanted to conquer the MLS with a championship for his newly adopted Red Bull New York. Does a loan stint to Arsenal aid this in any way? Following a season that had the second most expensive team (in what is becoming a very competitive league) finish 10th in the standings, Henry’s focus should be on his American club if he wants to make good on those declarations.



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