The Return of Class: Henry Shows the Arsenal How It’s Done

Today Thierry Henry made an historical return to his former club, Arsenal, scoring the game-winning goal against Leeds United in the Third Round of the FA Cup. His goal off the bench turned back time a good seven years to when he was curling composed shots around keepers for fun for the Gunners.

Speaking of his perfectly taken goal, Henry said, “With time, you know that one opportunity is very important. You never know when you will have a second one, if you have a second. You have to make sure you take it, and I took it well.” Took it well, indeed. He finished that singular chance with the grace and poise that Arshavin lacked in every single shot (and pass, for that matter) that he took this season.

Henry didn’t need a second chance at Arsenal, his first go around as a Gunner was stellar, his goal-scoring efforts rivaling any striker in football history. No, he didn’t need a second, but Arsenal needed something, so he got his second go. And not without risk either. Henry’s mark on the club has been made, his achievements have already been earned. He is legend. But no one wants to see a master when they aren’t in their prime. It’s just sad to see a great be reduced to embarrassment. Just ask Brett Favre (and watch this hilarious video about it: Henry had some massive shoes to fill…his own. His benevolent effort to aid the team that he loves could have ended in disaster. Luckily for Arsenal fans, football storytellers, and Henry himself, his return to help the club is no longer metaphorical – no longer just hopes and dreams of sad, belittled fans who think Chamakh and Arshavin and Djourou can turn around their pitiful misfortunes. No sir, the dream is real, and the relief is physical (WORDPLAY! in the words of Tracy Jordan). The goal has been notched, the win earned, and the FA Cup still in reach.

Now it’s a bit early to claim that his return is a revelation for the club, but let’s be fair, a certain crash out of the FA Cup last season proved to be Arsenal’s downfall, so to stay in it at this stage of the season was an absolute must on the road to redemption. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly excited to see where the Arsenal legend can take the Gunners from here in the six and a half weeks that he’s staying at the Emirates.