Arsenal FC: Class Is Permanent, Thierry Henry To Hold 2-Month Seminar

Scott FitzpatrickContributor IIIDecember 29, 2011

Arsenal FC: Class Is Permanent, Thierry Henry To Hold 2-Month Seminar

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    Amidst two months of speculation following the end of the MLS season, one little rumor just won't go away: Thierry Henry could return to Arsenal on loan.

    He's holds the club's record for goals.

    He's one of the most loved Gunners of all time.

    He's won at every level of the game.

    He's been immortalized with his own statue.

    He's being offered a way back (according to the Daily Mail).

    Many people doubt whether he can make an impact on the EPL in his current form, but I dare to say that his class still raises him into an echelon of footballers that is still matched by few.  He's lost some (not all) of his pace and some (not all) of his stamina, but to underestimate Thierry is to do so at your own peril.

    I can't convince everyone, but they say "a picture is worth a thousand words, but video is king!"

As Deft a Touch as Ever!

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    If there was one thing that we all remember about Thierry Henry (other than his blistering pace), it was his ability to do things with the ball that most people can't do with their hands.  There is a special group of people who have ball skills that they can apply in a game to just take your breath away and this is an example of just such a person.

    Needing an equalizer against Toronto, Henry is in the box for a corner.  In comes the ball, it's passed along and the master poaches the opportunity using a soft flick to pull the ball around the defender, swivel and shoot across the goal for the score.

    Argue all you want, but that was class and you can't teach that.

Speed Meets Skill

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    As dangerous as his skill with the ball was, teams rightfully feared the Frenchman for his pace.  More than that, however, they feared his ability to combine his pace WITH his skill instead of sacrificing one for the other.

    As this video against the eventual MLS champion LA Galaxy shows, while Henry has lost some speed, his skill and positioning are still spot on.  Furthermore he makes numerous great passes and shows a bit of skill of juggling the ball while running down the touchline on pace with a Galaxy defender.

    I should point out that he still has a burst of speed that catches many unawares in that first five yards or so.

Ball Placement

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    Thierry Henry sits amongst the greatest players of his era for a number of reasons and one of those is his ability to put the ball where it needs to go.  David Beckham has made a career out of it, but let's not overlook his cross-Channel rival.

    Sure it's against FC Dallas of the MLS, but you can't tell me that this goal is a peach of a shot as good as any you'll see from range.

    Henry controls the pass, throws the defender with a body shift and fake shot, then dekes to his left foot where he places it in the upper corner for another score.

    Well played, Monsieur Thierry!

Once a Scorer, Always a Scorer.

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    Thierry Henry was prolific for Arsenal.  So much so that he holds the Arsenal record with RvP (maybe for only two more days) for most EPL goals scored in a calendar year.  His 226 goals across all competitions for Arsenal are second to none.

    And for the Red Bulls he was simply on fire this year.  It's not 20-plus as we are accustomed to seeing prior to his departure, but at his age and with the lack of overall talent to support him (Luke Rodgers, Dax McCarty and Joel Lindpere are his greatest feeders), 15 is no mean feat.

    So enjoy 13 of the 15.

Holding His Own!

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    As this video shows during the MLS All-Star game vs. Manchester United, Thierry Henry can still hold his own.  What better barometer of whether he can still be an asset to the Gunners than a reel against the defending EPL champions?

    He may not have always won, but Henry is still no slouch and that's more than we can say for the Gunners' last trip to Old Trafford!

Bring It On!

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    Class is in session and one of the masters may be back to show the young Gunners and the rest of the EPL how it's done.  I, for one, am excited about the prospect of one of the greatest players to grace North London's return.

    Gooner for life!