When Thierry Henry returned to London it was difficult to see how he could add to his legacy. He was returning to the club where he is the record top scorer. Returning to the scene where he won two league championships, three cups, topped the domestic goal scoring charts four times and was rated the top marksman in Europe twice. Returning to a place where his exploits were so legendary they erected a bronze statue of him.
But with his team needing inspiration to break the deadlock against spirited opposition last night, he was summoned from the bench to rapturous applause. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Brought in to provide experience and guidance to this young, talented side, Henry has been at pains to play down his role saying he’s not here to prove anything or be a hero. But actions speak louder than words and it took Henry all of 10 minutes to be the hero and propel his club into the next round of the cup. The stadium, already fizzing with excitement, exploded in joy and Henry’s smile told its own story.
We shouldn’t be surprised that Henry took his chance when it was presented. During his season in America the statistics show that he’s still plundering a goal every other game. He finished the season third in the goal scoring charts, showing that his short-term loan deal is not a PR exercise, but a pragmatic decision.
In his glorious pomp, Henry was the best striker in world football, and after last night’s fairytale showing you wouldn’t bet against him adding to his considerable legacy at the club that turned him from a promising winger into a world-class footballer.
Hold onto your hats, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.