What to make of New York Red Bulls’ striker Thierry Henry? It’s not such an easy question.
The man has certainly arranged a spiffy set of numbers; this year 15 goals and 12 assists were enough to garner some Most Valuable Player consideration.
On the other hand, the consideration falls off the table upon further, well, consideration. That’s because so many of Henry’s goals came against the clubs of lesser, the teams that are done for 2012. Less of his good work came against playoff-bound teams like D.C. United, the Red Bull’s opposition as they open the MLS tournament this weekend.
Meanwhile, his standing as a good teammate certainly deserves discussion. His body language on game-day is abysmal, consistently demonstrating outright disdain for players who can’t do things he can do. That cannot be ideal inside the locker room.
On the other hand, tales of his studious preparation and dedication to winning are regularly exchanged inside MLS circles. That part surely is endearing to teammates.
Some of his behavior toward opponents has been wholly unbecoming, speaking poorly of a highly decorated World Cup winner who should be above the cheap stuff.
And he certainly is a moody fellow, isn’t he? Sometimes, his communication with fans through media can be candid and wonderfully revealing. And other times, he can be a petulant little kid, obtuse and uncooperative.
So, if anyone feels conflicted about Henry, they certainly are not alone.
And if you still need to weigh the evidence ahead of Saturday’s playoff opener, Fox Soccer’s Leander Schaerlaeckens takes a nice little stroll back through Henry’s time with the Red Bulls in this piece.