I can’t quite figure out what to think about Thierry Henry’s performance Sunday afternoon in Dallas.
Not the performance on the field, where he had a quiet afternoon but did nicely arrange the Red Bulls only strike in a 2-1 loss FC Dallas. That one we’ll just mark under “Not good, not bad, nothing special.”
No, I’m speaking of his little performance, curt and obtuse, around a couple of reporters in the Red Bulls locker room. (We know for sure it’s a locker room because of PG-13, sexy time shot of Dax McCarty in a towel in background, over Henry’s right shoulder.)
Henry was clearly in no mood to answer questions. On the one hand, I get it. His team had just dropped the opener. He’s a competitive guy. He’s stompin’ mad and he wants to go cool his French heels, maybe enjoy an aperitif and forget about this one.
On the other hand, lots of guys in this league can stand in front of a camera or microphone and answer reasonable questions, win or lose. Damn near everyone, in fact. In general, Major League Soccer is stacked full of folks who understand that professional players and coaches remain soccer’s salesmen and ambassadors. They have some responsibility to “sell” the game, to help it grow and continue to flourish, and part of that is dealing amicably with media. In Major League Soccer, that’s just part of the gig, and few people seem to have a problem with it.
Heck, just in the Red Bulls locker room I talked to three or four other players and to manager Hans Backe. I am positive that none of them were happy to fall at FC Dallas Stadium, but they managed to be courteous, say hello, discuss the loss cooperatively and try to provide some actual, considered responses to questions.
It’s not that difficult. So, as I said, mixed feelings on this one.
Either way, kudos to MLSSoccer.com’s Simon Borg, who wasn’t about to let Henry off easy. Borg pressed and press, trying to get Henry to engage just a little bit more, to help understand what the Red Bulls might do better next time, etc. In other words, Borg did his job.
I’m not certain Henry did his in this case.