clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

As Thierry Henry Debuts, A View From England

SB Nation New York will have plenty of coverage of Thierry Henry's debut Thursday night with the New York Red Bulls. Howard Megdal has already shared his thoughts here and here

As tonight's debut against the Tottenham Spurs (8 p.m. ET, FOX Soccer Channel) approaches, let's take a look at the view of Henry's arrival in the MLS from across the pond.

Here is a portion of a piece from the Globe and Mail today.

How Henry will fare will be interesting to see. He is certainly not as box office as David Beckham (his dVb jeans, sunglasses, perfume, aftershave or Victoria's fashion range) were three years ago but, in sporting terms, the Frenchman is arguably a better catch.

There's no pun intended there, by the way, although how New York's vibrant Irish community respond to the man who ended Ireland's World Cup dreams with his own ‘Hand of God' moment could be fascinating.

But Henry, the former Arsenal and Barcelona striker, is only 32, a player in his prime who could still do a job at many a Premier League club. He is on nothing like the £6m-a-year that lured Beckham to Los Angeles in 2007 and has always said he wanted to end his career across the pond. It is something of a coup for Major League Soccer to have him here.

The problem is, mainstream America hasn't quite realised this yet. Henry's image is plastered over a disused warehouse alongside the outpost that is the walkway to the Red Bull Arena, but there are no billboard posters of him splayed over skyscrapers in central Manhattan.

television interview on Fox 5 on Tuesday was nothing short of cringe-worthy. To be fair to the Frenchman, he remained remarkably composed in the light of a question which began: ‘So, you've just won the World Cup...' The female host thought he was Spanish.

Let's pass this off as two presenters being hideously unprepared but, the fact remains, the USA is still disenchanted with the beautiful game. And this after a summer that has seen the men's national team within an extra-time goal of making the World Cup quarter-final.