Arsenal striker comments unfair

I FEEL I must respond to comments made in Trizia Fiorellino’s article on Chelsea in Arena recently.

While her article is obviously pro-Chelsea and she is of course entitled to her opinions, the comments she made about Arsenal striker Thierry Henry are grossly unfair.

The spirit of the columns on the four major clubs that appear in Arena every week are naturally partisan, and indeed the occasional banter between the columnists and their respective grievances about rival clubs and players provide much entertainment. However, her mid-column rant against Arsenal and particularly Henry was gratuitous and malicious. Ms Fiorellino asked what kind of man “makes the shape of a T with his fingers and presses them to his lips when he scores?”.

The answer is the kind of man whose wife has recently given birth to their first daughter, named Tèa, and who would be fined by the FA had he taken off his shirt to reveal a T-shirt with a message for her.

While Henry has had the occasional moment of petulance during his time at Arsenal, he has consistently conducted himself as a model professional both on and off the field. He is devoted to Arsenal, he never seeks a move abroad despite recurrent interest, and while (like every major footballer) he avails of commercial sponsorship, it is never at the expense of his private life or his family.

It is doubtless Ms. Fiorellino would have remained unaware of the birth of another Beckham as she was of Henry’s first child. Her comments chastising the press for dribbling over his every move hardly need comment. The press ‘dribble’ over Henry because he is one of the best players in the world and prefers to stay at Arsenal, a club with tradition (hence the redcurrant shirts which so offend Ms Fiorellino) rather than sit on a bench at Stamford Bridge and rake in the roubles.

Mary O’Connell

Bandon

Co Cork

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