I watched the France v Republic of Ireland game last night and although I’m not Irish I did get caught up in the match and I was more than happy when they scored, and was willing them to go through – even if the goal did come from a Spurs player.
So when Thierry Henry did that in extra time to set up William Gallas’ goal, I was enraged. And I was even more wound up when my Dad came out and said:
“All footballers cheat”.
My response was along the lines of “what the hell are you on about?” as I was still in shock that the goal was actually given.
And as the game ended, I received a barrage of text messages from friends telling me how Thierry Henry was a complete disgrace and well, I couldn’t really repeat what some of the messages said on here.
But after I took a step back I realised how amazingly hypocritical football supporters are, and how my fathers initially nonsensical statement was truer than I first though.
If you look back, most footballers (even the greats) have incidents of cheating on the resumes. Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Didier Drogba, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard… the list is literally endless.
It was amazing the abuse Thierry Henry was getting.
When a foreigner does it, they’re a disgrace but if Michael Owen dives to earn a penalty against Argentina in the World Cup then it’s not cheating, it’s being clever.
It’s funny how it’s all reported in the media.
Now don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand Didier Drogba but if you actually put all of his, frankly laughable, dives into perspective, he’s actually no worse than England’s very own shining star, Steven Gerrard. Now like me at first, you would think comparing a ‘cheating b@stard’ like Drogba to a roaring and inspirational leader like Gerrard was completely farcical. I bet you still think it’s ridiculous even now.
Well take off your blinkered glasses and take a look at this video:
It doesn’t seem so crazy now does it?
How often do we read in the papers that Gerrard’s a cheat or a diver? Exactly, never.
Hell, I’d even bet that most football fans talk about how much Drogba is a cheat more than Gerrard is. Even the Everton supporters.
So I’m sure that Thierry will be crucified in all the newspapers this morning, and I suppose a good witch-hunt sells newspapers.
I’d like to think Arsenal supporters are from a more intelligent breed, and realise that it isn’t just always an opposing player that’s been guilty of cheating. Whenever I see anyone cheat or dive (whether it be an Arsenal player) I’ll always say that’s a disgrace.
Cheating is cheating, not just when it’s against your team.
I’ve had it all tonight, “Henry’s a dirty cheat”, “I’ve lost all respect for him” and “Your hero is a scumbag” being some of the regular messages aimed in my direction. Funnily enough, I’ve also had a lot of people saying that Henry must have learnt how to cheat from Arsenal, which is a personal favourite.
But you know what, Thierry Henry will always be a legend in my eyes and he did so much for our football club. Whenever he was at Arsenal, it would be fair to say he was a role-model, on and off the pitch.