About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Return of Le Roi

They say never go back. How many comebacks see the fans watching an idol have feet of clay, leaving them to pine for his glory days? Probably most them, but not Thierry Henry. Helped by a hard working but shotshy supporting cast of 21, Henry emerged from the shadow of the touchline to take centre stage with twenty two minutes to go then steal the show with his 78th minute.
To be honest the game was in desperate need of this injection of Hollywood heroism. I say Hollywood rather than Roy of the Rovers as in this case top special effects were required to make a statue come back to life! Prior to Henry's arrival the game had reached stalemate. An Arsenal midfield led by the masterly Arteta accompanied by Ramsey and Song snuffed out any hope of an upset but despite having all the play the Gunners attack rarely troubled Andy Lonergan.
On the plus side this would have been a valuable experience for the young Oxlade-Chamberlain who was harried all night whilst although Arshavin's endeavour only revealed a woeful lack of form at least he might have played himself in for a Premier League stint to cover Gervinho's absence. As for Chamakh he might as well have joined up with Morocco for the African Nations Cup on schedule, his evening reaching a nadir when he missed an open goal, fortunately not mattering much due to an earlier linesman's flag.
The other plus was the lack of Arsenal potency meant there was little to ratchet up the Leeds fans' seemingly permanent state of indignant anger, particularly after they had to put up with an extreme close up of Savage and Keown when ESPN set up in front of the away end pre match.
The story of the game then was the entry of the man with the longest socks in football. With Henry kept waiting on the touchline as the ball remained in play for a long spell, the ground rose in ovation at his arrival, the bloke on my left almost priapic in his anticipation which following the goal led to the inevitable explosion of exuberant joy in one of those hug strangers moments when everyone is happy to dispense with the usual English reserve.
The last word almost fell to another ex Premier League striker when a Mikael Forsell shot brought a good save out of Szczesny but the night belonged to Henry with a result which must have had the bookies in tears.

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