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Henry Taunts United – You Won’t Be Able To Surprise Us

Henry scoreboard Manchester UnitedThierry Henry is a player who United fans will ever be fond of, due to his affiliations with our former title rivals. The Arsenal hero, who left the club in the summer just gone for Barcelona, has failed to make much of an impact on the Spanish giants, who booked their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League last night. With the Frenchman scoring just 14 goals in 39 appearances this season, Henry’s side currently lie in 3rd in La Liga, 7 points behind Real Madrid.

Manchester United did the same after a victory over Roma, who currently stand second in Serie A. After beating the Italians 2-0 away from home, it was almost a forgone conclusion that United would progress to the next stage in the competition, however, that looked to be less secure when the referee awarded a penalty against Wes Brown in the first half. I’ve yet to see a replay, but from the stands, it looked like a superb challenge. Regardless, de Rossi blasted over the bar meaning we don’t have to give too much thought on whether it was the right decision for the ref to point to the spot.

With Barcelona always looking like favourites against Shalke, it was no surprise to hear on the final whistle that they were the team we were going to play in the semi’s. I am extremely excited about the game, intrigued to see how our lads will measure up against an attack minded, world class, side. It appears I am not the only one though, with Henry speaking to the press this morning about the game.

Henry has had a sly dig at United, claiming they aren’t necessarily the favourites and he doesn’t expect us to be able to surprise Barca. Whilst recognising the brilliance of Ronaldo, who is three league goals short of equaling Henry’s best record in the Premiership, Henry claims he knows our side well enough to do the job.

“This is a game to get excited about, but we will have to play well because we will be up against a team who are playing incredibly. They are on great form,” he said. “People will say they are favourites but nobody can really know. They are a team in first place in their league and Cristiano Ronaldo is having an incredible season, so we know them pretty well. They won’t be able to surprise us.”

Are you looking forward to playing against Henry again? Is he any match for Ferdinand and Vidic?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Tom F says:

    I don’t think he’s having much of a dig. If we go and win over both legs, it won’t be a suprise at all-just a great or bad result depending on who goes through.

    I hope Ronaldo does beat Henry’s record and if he continues his perfect form against Arsenal on Sunday.

  2. jsos says:

    the old henry ruined a weekend or two for me, but where he’s at now – i don’t think he’ll pose much trouble for rio and vidic. i too think it will be a great match, but i feel we’ll come out on top

  3. proud to be syrian says:

    i’ve watched several barca games this year nearly 15 and to be honest henry wasn’t that good i think vida can handle him without much trouble
    the player that iam afraid of is messi he is so fast so smart he can get passsed three four players without any toruble his finishing is poor a little he creats lots of chances but doesnt score so eto comes always and sores from his passes
    we can win both games their defence leaves lots of space nd thier goal keeper makes unbelievable mistakes he is stupid he makes great saves but makes also mistakes that makes yo think he is drunk

  4. nittin says:

    i kinda get by what he means he is not gonna be surprised by utd.. guess he’s pretty sure utd is gonna get the better of barca over two legs..!

  5. Sam says:

    Fellow ranters,

    This is completely unrelated, but it occurred to me whilst comparing our night at Old Trafford last night to that at Anfield the night before. Both clubs are incredibly special, with momentous history and tradition, and both clubs have had to endure disasters befalling either their fans (Hillsborough) or players (Munich). So why is there such a difference at the end of a great European night at the two famous stadiums? Watching on TV, I was really struck by how they play “You’ll never walk alone” at the end, and everyone stays in their places, standing with their scarves and singing. Compare that to our ground (and, it is fair to point out, most grounds across Europe- but I see no reason why we should be like most clubs across Europe) and the natural reaction is one of envy.

    Watching this recalled the feeling at the beginning of the City game this year, and, though this feeling quickly evaporated during the match (!), I have never been prouder to support this club than when I stood with my dad, holding up my scarf and singing “The Red Flag” as the bloke with the bagpipes played it. Obviously I am not suggesting such an event at every match, and I actually think the pre-match build up at OT (with Take me Home United Road etc) is fantastic. All I am suggesting is that at the end of every match they play “The Red Flag” over the speaker system. (Maybe not every match, but at the very least the Champions League ones, to make them that bit more special). Whilst I would generally shy away from copying the Scousers, and I’m anticipating some criticism coming my way from diehard Mancs here, I see no reason why we can’t make our matchdays, our stadium, and our crowd, as special as theirs. Imagine how much more spine-tingling and memorable last night would have been if, at the end, everyone stayed in the ground, stood with their scarves in the air, and sang “We’’ll never die, we’ll never die” etc. Our club’s history and tradition, if nothing else, deserves it.

    So you all probably think a) why would we want to copy the Scousers and b) what is this bloke doing posting this here. My intention was firstly to see if there is widespread support amongst United fans for this, and secondly to see if any of you know how one would go about proposing this to the club- who to petition etc.


  6. jsos says:

    sam – er, maybe find a better venue for this than as a non-related page long rant on a post about Henry and United. not on, mate.

    and… i think the “never get a job” is ridiculous and seeing the pan of the crowd full of white jumpsuits and trash singing along to a song they couldn’t likely spell the words too is hilarious rather than inspiring. we sounded BREATHTAKING last night in the stands. where were you?

  7. John says:

    i dont like the country & western version of “take me home..” seems too forced, id rather a more traditional version of the song than the disney version we play now. surely a local manchester band could record a version to be played on match days

  8. Sam says:

    Jsos. Sorry if I offended you by posting here, I didn’t know it was so “not on”. I’ll let Scott reprimand me if he wants to.

    You may feel that way about the Scousers, but you’re looking at it from a United viewpoint. The fact is, most of the footballing world finds that inspiring.

    Thirdly, I’m not disputing that we were in full voice last night. But anyway, that’s not really my point. Any old ground can be in full voice. It’s just a bit extra special what they do at Anfield, and I see no reason why we can’t replicate it.

    Finally, John, I do agree with what you’re saying to an extent, your sentiments have been echoed by others on the other forum where I suggested this: I still quite enjoy that before the match, but that’s another issue really. I’m talking about after the match, and I think a chorus of “The red flag” would be brilliant. Red Ranter from the previous site suggests “The Impossible Dream”, but I think that’s too unrelated. Then again, so is “You’ll never walk alone” to the scousers, since we sang it first.

  9. Sam says:

    And, for the record, for Jsos’ sake, I don’t think Henry is a match for Rio and Vidic. However, if Messi is fit, he could cause our defence lots of problems, and Henry and Eto (and Bojan if they play him too) could cause problems.

  10. Luke Nestler says:

    Any post that includes the words “Anfield” and “envy” isn’t likely to get much time from me to be honest!

    Henry can always pull something magic out of the bag, as can all top quality players – that’s why playing the best teams is so special. I think their defence trying to contain Rooney, Ronaldo etc should have a LOT more to worry about than ours, which has proven to be amongst the best in Europe this term.

  11. Nic says:

    Most Barça fans would rather see Henry dropped and a front three of Messi, Bojan and Eto’o against United.

  12. Tote Football Pro says:

    What do you want him to say? “Man Utd are the best team ever. We are rubbish. there’s no point in even turning up. I thoroughly expect us to lose 10-0″!!??

    Henry’s generally a pretty classy guy in his interviews (CL final 2006 excluded), which is always pleasantly surprising and refreshing considering who his magager was!

    I think he calls it exactly right. He knows people will call us favourites. he admits that CR is the best player in the world. But he thinks that if Barca play as well as they can then theyre capable of beating aybody. Spot on!

    Make no mistake: We’ve got a hard game coming up. I’m sure SAF will be concentrating on his own team and not some insignificant comments made by Thierry Henry.

  13. Whiteside10 says:

    Looking forward to this, big time… One of the many stand-out memories of the Treble season was the two games in the group stage against Barca – especially the 3-3 at the Nou Camp… That was one of those all-time Champions League classics.. the Yorke-Cole combination for United’s second, Rivaldo’s scissors kick, United getting battered for the first 20 minutes then scoring with our first meaningful attack.. what a game…
    Anyway, enough reminiscing, having also watched a fair bit of Spanish footie this season, I think Fergie’s spot on to say that we’ll need to go to the Nou Camp and be positive, because Barca defensively have been between average and woeful this season… it’s our best chance of winning over the two legs – in fact, I reckon if our front four are all firing, we could win both legs… Although I also think Messi could play the role of Rivaldo in that Nov ’98 classic – he is class…
    One other small point – following Av Grunt’s comments previously about Chelsea having to play twice in three days, it appears to have gone unnoticed that United have a six-day schedule playing Barca away on the 23rd, Chelsea away at lunchtime on the 26th, then Barca at home on the 29th… three games in six days… and they’re not exactly Wigan at home and Everton away, are they? Still, I’m sure the squad’s good enough and they all seem fit and firing (Balsa Boy excluded, of course), so bring it on…

  14. Raisnhell says:

    Screw Henry. Screw the refs. Screw them all. If we concentrate on how we play the game, attack fast and smart, and close down their attack ASAP, then we don’t have to worry about anything.

  15. Tom F says:

    Jsos- what is the big problem with Sam writing an unrelated rant? I know it will kill you to press the ‘page down’ button a few times but I am sure claims direct will help you get the compensation you deserve. Where theres blame kids…

    A final against Liverpool in the Champions League would be the mmost exciting and most scary night ofmy Manchester United history. Bring it on.

    (if we and they make it).

  16. jsos says:

    Tom F – there are forums for spewing whatever pops into your little head. Using someone else’s blog as your soapbox to start a completely unrelated discussion is bad manners to say the least.

    You’ve got jokes with the claims direct eh? I would think you of all people would understand the etiquette of posting considering your constant presence on here. It’s no use getting at me for someone else’s bad manners. I’d expect you on board for keeping this place on point.

  17. Scott the Red says:

    If people want to have random off topic rants, feel free to start a thread at the RoM forum.

  18. Sam says:

    Will do so next time Scott, sorry- I didn’t realise that even existed!

    Jsos, my apology does not extend to you, I’m afraid. I started this discussion on a few blogs, and no-one else has reprimanded me on a matter of etiquette, and even if it was rude (which I don’t think it was, though perhaps misplaced) it is certainly not your place to castigate me for it. There is no such thing as a vigilante on a blog. I also do not appreciate being insulted as having a “little head”, as you frankly have no idea as to the extent of my intelligence (nor the physical size of my head, I would hope). However I will not get into that, or continue this ridiculous discussion, since it is not the right place.

    Perhaps you’d like to talk on the forum?

  19. Sid P says:

    oh shut up you two…


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