Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Henry passes the baton

Anyone watching the first 2 matches for Les Bleus know that Henry has been downgraded from unquestionable starter to substitute. Something which the player is prepared to accept - does he really have a choice? So Henry seems to have passed on the captains' armband to Evra - a good choice in my mind he has worn the arm band for Manchester United as well. The real question to me becomes should Domenech have selected Henry in the first place?

I realize he is France's leading goal scorer (51 goals in 119 appearances) but his recent form has left much to be desired. Barely getting into any games at Barcelona, the most telling was he was not even used in the Champions League  match versus Inter when Barcelona were chasing goals. He is a little redundant on his preferred left wing. You have Ribery firmly entrenched there and he is most likely the last player you would want to substitute out during a game for another offensive player. There seems to be lots of cover at center forward, although none of which is scintillating right now. You cannot expect to stick Henry out on the right wing, he has never occupied that channel. So what to do with Titi? It is not as if Domenech has a warm heart and soul - see what he did with Trezeguet, Pires and Vieira.

So I question why select Titi in the first place if is just going to take a spot on the  bench. I understand he was your captain and a good soldier. However maybe you should see if he could evolve in the middle as your center forward during the past 2 games, that is where I see him having some influence on games. Unfortunately Domenech decided to take 4 players that could evolve in that role and not enough that could man the right side. When does Laurent Blanc start?


Adam said...

I think Henry's problem is psychological. He clearly felt shame over the hand-ball affair, and that is most of the problem. Henry had a great year for Barcelona in 2008-09. I have never seen an elite, physically healthy player diminish in quality so much so fast. It's as if he believes he doesn't deserve to score goals anymore.

GFC said...

That is an interesting theory. I do think that Henry feels some guilt around the "hand of gaul." I also agree that his drop off this season has been somewhat surprising - he had wonderful year in 08-09: playing well with Messi and Eto'o to score 100 goals amongst the 3 of them. I fear that where he feels most comfortable - left wing - is no longer feasible with Ribery taking that spot.