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Thierry Henry: Lonely at the Top by Philippe Auclair

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By Philippe Auclair

Thierry Henry - talented, charismatic and a really world-class footballer - has handed into Arsenal legend because the hero of a group that eventually ended Manchester United's dominance. yet as he approached the fall of his profession, Thierry's crown started to slip - from the notorious 'Hand of Gaul' incident to a gloomy international Cup 2010 crusade. without notice, a participant who Arsene Wenger as soon as dubbed 'the maximum striker ever', a guy who had spent his occupation on the very best of the sport, started to find out how lonely this sort of place can be. Drawing from quite a few interviews and impeccable resources, in addition to his personal observations over the process Henry's complete profession, award-winning writer Philippe Auclair has produced the main entire portrait of the Arsenal hero ever to be written. Clear-eyed, lyrical and passionately argued, Thierry Henry: Lonely on the most sensible is as uncooked, surprising and thought-provoking because it is celebratory of Henry's notable aptitude and skill.

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He took him to training,’ Panza told me, ‘he picked him up at school, he did everything so that Thierry would have the best possible conditions to be a footballer. ’ Saying ‘his’, Panza meant ‘Thierry’s’, but he might as well have alluded to his father, not that Thierry was reluctant to comply with Tony’s demands. ‘Titi was totally committed to football, despite his young age,’ Panza says. ‘And Palaiseau was right for him, inasmuch as we were committed to our youngsters as well. We organized training camps, tournaments; we played teams like Nantes and Angers.

No fool he. I had already written over 120,000 words of this book when I finally accepted that I would be unable to complete it in the form I had initially chosen. This form – a chronological account, augmented by ancillary essays – had served me well when Cantona had been my subject, but I soon felt that I was drowning in a flood of minutiae and losing track of my original purpose – losing track of Henry himself. The devil is in the detail, certainly; but only if that detail has a synecdochic quality.

Like so many young men of his generation, he wished to build a better world over the ruins left by the First World War. His country had to turn its back on that awful butchery, and in order to do that, the mud would be covered in concrete. Driven by the noblest of motives, supported by authorities trying to keep up with the pace of industrialization, Camelot (irony can be found everywhere, even in a family name) set out to turn the featureless expanses that surrounded major French cities into high-density ‘urban projects’ – the vast high-rise developments that, today, house millions of Frenchmen whose lives are lived away from the gaze of most of their countrymen, unless trouble flares up, as it regularly does: the banlieues.

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