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Thierry Henry: Lonely at the Top: A Biography

– tekijä: Philippe Auclair

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
211860,338 (3.38)-
Thierry Henry - gifted, charismatic and a world class footballer of the highest order - has passed into Arsenal legend as the hero of Arsene Wenger's killer team that finally ended Manchester United's domination, winning two league titles and three FA cups. He was also instrumental in France's World Cup and European Cup glories in 1998 and 2000 and continued his incredibly successful career at Barcelona by winning the treble in his first season. But now in the autumn of his career, Thierry's crown has slipped - playing out his days in an obscure American team and disgracing himself and his team at a dismal World Cup 2010. So who is the real Thierry Henry? Drawing from countless interviews, as well as his own observations over Henry's entire career, award-winning author Philippe Auclair has produced the most complete portrait of the Arsenal hero ever to be written. With exclusive access to Henry's inner circle, Auclair has reached this most elusive and closed of footballers to produce a biography as raw, shocking and thought-provoking as it is celebratory of Henry's outstanding flair and talent.… (lisätietoja)
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I’m not sure whether the French have a different approach to biography than the British or whether Phillipe Auclair’s style of footballing biography is unique. Auclair’s English language books have dealt exclusively with football, portraits of his two most successful countrymen to play in England. His first book on Cantona was a masterpiece of the genre, seeking to understand his subject rather than offer a simple overview of his career to date. Auclair’s book opened a whole new dimension of appreciation; it had the form of a sports biography, a huge selling but seemingly universally derided form, and weaved literature, art and sport together into a dazzling tapestry. Cantona’s life ended up being merely the shape of the book – this was a character study disguised as biography. The logical follow-up was the other Frenchman who came to define his era in the Premier League, Arsenal’s avatar of grace and speed of thought.

I confess that I still regard Henry as the best Premier League player I saw live. His game didn’t have the needy desperation that often marred Ronaldo and Gerrard’s play, and it had infinitely more grace than the more forceful likes of Drogba or Rooney. He made brilliance seem effortless, a flawless footballing machine. Auclair’s work makes it clear that the effortlessness was an illusion, that, beautiful as it could be to witness, Henry sweated hard to achieve that effect. Amidst what’s a football aesthete’s dream of a book it strikes a prosaic though true note and it’s to Auclair’s credit that it feels perfectly in keeping. With the surface nature of much football coverage and Henry’s diffidence we never actually understood Henry as well as we thought we did.

Again, as with the Cantona book the career merely shapes the story, it’s not the essence of it. As with Dennis Bergkamp’s biography much of the meat here is his career defining spell at Arsenal. These books, along with Amy Lawrence’s 'Invincibles' show Wenger’s imperial phase (roughly speaking from Wenger taking over to the move to the Emirates) beginning to being put into their historical context. Obviously all three are positive – it’s notable how both Bergkamp and Henry eulogise Wenger, each other and their teammates.

The book ends on a triumphant note – not for Auclair the ending of Henry winding his career down in what’s perceived as a lesser league, faded abilities still dazzling lesser mortals. Nor does he end by dwelling on France’s shambolic 2010 World Cup. Instead he ends it on the perfect note, the perfect image. He leaves it with Henry’s last hurrah at the Emirates, one last goal for the club. A moment of pure joy, perfect happiness, a goal at the venue he once imperiously strode. It’s a perfect ending, a release of the tension that’s been held back through the book by nature of the subject’s character. The footballer becoming the fan, understanding their emotion and what they get from the game, shedding the simple professionalism and cool demeanour. Finally he shares the joy that Auclair confesses punctured his professional journalistic etiquette twice. It’s the perfect ending note of the main symphony, everything following would be a mere coda. ( )
  JonArnold | Jan 18, 2015 |
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Thierry Henry - gifted, charismatic and a world class footballer of the highest order - has passed into Arsenal legend as the hero of Arsene Wenger's killer team that finally ended Manchester United's domination, winning two league titles and three FA cups. He was also instrumental in France's World Cup and European Cup glories in 1998 and 2000 and continued his incredibly successful career at Barcelona by winning the treble in his first season. But now in the autumn of his career, Thierry's crown has slipped - playing out his days in an obscure American team and disgracing himself and his team at a dismal World Cup 2010. So who is the real Thierry Henry? Drawing from countless interviews, as well as his own observations over Henry's entire career, award-winning author Philippe Auclair has produced the most complete portrait of the Arsenal hero ever to be written. With exclusive access to Henry's inner circle, Auclair has reached this most elusive and closed of footballers to produce a biography as raw, shocking and thought-provoking as it is celebratory of Henry's outstanding flair and talent.

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