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Written in the stars

HOMECOMING KING: Henry

STEVEN SPIELBERG couldn't have written it any better. The prodigal son comes home to save his father from another disappointing day, and he does so within the first ten minutes of his return.

The look on Arsene Wenger's face as Thierry Henry embraced him on the touchline, said it better than any script could ever have done. The young players tweeting about how amazing it was to see him play and have him training with them just adds to the joy that surrounded the Emirates last night (Jan 9). The celebrations along the Holloway Road were deafening.

Admittedly, his lightening pace has faded but that is to be expected from a man of 34. But as they say: form is temporary and class is permanent. Henry showed that with his first touch, but unfortunately he was offside.

In his 22 minute cameo, his tired legs didn't allow him to cover as much of the pitch as the Henry of old and it is clear he still has some way to go to be match fit. Although it is clear he hasn't lost any of his football brain and the lack of movement was about conserving energy, in order to get himself in the correct positions. Which is no surprise given the fact he only got back from holiday in Mexico, 15 days ago.

A nice back heel to Mikel Arteta as a Leeds United player bore down on him, showed the crowd he had lost none of that special technique.


SUPER SUB: The 34-year-old came off the bench to score the winner

And on 78 minutes, came that goal. Another pinpoint pass from the increasingly impressive Alex Song saw him tee it up before taking it on his right to send it straight into the bottom right corner.

There was a little incident at the corner flag, where his hacking of the ball showed he still has some fitness work to do.

I doubt we will see Henry for a full 90 minutes, but you never know with Wenger. It is likely most of his appearances will come as an impact substitute. Many will be waiting to see how he does against better quality opposition but I get the feeling that won't make much difference.

Henry knows exactly what his job is: to make goals and to finish. And judging by last night's performance he won't have any problem doing that.

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