Arsenal News

Live Arsenal News

Arsenal latest news

Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


September 2021
Arsenal News
The Soccerlinks Hit List
September 2021

Link Refer


Premier League Betting and Odds

Thierry tried to play but I said no, no, no

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Walter Broeckx

What a big chance the refs have missed on Sunday.

The plan was that Thierry Henry would have played the last 5 minutes for Arsenal in the game between Arsenal and New York Red Bulls. But the refs didn’t allow this as it was against the rules.

First let us take on the rules. I don’t know what the point of view of Fifa is but in my country with most of the laws there is something that is known under the principle:  “All that is not strictly forbidden is allowed”. But I don’t know if this is the same in England.  Or if this is the same thing for Fifa. Because I have been looking it up in the rulebook and there is nowhere a line that says: ‘A player from team A cannot play for team B”.

I know in normal life and competition this will never happen. No team will ever want to play one of their own players in the other team. So this is a question that never is being asked. But now we had a pre-season tournament with already some special rules in force and agreed by other teams and also the refs. Rules that are different from the normal ones. Like how many points a team can earn.  So in a way because of this the Emirates cup already moved itself out of the strict rulebook from Fifa.

The rule book also states that in those games you can have 6 substitutions unless there is an agreement between all the clubs and the ref is informed before the game starts. So if the 4 teams would have agreed before the tournament that more than 6 subs could be used and the ref knew about this they could have changed 11 players if they wanted during a game.

And talking about rules in tournaments, all kind of pre-season tournaments happen and sometimes with very strange rules. Like 3 teams playing each other in games of 45 minutes. It happens and no one cares really even though this is totally against Fifa rules on how long a game should be played. But the teams agree with it, the refs know about it and everyone is happy and fine with it.

In this case there seemed to be an agreement between Arsenal and the New York Red Bulls to have a final five minutes of Thierry Henry in an Arsenal shirt. Because everyone knows that the New York Red Bulls have to agree with such a thing they were asked but they didn’t oppose the idea. And Theirry Henri also loved the idea. So all is fine and well? Just give the player this final salute and give the supporters in the stadium something to be excited about?

Er, no noo  nooooo. The ref didn’t allow it. It was against the rules (even though I can’t find it in the laws of the games – but it could be in other rules I admit). But for heaven’s sake… this was not the Champions League final or the world cup final. No this was just a game of the Emirates cup. A game in fact as meaningless as our game against a Malaysian team or Barnett.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

Strictly speaking one could say: hey there is a trophy at stake. I think even the hardest Arsenal fan will not be bothered that much about the Emirates trophy. Even Arshavin said last week that they would give up on the Emirates cup in the blink of an eye and swap it for a real trophy.  Maybe they just did this as in the seasons we won the Emirates cup we didn’t win anything else so far.

And we also have seen other things at the Emirates (and in many other grounds) in other friendly and testimonial games. Those testimonial games are also played according to Fifa rules but there it has happened that the game was played between two teams of the player who is celebrated and then he plays for both sides a while. No one is saying NO against that.

So hearing that the ref said no to Henry playing just 5 minutes for Arsenal is maybe the biggest disappointment of last weekend. Wouldn’t it have been fun for all and everyone? The managers liked it, the players liked it. And the only person who could stop it, stopped it. Well as refs are not the most favourite people on a football pitch and for the one time they get the chance to show and gain some sympathy by allowing something that could not happen in the league but that could be allowed in a friendly pre season game they throw this chance away.

A course on how to do some public relations would not be a bad thing for refs and the PGMOL as I think the ref will have used his phone to ask what to do. I just wondered if the rumour I heard is correct. I heard that someone in the referee changing room was singing after the game :  “Thierry tried to play for Arsenal,  but I said ‘no, no, no’ “

Love and football

Will we score more?  Looking ahead to the season

Want to be treated like an idiot? Try ESPN.

Untold Arsenal

Arsenal History

Making the Arsenal

27 comments to Thierry tried to play but I said no, no, no

  • walter

    If I may add to this a little thing. There are 17 different rules or laws in football. And then there is law 18.
    Law 18 is nowhere to be found in any rule book. It is the law of the common sense.
    Whenever you are faced by something extra ordinary you use law 18 they tell us in our courses to become a ref.
    This was the law which should have been used by the ref. Would I harm anybody? Would I kill anybody? Would it be the end of football? Would it be the end of the world? If you can answer those questions with NO, then why don’t you say “yes”.

  • walter

    And another thing: how not to make friends, Mr. Friend…

  • Anne


    I feel you on this, and it’s most definitely a hurtful and unnecessary gesture, but I still think the worst is that they wouldn’t let Arsenal test video technology…

  • I have to agree with you Walter on the rule 18 since it could have mean’t a completely different feeling for everyone on that day including both teams, fans in the stadium and around the world watching it. But since its a proven fact that the epl referees and stupid and incompetent expecting anything from that is a waste of time.

  • Travis

    One thing I don’t understand that if we planned this from the beginning, then we should have inform the refs before the game rather than asking for his permission during half time break. He then should have no reason to reject.

  • critic

    you got a point.
    I was also hoping for some kind of positive sign from EMS cup. Like not winning it means we will actually win something. BUT last time arsenal failed to win EMS cup they failed to challenge for EPL title and lost in semis of CL and FA cup. Arsenal finished 4th that season after trailing Aston villa for long time.

    Our current situation is looking more like that. However we all know it’s all garbage.

    C’mon arsenal…

  • critic

    Anyway, anyone following britpool pre season adventures? They have consistently conceded around 3 goal in most of their game. Yet arsenal are shit and they are mighty. Lolz..

  • I think the refs want to take everything too serious. It was just a pre-season tournament and what trouble was the referee going to get into if he had agreed. And besides, Arsenal got robbed so many times by referees during the last season, so they owed it to us

  • mike in atlanta

    common sense is a valuable thing to have. that’s why it’s not so common; most people can’t afford it.

  • robdogunner

    and tottenscum lost to kaizer chiefs in south africa and drew with orlando pirates both are psl teams in south africa. Never heard a word about that…..

    i only know this because im from south africa.

  • Yommex

    I think someone did not think fast enough on that occasion. The referee could simply have been changed at half time. I think if you can change many players in a friendly and such tournaments as the Emirate Cup, why can the referee not be changed? That would have prevented a non entity as the unfriendly Friend from spoiling the fun of almost a billion people all over the world.

  • Arsenal1Again

    You’re quite miffed with this Walter and it’s very easy to understand. Thierry is the only person I’ve been starstruck by in my life. Ok, and Dennis Bergkamp too. I think, despite the rules being obscure, that the attitude of all involved was, “Oh well, it was worth a try.” I honestly believe Thierry would feel for the us, as would his Red Bull team-mates who will all know about the relationship shared by Thierry and us Arsenal fans.

  • bob

    If only they were as strict with “the rules” during the actual season as they were in tarnishing the pre-season joy. Perhaps we can hold them to the same “standard of excellence” in upholding the “letter of the law” as they have just demonstrated in crushing the spirit of the law.

  • bob

    The online world is beginning to catch up to us: In its review of the Emirates cup, today’s gunnersphere dot com accurately tells its readers what we’ve been saying since the milennium:
    “The fact is, it’s the media who make it incredibly hard on Arsenal and no other big top four club gets as much media scrutiny as Arsenal. If Arsenal defenders make a mistake it will get blown way out of proportion, and then all the pundits start talking about how fragile and weak our defence is. I really hope this season we prove all the haters and doubters wrong!”

  • Didn’t Hernandez play one half for Chivas and one half for Man U a couple of seasons ago? Fergie probably just said “Dont ye daare say fuckun nae!”

  • Ugandan Goon

    @ Walter,
    with the statement “I think even the hardest Arsenal fan will not be bothered that much about the Emirates trophy.” you are testing the limits of truth, there wasa lot of booing at the end of the match, and quite ffrankly we know some people, even regular visitors on here, who might have something to say about that- trust me it is not the the hardest fans you want to worry about, no noo nooo it’s the fickle ones.

  • Dec

    It certainly would have made for a much better atmosphere at the end of the game, regardless of the result.
    Any ideas/hopes/expectations/predictions about the possibility of a future role for Thierry at Arsenal?

  • Law 18 must be “Anything that hurts Arsenal is allowed, even if there’s a law against it.”

  • @Anne, i wonder what would happen if David Beckham wanted to play 5 minutes for ManUre in LA galaxy Vs Man U?

  • Anne


    I’m assuming that was a rhetorical question…:) Do we even need to ask? I really don’t understand the ref’s actions here. It really seems that, through both the refs and the media, they are trying to foment disconetent amongst Arsenal fans and avoid any outcome that might give people a lift. It’s really frustrating!

  • Murad

    would have been really nice to have him make an appearance in the Arsenal jersey!! but they could have sorted this out earlier i think!!

  • Jeff

    such a beautiful chance missed. With all the negative energy that seems to be surrounding the club at the moment, seeing Henry don the Red and White for the last few minutes would have been magic, and never forgotten. Glorious moment missed by a ref taking his job too seriously and lacking any appreciation for the moment.

    Not to mention he wouldn’t have played Agudelo through with that ball to set up the own goal, haha. Not really the point of course.

  • bob

    Dogface, all,
    On a pre-cautionary note: Assuming it was the lead ref who made the no-Thierry decision: Will we be seeing this Grinch again this season, perhaps just in time to steal Christmas? Perhaps at a ManUre match so that Don Fergus gets his Holiday Cheer on the way to becoming Lord Football? Then again, perhaps there’ll be something special under this ref-supplicant’s tree from Riley for services rendered? Stay tuned…

  • Mandy dodd

    Have a feeling we will see him in the shirt again, maybe when he is retired we can temporarily sign him for an appearance.
    The man is special, I cannot help thinking it is the recent memories of him, bergkamp, pires paddy and Freddie that are resulting in the current team getting such a hard time.

  • Mandy dodd

    Now this is what I call a real bad pre season result

    Completely meaningless, just hope there was no booing and no negative press reports!

  • Ed

    They had Smalling, Jones and Wellbeck playing as well. the future of Man Utd? and England? hmmmm…

  • @Bob, we definately are gonna see the ‘Grinch’ as you call it. Dinna you notice? Three stone wall penalty shouts in three straight matches and all were denied. And they talk about ….’it’s not in the rules’.