There is little doubt that Thierry Henry has been a success as a pundit for the BBC at this World Cup.
He has been sauvé whilst being insightful – in fact, his impressive array of cardigans have developed cult status on social media.
— Andy Weltch (@AWeltch) June 14, 2014
BBC I am happy to pay my licence fee for Thierry Henry alone. The man wears a cardigan extremely well. — Isabel (@narniei) June 13, 2014
It all appeared to be going so well for the former Arsenal forward, with the affection for him coming from across the social media spectrum.
Thierry Henry. Intelligent, stylish, handsome. My jealousy knows no bounds.
— Graham Keilloh (@TalkingaboutF1) June 15, 2014
But then, he split opinion.
One of the main incidents from the first-half of the match between Italy and England was a penalty shout from the Italians from what looked to be handball against Glen Johnson.
Thierry put forward a solid, robust defence of the England defender – claiming that as he had his hands by his side, the referee was correct not to penalise the England man.
Pretty standard fare but then anchor Gary Lineker uttered the immortal words: “Ever get away with a handball Thierry?”
The implication, of course, was a reference to Henry’s handball against Ireland in their World Cup play-off in 2009 that in some eyes cost the Irish their place at the finals.
Sauvé as ever, Henry laughed off the comment with a “no, never”.
However, the damage had been done – cue a raft of expletive laden social media posts from the Emerald Isle:
Hard luck England. Pirlo was class, but Gary Lineker and Thierry Henry's dig at Ireland over the handball on The BBC was not #EnglandvsItaly
— Aron Hegarty (@AronHegarty) June 14, 2014
People of Ireland - Thierry Henry just joked about destroying your hopes and dreams. — Barrie White (@BarrieWhite1980) June 14, 2014
I can't bear Thierry Henry ever since he cheated getting France into the World Cup against Ireland 4 years ago
— John Mully (@johnmully1) June 14, 2014
To be fair to Henry, he was simply replying to a question and what could he say but make a joke.
It mattered little though, his status as a pantomime villain Ireland, it appears, is here to stay:
Thierry Henry is on BBC ha ireland still haven't forgiven you
— Niamh :) (@irishladsnarry) June 13, 2014
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