Thierry Henry Q&A on that goal and lots more
Published 23:00 10/01/12 By John Cross
Thierry Henry has already enhanced his own legendary status - and is determined not to stop there.
Arsenal’s record-breaking striker has set out his targets for his loan spell back at the club after completing a remarkable comeback.
Henry, 34, who extended his own goal record to 227 with his winner against Leeds in the FA Cup, has got his sights set on catching Tottenham, finishing in the top four and playing in the Champions League.
Robin van Persie has already talked excitedly about renewing his partnership with Henry, who has promised to savour every moment of his return.
And Henry took his entourage of friends and family back into the dressing room after everything had quietened down on Monday night so they could share in his glorious return.
Here is a full transcript of his interview following Monday's match...
Tell us about your emotions...
"I guess it was always going to be surreal. It was one of the best moments, because it is the first time that I wore the Arsenal shirt being a fan. I became a fan when I left the club, so now I know exactly how it feels to score for the club that you support.
So, great emotions. As I said earlier to some of the guys in the dressing room, two weeks ago I was on holiday in Mexico on the beach and here I am scoring the winner against Leeds.
"Obviously I am going to grab some headlines and stuff like that but Nico Yennaris and (Ignassi) Miquel at the back and some of the guys played really well. I was at the end of a great move but, as I said many times, it is all about the team. We went through [to the next round] and that is the most important thing."
Must be fantastic to score the winner?
"I always want more, so I don't know if it is going to be a goal, a pass or a tackle. I said so many times, I am not here to be a hero. I am here to be another player, to help the squad. That is it to be honest.
"I didn't plan a comeback. I didn't plan to come on, I didn't plan to score... that [scoring], maybe I did, but joking apart, I never thought I was going to be here, talking to you after a game, so scoring a winner for the club that I love, I am actually dreaming right now. I hope I won't wake up tomorrow and someone tells me that it was a dream."
How are things different for you now?
"It was the first time that I played for Arsenal being a fan. Before, I would have died out there for the club, but now I am a fan, it was mixed emotions. When I scored the goal, I actually realised afterwards I scored. It was almost unreal.
Tell us about your celebration (Henry ran to Gunners manager Arsene Wenger after scoring and hugged him]?
"I didn't know where to go, what to do. It's not the first time I did that - I used to do that before when I scored. I love the club. I say it so many times. We are not going to redo the story - I just love the club and that's how it is.
What about the rest of your contribution?
"It happened so fast. I was watching the game from the bench and I was like, 'When I come on, I am going to try and stretch them.' A couple of balls didn't arrive and I said to myself, 'I am just going to try and get behind them.'
"At the end of the day, Alex (Song) played an amazing ball for me and I had the chance to finish it. I didn't think too much about it - I am just trying to go with the flow. If the boss needs me for 30 seconds, a minute [or] if he doesn't need me, I am going to try to be around the guys and help in the dressing room.
"We also have to play it down. I know I scored, but that is not going to happen every time I play. I don't know if my runs were intelligent or not but that's the way I play. I am going to try to bring what I can. Maybe another time it won't be enough, but I will always try my best.
"It was all crazy when I scored. Myself, I didn't know what to do.
"But enough of talking about myself, it's kind of weird.
"Also, I wanted to say something - Paul Johnson (Arsenal equipment manager) lost his mum (Jean Scorey) recently. She was a huge Arsenal fan and would be upset when we are losing and the happiest woman when we are winning.
"I just wanted to dedicate the game to her and Paul, because the guy has been amazing. He came into training even though his mum passed away and he did it for the love of the club. She also worked for the club and loved the club.
"And also a woman who used to look after me in my box, Lynn Ann MacLennan - I dedicate the game to them because sometimes you give it back to people behind doors who you don't see. The game goes to them.
"It's a cup game. I have been involved in so many cup ties. Don't take it away from Leeds - they were defending really well. They drew here last year 1-1 - Cesc [Fabregas] scored a last minute penalty. The year before that, they won at Old Trafford. They are not an easy team to play. They defended well.
"If their striker scored that volley that he blasted over, then it would have been a different game. I know the fans wanted us to beat them by more but when you play a team who clearly wanted to bring the game back to Elland Road, you have to keep your composure and make sure you pass the ball around. We did.
"It wasn't the best performance ever but in the cup, you have to do the job and that is what we have done."
Has it all sunk in?
"I hope someone isn't going to wake me up and tell me it was a dream. That's what I am thinking about - that's why it took me a long time to come out of the dressing room. I don't know if it is because I am old and I am trying to enjoy every moment that I can.
"[Tuesday] we have a day off [but] I am going to train hard. That's what made me the player I was and that I am - it's all down to hard work. Tony Colbert (Arsenal fitness coach) doesn't always get some credit but I did really hard with him to try and come back to a play-20-minutes type of fitness.
"Those are the type of guys that are working really hard with some of the players. Trust me, their job is not always easy because they get the injured players and the players who don't play. Quite often, it is not an easy one but Tony Colbert has done a great job with me."
Robin van Persie said it would be a dream to play with you. Would it be a dream for you to play with him?
"You ask any player right now if they want to play with Robin van Persie and they will tell you yes.
"I've said it so many times. Theo (Walcott) is here, Alex (Oxlade-Chamberlain) is here, Andrey (Arshavin). Some of the guys have been here a long time, so the boss is the only guy to make that decision.
"I'm here to help. If it's 20, 30 or 35 minutes, I will go out there and help the team, do my best for the team.
"I guess Robin was excited because I know I was. But I just want to go with the flow, be an extra player and try to do a job if I get the chance to come on."
You know, as a fan, what it means to be top four and, most importantly, for Arsenal to finish above Spurs?
"I know all the things that you are saying right now. The season is still long, anything can happen. We obviously don't want to be out of the top four.
"There's going to be a hell of a competition this year to be in it. But I do think this team does have what it takes to be in it - if you think about the way the team has come back from the beginning of the season.
"I know that people want more and I can assure you that the players want more. That's not what you want to see as an Arsenal fan and, trust me, as an Arsenal player also.
"The team is slowly getting into form. Again, we lost a full-back against Leeds and we can do without injuries. That will help a lot.
"But it is what it is. We still had to win a game out there against Leeds and it did happen. I got on the end of the ball of Song and I put it in. At the end of the day, it's always a hard cup tie and let's see what we can do now.
It's Swansea at the weekend...
"Swansea is an amazing team. I've been more than impressed with them, they play football the right way. They're dangerous, they play with two great wingers and we know it's going to be a difficult game for us."
Are you desperate to play against Spurs and AC Milan during your loan spell?
"It all depends on what the boss is going to decide - and what we're going to decide on how long I am going to stay. Do remember that I am very much a New York Red Bulls player, too.
"But, as I said, it would be a dream to be part of a team playing in the Champions League or playing against Tottenham. But that goes for every game - the Leeds game, just running along the track to warm up was just crazy.
"Even if I wasn't going to come on, just warming up along the side, the fans were nice before the game [and] during the game.
"I'm just trying to take it all in.
"That's something that I didn't do enough of when I was playing here before. You know how it is - you come here [to the stadium] every three days and you don't enjoy it like you should.
"I know it's not going to last long."
Henry then adds with some dedications and thanks after his comeback.
"I would like to mention Tony Colbert, for what he did for me. Sometimes you have to put him out there. He's been doing a magnificent job for Arsenal Football Club for a very long time."
What did he do for you?
"He is the type of guy who will do the right amount of work that he thinks you need to be able to come back. I've been working really hard with him for 10 days and, obviously I can't play 90 minutes, but I didn't feel tired and that's all down to him.
"Also, I want to mention Lynn Ann MacLennan (who looked after Henry's executive box) and the mum of (equipment manager) Paul Johnson, Jean Scorey. It is very important for me that they know we are thinking of them. It's only a small thing but I would like to dedicate the game to them."