By Richard Clarke

Thierry Henry admits he is not back-page news anymore – and he is very happy about it.

The Arsenal legend is in the middle of his second campaign with New York Red Bulls and, ahead of their appearance at the Emirates Cup this weekend, seemed delighted with the decision to move Stateside after leaving Barcelona last summer. Partly because it had removed him from the harsh glare of the European media.

“I love it,” said Henry. “I’m not on the back pages any more. Not on the third from the back, fourth from the back, fifth from the back, sixth from the back.

“Trust me after all the publicity that you have in Europe, that doesn’t bother me. You still have people recognising some players, especially on the west coast and the east coast because you have a lot of foreigners - a lot of Europeans and Latinos - so they do recognise the players. But it is a great thing to not be on the back pages of the papers any more. Trust me.

“And I feel [the move is] going OK from a personal point of view too. Everyone knows that I really like New York and the team’s getting better. To be honest, the level of the MLS is good and there’s no shortage of good players.

“You can’t compare the level of the MLS to the level of the Premier League or La Liga or Serie A but I’m happy.”

Meanwhile Henry is well aware of the responsibility his side will carry across the Atlantic for this tournament.

“I think it is one of the first times an MLS team has flown to Europe to play against another team,” said Henry. “So we do represent the MLS.

“We know it’s going to be a difficult game. I know it myself. The field is pretty big, they are going to keep the ball well and we are going to have to chase it for a lot of the time, I guess. But we want to have a good game and show the quality that we have in the MLS.”

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29 Jul 2011