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Leeds vs. Norwich: All the 2s

The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Henry frustrated over left-wing role

Thierry Henry has revealed he will demand talks with Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola if he continues to be played out on the left wing for the Spanish club.

After spending most of last season - his first at Barca - stuck out on the left, the France striker was told by Guardiola during the summer that he would play more of a role down the middle this term.

At the time, Samuel Eto'o was out of favour with the Blaugrana so Guardiola saw Henry as his chief striker, but with the Cameroon international back in favour and in the goals, Henry has been marginalised once again.

He is willing to put up with the situation for now, especially with Barca having just won three games in a row for the first time in seven months, but he is adamant it cannot last forever.

"For the moment, there is nothing to talk about," he said. "But if this continues, of course we will have to talk about it.

"It is true that I had talks with the coach before the start of the season. For me, the talks were clear."

Playing in his favoured central role, Henry was in inspired form for France in the World Cup qualifying victory against Serbia earlier this month, scoring the opener as Les Bleus ran out 2-1 winners.

In that game, Henry was allowed to drift across the front line at will and some of his link-up play with playmaker Yoann Gourcuff was a joy to watch.

But he is not afforded that freedom at Barca and is forced to stay out on his wing.

"When the ball is being passed around quickly and I have licence to move around, I play," added Henry, when asked for the reasons for his return to form against Serbia.

"And then Gourcuff was playing in a 'Zidanesque' way that night.

"But Barcelona have a well-grounded game plan where you have to respect certain rules. When you play on the wing, you have to stay there to open the game up and wait for the ball.

"It is like that here. You must accept it."

Henry chose to stay at Barca following those summer talks with new coach Guardiola but his situation has clearly changed over the past few months.

But Les Bleus' captain told L'Equipe: "I have no regrets. I did what I had to do at a time when I had to do it.

"All I want is to play and enjoy myself on the pitch."


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