Thierry Henry - Arsenal’s record goalscorer, immortalised outside the Emirates Stadium. No player, past or present, is held in higher regard. Ashley Cole - title winner with the Gunners, abandoned them for the riches of Chelsea. No player, past or present, is despised quite as much.
When taking these things into consideration one would expect Henry would be more astute than to show any public displays of support for Cole, but he Arsenal icon risked the wrath of the club’s supporters with a tweet to the Chelsea defender.
Cole has endured a difficult few days having played what may be his final game for Chelsea given his contract is set to expire this summer, before being informed he would not be included in the England squad for the World Cup. The Stamford Bridge star rejected the chance to be on standby for Brazil, and instead chose to lower the curtain on his 107-cap England career.
Henry, meanwhile, clearly felt for his former Arsenal teammate and used his newly opened Twitter account to express his warmest wishes to Cole after the announcement of his international retirement.
He tweeted: “Thoughts are with @theRealAC3. Great servant to his national team.”
But, rather than attract bile filled responses from Arsenal fans, Henry actually saw more Gunners questioning the tone of his post to the Chelsea defender. “He’s not dead” was a common reply to Henry, whose wording did make Cole’s retirement appear to be a far more grave incident than it actually was. Still, at least the sentiment was there.