January 21, 2013
NO LOANS, NO WORRIES
Roxburgh happy Henry, Cahill did not play in England this winter
By Michael Lewis
Two English Premier League teams might have been disappointed, but at least one person was happy that Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill did not go on loan this month -- Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh.
Henry had been linked to his former club, Arsenal and Sunderland reportedly had wanted Cahill to play for them for six months.
"He's a legend at Arsenal," Roxburgh said of Henry. "Those were special circumstances with Arsenal wanting him and Thierry wanting to contribute."
The Red Bulls captain played with the Gunners on loan last year and scored twice in seven appearances.
"That didn't happen this time," Roxburgh said on a conference call on Monday. "I am quite very pleased. He has had a decent break this time. He has been training at Arsenal the last couple of weeks, so he is in very good condition. He comes back to us to start pre-season training and he's in good condition."
Henry reported to the Major League Soccer club at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. on Monday. The team flies to Bradenton, Fla. to begin pre-season training on Tuesday.
When Cahill signed with the Red Bulls last summer, there was a gentleman's agreement that he could go on loan if it was appropriate, Roxburgh said.
"Well, nothing cropped up that was really appropriate," he said. "I personally thought it would be better if he rested. He has been back in Australia and again, he is in good condition an ready to come back and join us."
Not surprisingly, Roxburgh said that he expects some big things from the two designated players this year.
"These guys that I just mentioned, one of the reasons why I'm very keen for them to come here for the beginning of pre-season training is because . . . you're not winning, you're not special unless you've got leadership off the park and on the park. In the case of Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill -- and I add Juninho to that -- those three bring an absolute wealth of experience.
"I told our younger players today, 'You don't know how lucky you are that you're going to get to train and to play with three guys with that experience of that quality and with those leadership aspects to them."