September 6, 2013
Henry: Petke and he are 'on the same page but even more so now'
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Thierry Henry: “Always been on the same page but even more so now."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HANOVER, N.J. – Last week’s incident involving Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke and team captain Thierry Henry is a thing of the past, to the point that both coach and player are in the words of Henry “on the same page but even more so now.”
Last Thursday, BigAppleSoccer.com in an exclusive report detailed an altercation between Petke and Henry during training where the two parties exchanged words and had to be restrained. Henry stormed off the field and in a multi-hour meeting that followed on the same day, was able to hash things out with Petke. In the 2-1 win against D.C. United last Saturday, Henry was on the bench but did enter the match in the second half.
Now a week removed from the incident, the two sides have moved beyond last week’s situation.
“Everybody was always on the same page, to be honest with you," Petke said after practice at the Red Bulls training facility. "It’s just sometimes things rise out of a bad moment. Everybody is buzzing right now, we continue -- Thierry is fully on board -- like I said, I don’t think he ever wasn’t on board, I just think there were some things that we needed to figure out and sometimes it comes out in the wrong ways.
“We have moved on from it and we’re a better team from it, to be honest with you. I think it was a lot of things, to be honest, a combination of a lot of things – things that are team related stuff that obviously I’m not going to get into – but I’m being completely serious looking into the camera when I say this that we addressed everything and everything has been addressed and guys have a 100 percent understanding now, as well as the coaches do, about what we need to do and everybody is on board. What that’s going to translate into?
"I don’t know, but it’s going to translate into, in my opinion, something better than if we didn’t address things. I know Thierry now for over three years - he knows me. Something like that was bound to happen, like I said, because he’s a fiery guy and I’m a fiery guy. Something needs to be shaken up sometimes and it was shook up last week. Like I said, to go back to it, we’re a better team for it right now.”
Following the game on Saturday, Henry did not speak to reporters. On Thursday after training, he addressed the situation for the first time and just wanted to move on from the conversation when asked his thoughts about the incident from a week ago.
“Nothing. My focus is on Houston, that’s the most important thing,” Henry said. “And that’s the most important thing to me.”
The team captain painted the situation as a positive one now following his conversation with Petke last week and the symbolic benching this past Saturday. Captain and head coach are now joined at the hip.
“Always been on the same page but even more so now,” Henry said.
“The way we worked this week was pretty good on what we talked about and at the end of the day that is the most important thing. It is a team effort and hopefully we win this competition as a team.”
Petke would not commit to Henry being in the Starting XI against the host Houston Dynamo this week or being the team’s captain.