Why is Thierry Henry a Little Pea-ved?

Understandably, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was proud of the way his team “controlled” Wednesday’s 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid, which was just enough to see his team through to the UEFA Champions League semifinals after the two-game quarterfinal series between the teams finished by the same score-line. 

“I wanted to control the game, avoid counterattacks and maintain concentration at free-kicks. We controlled the game really well at all times,” the Italian said after the game.

Indeed, over the two games, Real definitely controlled the play even if Atleti stubbornly kept trying to kill it. Ancelotti’s men created far more good chances, especially in the first half of the first game at the Vicente Calderon, than Diego Simeone’s, and in the end they were worthy winners.

UEFA will also be happy that offense eventually prevailed against defense in this series; the semifinals will be a far greater spectacle for having Real in them than Atleti (imagine the 240 dour, scoreless minutes we’d be in for if Atleti drew, say, Juventus in one of the semis).

In the end, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez tapped home the 88th-minute winner following a magnificent assist from Cristiano Ronaldo, whose one-two with James Rodriguez was the one true piece of offensive quality in a series that has been defined in recent years by Atleti’s stolid defending. If you haven’t seen the goal, check it out -- it was well worth the wait.

Hernandez was later criticized by France and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, who complained that the Mexican had celebrated as if he’d just won the World Cup.

Now, Off The Post is definitely not a fan of Chicharito (what self-respecting man would call himself a “Little Pea”?), nor is he generally favorably disposed to any player that might feature in Miguel Herrera’s Gold Cup squad this summer (OTP is a red-blooded American), but if he were Chicharito, whose only played 15 minutes for Real Madrid this season (note: this is not an accurate stat), and then scored the winner in close-to-the-last-minute against one of Real’s most hated rivals in one of its biggest games all season, he might get caught up in the moment and start by celebrating as if he’d won the World Cup, too.

Henry’s chief complaint is that Chicharito scored a tap-in, so the first thing he should do is acknowledge that Ronaldo did all the work, and go over and thank him.  

Ronaldo absolutely did do all the work. Everyone saw it.

But what a heavy irony we have here that Ronaldo, of all people, provided the assist. Not that Ronaldo never shares -- he absolutely does, and this was a particularly fantastic one -- but whenever the three-time Ballon d’Or winner scores (and he scores rather often) he has, to OTP’s mind, a far more irksome tendency to over-celebrate than anyone else in the world, even if he’s just scored a tap-in and it’s his fifth of the match.

He does that dramatic jump--turn-and-howl-thing while presenting his number 7 to the crowd, as if anyone in the crowd doesn’t know who he is or what his number is. And if anyone (particularly Gareth Bale) supplied the pass for his tap-in, they’re lucky if they even get a wink from CR7. 

So pardonnez-moi, Monsieur Henry, but OTP, for one, thinks being uber-critical of a player’s celebration, especially in the heat of the moment during a big game, is a ridiculous waste of time and brain cells.

So go on, Little Pea, enjoy your moment, just please ditch that nickname. 

14 comments about "Why is Thierry Henry a Little Pea-ved?".
  1. VIC Aguilera, April 23, 2015 at 7:42 p.m.

    Good article. #1 The only reason LIL PEE started was Benzema was injured. #2 As you mentioned the architects of that goal were Rodriguez and CR7. #3 Although RM dominated the game it was still 0-0. Not until AM received a red card were they able to score. In Mexico they are celebrating #14 as if he just won the WC.

  2. VIC Aguilera, April 23, 2015 at 7:42 p.m.

    Good article. #1 The only reason LIL PEE started was Benzema was injured. #2 As you mentioned the architects of that goal were Rodriguez and CR7. #3 Although RM dominated the game it was still 0-0. Not until AM received a red card were they able to score. In Mexico they are celebrating #14 as if he just won the WC.

  3. Josue-alfonso Munoz, April 23, 2015 at 8:02 p.m.

    "Chicharito" does not translate exactly smootly into the english language. It is a variation of the word "chicharo", denoting it as a small "chicharo" or pea. The only reason Javier Hernandez has that nickname is because his Father, also a professional soccer player, was nicknamed "Chicharo". When Javier became a young pro, the media --remembering his Father-- naturally baptized him "Chicharito".

    With regards to VIC Aguilera's comments, the only reason Javier Hernandez plays in Real Madrid is because he is a world class player, regardless of Benzema being injured or not. He proved it against Atletico. It must make VIC Aguilera feel really good and grandiose to belittle Hernandez by his moronic twist of the english translation of "Chicharito".

  4. Lou vulovich, April 23, 2015 at 8:22 p.m.

    I can't understand the criticism of Javier Hernandez for his celebration, he has every right to celebrate. He played great at MU and never got
    The credit he really deserved, he has played well at RM with the little time he has played, he is for me the best Mexican player there is even if Vela and Dos Santos are very good, he does not start or is left out of national team selections, basically he never gets the credit he deserves. He scores a important goal to put RM into the semifinal and again no respect for him. To me he is a great player who is always dangerous is not utilized by Mexican team correctly and is a great character.
    It does not matter what Chicharito means for me it means great.

  5. R2 Dad, April 24, 2015 at 1:05 a.m.

    I'm very happy for JH. He's been the ultimate professional the past 2 seasons, sucked it up where no other world-class strikers would have, worked hard under difficult circumstances, and deserves some praise for coming through for RM. I dread him playing for El Tri because he is so dangerous in the box--maybe only surpassed by Robben for his efficacy. Agree with the author, maybe Henry could have picked on CR for his many tantrums throughout the season instead.

  6. Thomas Brannan, April 24, 2015 at 3:38 a.m.

    Egos are amazing aren't they. Now especially Henry's. It is the Champions League, Atleti vs. Real. It is the 2nd leg towards the end of the game. Not one empty seat in the place. Someone has been on the bench not playing, thinking just give me a chance. I think most who have played know the feeling. Now he is there. As Ronaldo gets put in Chicharito places himself exactly where he should be. If you look at the re play at the last second he gets a quick look at the goal, Chicarito is now in control as he should be. The ball comes to him and he scores. It is that moment when your head explodes, when nothing else in the world matters for a split second. If you have never been there keep your mouth shut. Henry has been there why doesn't he keep his mouth shut also.

  7. FRANCISCO VILLA, April 24, 2015 at 9:18 a.m.

    So many other instances of over celebrating and Henry picks this one? WHat was he supposed to do? Henry, you have shown your true colors. Chicharito is a hard worker, maybe even an overachiever but what he has gone through and how he has handled it deserves nothing but praise. Big Goal in Big Moment = Big celebration. Actually, Chicahro served Ronaldo in the previous game where CR celebrated even more. Much eaqsier goal than Chicharos. Shame on you Henry.

  8. Carlos Drake, April 24, 2015 at 12:37 p.m.

    Chicharito's dad was nicknamed "Chicharo" because he has green eyes...not because he was small. Off the Post needs to do a little research before making dumb comments. Of note is Chicharito's professionalism, humility and work ethic...definitely traits that our youth should emulate. Henry...take note and teach your own kids about what makes the "Little Pea" great!

  9. Santiago 1314, April 24, 2015 at 2:15 p.m.

    Not being a fan of Mexican Players and their arrogant attitudes, I must say that I Chicharito deseverves HIS moment of Glory. ..Nobody used to complain about "Der Bomber" Mueller and his ability to "Tap In".. or "Hugol" Sanchez... ChiChi Gol is a Class Act and a Poacher Delux...It's not as easy as it looks. ..Viva Mexico!!!...Just this Once!!! HALA MADRID, a por la Unidecima

  10. Tim Brown, April 24, 2015 at 5:44 p.m.

    Well done Javier Hernandez.Henry was a shameless self promoter and shame on him for denying a great moment for a very good player on a great team. Thanks for putting the thugs out of the tourney with your goal.

  11. Gus Keri, April 25, 2015 at 6:54 a.m.

    Off the post should understand that no player picks his nickname. It's you, the journalists, who are the responsible ones.

  12. Mike Jacome, April 25, 2015 at 4:39 p.m.

    I think Chicharito is actually a very settled guy compared with the rest of his arrogant compatriots particularly Hugo Sanchez. This goal however is 99% pure talent of James and Ronaldo. Nothing particularly extraordinary on Chicharito's final touch. He is an opportunist striker, and that is good, but he is not good enough no make it in RM or MU starting eleven on regular basis. It all depends on personal preference if he is okay being an eternal substitute for Top teams in the world, so be it. I particularly would prefer to be a starter in Southhampton or Espanyol than a substitute in a top tier team, but that's just me.

  13. Luz Virgen, April 27, 2015 at 12:54 p.m.

    In this case the journalist are not responsible for javier Hernandez nickname. His granfather a Mexican National Team soccer player himself, nicknamed JH father Chicharo for his "green eyes". Naturally as when JH was born as he was nicknamed Chicharito.
    Javier Hernandez is a humnble, well mannered player, who has shown in the little time he gets that he can contribute to the team as the other players. He has every right to celebrate as he wishes. Shame on Henry, for his critisism, shame on OTP for not researching the origin of his nickname.
    Teams win by scoring goals and if he contributes to the win, then he is doing his job! Did anyone see the two goals he scored yesterday? did you see how he celebrated?. He might not be a starter, but he sure plays his 5-15 minutes that he gets every game better than the ones that play 90 minutes and don't contribute to the team at all.

  14. Santiago 1314, April 27, 2015 at 2:39 p.m.

    Bien Dicho, Luz..!!!

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