Thierry Henry has a special place in the affections of all Arsenal Fans. Because of his connection with Arsenal, i have been asked several times over the few past days what i thought of his handball against the Irish. My simple answer is i'm not French or Irish so its no concern of mine what he did. England's through and that's all i'm worried about.
Why, what a Frenchman did against Ireland has become such big news here that it dominates the front pages of the tabloids is beyond me. I listened to the game on the radio and the commentators never mentioned handball until minutes later and the benefit of a few replays where they changed their mind and spent the remainder of the game saying how awful it was that the referee and linesman missed it.
If he did it against England then the Irish would be laughing their heads off so my view is tough luck Ireland. Get over it.
What is more of a concern is the even louder call for technology to play a part in football matches and that is something i am not much of a fan of.
I like the idea of such decisions coming down to what the referee or linesman's see. It makes it unpredictable and exciting. Many times my team and country have been the benefactor and the victim of some awful decisions by the referees. I have said 'phew, we got away with that one' just as many times as i have questioned the referees eyesight when a decision hasn't gone our way. It's part of the game and as much as i screamed at Wayne Rooney for his blatant dive to earn Manchester United a penalty against Arsenal earlier in the season, i was laughing like a drain when Michael Owen went down like he had been shot by a cannon when a bootlace breezed past his shin pad against Argentina in a previous World Cup.
What Thierry did was not nice if you are Irish, bloody great if you happen to be French and if Frank Lampard does the same thing in South Africa next summer we will be using words like cheeky and clever rather than labelling him a cheat or a shyster.
After all this support, we can now expect the Irish nation to be decking out their homes in the flag of St George and cheering on Capello's boys.