When a matter dominates the news agenda, then often the man to provide some levity and sense of a furore is Guardian veteran David Lacey.
Even he shares little sympathy for Henry and is happy to compare him unfavourably to Diego Maradona:
Few if any could ever have expected the words "Henry" and "cheat" to appear in the same sentence but after Wednesday night they became inseparable. The French have a better word for a cheat – un tricheur – which has a satisfying Machiavellian ring about it. For England fans Maradona will always be a cheating Argie. For the Irish the hand of Henry will forever remain the ultimate tool in the plot hatched by Fifa to frustrate Giovanni Trapattoni's players through its late decision to seed the play-offs.
At least Maradona had the decency to score one of the World Cup's greatest goals once he had fisted Argentina into the lead against Bobby Robson's England in the 1986 quarter-finals, dribbling half the length of the pitch, past player after player, to find the net then repeating the feat in miniature against Belgium in the semi-finals. Paradoxically the worst and best of Maradona roused England to produce what almost became one of their greatest recoveries, for at 2-0 down Robson brought on John Barnes to create one and very nearly two goals for Gary Lineker.
However, Lacey feels Henry chose to try and get away with what he could when he could but will not match Maradona's foibles:
It is to be hoped that for Henry this is a one-off. Maradona was a compulsive handler, as he demonstrated against the Soviet Union in the 1990 tournament when he stuck up a paw to block a corner from Oleg Kuznetsov, an offence oddly unseen by the referee. Maradona left the 1994 World Cup after failing a drug test and now, as Argentina's coach, has been banned for two months by Fifa for obscene language in the aftermath of his side's qualification for South Africa.
Somehow it is hard to see Henry's career keeping Maradona company for long. Not that this will be of much consolation to the Irish who on Wednesday were cheated of a penalty shoot-out at the very least. But that, unfortunately, is the game. As one old pro, Ronnie Whelan, said of Henry's legerdemain: "If you're a professional footballer and you're in the same position you'd do the same thing and hope to get away with it." Henry did and Ireland were left demanding a replay. In their dreams.