Archive for January 15th, 2006

Hatricks for Thierry & Arsene as Gunners hit 7th Heaven…

623 comments January 15th, 2006

It was the 68th mintue of the match against Middlesbrough when Thierry Henry raced through to notch his hatrick. A goal that not only put Arsenal 6-0 ahead, but also saw him equal Cliff Bastin’s club record of 150 league goals for the club.

On the touchline, Arsene Wenger smiled, delighted at the club’s second hatrick in two days. Thierry’s on-field heroics had matched the dealings of the club off it, securing three signings in one spectacular spree.

You may be surprised to hear me say “three”. But perhaps less so when you consider that Arsene himself couldn’t help but make the same slip when questioned about whether or not he would buy to replace the injured Pascal Cygan:

“I’ve already signed three players.”


“Sorry, two!” Wenger blurted out. Then the punchline:


Asked if he was referring to Walcott, the Arsenal manager simply said: “I would like to tell you.”

It looks like he’s well and truly in the bag, with many papers already declaring that the deal will be completed tomorrow. If you, like me, believe that the club signing new players ought to give the current squad a lift, then yesterday’s match was the perfect evidence.

To win 7-0 is always astonishing. To do it with two eighteen year olds in the side, one of whom (Johanne Djourou) was making their Premiership debut, is astounding.

To be fair, Arsenal were significantly aided by a hapless Middlesbrough defence. Every time Jose Reyes or Henry got the ball you felt they could score. The only player, in fact, who didn’t inspire this confidence was Freddie Ljungberg, who conspired to miss a whole array of chances. Even Aleksander Hleb managed to stick one away. The wait for Ljungberg, however, goes on.

As well as Thierry’s record-breaking hatrick, there were headers from Senderos and Gilberto, and a wonderful Robert Pires curler.

Nobody’s kidding themselves that our season is suddenly back on track. But it is amazing what a week like this can do for a club.

Roll on tomorrow.

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