Archive for June 25th, 2007

Henry: Today’s the day

1,085 comments June 25th, 2007

Readers of a sensitive disposition: leave now. The rest of you: prepare yourselves. Today is the day that Thierry Henry breaks a thousand thousand Arsenal hearts and signs for Barcelona.

I have to say, my heart must be pretty sturdy, because I feel fine about it. When Vieira left it was a real wrench for me to see him in the Juventus shirt, but seeing Henry shaking hands with Joan Laporta (right) doesn’t really provoke any sadness in me.

Perhaps it’s because, for whatever reason, I’ve grown to like Henry a lot less than I ever liked Vieira. Perhaps it was all the standing around scowling last season. I think part of the reason his departure has been quite easy for me is that it doesn’t really feel like he was here at all last year. When he did play, his scoring ratio was impressive, but there were more frowns than fancy flicks, and very little movement. He had become a stationary magnet – attracting the ball when it wasn’t always the best option. When Arsene spoke about addressing the balance of the side, no-one guessed this is what he meant.

Henry will be presented this afternoon, possibly alongside former Arsenal triallist, and Kolo’s brother, Yaya Toure (left). They both jetted into Barcelona last night. It seems since his spell with us Yaya has grown into a rather fine player. We’ve neglected the opportunity to sign him on several occasions, so one can only assume that Wenger thinks Abou Diaby has negated the need for Toure Mk II.

Still, I hope Arsene is watching how big clubs impose themselves in the transfer market: he could learn a thing or two from Laporta & Co. I expect when the deal is finalised he’ll come out and speak to the press about his reasons for agreeing to the transfer, and the way he plans to move forward. Should be interesting, one way or another.

Being upset about Thierry Henry leaving is understandable. Being upset about Jeremie Aliadiere leaving is a bit like being annoyed at having won the lottery, especially when you read these quotes:

“I think I’ve left at the right time with all that is going on. I don’t think the club is on it’s way up at the moment. But Middlesbrough is a team that is.”

I imagine that in his head, him “jumping ship” to Middlesbrough is roughly equivalent to Henry moving to Barcelona. Idiot.

In terms of someone coming in, there are plenty of articles, but I can guarantee you they’re all founded on speculation and nothing more. My money’s still on Anelka, but let’s take this Times article for example: you can discredit it as soon as it says “Arsène Wenger faces a battle to overcome opposition from the Arsenal board to sign Nicolas Anelka”. No, no he doesn’t. The board would approve pretty much any affordable transfer that Wenger suggested – he has a fairly free reign. Futhermore, on the subject of Arsene’s contract, the article suggests “there are no talks planned about a new deal”. Well, I find that very hard to believe. I can’t help but wonder if they’ll still be saying that in a few weeks time.

ps. Grimandi?

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