So, surely we've reached a nadir in Thierry Henry's Arsenal career. An injury plagued season, in which he has only, in many games, hinted at his abilities, has been brought to a premature end.
I've been shocked, at times, by the reaction of some of the Ashburton crowd this season. I've heard shouts of '**** off to Barcelona' when Thierry has lost the ball or missed a chance. I haven't really heard the Thierry Henry song sung which much enthusiasm, aside from the beginning of the season, and, of course, in the last minutes of that wonderful win over the Mancs.
We've seemed a bit unsure as to what's happened to the rampaging Thierry of old and, to be frank, so does Thierry.
Because when Thierry isn't on his game, he looks like he's not trying. Thierry strolls through games, casting himself almost above the action, only involving himself when he feels he can really make a difference. When he's scoring, everyone forgets about his odd, almost serene manner of playing; but when he's not, accusations of a lack of effort, and second thoughts regarding Barcelona, are easy to throw.
Thierry has scored some vital goals for us this year, and is still our second highest goal scorer. My only hope is that Thierry can come back refreshed and re-energised next season, and that niggling injuries and fatigue have been the cause of his current malaise. If darker forces are at work - the decline of his pace - we may never see the Thierry we used to know again. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. If the metamorphosis of Thierry into a deeper-lying player, relying less on speed has begun, so be it. He is still a massive asset to the team, even without 25 goals a season. Whether Arsenal fans, and Thierry can accept this, is another matter.
What the whole team is crying out for, is goal-scoring, penetrative midfielders. We need rampaging wingers to share the goal-scoring burden and help get Thierry back on track. We may already have one in Theo, but perhaps more mature players also need to be brought in, especially as Freddie must go in the summer.
Whilst the Thierry injury may, ultimately, be good news for him and the club, it still leaves us in a difficult situation for the rest of the season. The word seems to be that we many not see RvP again this season either - an equally damaging loss to the team - in which case Adebayor, Baptista, Aliadiere and Walcott will be the ones, hopefully, firing us to fourth, if not third spot.
Whether these players have the goals in them or not is of course the question. And, if nothing else, it may make the last few weeks of the season a little more interesting, if only in a painful way.