Saturday, December 24, 2011
The pros and cons of Henry's return
Given Arsene did his whole, 'I don't know what you're talking about' routine, when questioned about the potential return of Thierry Henry in the press conference on Friday, I would be very surprised if we do not announce that we are re-signing Thierry on a two-month loan-deal very soon, probably in the first week of January.
So what are the pros and cons of this deal?
* Emotionally - this is Thierry fucking Henry. The King of Highbury. Our all-time top-goalscorer. An invincible. I really think that re-signing Sol Campbell was a big boost two years ago, and Jens' return last year meant we were spared a little bit of Almunia. For me, it will give the club a bit of an emotional boost, if nothing else.
* He hasn't completely lost it. Now being based in the U.S., I've managed to catch Thierry a few times on TV playing for NY, and he had a fairly decent season last year. He scored a few of his trademark curlers, and generally made a nuisance of himself. He's not completely over the hill.
* Henrik Larrsson. I scoffed when United took him out on a short-term loan in 2007, but he showed that class is permanent among elite players. He got a few goals, and helped United through a difficult period of busy fixtures, helping them to their first title in four years.
* Who else are we going to get in January? Buying in this month is notoriously difficult. The best players aren't available, and those which are usually are only available at a premium. A short-term deal to help out RvP for a few months is really not a bad idea until we can buy a better player in the summer.
* Chamakh is off in January anyway for the African Cup of Nations, so a short-deal hopefully won't hurt his already fragile confidence.
* He's not going to be the Thierry Henry we knew and loved, in terms of his performances on the pitch. Yes, he's looked good in the MLS - but the standard of football in the MLS is probably similar to the Championship. Competitive, full-blooded, but no-where near the Prem, Serie A, La Liga, etc.
* We have a team and squad that really seem to have bonded recently, and dropping someone like Henry into it could disturb its balance. He's not going to do the famous Henry sulk, but it might be hard for him to accept not being the centre of attention, like he was for virtually his entire time at Arsenal.
* It's hard to get good players in January, but not impossible. And if Robin is off in the summer, we need to blood new players now, instead of trying to pick up multiple strikers later.
* Related to the above points, we've repeatedly tried the budget option with strikers, and I don't think it works. For every Henry or RvP, there's been a Chamakh or Park. We have cash in hand, let's spend some.
On balance, I wouldn't see this deal as a negative, but I think we should be aiming a little higher. We can't just keep on signing an invincible every January - or maybe we can. Maybe Cashley will be back in a few years...or maybe not.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Seasons's Greetings. Let's hope we all get the gift of Arsenal victories over Christmas.
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