Friday, May 19, 2006

We owe Thierry Success.

All of us do. The other 10 players in every arsenal first XI. Every Arsenal fan.

I've had to laugh at those 'pundits' who've said that this signing shows a lack of ambition on TH's part. So, which shows less ambition: signing for the champions of Europe and Spain; signing for a team with an average age of around 22ish, who haven't won anything.

And i laugh at all the supposedly 'in the know' journos and pudits who've peddled this story since last August. Made great copy didn't it? Sold a lot of papers didn't it? Shows a complete lack of journalistic integrity doesn't it? As long as the media is based on what sells and not what's actually occurring, things like Tel's contract saga will become sagas. People constantly said that T would leave because it made them look like big men, who knew what was really happening. Idiots. My bile, however, can in way match the tirade on today's great arseblog. check it out.

This is Thierry's greatest gamble. He could have swaned off to Spain, and won a plethora of awards. But, instead, he's stayed with us. For once, loyalty rules:

Loyalty to the club.

Loyalty to the players.

Loyalty to the fans.

Henry will finish his career at Arsenal. He will set records that may never be broken. We owe him success. We owe him premierships, FA cups, and most of all the Champions league. Make no mistake: Henry is a phenomenon, the greatest player in world football today. He is so good that he could walk into any team in the world and achieve success. We have to give him that success to reward his loyalty.

While all i have been able to do is replay his missed second half chance in my head, I've now realised that he was knackered. If the chance had come even ten minutes earlier he would have had the energy to take it. I hope one day we are 11 v 11 against Barca so Tel can show them his full repetoire.

This year Tel stepped up. Goals against Madrid, Juve, Liverpool, Spuds, his pass against Villareal: hmm, not quite the absent big game player eh? Considering he was injured for a good few months, he still bagged 33 goals. He is the best player in the premiership. Only Rooney and Gerrard are near him. And, make no mistake about this, we should thank every other premiership team and player for this new contract. Tel is staying because he knows that the premiership is the greatest league in the world. Passion without violence; skill and physicality; no racism or bribery. No other league can boast this. We should all be proud we created it. I think in the next 2-3 years, other players will recognise this, and the premiership will become the world's true premier league.

So in a week that would have otherwise produced a kind of lengthy melancholy within me that not even butters [see previous post] could overcome, a silver lining is visible.

We are the Arsenal, and we have Henry. We owe him. I want Thierry to retire festooned with medals from his captainship. He's a great footballer, but, more importantly, a great man. He is the embodiment of the beautiful game. He encapsulates everything that I love about football.

I have never seen a player like Thierry, and I feel privileged that he is here now. If he loves us, the feeling is more than mutual.

Thierry, merci bien. Vous etes mon roi. Although remember - no player is bigger than the club.



tunadog said...

SPOT ON.what TH14 has done is an amazing thing...i have seen brady stapleton,overmars,petit,vieira all walk away..TH14 has joined the legends like o leary & adams ...i really hope his loyalty is rewarded it is so rare in football nowdays

Anonymous said...

We love u thierry!!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like Pires is going to be offered two years - I'm amazed but the Guardian seems pretty sure. Beckham, I guess, will be urging Ash to join him at Real, and Ash no doubt will be chuffed to feel wanted by someone. Reyes and Cesc, however, are hopefully already working on Torres. I'll be very sorry to lose Ash but a top striker is our priority. Clichy and Flam are pretty much proven at leftback, whereas there's still a question mark over the effectiveness of Reyes, van Persie, Ade, Aliadiere, Lupoli, Bentner and Walcott, both individually and as part of the team. Torres, I'd guess, will help Reyes to improve, so it would be a good move all round, especially as Thierry also admires him.

I'm really happy with the way we played on Wed apart from one thing: Why oh why bring on Flam? He wasn't fit and hadn't played in midfield all season. Predictably he got in the way rather than helping. It was like all those times when Cygan was brought on in the 89th minute, tripped someone up, and we instantly conceded a goal. When Barca took off the kicking cheating van Bommel, I was momentarily thrilled because I assumed we'd retaliate with Reyes and create a few chances. As it was, we were too exhausted to defend effectively, esp with Belleti pushing forward as well, and the disorganisation Flam's appearance created was pretty much the last straw.

Anonymous said...

Reyes got the second most assists behind drogba.
Van Persie was on fire before breaking his toe. 8 goals in 8 games.
Adebayor scored on his debut and got 4 goals in 7 games. He adds more to us up front.
Walcott is going to the world cup at 17 without a second of prem experience-How good must he be.
Henry is staying.

Thats 5 strikers who score, have pace, strength, skill. During the bad parts of the prem season we couldnt score but our defence was good(3rd best). After the madrid game we started scoring with Van persie and Walcott either injured or not playing.

If all 5 are fit then we have more than enough options and talent up front with Reyes being the 5th choice striker but playing regularly on the left wing (2nd most assists behind drogba)

Defence still looks good with Eboue, Lauren, Djhorou, Toure, Campbell, Senderos, Cole, Clichy.

Maybe good signings needed in midfield and kepper.

Goonerboy said...

I'd say keeping Cole is vital as well. What does everyone else think?

I know that Flam and Clichy were great when they came in, but its been great to see Ashley back in the last few games, and remember what a great player he is: surely best l-b, or thereabouts, in the world.

As for strikers: Torres? I'm not convinced. I think he could take as long as Jose to adapt.

I'm going to write an article on Jose soon, along the lines of he's great, but painfully inconsistent, and he has one more season to prove himself before I can see even Wenger losing faith.

Hleb will be awesome next year, even more so than this one. Hes going to really step up.

Goonerboy said...

Yes, I was slightly bewildered by Flam's appeareance on Weds. I thought he was going to take off Cole: I'd forgottent that Flam is actually a midfielder. I think he should stick to full back now. either side.

Reyes should have come on for Hleb at 70. His energy might just have seen us through. Arsene still can't make substitutions can he? My only major criticism of him.

Anonymous said...

I hope Cole stays too, which surprises me because at one point I was past caring, but he was definitely one of the heroes of the CL final. I think Thierry's decision to stay will have an impact on the decisions of those already here and those we might attract to the club. Don't know enough about Torres to comment, but have to agree with you re Reyes. He is fast running out of chances with me. I think Wenger sent Flamini on to shore up the defence as he could see they were wilting. A more attacking option with Reyes would have sent out a different message to the opposition because the one thing I will say about him (other than the assists), he will run his socks off for the team and track back into defence. But how I wish he'd learn to bounce off some of those challenges and stay on his feet. This is not Spain and he is fast gaining a certain reputation that will not help him in his attempts to settle into the Premiership.

legrandesaucisse said...

I don't know man. At that stage of the game we needed someone who could keep hold of the ball and Jose isn't very good at that unfortunately. He would have come on with pace and energy for sure. We'll never know.

Talking about Reyes from wider perspective its a shame that he hasn't realised his potential with us yet and stayed at that level. I can remember being so excited when we were going to sign him. AW had been watching him for months and I remember hearing that he made a Real Madrid defender cry through humiliation!

I'll never forget his first goal against chelsea! What a rocket! The start of last season he was on fire too, was it 6 games in a row he scored in? He obviously has the talent now he needs to show it more often. I belive you're right though Goonerboy, 1 more year and he could be off.

Chris M said...

Im proud of Thierry's decision. To say that trying to build a young team into champions is less ambitious than joinin a team that already is champions, clearly need to go back to school and learn the defintion of 'ambition'.
We do need another proper striker, for the 442, but im not convinced on Ade & Persie, Torres would be good but i would like to see Andy Johnson join. Young, proven, british, and tough.
We should stand tough on the one year extension rule in regard to Pires. Its always been there. If its good enough for DB10 and the likes then it shuld be good enough for him. Especially with the competion for his place.
As good as Jens has been recently, and i feel sorrt for him as he was the reason we got through to the final with his save at Villarreal, he's 37. We need to sign our GK of the future.
Ashley sounded hurt when he talked about Sven being the one who paiud attention to him, so im more sceptical of him staying, but i beleive he will.
Finally, COME ON ENGLAND! Looking forward to seeing Theo actually play, and hope to see StevieG reproduce that FA Cup performance in the final!

Anonymous said...

Who would you like from Juve? I'd take Buffon, Emerson and Trezeguet. Realistically I can't see the first two wanting to come to us, especially not to play second fiddle to Jens and Gilberto, but Trezeguet could be a real possibility?

I feel a bit sorry for England. They're going to have to be twice as good as everyone else to compensate for the referees they'll be getting. In case you don't know how this works:

Refs are chosen 48 hours in advance of each game by two officials - this year from Spain and Brazil - and endorsed by committee members from other participating nations. These include all the major footballing countries in Europe and South America, plus represtatives from such fortresses of knowledge and expertise as the US, Scotland, Tonga, Benin, Australia, some South-Sea island whose name I've forgotten ... but not England. The only other country similarly badly placed is, as far as I remember, the Ivory Coast. This really can make a difference. Spain and Italy in the last World Cup were in England's position, and remember what happened to them - good goals disallowed, players wrongly sent off, in one case by a ref considered so appalling by his domestic FA he was later sacked for incompetence and corruption. Poor England, poor Ivory Coast. But looking on the bright side, we'll have our players home early and rested for our Champions League tie in Ukraine or Lithuania or wherever it is.

Anonymous said...

the premiership may be the most popular league in the world and may be the best for the reason you have mentioned but there is no way that it is the best league in term of football. i am an arsenal and epl supporter but if you beleive football is the beautiful game the la liga is the best football league. however it does suffer from racism and cannot match the passion of english supporters

Goonerboy said...

I've watched quite a few la liga games this season, and they're dry. lots and lots and lots of passing with little physicality. I would rather watch an EPL game than any other, unless it was a real top 2 or 3 game in serie A, or La liga.