Saturday, March 10, 2007

Henry's worst season at Arsenal is over, but let's not over-react.

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.


tunadog said...

Aside from being injured TH14 has played out of position ...he wants to come from the left side & does not want to be the central fulcrum of the attack. The main reason for our lack of success has been the virtual nil contribution of goals from midfield. What would the normal contribution of 20 goals from midfield done for our season.The issue of set pieces is a major discussion point ...we rarely look like we will score, invariabley hitting the 1st man whilst on the other hand we always look likely to concede not helped by the antics of Jens Lehman. I for one have had enough of his rantings it only unsettles the defence. Iwould be happy to see him depart at seasons end. Its also time to say goodbye to Freddie ...injuries plus the retirement of Dennis mean his contribution is at best limited.One final comment ...the most infuriating thing for me is when we get to the edge of the opposition penalty area & always look for another pass (biggest culprit Hleb)sometimes we need to just pull the trigger.

Anonymous said...

Well said mate, I'm bloody tired of these so-called Arsenal supporters questioning TH14. He is a legend and the fact that he decided to stay shows his affection to Arsenal.

YTSL said...

I sincerely hope that we'll see the old Thierry Henry next season. We sure haven't gotten many glimpses of him this season!

However, as I think we all now know full well, it's not so much because of lack of commitment to the club and cause but injuries that have caused this state of affairs. Still, I can't help but also think that he's missed having his mate Pires and partner Bergkamp around this season as well.

Thinking some more, it doesn't seem right that at his age, Thierry Henry should be viewed as the grand old man of Arsenal. Put another ways: We need more experienced plus wise(r) heads around to help him share this burden plus responsibility.

So I hope that Arsene Wenger goes and buys a few ready-to-play -- as opposed to merely "promising" -- players this summer. Though at the same time, and however sad to say, it does seem that injuries have taken a toll on Freddie Ljungberg and the summer also would be a good time for Arsenal to part ways with him.

Matej said...

Should we sign Baptista

little bit about him

“Baptista has just started to get a run in the team. Baptista has started the last 4 games and during these games we have gone out of 3 cup competitions and only 1 win against reading. I think this speaks volumes about why baptista need to go back to madrid.


About Henry, I really hope soo

But i think that Van Persie will replace him as a 1st goalscorer in Arsenal

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Anonymous said...

Great post. Two things I'd like to say are:

1. We do not need to buy a midfielder. Pires only got 4 in the league in his first season, he led the league in assists in his second and only got double figures in his third. I'm confident Rosicky will come to the party next season as will Theo to some extent. If you'd said we need a midfielder becuase we need a left-foot I'd be more inclined to agree.

2. A deep-lying, slightly slower Henry still has massive appeal, the thing is though is that his diva-like approach just won't cut it there. The deeper you lie, the more work you are required to do, period. Whether TH has two careers will depend a lot on whether he can get over himself and work like the rest of the team.

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Anonymous said...

Am I the only one getting upset with comments from TH saying he will only stays if AW stays , imagine gerrard or John Terry staying stuff like that, i think its apoor show from TH the captain of arsenal , where is his loyalty, its definitely not to Arsenal . Dont get me wrong i have huge respect and admiration for the captain but not like that.
Any way ignoring that , i think he will be back to his self next season and with RVp in the mix i think we will definitely end the not scoring situation. Baps and alliediere on their way out and they should take Hleb with them .
Bendtner will also be on the scene i dont think Wenger is buying any new strikers , he will get a winger who can make those runs at the defence, he would have bought a keeper if jens moved, and i think thats it.