Thursday, June 28, 2007

The last word on Thierry's transfer.

Sorry for the picture, but we all need to see it: he's gone and he ain't coming back.

I was tempted to post a lengthy article regarding the finer points of the Henry transfer. But, ultimately, he's gone, and there's no use wallowing in the past, so let's move on and start to think of possible replacements. The only points I want to make on the transfer are these:

1) Henry instigated the transfer, not Wenger, Arsenal or even the Deins. Whilst it now appears that Wenger did drive a hard bargain - Barcelona's initial offer was reportedly only €12 million - it also seems that Wenger did not intend to let him go this summer, and it was only after Henry made clear to Arsene that he wanted to go that Arsene sanctioned the transfer. In short, had Henry done nothing, he would still be an Arsenal player. While the Dein's - especially Darren - helped Thierry along the way, the decision to leave lay firmly with Thierry. I think all that is worth bearing in mind. Arsene, I believe, is being forced into the transfer market in areas that he was perhaps not contemplating.

2) Henry left because he didn't think the Arsenal side he led were capable of challenging for trophies. He can dress it up with the excuse of Dein's departure, but he's ultimately going to Barcelona because he thinks they are better placed to win competitions, be it la liga or the Champions League. And on that count, it's hard to disagree. How he'll get on in a side which isn't completely centred around him remains to be seen.

3) Thierry had lost his passion for Arsenal. It was best that he left and Wenger was right to make the transfer as easy as possible. Once a players eyes start to wander, their concentration and drive begins to slip. If Wenger had tried to block the transfer, we would have had an even sulkier Thierry this season.

4) I also believe that Wenger's willingness to let Henry leave was due to the state of Thierry's injuries. Thierry passed the medical, but is being shipped to a special Parisian unit, in order that they can better tend to rebuilding his repeatedly injured groin area. If Henry was suffering from sciatica, that would also be a major concern for a player going into his 30s. In short, we got the best years of Henry's career, and it'll be interesting to see how injury-free he can stay at Barca. I think this was the right time to sell, even if it was unplanned.

5) We can finally appoint a proper captain. Thierry was only ever handed the armband to try and keep him at the club. Gilberto has proved himself to be a better leader, although I wouldn't discount Kolo or even Cesc from the captaincy equation. All seem better equipped to drive the team forward at vital moments.

Overall, and in some ways ironically, Thierry's departure could force Arsene into completing his rebuilding project, and turning the current rabble into a team truly capable of challenging for honours; a team shorn of an over-dominant individual which was perhaps restricting the ability of the team to grow into a truly cohesive unit; a team of, dare I say it, equals?

We're not even in July and we've let three strikers go. Bendtner has come in, but doubts remain about his ability. Walcott is, obviously, a huge prospect, but may need another season to really bed himself in. We need two strikers to come into the side by the end of August, otherwise the mistakes of the Vieira transfer will be repeated all over again. Once quality is over the hill, it's acceptable to let it go, but only if you think you can adequately replace it. And I've got a few suggestions for Arsene over the coming days as to who those replacements might be.


Anonymous said...

Yup 100% agree.

I think Van Persie will have a great season 07 - 08, perhaps scoring 20 plus goals. But we need to have other players backing him up. Perhaps Fabregas can get forward more and score, rather than think he need to set up the strikers.

We need some width, and I personally believe we need a key player in before pre season begins, not 31st August.

There is still a good team out there, they need to gel, have a great pre-season and play for the team and club.

Anonymous said...

Goonerboy, what are your suggestions for replacements? I would suggest buying a proven striker, but that of course is dependent on the price it seems, because Arsenal does not appear to have much financial muscle in the transfer market, apart from the money from Henry's transfer.

Anonymous said...

defoe or anelka and quaresma or robinho.... bring it on

Anonymous said...

We dont need 2 strikers as bendtner has come back. We need one.


Anonymous said...

I'm quite stumped as to who to sign. I saw a mention of a guy called Eduardo Da Silva who has scored 73 goals in 100 games for his current club. He plays for Dinamo Zagreb and is only 24. I reckon he seems like a really good prospect. I really don't know who else to sign, but I don't like to idea of Anelka coming back and I don't think Arsenal should get involved in the whole Tevez issue. No doubt Wenger will produce one surprise big name and one unknown and the unknown will probably excel. Hopefully he's got his scouts spread far and wide.

Unknown said...

Looks like being Oba Martins from Newcastle who I am not convinced by. He is quick and strong but his finish can be poor and he is a bit up and down. I would like to see Tevez or even Anelka back at the club. No matter personal opinions on Anelka, the boy is class, I think when he was younger he could've been better than Henry by now if he stopped being side-tracked by the 'grass is greener' complex and his ego. I think he is at an age now where he knows his career is going nowhere fast and he'll have the hunger to do it on the big stages. I believe he is the Henry replacement.
As for Tevez, I like him, he'll bring bottle and passion to the team and he's young with a big future and reputation. Not sure he's ever gonna be a titi but I prefer him to Oba.
Finally on the Torres stuff - just say no. Fernando Torres will never make it big in the premiership. Those who have seduced themselves with his 'big name' status need to take a look at the young man who was dubbed 'the next big thing' 4 years ago and has still done nothing impressive. Bagging 20 goals a year for Athletico does not earn you the right to be called world class. Another Reyes waiting to happen.
Bring on Anelka - we need experience, not another youngster.

Goonerboy said...

Personally, I believe if we bought both Anelka and Tevez we would be able to challenge for the league. Even one of the two and things might get interested. I'm not convinced by Martins, nor Torres, nor Babel.

Anonymous said...

I was just saying in writing on this transfer that seeing Henry in a Barcelona jersey is a little like walking in on your grandpa while he's cross-drewwing. You have to work through the shock and revulsion before you can reach acceptance.

I SO hope that Arsenal signs Anelka. I've been watching Anelka's evolution since his return to the France NT this year with amazement. He's become my favorite player on the team. He is very different from the person he used to be and seems to have the maturity Arsenal needs. (His big-brotherlike interactions with the young Samir Nasri are a case in point. He's at a stage in life where he can mentor Arsene's kids.) And the Arsenal style of play matches up to his strengths so much better than Bolton's!

Plus (knock wood) he just seems sturdier than Henry, so with luck you could get a few injury-free seasons from him.

Anonymous said...

Or, y'know, not only when your grandpa's cross-drewwing, but when he's cross-dressing too!


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

really hope we sign Anelka, but if that goes wrong cuz he's a bad seed, I'd really like to see Huntelaar come, he's got mad skillz and good finish, And Torres might be a nice option too, he's high and pretty good in the air, and he might be the finishing touch we need

Anonymous said...

i agree whole heartedly with u about henry and i also think that he was having a distabilising effect on the team cos he definately felt that arsenal was not a big enough club and that is why cesc keeps on making sounds like he wants to go to barca i feel we should sell him as well soon so we can save ourselves the heartbreak when he demands a move next season cos that will hurt as much if not more than titi`s defection

Anonymous said...

Some of you guys seem to have a very low opinion of your club, manager and squad. TH made almost no contribution last season if you factor in his moods and the negative air around him. He was allowed to leave because it was better for the squad. Even without any big buys the team will perform better this season, because of the added experience, because players like RvP and Walcott will flourish and because we have removed the necessity to pass the ball to TH at every opportunity. He was no longer going to be top dog and he knew it. At Barcelona he will perform well in cameo roles, meanwhile the Arsenal will win the some trophies against tough opposition.

My prediction is we can expect one big buy and it will be a total surprise, becuase the deal was done a couple of weeks ago. We will have to wait until the end of Copa America.

Goonerboy said...

End of the Copa America eh? Do let on.