Life Without Henry: What Does The Future Hold?


So we have sold our captain but what does the future hold for Arsenal?

It might still leave a bitter taste in your mouth but the fact is times change and we have to move on. Arsenal fans suffer much more than supporters of any other team because in a world where players move around and money talks we follow a team where we buy talent young and mould them into not just world class players but integral parts of our football club.

The players we have the fondest memories of are legends like Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, David Seaman, Ian Wright, et al – guys who gave close to 10 years of service to our club.

So when they leave the wrench is so much more.

Questions will be asked about what will happen next, and there are a few key areas Arsenal fans are still wondering about:

The Board

No-one really knows what’s going to happen with the board at the moment, but we do know that Dein was kicked out and that American Stan Kroenke has bought a big stake in the club. Will we work with Stan in the future? Will he try and take over the club? Who knows.

Will any of the goings on upstairs have an effect on the manager staying longer than after next season?

The Manager

So Arsene Wenger has 1 year left on his contract.

We know Arsene always waits until his contract is up before he talks about extending his deal, that’s just the way he works. And obviously the media are talking about Wenger leaving after next season after selling Henry to Barcelona.

What do I think?

Well it was strange for Henry to make a point about Dein and Wenger for a reason for leaving. He painted a picture of doom and gloom at Arsenal which isn’t the best way to leave after 8 seasons at the club. The question is does he actually have a point or is he just making excuses rather than say Arsenal are in transition?

I think he was just making his excuses.

My take on it would be that selling Henry would mean building for the future with Cesc, Kolo and the other young players in the club. That will take time although he has most of the pieces in place already, replacing Vieira, Cashley Cole, Lauren, Bergkamp and Campbell who were the core of our last team. With the exception of Gilberto and Freddie, Thierry was the last major player of that squad so maybe Arsene is cashing in and looking at the bigger picture.

That would say to me Wenger will stay on after next season, finishing the job of moulding his 3rd team at Arsenal and seeing if it is good enough to win major honours.

The Players

Obviously with Titi’s departure speculation about Fabregas and some of the other younger players has been picked up in the media. There’s no doubt William Gallas and Jens will have something to say about Henry’s move in the coming weeks.

But it would be foolish to assume just because Henry has gone the squad will fall apart.

And I don’t believe for a minute there’s going to be a mass exodus at the club.

We keep saying the future is bright and that is because it is. There’s no doubt Henry was phenomenal at Arsenal – arguably the best ever in an Arsenal shirt – but it’s time to move on and look forward.

The Style of Play

With Pires, Vieira and Bergkamp in the side Thierry Henry was simply immense.

But without them the team play differently and obviously Wenger thinks Titi is not up to the new style of play, although that might sound stupid considering the talent of the man. I’ve said a few times that we seem to play better without Henry, with the game against Manchester United at Old Trafford as a prime example last season.

There was a suggestion that the younger players would rely on Henry too much during games and now with him gone the players will have a chance to show what they are capable of with more freedom and without the security of Thierry alongside them.

The team in the last couple of seasons has been built around Cesc Fabregas, who has arguably become more important to Arsenal than Henry. Isn’t it funny we always struggle in games where Cesc isn’t playing?

By selling Henry maybe Arsene wants a younger talent who he can mould into this new system.

Captaincy

Many of us thought that Thierry Henry as captain wasn’t working out and I mentioned about 12 months ago that the only way Wenger could take the captaincy from him was to sell him.

C’est la vie…

But who will take up the responsibility now?

Although there are several options to Wenger – vice captain Gilberto and junior captain Kolo Toure – for me there is only one man for the job and that’s Cesc Fabregas. While Gilberto and Toure would do excellent jobs in that role you can almost see Arsene ringing in the new era with Cesc at the fore, and becoming one of the youngest captains Arsenal have ever had in the process.

New Arrivals?

Probably the most talked about subject since losing our captain.

Wenger has obviously got a replacement for Henry in mind, but the question is does he think it’s in the form of Adebayor or a player he wants to bring in?

Possible names being mentioned are Nicolas Anelka, Ryan Babel, Fernando Torres and even a swoop for Samuel E’eto – although it wouldn’t at all surprise me if he kept with Adebayor, because we know Wenger isn’t the man to splash £30 million on a world class striker.

But if I had to guess I would think Wenger would bring in a young forward who he can mould and push for a first team place. We have Bendtner who is back from his loan at Birmingham and with Henry gone could this be the perfect time for Reyes return? I’ve seen stranger things happen in football.

Bottom Line?

Thierry Henry was a great player and a great servant for Arsenal Football Club. But like Vieira before him, life goes on and we will hopefully be stronger in the future as the young guns will have a chance to show everyone what they are capable of.

Au Revoir Titi: All The Best


The Man, The Myth – The Legend…

Well even the official Arsenal website has confirmed that Thiery Henry will be leaving Arsenal Football Club for Barcelona subject to a medical on Monday.

And the deal is reported to be for 4 years.

What can you say?

From Theirry’s point of view it’s a great move. He is 30 and now has a chance to play for Barcelona who are a huge club and have some of the best players in the world with Ronaldinho, E’eto and Messi. He is leaving a club which is still in transition and at his age I suppose he doesn’t have time to wait for honours, especially the Champions League which is the only major title he is yet to win in his illustrious career.

From Arsenal’s perspective £16 million for a player that cost £10.5 million and has given his best years to our club – scoring over 200 goals in the process – isn’t as bad as it could have been.

But boy does it hurt.

Many Arsenal fans including myself will wish Thierry all the best and there’s no doubt he has been a fantastic servant to the club – an unbelievable legend in fact – but seeing him play in a Barcelona shirt next season is going to painful.

He has been such a massive part of our club for so long that you wonder what will happen next. Surely Arsenal have to bring in someone to replace him?

The biggest concern to most fans now is the status of some of the other players in the squad, as well as the manager. I know Henry hasn’t at his peak last season with all his injuries but there’s no doubting he is still an excellent player, and by far the best player in the Premier League over the last few seasons.

Arsenal and the Premiership will miss him dearly.

What will Fabregas, Gallas, Toure and the others think of Titi’s departure?

It does seems strange that Arsenal would rather have £16 million, which in all honestly isn’t much in the transfer market, than keep an icon who would attract people to the club – and more importantly make our current players stay here.

With all the speculation surrounding Henry’s future I suppose his move comes as no great surprise – but it still a painful experience. How many Arsenal fans actually thought he was going to leave?

Hopefully Arsene has something under his sleeve – or maybe Dein’s departure is tearing up the club. Only time will tell.

Will The Henry Exit Signal A Player Exodus?


Staying or Going?

What’s going on?

Reports are saying that Henry is going to Barcelona for around £16 million.

If it is indeed true, then Arsenal have a knack of letting quality players at the wrong time. Last season Henry could have fetched around £40 million and when Vieira left, he ended up going for £13.7 million when the season before Real Madrid offered £23 million.

And if all the reports are to be believed, then I’m just confused about why Wenger would let a 30-goal a season man leave the club.

At least when Vieira left Fabregas was waiting in the wings.

Who can replace Thierry Henry?

Who has been more influential in Arsenal’s successes?

But of course, it is Barcelona doing all the talking so it could be complete rubbish. But with all the media coverage at the moment about the move it doesn’t look good.

Do you believe it’s actually going to happen?

You would have to think Wenger has something up his sleeve if he has decided Henry doesn’t fit in with his plans.

We know players don’t leave unless Wenger has given the go ahead but £16 million isn’t worth much in the transfer market these days.

Are you saying Darren Bent is worth the same as Henry?

None of this makes any sense!

When I heard about it I thought this is just the Spanish Media playing games again and I suppose until we get an official word from Arsenal we’ll be kept guessing about whether it’s actually true.

Vieira Demands ‘Top Players’ For Old Pal Titi

Old captain Patrick Vieira has come out and said Thierry Henry will probably leave Arsenal if they don’t bring in some world class players to match Henry’s ambition to challenge for the top honours.

God that never gets boring.

You think Vieira would know how Wenger works by now. He rarely splashes out on players, and the most successful players at Arsenal are the young ones Arsene has brought in.

Patrick Vieira, Kolo Toure, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Freddie Ljungberg, Nicolas Anelka and countless others have come in young and proven to be excellent for Arsenal.

Then you have players who Arsenal have spend decent amounts of money on – Richard Wright, Francis Jeffers, Sylvain Wiltord, Alexander Hleb and Gio Van Bronkhorst – who you could hardly call fantastic successes at the club, despite being likable by the fans (except Richard Wright obviously).

Arsene is building his 3rd team at Arsenal and like Alex Ferguson, will need at least 3 seasons to come up with a team that is ready to challenge for honours.

Who knows? Arsenal might be ahead of schedule and be fighting for the Premiership season, if they can keep free from injuries.

And it’s hardly straight-forward to sign established talent anyway, with Chelsea and Real Madrid always having a knack for going for players we’re interested in. Baptista anyone? How about Shaun Wright-Philips?

If Arsenal can have some luck in the injury department (which United had last season) then there’s no reason why we can’t get some consistency and fight at the top of the league. The only positions we were struggling at in the last campaign were in the wide areas, although next season will be a big one for Rosicky and you know that I think Hleb can be excellent as long as he plays with Henry and Van Persie.

We’ve all heard the opinions of Henry, Vieira, E’eto and all these other players adding to transfer speculation but the only man we should be listening to is Arsene Wenger.

Henry Leaves Arsenal Fans Va Va Fuming…

What the hell is going on with Thierry Henry?

AC Milan registered their interest in Henry and what does the Arsenal captain say? He says he’s flattered! Even Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti admits it would be difficult to get Henry anyway but does Thierry help the situation?

Hell he does.

All these ambigious comments about his future at Arsenal are just ridiculous!

He is ‘flattered’ about interest from AC Milan as well as it being ‘great to hear’. And he has also come out and said that ‘for now, I am an Arsenal player’.

For now? Brilliant.

Even the Barcelona ‘transfer’ was not denied by Henry – it was his agent who came out and said he is going nowhere.

But seriously, how hard is it for Henry to just come out and say he’s staying at Arsenal?

He is commenting on things he shouldn’t be, including David Dein’s departure from the club and how he is ‘so devastated’ about it. We know that Dein’s son Darren is close to Henry and all this nonsense is obviously some kind of plan to give the impression the club is in turmoil without the messiah that is David Dein.

Thierry talks about speculation never stopping but that is complete b*llocks.

How often do you hear about Ronaldinho leaving Barcelona? And Kaka from AC Milan for that matter?

All these vague comments about his future just lead to more speculation – including Bobby saying he should move to Spain and Rosicky coming out saying he hopes Henry stays. And of course the yearly story of E’eto saying how great it would be to play alongside Henry at Barcelona.

Henry professed his love for Arsenal when he signed the contract extension last season, but it’s pretty obvious the guy just loves himself.

P.S. Is it just me or does next seasons old-style away kit remind you of when our old captain Patrick Vieira was modelling our redcurrent strip? Looking at those photographs you can’t help think that the retro-kit has a curse against our captains and Henry might not be in it next season!