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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 Â£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.
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.