There’s not too much going on in the world of Arsenal today, all attention seems to have shifted to the final of the Champions League which is, of course, tonight. It’s Man United versus Barcelona in Rome. And it’s Henry’s chance to win the trophy that he has coveted for so long. In fact, the main reason that the French striker left Arsenal was to win the Champions League and I really hope he manages to get his hands on the trophy tonight.
Arsene has spoken on Henry desire to win the game and his views on who he is supporting.
“I would want him to do well because I know one thing he needs and he deserves in his career is a successful Final. People don’t realise what happened to him in 2006. He played in the Champions League Final and just lost. He knows he had the chance to score the second goal. Then he went on and played in the World Cup Final and they lost on penalties. When you are 30 years-old, how much does that hurt? You think that might be my last chance to be in there. For him to go back into the Final and do well is very important. So I will support him in this game. That’s not Barcelona. I would just want him to play well and then I want the team who plays the best to win.”
That’s just a diplomatic way of saying he wants Henry to win! Personally, to see Henry lift the trophy tonight would be a perfect outcome – I remember when he was leaving, he talked about his chance to win the Champions League. For Thierry, it’s the one trophy he has yet to win. If you look back at his career, he’s won the League, the FA Cup, the World Cup and the Euros, but yet to win the Champions League.
I remember the French press saying that a player of Henry’s calibre should have won the Champions League by now, and tonight he has his chance.
Arsene also spoke about the final itself and how he thinks it will pan out.
“You want it to be an interesting Final and I believe it will be. We don’t know what the outcome will be but we know one thing – Barcelona will have the ball and Man United will play on the counter-attack. Man United have the weapons to hurt Barcelona on counter-attacks and if the offensive machine of Barcelona works they have the weapons to de-stabilise Man United at the back. It will be down to whether Messi and Eto’o will be at their best. I don’t feel I have to come out on [who will win]. I believe part of me represents English football but you cannot as well love football and not hail Barcelona. But certainly they both try to play football.”
So, time to sit back, relax and see whether Henry can fulfil his dream!
Elsewhere in the world of Arsenal, Brede Hangeland has come out today and said categorically that he will be staying at Fulham. He has no plans to leave, the club don’t want him to leave, he wants to stay. So, I’ll give it a week before he’s announced at another club! Okay, but seriously, yes the player can say things to appease the worried Fulham fans, but in reality, to jump from Fulham to Arsenal should be a player’s dream. To play Champions League football is surely a professional footballers desire, so surely he would want the move if the links were actually substantial?
Now time to congratulate the under 18’s as they swept aside Liverpool 2-1 to win 6-3 on aggregate and claim the FA Youth Cup, our first trophy of the season (other than the women) and in what is a much fiercer youth system now. I do remember when players such as Sidwell and Aliaidiere were in the team alongside a host of other names, but we’re talking about 8 years ago and to be honest, not many other clubs were taking it seriously enough back then. The players who have won this time around are better players, play the Arsenal way, have much more to come and I believe more of them have a future than back then.
Looking at the squad yesterday, you can see players such as Watt, Coquelin, Sunu and Wilshere definitely getting into the first team squad eventually. The two Emmanuels, Thomas and Frimpong also have a lot more about them. Whether they all make it or not is some way off, but I’m eagerly anticipating the Carling Cup next season, where you’ll see which of these kids is ready for first team action. The future certainly looking exciting…
Okay, that’s enough for today – sit back and relax and cheer on Thierry and Barcelona and let’s hope for a great game tonight!