The big news yesterday was the return of Thierry Henry. Yes, the great man is back, but as you may or may not know… yet… he’s back training with us only! The legend of Arsenal’s most recent past will spend the break from the MLS in America training with the Arsenal team.
The website announced yesterday:
The Gunners legend returned to London Colney on Monday to train with Arsène Wenger’s squad. The short-term arrangement will help Henry maintain his fitness ahead of the new MLS campaign, which begins in March.
Henry joined the New York Red Bulls last year and helped them reach the play-offs where they lost on aggregate to San Jose Earthquakes in November.
The former Arsenal captain scored a record 226 goals during a glittering career in north London and was a member of the ‘Invincibles’ squad that completed an unbeaten campaign in 2003/04.
For me, Thierry was one of the greatest at the Arsenal and one of the best players ever to have graced the Premiership. What he brought to the club – other than a phenomenal amount of goals and assists – was a certain swagger, a certain exuberance, a certain standard of excellence - based on sheer class, desire to play the game and desire to win. When Thierry left, he did leave a void in quite a few of those areas – something that we’re just beginning to fill in now.
Thierry coming back to train with us will give the existing players a massive boost – for players like Van Persie, Cesc, Clichy and Walcott will remember the times they trained with Thierry and played with him in games – the rest will remember his legend, what he brought to the club – new players to the team like Wilshere, Chamakh and Koscielny will learn something vital from the great man. The desire to win and the class you can have as a professional footballer.
I will always remember one thing about Thierry – he let his football do the talking. Remember this?
If he can instil some of that style, that panache and the calmness in front of goal in Van Persie, Chamakh, Bendtner and Walcott, then we that will be pretty awesome – and I think all the players are quite excited to have Thierry around for the next month or so!
In other news, our reserve team lost 10-1 to Aston Villa in what was their heaviest defeat as far as I can remember… but they were without a lot of their first teamers (does that make any sense) and were playing with 10 men for the best part of the whole game.
But in slightly more uplifting news… something we found out last week and were of course tweeting about furiously – the fact that Arsene Wenger won the “coach of the decade” award ahead of the likes of Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho. It’s a great tribute to all the hard work he has been doing behind the scenes at Arsenal, the players he has made, the style of football he has created… so from everyone at WOA…
Congratulations Mr. Wenger!
It’s a tribute that rightfully awards the best coach over the last 10 years with recognition. For me, spending vast amounts of Money (like Mourinho) on the likes of Essien and Drogba is one thing, spending £30m on Wayne Rooney (like Ferguson) is another…
But identifying talents from the lower leagues, such as Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey… nuturing talent like Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs – finding players like Van Persie for under £4m, as well as maintaining a standard of football, going through a season unbeaten and doing all of this whilst moving to a 60,000 seater stadium is a remarkable feat.
The tributes came in from some of the existing squad yesterday…
Congratulations to Mr Arsene Wenger for being nominated best coach of the decade. What an achievement that is. Proud to be one of his players.
Jack Wilshere added
“Congrats to my boss Mr Arsene Wenger, manager of the decade!! [A] pleasure to work with him.”
And just to top it all off, Cesc was quoted yesterday talking about his future at Arsenal:
“Why would I want to leave? It is fantastic here. It would be a dream to lift trophies for Arsenal. It has always been my wish. Afterwards you can always be attracted by something else, like a new objective, or new challenges because, for me, life is all about challenges. But my real challenge as captain of Arsenal is to bring this football club success. This is the biggest dream I can have. I want to end these five years without a trophy and, hopefully, I can do it this season.”
Fighting talk from our captain fantastic… Today’s blog has been quite a pleasant one, hasn’t it?
Til tomorrow, mes amigos…