Mr Arsenal, Thierry Henry is back training with us. Seeing the old boy is such a reassuring sight – he’s such a legend, it’s unbelievable – and seeing him back in training seems so right. I do hope he has a future at the club when he retires from football – out of all the Wenger signings, he is the one who genuinely loved the club, Mr Arsenal… Thierry Henry. The man is 34 years old now, so only a few years away from a coaching role?
Arsene Wenger spoke about Henry and the lift he gives younger players:
“Thierry was in with our training today, and he does not need to show how good he is. He just wants to stay fit and enjoy the football club again, because he is at home here and it is always good to have him back. When you are not the day before the game, it is possible of course for him to practise with the first team. It is always a lift to see what a big player he still is.”
In his prime, he’d demolish Norwich single handedly… but at the moment, in his prime, we have the goal scoring machine which is Robin Van Persie… and he is fit and raring to go after a week’s rest and should spear-head our attack tomorrow… in fact, as far as I am aware, we have no major injury worries… except for the long term absentees in Diaby, Sagna, Wilshere and Gibbs. I’ll touch on a few players comments shortly, but first, let’s look at a potential line up:
Jenkinson – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Santos
Arteta – Song
Walcott – Ramsey – Gervinho
With a bench of Fabianski, Mertersacker, Djourou, Frimpong, Rosicky, Arshavin, Park
This week has been a week of self praise for sure – with Walcott hailing the impact that Gervinho has had on the team, describing him as the “perfect signing” – and hats off to Arsene Wenger – I really think Gervinho is a quality player and a exact fit for a club like ours – his style is very good, he dribbles well, has a good eye for a run behind the defence and a good eye for a pass – and he’s still young & learning his trade…
But something else worth highlighting is Robin Van Persie’s praise for little Theo Walcott:
After every single goal, people ask me, ‘Who gave the assist?’ I just say, ‘Who do you think?’ We have that connection, I know what he is going to do, which is very important. It’s vital to have a player around me, as a striker, who knows where I move, how I move, do I want the ball into feet, do I want it behind. He knows where to find me. Stuff like that is vital. It [his 100th goal for the club] was just a big honor and I asked Theo to celebrate with me, I had my history with Arsenal Football Club.
Theo sometimes seems a little bit wasteful and sometimes makes you wonder, but as a collection of people playing the three-pronged attack, Theo, RvP and Gervinho do seem to compliment each other quite well. In fact, the synergy is so good and exciting to watch, that the rest of the players in those positions are hardly getting a look in. Arshavin is actually in decent form, but can’t get past Gervinho – not a bad conundrum to have as a manager, and I’m sure competition for places helps the players get on top of their game. Neither Chamakh or Park Ju Young seem to have a chance in hell of getting past Robin Van Persie – who himself believes is in the form of his life.
Chamakh has spent a while adapting to life in London and his immediate impact and rate of 10 goals in 20 appearances has quickly faded in the show of our Dutch striker. His affect on the pitch has also reduced dramatically and although he has hardly had any playing time this season, when he does play, he doesn’t seem that affective. Whether or not he will get better is up for debate – he’s been linked with a return to Bordeaux, but when quizzed about it, he didn’t seem too phased and the good thing is that he believes he can succeed at Arsenal…
“I haven’t played as much, what with (Robin) Van Persie coming back from injury, but for me, it’s been a settling in period. It’s been good to play for a club like Arsenal and get used to the league, but I’m trying to learn, enjoy it and long may it continue.”
Our second back up striker is the ever busy captain of Korea, Park Ju Young, whose form for country is simply amazing. Every time he plays for his country, he seems to score. For us, he has played a few times, and scored one and actually played very well. But in his last outing against Marseille, he wasn’t at this best and perhaps that has got a few minds wondering – hence the link to Podolski recently.
Park spoke about his start at Arsenal and said:
“I couldn’t train much for about two months before I moved here. I just had to do some personal training instead. Since I joined the team it has been two months and I feel like I am in my normal condition now. The coaches adjust the training depending on the games we play and it’s good. I am settling off the pitch as well. All the Arsenal staff and everyone else have helped me. Also my wife is here so I don’t have many problems settling down.
I do like the look of Park and I think there is a lot to come from him… I, like a lot of fans out there, are just a little impatient…
Norwich will be a tough game. They play well, have a good crowd behind them. We don’t play well after Internationals – so tomorrow’s game is very very important in order to get back in the flow of things – 3 points is what we need…
Come on you reds…