Arsenal 1 – 0 Leeds: Henry Inspires Us To Victory

Today’s blog is a little late… but as Thierry says… better late than never.

It was an amazing night for all Arsenal fans, and a night to be remembered for a hero’s welcome, the return of a legend and a great inspirational night. Thierry Henry loves the club, he was a quality footballer, and still is. He may have lost some pace and patience, but he still has the class that he developed at Arsenal and still has the va-va-voom that made him the player he was. His movement and goal was reminiscent of the old Thierry and showed he still has talent.

He spoke in length after the game and it’s very much worthy of a read…

“I guess it was always going to be surreal. It was one of the best moments because it is the first time that I wore the Arsenal shirt being a fan.  I became a fan when I left the club so now I know exactly how it feels to score for the club that you support. So, great emotions. As I said earlier on to some of the guys in the dressing room, two weeks ago I was on holiday in Mexico on the beach and here I am scoring the winner against Leeds. Obviously I am going to grab some headlines and stuff like that but Nico Yennaris and Ignasi Miquel at the back, along with some of the other guys, played really well. I was at the end of a great move but as I said many times, it is all about the team. We went through and that is the most important thing. I always want more so I don’t know if it is going to be a goal, a pass or a tackle. I said so many times, I am not here to be a hero. I am here to be another player, to help the squad and that is it to be honest. I didn’t plan a comeback.  I didn’t plan to come on, I didn’t plan to score! That, maybe I did! But joking apart, I never thought I was going to be here, talking to you after a game so scoring a winner for the club that I love, I am actually dreaming right now. It was the first time that I played for Arsenal being a fan. Before, I would have died out there for the club, but now I am a fan it was mixed emotions. It was almost unreal.”

It was very surreal for myself, and I’m sure for all Arsenal fans. Thierry is a true living and playing legend…

Yesterday, I was very happy with what happened, as Thierry’s emotional celebration summed up his love for the club. But on a slightly negative note, it does sum up the lack of strength in depth in the squad and the lack of quality. Chamakh is the player that most papers targeted showing how bad he is in comparison to Henry. Chamakh has 1 goal is something like 429 minutes, whereas Henry has 1 goal in 22 minutes. Interesting stat, but there is much more to the equation than meets the eye. We’ve been lucky to have had a lot of attacking options previously – players like Henry, Bergkamp, Van Persie, Reyes as well as quality reserves & youth. Where we are at the moment is worlds apart – we don’t have a plethora of attacking talent. And the existing squad is quite young and inexperienced. Theo Walcott has been with us for a lot time, but he is not an Henry, a Pires or a Ljungberg.

The fact that Henry, aged 34, can come back and immediately go to #2 in the striking pecking orders basically sums up what I am trying to say. Personally, I believe we need an injection of players, and we’re one Van Persie injury away of being very average. It’s a risk that a club like ours shouldn’t take. The reason that Man City have Aguero, Ballotelli, Dzeko and Tevez is because they need options. If Aguero gets injured, then there needs to be someone who can come in a do a job. Arsene needs to invest in a striker, in a proper player. Theoretically, he should have significant funds available considering our budgets and then sales of players.

Looking at the team that played on Monday – I was surprised to see Benayoun miss out and was also very surprised to see Alex Song and Mikel Arteta play 90 minutes – the latter being an ever present in our team and for me, he was the man of the match. He was good going forward, excellent defending and he link play was amazing. Let’s hope he can stay fit the rest of the season!

We’ve got Swansea on Sunday and that is a huge game for us – it’s away and I don’t think it will be that easy – Van Persie will be back – Theo will start – and Henry will be on the bench…

You’ll get your weekly dose of Tottz82 tomorrow, in the meanwhile, watch this again and again:

  • goonerTim

    Already watched it 5 times since you posted!!!!!

  • Kodjo

    Let’s forget the negatives and savour the moment….

  • SpeedDemon

    @ Kodjo:
    For how long? The whole season

  • robin

    spot on article – the lack of depth is shocking

  • goonerTim

    One day I’ll wake up and hear that we’ve signed some exciting players, but that day may be after AW, after the stadium has been paid off… for the moment, it’s all about finishing top four… the worrying thing is that we’re not even that exiting to watch at the moment.

  • robin

    @goonertim i read on another forum where a poster excellently highlited the issues we have: our attack is pathetic if you think about it – we can barely beat relagation teams at home let alone away – God forbid RVP gets injured then who the heck is going to get the goals?
    apparently wallnut wants 85k? haha that’s a bigger joken than wenger.

  • sistable

    People say that the game has changed a lot over the past 20 years or so. The reality is the game has changed a hell of a lot over the past seven seasons or so. It is no coincidence that three players from the Invincible season have come back over the past few seasons, and every single time their commitment to the cause has stood out like a sore thumb for me. Thierry and his celebrations on Monday night, Sol fighting like a warrior in a loss at WHL a couple of seasons back, and Mad Jens getting heated with defenders at Blackpool last spring, were all reminders for me that, not that long ago, we did have players that were willing to fight for the cause. They, in my eyes, simply wanted it more than the current bunch of players we have managed to assemble.

    Is this an Arsenal-specific problem or a wider change in players’ attitudes as their wages have spiralled out of any sort of control in recent seasons? For me the answer would probably have to be more of the latter. All we can do as supporters is remember the attitude and spirit of King Henry the next time a Na$ri or an Adebayor leaves us for more pound notes elsewhere.

  • goonerTim

    @ robin:
    Walcott’s desire for £85k per week is very worrying and is the problem with modern football – has acheived nothing for club or country and not met any personal targets, but wants the same wage as players who are winning trophies week in and week out – apparently Podolski wants £80k – surely Podolski has proven himself more than Walcott.

    @ devday:
    “we’re one Van Persie injury away of being very average”

    Quote of the day!

  • stevethegunner

    @sistable-brillaintly put. I think the henry furore is simply papering over the cracks and the obvious lack of fight in this team and there is only 1 person to blame for that and that’s the dunce of a manager that we have, until this dictator is not booted out and sent packing to frnace we will be eating frogs legs meaning mediocre shit from mercenaries.