Football players, like the rest of us, get older. So there comes a time when the club doesn’t want them anymore, they’re too old to keep pace, or when the club’s ambition outstrips the player’s ability. For that reason, we have to face the fact that eventually our favourite players won’t be at the club. Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright… all have departed.

Henry at BarcelonaWith this in mind, I knew that Thierry Henry wouldn’t be at Arsenal for ever. I also know that contracts mean very little these days, other than the fact that players can’t transfer for free. Anyone who believes it will ensure they stay at a club is a bit dopey. So with a heavy heart I have to face the fact that Thierry’s ambition seems to have outstripped the club’s ambition. £16 million seems a bit cheap, even if he is nearly 30… we’re talking about the best player in the world. He’s worth five Wayne Rooneys.

What really concerns me is not just the gap he’ll leave, but whether it might prompt some of the other players to head for the door – in particular rising star Cesc Fabregas who is said to be discontented. Man Yoo have already started their Summer spendathon, Chelsea will open their fat cheque book soon, and Liverpool have new backers. Arsenal had better spend that £16 million wisely, otherwise 4th place will be an even harder-fought position in this coming season. Failing to get into the Champions’ League could have real bad repercussions.

Thierry, thanks for all you did. Your contribution during the glory years was too great to create any bitterness now. The Premiership is poorer for your departure.

This article has 11 comments

  1. Steve ( Big Brother ) Reply

    Well said Daz, however there was an interesting analysis on US TV this evening about players who have left the Gunners in supposedly thier prime. You would find it hard to find one who has gone on to bigger and better things. To name but a few… Viera, Petit, Overmars and the one we all remember… Anelka. Our Arsene is a smart cookie and has always done very well for us in the transfer market. He also has a knack of bringing on big talent just at the right time.
    So this seasons strike force may have a youthful look about it but there is cetainly quality.
    Van Persie, Adebayor and Walcott spring immediately to mind but just behind them are Bendtner ( Birmingham really wanted to keep him ) and Lupoli. Add to the mix 1 quality signing and we could be in business. Or we could be surprised. Arsene may well unearth some unknown from the foothills of the Pyrenees.
    I wish TH well, he has been a great servant for the club and he will be missed. My one wish for this season is that we beat Barca in the Champions League final.

  2. Darren Reply

    There was talk of Van Persie going to Germany (thankfully been quiet on that front); Lupoli has already left, gone to Fiorentina.

  3. Tony C Reply

    I’m surprised he hung around as long as he did. It seemed that every year TH wasn’t sure if he was gonna renew his contract only to sign right at the last minute, obviously with a suitable pay increase and the promise of new Renault Clio. If Mr W is as smart as I think he is this time next year the Highbury, sorry Emirate faithful, will be saying, “Who was the French bloke again?”.

  4. Ports Reply

    “Worth 5 Wayne Rooney’s”. Ha ha ha. Henry was world class and has served Arsenull very well over the years. But he is an old man with declining ability and pace whilst Rooney is a spectacular natural talent who is only just starting his career.

  5. Darren Reply

    Ports, four Wayne Rooneys, but that’s my final offer. Okay, I might accept three Wayne Rooneys and a Diego Forlan.

  6. Steve ( Big Brother ) Reply

    Did anyone see Wayne Rooney in the background at the recent Ricky Hatton fight ? He looked really pleased to be on the telly.

    Perhaps someone ought to mention to him that they show the games he plays in quite a lot on telly. Maybe he doesn’t understand !!!!

  7. Ruckers:Blackpool Reply

    Hi, i seem to recognise you . . .

    Did you once live in Blackpool?

  8. Steve ( Big Brother ) Reply

    Uh Oh…..

    Capello has been sacked for winning a La Liga championship.
    Let’s hope that they don’t come a calling on our Arsene.

    Even though the money must be amazing, I’m not sure that top coaches will be lining up to take this job. Not exactly what you would call job security involved.

    I think the problem must be laid fairly at the feet of the stupid Presidential system the spaniards employ. You put yourself up for election, make outrageous promises that you probably won’t be able to keep and then find someone to make the scapegoat.

    Sorry Mr.Capello…… it’s your fault we won the league…. you’re fired.

  9. Steve Reply

    Things are starting to take shape at the Gunners.
    Could be an interesting season.
    We have now got a poacher in Eduardo, signed a defender who is on the verge of breaking into the Frech first 11 in Sagna and the possibility of Freddie leaving and Eboue being pushed into a more midfield role. A role I think he could play very well with his speed and tackling ability.

    Maybe the Gunners shouldn’t be written off too early this term… it’s a young team but with a lot of talent.

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