Arsenal’s rampant 5-0 victory over Porto last night did alleviate some of the pressure on Arsene Wenger’s lack of striking options. Yet could a return of Arsenal hero Thierry Henry be the just the tonic for the Gunners striker problems?
Arsenal’s performance last night was majestic. It had all the hallmarks of Wenger’s football philosophy, crisp short passing, clever movement and unpredictable speed. It was the sort of performance Arsenal constantly threatens to perform yet lack the killer instinct. Take for example the 3-1 victory over Burnley last Saturday. Hat-trick hero Nicklas Bendtner should have had about four but could not find the net. He just had one of those days. The 3-1 scoreline flattered Burnley considerably. Since Robin Van Persie’s injury Arsenal have looked lightweight upfront. Bendtner’s injury too over the New Year hampered Arsenal’s progress considerably. Against Chelsea and Manchester United they lacked a goal scorer who could win them matches.
I’m pretty sure as the season turns onto the final bend an Arsenal performance where they just cannot find a killer second goal and an opponent equalises will occur. It happens far too much to a side that play by far the best football in the Premier League. So could a move for Thierry Henry be exactly what Arsenal requires? As farfetched as this seems stay with me, because it could be a good prospect for the Gunners and Thierry Henry.
Thierry Henry is not having a happy time of it over at Barcelona at the moment. His form has been heavily criticised for not only France but Barcelona where Henry has lost his place in the side. Following France’s 0-2 defeat to Spain last week in an international friendly, Henry was booed as he was substituted. It was a particularly poor performance from the former Gunner who told the French press ‘I was short of form, I had no rhythm, and was seen in a game against a big team where you run after the ball,’ In 22 appearances for Barcelona this season Henry has only scored 3 goals. What must be taken into consideration is that when he is given a game, he plays on the left. Not as a central striker. Still this is nowhere near the 19 he scored last season.
What is appearing clearer is that the 32 year old is on his way out of Barcelona in the summer. A lack of trust between himself and manager Josep Guardiola which sees him dropped from the team for the likes of youth product Pedro. Injuries have additionally taken their toll on the aging Henry. Mentally Thierry Henry looks spent at Barcelona and for France.
After the World Cup it seems likely Thierry Henry will retire from international football and a move away from the Spanish giants. I think an Arsenal return should not be discarded. Obstacles to such a move would be present. Wenger’s obsession with not liking anyone over the age of thirty would have to be challenged. Though this appears to be not as rigid as before with the signing of Sol Campbell and a mooted two year extension offer towards aging centre back William Gallas. Henry would likely have to accept a one year deal and this may not sit well with the talented Frenchman. Furthermore an awareness from Thierry Henry himself that he is not the player he was at 27 when was carving up the Premier League is needed. A guaranteed starting place is not assured.
Yet there are so many things right with a possible deal. Claims have been leveled at Arsenal that they lack a winning mentality. An elder statesman who has been there and done it with excellent leadership skills. Who better a player than the magnitude of Thierry Henry? A World Cup, Champions League and two time Premier League winner to mention but a few of his accolades. The Frenchman is a striker of quality who will score goals despite his aging body and past injuries. A return of Thierry Henry to Arsenal would be something of a dream for the fans of the North London side. Where else better for him to finish his career than at a place where he is idolized as a hero? Arsenal were sensational last night, but that doesn’t take away the fact they require another striker. Thierry Henry is going to be available this summer. Without the burden of international football and a fresh start for the Frenchman, Arsenal and Henry could be a match made in heaven, yet again.
Do you think Arsenal should re-sign Thierry Henry in the summer?
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