As Harry Redknapp stated after the game, it was inevitable – we all knew the minute that Thierry Henry took to the pitch in the FA Cup clash with Leeds that he would score. Henry duly did, looking like he had never been away, and brought new meaning to ‘The Return of the King.’ It may not only be Aragorn who has to watch his back however, as Henry showed a great deal more than the ability to score a goal during his short time on the pitch earlier this week.
Gunners captain RVP, not to mention the rest of the current crop of Arsenal players would do well to show even half of the emotion and passion that Henry displayed upon scoring the goal, leading to the question of is this what Arsenal have been lacking this season?
Now don’t get me wrong, no one can deny the brilliant job RVP has done this season, along with players such as Song and Szczesny, Arsenal after a rocky start have pulled themselves up and have put up more than a challenge for a top four spot, and I am by no means suggesting that Henry is better than any of these players or that if Arsenal had him, they would be in the title race.
Henry has after all only scored one goal, and against a team who despite having world class support cannot say the same about their defence. It is entirely plausible that Henry will struggle in the Premier League, and not make much of an impact – yet it is more than his touch on the ball that he will bring to the club. Henry is Arsenal, nearly as much as Wenger is, and has a love for the club that is unparalleled.
It is this, and the experience he has that could well prove the difference for Arsenal in the short time he is at the club. Whilst RVP has most certainly been the MVP, he is still young and is carrying such a burden on his shoulders of not only having to score, but to be skipper and inspire the fans and team.
I am not saying he has not done a great job – in fact I feel RVP is more of a captain than Fabregas was and is certainly a leader on the field, yet having Henry around to alleviate some of the pressure and as someone who the fans can also focus their expectations on, not to mention the media, may provide a welcome relief for RVP.
Nor is this an attack on the current Arsenal squad – the vast majority of them do give 100% when they play and genuinely want the club to do well, yet there is a difference between this and what Henry feels for Arsenal – ‘when it comes to Arsenal my heart does the talking’ just about sums it up, whereas most of the players would say their weekly wage does the talking, and that is the difference, and what is missing not just at Arsenal, but at clubs up and down the country who lack a player who really cares – the days of Neville, Carragher and Shearer are virtually over, with the Nasris, Coles and Tevez type players now more about them than the club.
It is credit to Henry – both in terms of the kind of player and also the type of man he is that nearly every football fan wanted him to do well and score on his second coming, and with the exception of Spurs fans, Henry’s celebrations would even melt a heart of stone. I am not an Henry fan by any stretch of the imagination – in fact during the season Chelsea won the title for the first time Henry took an outrageous free kick before the whistle and inspired the Gunners to a 2 -2 draw, not to mention scored a very cheeky goal which I have never really forgotten!
Despite this, and my general dislike of all things Arsenal, I am a football fan first and foremost, and want to see players who genuinely love their club – Henry is this, and more so than anyone at Arsenal at the minute. Not only will this give the players a lift, but also the fans, who will draw on this, and the inspiration provided by Henry’s return and could well get a boost for the second part of the season because of it. Henry may not be quite the player he once was, but he has heart, passion and love for the club – and despite what people may tell you, there is no substitute for that.
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