The Arsenal world has gone mad for Thierry Henry. No, it’s not 2007. You don’t have to put on your reading glasses, you read it correctly the first time. Arsene Wenger released this statement and debate rages on everywhere about it. When it comes to this man, the judgement can be clouded.
He left us as a legend after giving us a major part of his career and no one could say that he wasn’t committed while he was still wearing the red and white of Arsenal. In fact, up to this point in time, he still refers to the club as “we”. The love/admiration is mutual as is shown with the construction of a bronze statue located in the vicinity of the stadium.
Lest we all forget, he is still a player in his own right, despite the many years that has gone between his last appearance in a competitive game for us. He’s now training with the team to maintain his fitness during this off-season in Major League Soccer (MLS). It has been muted that he could be on the verge of returning to the club as a player to help us for at least the next 2 months.
We all know that we would be short of a few bodies from the start of the new year. Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh will both be joining up with their respective countries for the African’s Nation Cup tournament. Add to the that the non-involvement of Park Ju Young in recent months and there’s a big void in the attacking department. A department which Henry was a king during his time with us. Yet, would a loan move really be in favour of Arsenal Football Club? Here’s my 5 reasons why not.
1) Struggle to cope with the league again
Now, I know he has experience in this league but it has been 4 years since he last played in it. Not to mentioned he is also 34 years old now. If we think that he could still stroll past players at the canter, we are sadly mistaken. Without disrespecting MLS, the pace of the game is far different from the one in the Premier League. The last thing we want from an Henry loan would be an injury to him.
2) Arsenal’s style of play
Do we remember his last 2 seasons with us? Almost every ball had to go through him. Would the same happen again with this Arsenal side should Henry be reintroduced back into the first team? While Robin Van Persie is the current main man at Arsenal, our style of play is not dictated by simply passing every single ball to him. We have a working system now which allows so many player to get involve and take up responsibilities. It would be both a shame to lose that and pretty dangerous to rely/burden one player with so much responsibilities.
3) We’ve got good team spirit
If you’ve noticed the team in this last couple of months, we’ve developed a tight knit group who works and fights for each other. As mentioned by RvP, there are a good number of leaders within this squad now. Bringing in a former captain who could have differing ideas/methods could have a detrimental effect on the squad. Let me clear that up by saying I do not for one second think that Henry wants to walk back into the team and wants to talk control of everything. It’s just that the other players respect him and perhaps will be slightly mindful of their character during training or in the dressing room and thus could impact the camaraderie of the squad.
4) It’s only a maximum of 2 months
That is how long we could have him on loan. In fairness, to have Henry on loan would constitute more of a substitute role than a starting one. However, there can be no doubt that on occasions, he would be required to start games as RvP cannot be playing every single 90 minutes non-stop for 2 months. In the event that Henry does score vital goals, it only further highlights the fact that we do need reinforcement in that department. As much as I want to see a legend back within our ranks, we need a longer solution than someone who can provide 2 months of service. There’s still another 3 more months of football to be played after the completion of the loan stint and RvP would still be needing his rest here and there.
5) Blotting a wonderful story
We all remember Henry in our own ways. Legendary goal-scorer who wear his heart on his sleeve. A 2nd stint with Arsenal could smear that memory. It is all good now to say that whatever he does will not tarnished those memory but we’ve got to be realistic. The possibility is there, he could very well missed chances that could potentially cost us points. What ifs, but not entirely impossible. Would it change anything if at the end of the season we could attribute the failure to finish in Championa League spot partly in the hand of Henry?
The sentimental side of me wants to see him back playing for us again of course. I want that to happen during the Emirates Cup but it didn’t. When it comes to the fortunes of our season, the emotional side of us have to step aside. There’s absolutely every chance that whatever I say won’t happen. That, signing Henry on short term loan could be a success and it could help jolt the team into better performances. There’s always two sides to a coin.
Difficult decisions need to be made. Luckily for us, we have Wenger to do that job but if I was in his place, I won’t pop the question to Henry.