Home Premier League Arsenal Is the return of Henry what Arsenal really need?

Is the return of Henry what Arsenal really need?


Supporting a football club is always a rollercoaster ride and although that is a typical cliche, it is 100% true. Take Birmingham City a couple of years ago. In February they beat Arsenal 2-1 in the League Cup final (The tip of the rollercoaster), however in May, they were relegated from the Premier League (The bottom of the rollercoaster). 

From a personal view point of being an Arsenal fan, every single season seems to get more and more frustrating. One week we will pass a team off the pitch, the next week, we won’t be able to complete a single pass. 

The worst thing for Arsenal is that it’s what we expect now. When I was growing up, I feared no team coming up against Arsenal. The likes of Tony Adams, Ashley Cole, Patrick Vieria, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Dennis Bergkamp and of course Thierry Henry. Those are just to name a few as well. Even Manchester United away was a game that Arsenal could go into being confident of getting a win, nowadays, we go to Old Trafford praying that we don’t get battered. 

The painful truth is, we are not a title challenging team no matter what the players, the board or the manager say, we can’t compete for the title and that is a sad fact. Currently we are sitting in 10th in the Premier League, behind the likes of West Brom, Swansea, Stoke and West Ham, and I mean no offence to those teams, but a team like Arsenal should be fighting the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

The team of invincibles is long, long ago and we have to accept that those days are over now and finishing top four is an achievement for us these days.

Now onto the main point, the return of Thierry Henry.

Last year the news that Thierry Henry was coming home was music to my ears. Not only for the fact that he is my childhood hero and my idol, but the fact that he is Mr. Arsenal and the king of Arsenal. I knew as soon as he came back, he wouldn’t be half as good as what he was back in the day, but he managed to prove me wrong with three goals in as many appearances back at the club.

His return came at a time of negativity surrounding the Emirates and it was a plan to boost morale within the squad and within the fans. I won’t lie, it worked, it worked very well. The buzz of Henry returning home was huge, even non-Arsenal fans were delighted to hear the news. It was a tactical decision from Arsene Wenger and it paid off, not only on the pitch, but also off it. After his return Arsenal went on to finish third. This was a far away dream from where they were in January, but they managed to achieve it and the return of Henry played a massive part in that.

The impact of the Frenchman was mainly off the pitch and that is a certainty. Like I have said, the buzz between the fans was exceptional. Social Networking sites exploded with joy and I was one of those. Arsenal are known for having a youthful side and the return of Henry was a massive boost for the youngsters and the dressing room as a whole. The likes of Theo Walcott and Carl Jenkinson looked up to Henry when they were kids and now they were playing with him.

The long-awaited return was met with a typical Thierry Henry goal. On his second debut, he slotted home cooly against Leeds in the FA cup and guided Arsenal to a 1-0 win. It was a dream and in a way, it was destined to happen. After this debut goal, he then went on to strike another two goals with one being a last-minute winner against Sunderland.

Then we arrive to now. 10 months on from Henry’s loan-move. 10 months on and we are in 10th place. Now it’s December, it’s time to call on Thierry Henry again.

This time around, I am not as hyped up and not as excited. Will he be able to do what he did last year? I thoroughly doubt it. I so hope he proves me wrong and has the same impact as he did last year, but I just cant see lightning striking twice.

Arsenal are in serious danger at the moment of becoming a middle-table club. The hurtful fact is that we don’t have any world class players anymore. We have great players, but no top, top players and bringing back Thierry Henry isn’t the way to go about things.

Wenger needs to buy three or four players in January to save Arsenal’s season. A striker, a holding midfielder, a defender for back-up and a goalkeeper to give Szczesny competition. We do not need Thierry Henry back for six weeks. This is a cover-up, not a solution.

Last year it worked and it saved our season, this time around, we are even worse off and Henry on-loan for a month and a bit, will not save us this year.

It is great to see Henry about Arsenal because he is a club legend, but a third return is not what Arsenal need.

Alex William Batt


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