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What does life post-Thierry Henry hold for Arsenal?

February 19, 2012

After the humiliation of losing 4-0 to AC Milan on Wednesday night, Arsenal have had to say Au Revoir to a club legend, as Thierry Henry returns to the United States to rejoin the New York Red Bulls. Although the veteran forward didn’t recreate the heroics of yester-year this time round, winning goals against Leeds and Sunderland prove that Mr Va Va Voom still has what it takes to compete at the highest level. Given the fact that a lot of soul-searching and improvement is needed to salvage the club’s season, what does the rest of the campaign hold without the mercurial Frenchman?

Top Four Aspirations

Although all Arsenal fans would love to consider their club as a contender for the Premier League title, this season a top four finish must be looked at as a success, if it occurs. With the loss of Clichy, Fabregas and Nasri in the summer, the slow start to the campaign and increased competition for the top four, if The Gunners can qualify for next season’s Champions League it will be a real bonus. The battle for fourth place is seemingly now against Chelsea, with Liverpool and Newcastle outside contenders.

Henry’s ability to win a match would be a welcome bonus for the rest of the season, as he has he ability and past record of popping up with important goals to turn one point into three; take Sunderland for example. Without the French man for inspiration, pressure is now on the likes of senior statesmen Tomas Rosicky, Andrei Arshavin and Gervinho to help Robin van Persie to reach the required goalscoring tally to finish in the top four.

Champions League pride

Despite the dreadful performance in Italy in midweek, Arsenal Football Club must hold their heads up high and gain some respect and pride by winning the second leg. If the hosts score an early goal anything is possible, but realistically the club will be eliminated at the hands of Massimiliano Allegri’s men. However, despite a competition exit, a victory at home to salvage some honour, confidence and revenge is a must going forward.

The modern day footballer typically does not put his heart and soul on the line for his team, but one man who did and does is Thierry Henry. With a never-say-die attitude, Henry would urge his team-mates to get a result and play for pride in the second leg; in his absence senior figures at the club must stand up and be counted.

North London pride

Finally, with Tottenham currently ten points ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League standings, it is looking increasingly likely that Harry Redknapp’s men will finish above The Gunners in the table. This could also be critical due to the lack of available places in next year’s Champions League, however the north London derby on Sunday 26th February could play an important role in determining where each club winds up.

After losing 2-1 in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane, Arsenal simply must beat Tottenham at the Emirates to save some face. If Spurs are going to finish ahead of Arsenal some pride must be regained by taking three points from them, and giving the home faithful bragging rights for the time being. Thierry Henry was a menace to Spurs backlines throughout his first spell at the club, and would have pumped the side up had he been present next Sunday; the club needs someone else to fulfil that role if three points are to be achieved.

Gareth McKnight is a writer for Soccerlens, a blog on world football. If you liked this article, you can follow Soccerlens on Twitter for more of the same.

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3 Comments
  1. Bewaretheswamp permalink
    February 19, 2012 9:18 pm

    think our trip to the swamp to face you guys will not be as straight forward as some people seem to think it is a derby game after all and form goes out the window. You guys are pretty shit at the moment so no real fun in taking the piss should be a good game at the weekend they usually are. My money is on a draw or a narrow Spurs win but as Im not an oracle nor guru its hard to call it for sure.

    COYS

  2. Mgooner14 permalink
    February 19, 2012 11:42 pm

    If i could rearrange the alphabet, i would put U down @bewaretheswamp

  3. February 20, 2012 12:08 am

    Hi Mate,
    I may have something to interest you. I am in the process of creating a feed of all the Arsenal blogs I can find in the world, so the fans can check out the posts from every Arsenal website in the one place. I only have sites from real fans, so there is NO SkySports, Goal, Clubcall, The Sun, Mail, etc or all that “news” and rumours crap.

    I have been working on it for a long while now, and already have over 150 Arsenal Blogs on board. The biggest and the smallest and the newest have all joined, and I want to have every single Arsenal blog in the world on board.

    All it has is a couple of lines of your post, and the headline will go straight to your website, so each post will link directly to you. You will also have a link to your home page on the contributors list.

    If you would like your site added, please send me your feedburner or RSS feed url and I will get it added straight away.

    All I ask in return is a simple text link to “Just Arsenal Blogs” somewhere on your homepage or you can have my 120 x 40 button if you prefer?

    You can have a look at the site (and the button) here:
    http://justarsenalblogs.com

    Let me know if you want to join….
    Regards
    Pat

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